Northern Beaches community launch petition to save Manly ferry
An e-petition has been lodged with the NSW Parliament to reverse the government’s decision to replace the Freshwater Manly Ferries.
Next year, the heritage ferries are set to be replaced by a fleet of new, smaller but faster ferries.
The Northern Beaches Council argues the original ferries are a major Sydney tourist attraction.
Deputy Manly Mayor Candy Bingham told Jim Wilson the move is merely a cost-saving exercise, saving the government $6 million from the transport budget.
“They have not reached the end of their life, that’s an absolute furphy … they’ve got at least 40 years left in them.”
She argues downsizing to 400-person capacity ferries “doesn’t make sense”, and raised concerns about the overseas manufacturing of the new Emerald vessels.
Transport Minister Andrew Constance says the replacements “will comfortably cater for the crowds … by delivering more services” (full statement below).
Click PLAY below to hear the full interview
To sign the petition, click HERE.
Full statement from NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance
“The F1 Manly service currently operated by Freshwater Class vessels is usually suspended when swells reach between 4m and 5m.
“There is a misconception that the Emeralds can’t handle conditions around Sydney Heads. There are currently six Emeralds the fleet and these often travel to Manly when a Freshwater is unavailable or if there is high demand.
“The new Emerald class vessels are designed to handle swells of up to 4.5 metres. There are some conditions, such as when there is a high frequency of waves near a dock, where the Emeralds will be able to operate while the larger Freshwater could not.
“While there is no formal limit, Freshwater ferries will normally cease operations if swells reach around 4.5m when customer comfort is impacted.
“The Emerald class ferries will comfortably cater for the crowds, especially over summer, by delivering more services. In fact, because of these faster vessels, we will be able to add hundreds of additional services to the F1 Manly timetable each week.
“In fact, similar capacity will be provided for customers during the busiest days across summer.
“Outside of summer, where the current service struggles to handle demand on some weekends, additional capacity will be available.
“On weekdays, although capacity has been reduced, it brings the service into line with the actual demand typically experienced.
“We also see customers enjoying a much more frequent and convenient experience, with more service departure options than ever before.”