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Friday, 20 November 2020

Council has resolved to call for urgent meetings with key NSW Government ministers and local members, calling on them to delay the State Government’s decision to retire the 1100 passenger capacity Freshwater-class ferries starting in February 2021 and replace them with 400 passenger capacity Emerald-class ferries in 2021. 

The large ferries are the lifeblood of Manly and a tourism icon. Since 1850 they have serviced this popular tourist destination bringing millions to enjoy our seaside resort.

A total of 2.8m people came to Manly by ferry in 2019. 1 million of them were international tourists. Like the cable-cars of San Francisco, the large Manly ferries are an iconic, heritage link to our maritime past.

To advocate for the saving of the Freshwater-class ferries, Council is:

  • Arranging urgent meetings with the Minister for Transport, the Hon Andrew Constance MP, and the Chief Operations Officer of Transport for NSW, Howard Collins; the Minister for Tourism, the Hon Stuart Ayres MP and Member for Manly, James Griffin MP.
  • Seeking assurances that required ferry passenger demand will continue to be met.
  • Seeking information from the State Government regarding the environmental impacts of the proposed changes.
  • Preparing an impact assessment in consultation with the Manly Business Chamber, outlining the financial, brand and heritage impacts to Manly and Sydney’s visitor/tourist economy should the large ferries no longer be part of this route.

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