After hearing the news that the NSW Government wants to retire the iconic Freshwater-class Manly Ferries only to replace them with smaller, less capable ships, Abigail stood to ask that the Government retain the existing Freshwater-class ferries.
Ms ABIGAIL BOYD (12:24:52): I direct my question to Minister for the Public Service and Employee Relations, Aboriginal Affairs, and the Arts, representing the Minister for Transport and Roads. This week it was reported that the iconic Freshwater‑class Manly Ferries, which have transported up to 45,000 daily passengers over nearly 40 years of service, will be retired in the coming years and will be replaced with Emerald‑class ferries. Those proposed replacements have less than one‑third of the passenger capacity of the Freshwater‑class ferries and will not be able to operate in stormy weather or ocean swells, thereby forcing commuters onto our already congested roads. Why is the Government retiring the iconic Freshwater‑class Manly Ferries, only to replace them with the inferior Emerald class?
The Hon. DON HARWIN (Special Minister of State, and Minister for the Public Service and Employee Relations, Aboriginal Affairs, and the Arts) (12:25:29): I thank Ms Abigail Boyd for the question. That is a matter of considerable interest to many people in the community, there is no doubt about that, and there has been quite a bit of media interest as well. As the question has been directed to me in my capacity as Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Roads, I will give the Minister for Transport and Roads the opportunity to provide a full answer to the honourable member. I will take the question on notice and I will ask the Minister to provide Ms Abigail Boyd with an answer as soon as is convenient.