Overhaul of Lower Portland Ferry
Thanks to a new commitment by the NSW Government to assist in the continued operation costs of the Lower Portland ferry - to a maximum of $500,000 a year over the next four years - the three-yearly out-of-water survey and overhaul for the Lower Portland Ferry will be carried out between 1 October 2019 and January 2020. The out-of-water survey and overhaul is required for maritime licencing.
The ferry ramp on The Hills Shire side of the river will also be replaced. This ramp replacement is necessary in order to ensure continued safe operation and to prevent damage to the ferry vessel. Both works will be undertaken concurrently to minimise the impact on the community and ferry users.
Ferry users will be required to use alternative routes, including West Portland Road and the Sackville Ferry.
The repairs are necessary for the safe operation of the ferry, the Mayor of Hawkesbury, Councillor Barry Calvert explained.
“As acknowledged by the State Government, this is a vital piece of Hawkesbury transport infrastructure, which is why we need to undertake scheduled repairs to ensure its longevity and safety,” the Mayor said.
“Both Councils are aware that any ferry maintenance is an inconvenient but necessary action for safe operations and we thank our community members in advance for their understanding during this time.”
While the operation of ferry services across NSW is generally a State Government function, the Lower Portland Ferry is unusual as it is jointly operated and maintained by the Hills Shire Council and Hawkesbury City Council. The cost of maintaining the service is currently just over $1 million annually which is shared by Hawkesbury and The Hills Shire councils.
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