NSW Liberal Transport Minister Andrew Constance says time is up for Sydney's world-renowned Freshwater ferries – immortalised by Australian Crawl's song Reckless – that ply the Manly to Circular Quay route.
The first of the four ferries is set to be removed from service next year, while the others are likely to be retired as early as 2022.
Internationally recognisable, these doubled-ended “Manly ferries” are the iconic jewel in the crown for Sydney Harbour and an Australian institution.
The proposed successor Emerald-class ferry will see passenger capacity reduced from 1100 passengers down to 400 passengers per trip. There is no doubt that this will have a major impact on the levels of tourism to Manly, particularly through school holidays and the warmer months.
Of course, the Emerald Class will simply not be able to handle the seas across the Heads and operate to the 5m swell limit like the Freshwater-class does.
To remove these vessels would be the same as pulling the Staten Island ferries out of New York, the Star Ferries out of Hong Kong or the Cable Cars out of San Francisco. All iconic in their own nature. This announcement is simply the wrong decision.
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