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Another Month Delay for Lower Portlands Ferry to Resume

Apr 11, 2024

Residents of Lower Portland, commuters and emergency services will have to wait another month for  the ferry to return to service after  the extension into its fourth month was quietly unveiled by Hawkesbury City Council.

The delay is the latest blow for residents coming less than a week after the latest flooding.

It’s the latest sign of mismanagement of the ferry that HCC only put in for legally required maintenance at the very last minute in January. The ferry’s licence to operate expires this month. HCC was also slow in having maintenance undertaken in the previous cycle.

“A revised program for the Ferry maintenance has been received to complete the additional works required for the overhaul. It is expected the ferry will be operational by Tuesday, 14 May 2024,” HCC said on its Facebook page.

As the key route between the Hawkesbury and the Hills Shire, the ferry is an important driver of the local economy, supporting tourism, businesses and locals getting to and from work. Around 500 vehicular trips are made each week, saving hundreds of locals more than half an hour of travel time, with the closest alternate crossing point at Sackville. 

Lasty year, HCC was forced to move into damage control after it failed to ink an agreement for the extension of the service with its operator TONO Group, forcing it to increase its spend on another year for the service. HCC also failed to organise a loan ferry from the state government during the ferry’s maintenance.

Last week, the NSW government announced it would take control of the ferry’s operations – the only one on the Hawkesbury to be still run by local government.

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