Councils welcome Transport for NSW taking on Lower Portland Ferry

Mayor Gangemi, Robyn Preston and Mayor McMahon at Lower Portland Ferry

Image Caption: Mayor Gangemi, Robyn Preston MP and Mayor McMahon at Lower Portland Ferry.

The Hills Shire and Hawkesbury City Councils have welcomed the NSW Government’s announcement that it will accept the management of the Lower Portland Ferry, with the transfer anticipated to occur later this year.

The announcement follows years of advocacy work by both councils and the Member for Hawkesbury, Robyn Preston MP, who called for the ferry to be managed by the State Government like the other ferries on the Hawkesbury River.

Hawkesbury City Mayor Sarah McMahon said the decision made perfect sense.

“Hawkesbury City Council have been asking Transport for NSW to take on the management of the ferry for some time, and this decision is very much a welcome one,” Mayor McMahon said.

“This is a win for the Council and a win for the community. This will allow for the seamless and efficient coordination of all ferry services in the Hawkesbury and The Hills under one authority to deliver a more predictable service for motorists.

“Until now, Lower Portland Ferry was one of the very few in NSW that was still being managed at the local government level. This decision brings this ferry in line with the vast majority of others across the state.”

Mayor of The Hills Shire Council, Dr Peter Gangemi said this outcome would be beneficial for the community.

“Alongside Hawkesbury City Council and the Member for Hawkesbury Robyn Preston, The Hills Shire Council has been advocating for Transport for NSW to take over this service for many years,” Mayor Gangemi said.

“The decision paves the way for greater collective local and state government investment in the rural parts of The Hills Shire and the Hawkesbury Local Government Areas.

“I would like to thank the residents, Robyn Preston and the Councillors and staff of both councils who have been tirelessly fighting for this outcome.”

Member for Hawkesbury Robyn Preston MP stated:

“I have been a strong advocate for preserving the ferry service since becoming the Member for Hawkesbury. This has resulted in securing funding to keep the ferry running, followed by the NSW Government taking over the ferry’s management. I am grateful to the community and both the Hawkesbury and The Hills councils for supporting my efforts. This is a great outcome for the community, and it will benefit residents, businesses, and tourism in this beautiful section of The Hills and the Hawkesbury.”

Transport for NSW will commence management of the ferry from 1 October 2024, with negotiations for an earlier transfer currently underway.

Lower Portland Ferry is currently out of service while essential maintenance is carried out. Work is on track to be completed in late April / early May.

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