Petition Launched To Stop Labor Sinking Ulmarra Ferry

NSW Nationals

Locals have come out in force at Ulmarra to launch a petition demanding the NSW Labor Government cancel plans to shut down the historic and vital Ulmarra to Southgate ferry.

Attendees included Clarence Nationals MP Richie Williamson, Shadow Minister for Regional Transport and Roads, Dave Layzell, Councillor Steve Pickering, Ulmarra community leader Sue Kearney and former State MP Steve Cansdell, also an Ulmarra resident.

Mr Williamson said he had already pressed the case with the Minister for Regional Transport and Roads, but needed people power by way of a petition to convince the government this was a bad call.

“If the NSW Labor Government is hellbent on shutting down a ferry service, they should close one of the dozens they subsidise in Sydney, not the only one we have in Ulmarra,” Mr Williamson said.

“People power has worked before in Ulmarra, helping deliver the town’s lifesaving speed camera.

“Roads, bridges and ferries aren’t there to raise revenue for the government. They are essential services to commuters so they can get from A to B as efficiently and safely as possible and they should be maintained to a satisfactory standard.”

Mr Williamson said the ferry service was also a big tourism drawcard with motorists taking the ‘tourist route’ and travelling on both the Ulmarra to Southgate and Lawrence ferries.

Councillor Steve Pickering, who runs the Coldstream Art Gallery in Ulmarra, said the community was outraged by the likely shutdown.

“Hundreds of families, tradies and farmers use and need this service. The closure would mean massive detours for many,” he said.

Ulmarra businesswoman Sue Kearney, who initiated the campaign, said the closure would be “heart breaking and costly for families on both sides of the mighty Clarence.

“The Ulmarra Ferry is a vital part of the local community, which is primarily a farming and tourism community,” Ms Kearney said.

“School children, workers, cyclists, tourists and especially farmers use it daily as well as it being a life-saving route in times of emergency.

“Ulmarra is one of few historical riverport towns left in the country with the ferry being a major drawcard for tourists and boost to the local economy.

“The community is not only demanding that the NSW Government listens to its concerns but acts and cancels any plans it has to axe this essential community commuter service,” she said.

Mr Williamson thanked his Nationals colleague and Shadow Minister for Regional Transport and Roads, Dave Layzell for taking the time to travel from the Hunter Valley in support of the community.

The Petition is available from many local businesses and also be obtained by contacting Richie Williamson’s office by email on [email protected] or by calling 6643 1244.

/Public Release. View in full here.