New South Wales Shadow Treasurer & Manly MP Mike Baird
Chaos Reigns Due To Fast Ferry Tender Bungle
Victor P Taffa
Manly fast ferry commuters face ongoing uncertainty with a new operator starting tomorrow in a battle to see whether two fast ferry operators on the route are sustainable according to Manly MP Mike Baird.
“Manly fast ferry commuters have fought hard for their service and the fight is not over yet.” Mr. Baird said.
“After the State Government axed the JetCats last year and offered no alternative, we had to push for the service to be put out to tender.”
“By all accounts the current operators have done an outstanding job and have put the government-run JetCat service to shame.” Mr. Baird said.
“It was incredibly disappointing that the State Government saw the five-year fast ferry tender as an opportunity to raise revenue.”
“It is stating the obvious to say the tender should have been judged on reliability, affordability and customer service – not on who offered the highest wharf access fee back to government.” Mr. Baird said.
“While we wish the new operator all the best, the truth is a lot of money is being spent competing against each other, which isn’t sustainable.
“What’s unfortunate is that Manly commuters were enjoying a high quality transport service, which has now been jeopardised by the NSW Government’s greed.”
“Manly fast ferry commuters should not have to pay for the State Labor Government’s mismanagement of public finances over the past decade.” Mr. Baird said.
“The Manly fast ferry tender should never have been used as a grab for cash – this is something we have fought since the tender was issued six months ago.”
“We remain convinced a single tender based on the best service at the lowest possible price would have been the best way forward for commuters.” Mr. Baird said.
The State Government has cancelled ferry services to Parramatta due to the lack of dredging of the Parramatta River. Regardless of who runs a ferry service the truth is that the New South Wales Labor Government simply cannot deliver on its rhetoric and after 16 years the Government has run out of steam.