The NSW State Government has confirmed that the seven new ferries set to take to the Parramatta River will be built in Australia.
It follows countless issues with previous ferries built overseas including asbestos problems, engine stalling, sub-standard fit and finish, not being able to fit under some bridges with passengers on the top deck and issues with night-time operations.
The new Parramatta Class ferries have been designed by Incat Crowthers, leading naval engineers based on the Northern Beaches of Sydney.
The construction tender has been awarded to Richardson Devine Marine Shipbuilders in Hobart.
The new Parramatta-class vessels won’t include upper deck seating that was deemed too dangerous to be used when passing under Camellia Railway Bridge and Gasworks Bridge.
The new ferries will also be future-proofed, allowing for future conversion to electric propulsion as battery, charging and engine technologies improve.
The seven new vessels will replace seven Cairns-built RiverCat vessels, which are ready to retire after 30 years of faithful service.
“The RiverCats have served the Parramatta River faithfully for over 30 years, these new ferries will have the same 200 person capacity, while using 40 per cent less diesel,” said Transport Minister Jo Haylen.
Construction of the new ferries will begin in July.