Critics Ignore Ferry Progress


Supporters of the privatisation of Sydney Ferries were using outdated figures on the performance and reliability of Sydney Ferries – for the 24 months from July 2006 and June 2008 – in a blatant bid to mislead the debate on privatisation.

“The figures that matter are the 11months since last June, with patronage on Sydney Ferries up 2.5 percent, or 5.5 percent growth excluding the operation of the now ceased JetCats. Service reliability is 99.5 percent and fleet availability 80 percent for the 11 months and 86 percent in May”, said Warren Smith, MUA Sydney branch secretary.

These figures, which are being achieved after significant reform in the workplace including an Enterprise Bargaining Agreement, are a major improvement on the 75 percent fleet availability in the previous 2 years.

“As the NSW Minister for Transport David Campbell pointed out yesterday, the Manly Jet Cats were the most unreliable vessels in the Sydney fleet and contributed to most of the breakdowns.  The ceasing of the JetCat operations has contributed to the improvement in operations”, Mr Smith said. 

“The outdated figures being bandied about by the NSW Opposition transport spokeswoman Gladys Berejiklian and Chris Brown of the Tourism and Transport Forum (TTF) are blatant politicizing aimed at hijacking the debate and ultimately the decision on privatization.

“Mr Brown’s opinions must be taken with the knowledge that the TTF is supported and advised by the companies who are in the running to run any private service.

“The most important statistics to pay attention to here are the most recent ones and they clearly show that Sydney Ferries and its workforce have lifted their game and are meeting targets. 

“Private operators are not the panacea.  If you look at Melbourne’s privately run train service – it is running late 12 percent of the time. 

 “The single Enterprise Bargaining Agreement (EBA) negotiated delivers major reform in line with the recommendations of the Walker Inquiry, with flexible crew-based rostering and wage restraint”, Mr Smith said.

CONTACT: Warren Smith 0400 368945