The NSW Liberal Government has broken a promise made in November 2022 to build seven new River Class Ferries locally, admitting late yesterday that it rejected bids from local shipbuilders to construct the ferries here.
Liberal Transport Minister David Elliott promised that the Liberals would build these vessels here less than three months ago on Monday 28 November 2022.
When he made the announcement, Mr Elliott said:
“It is vital to our economy and the domestic market that we back Australian ingenuity, design and local manufacturing.”
But instead of backing local manufacturing the Liberal government has told our shipbuilders that their bids for the contract for the fleet of new Parramatta River ferries “resulted in no contract being awarded.”
This is the third time the purchase of replacement ferries for the Rivercats has been delayed after the government scrapped the purchase of new ferries for the Parramatta River in 2019. The purchase of replacement ferries was delayed again last year because the government refused to make the investment decision.
The NSW Liberal government has presided over a series of transport debacles and disasters, including:
- buying overseas built trains that didn’t fit the tracks and the tunnels;
- overseas built regional trains that are $1 billion over budget and three years late;
- an entire fleet of overseas built trams that cracked; and
- overseas built ferries that are riddled with defects.
The Liberals have repeatedly failed to back Australian manufacturing, exporting 4,000 Australian direct and indirect manufacturing jobs overseas when they outsourced the construction of vital public transport infrastructure.
Quotes attributable to Jo Haylen, NSW Shadow Minister for Transport:
“This is a kick in the guts for our shipbuilders and manufacturing workers. The Liberals promised they would build these seven ferries locally. Now they have turned around, broken their promise and told our shipbuilders that they’re not good enough.
“Liberal Transport Minister David Elliott promised that this contract was proof that backing our manufacturers was back on the Liberal Party’s agenda. He said it was vital to our domestic economy.
“Instead the Liberals have broken their promise to build these ferries here and have shown that they have never wanted to build ferries, trains, trams and buses here.
“This broken promise shows that a vote for the Liberals means another four years of imported overseas built transport duds and lost local jobs. The only way to make sure we build our trains, ferries, trams and buses here is to vote for Chris Minns and Labor.”