The NSW Government’s River Class ferries will be further delayed, after safety standards mandated that the windows in the vessels wheelhouses be replaced because they make the vessels unsafe to operate at night.
The replacement of these defective glass panels is expected to cost the NSW public as much as $6 million and delay the launch of the River Class by 12 months.
Earlier in 2021 it was revealed that the River Class’ wheelhouse glass windows made it impossible for the crew to safely distinguish between light sources in their peripheral vision or along their line of sight to the horizon.
The River Class, outsourced to an Indonesian shipbuilder by Transport Minister Andrew Constance, has been beset with design flaws. The ferries were delivered full of asbestos, they are unable to safely travel under bridges along the Parramatta River and cannot safely enact an emergency stop.
Shadow Minister for Transport Jo Haylen said: "This is just the latest in a litany of design flaws associated with one of Andrew Constance’s pet projects. Each ferry now has to have the wheelhouse completely ripped off, rebuilt and then put back together.
“These ferries cannot safely operate at night, they can’t safely travel under bridges, and they can't emergency stop.
“Unfortunately the people of NSW will continue to shell out millions of dollars to bring these defective ferries up to standard.
“Mr Constance needs to reveal what the full cost of his failed pet project is, and the Government needs to learn from its mistakes and build vital transport infrastructure right here in NSW.”