Labor is urging Transport Minister Rob Stokes to reveal when the other 9 River Class ferries will be fit to safely carry passengers after the Minister announced that 1 vessel, the Ruby Langford Ginibi, was now operational after a delay of more than a year - but only during the day.
The overseas built River Class ferries have been plagued by design flaws and safety issues since the NSW Government took possession of them. The vessels were:
- Riddled with asbestos;
- Had a sub standard fit and finish;
- Had electrical and wiring faults;
- Were unable to safely travel under bridges while carrying passengers on the top deck;
- Could not perform an emergency stop; and
- Could not safely travel at night because of the reflective glass in their wheelhouses.
Former Transport Minister Andrew Constance promised that the 10 River Class vessels would all be operational by mid 2020. More than a year later, the Ruby Langford Ginibi is the only River Class Vessel now in service.
Shadow Minister for Transport Jo Haylen said: “This is a ferry that can only operate safely while the sun is up. The people of NSW paid millions for these overseas built ferries, they are more than a year late and they still have major defects.
“It's a bit rich that the Government is patting itself on the back just because it’s finally managed to get one of the ten promised River class vessels working during the day”.