Manly Ferry - SS Barrenjoey
Sydney Ferries is an agency of the New South Wales Government Department of Transport, providing ferry services on Sydney Harbour and the Parramatta River in Sydney, Australia.
Having operated on Sydney Harbour and its related waterways since 1875, today Sydney Ferries carry over 14 million customers each year to destinations in and around Sydney.
Sydney Ferries can trace its roots as far back as the arrival of the First Fleet at Sydney Cove where in 1789, the first ferry service was established from the Cove to the farming settlement of Parramatta.
The first ferry, officially named the Rose Hill Packet (otherwise known as 'The Lump'), was crafted by convicts and powered by sails and oars. Trips inland from Sydney Cove to Parramatta typically took up to one week to complete. As time progressed, a series of rowboat ferrymen set up small operations to transport people from either side of Sydney Harbour.
In 1861, the North Shore Ferry Company was established which operated the very first commercial ferry service across Sydney Harbour.
In 1899, ferry services were integrated into Sydney Ferries Limited, which became the world's largest ferry operator by fleet size. After the Sydney Harbour Bridge opened on 19 March 1932, ferry patronage dropped almost overnight, decreasing from 30 to 13 million passengers per year.
In 1951, the NSW Government intervened in response to the financial difficulty of the operator and agreed to take over Sydney Ferries Limited.
In 2004, Sydney Ferries Corporation was formed out of the State Transit Authority. On 1 January 2009, Sydney Ferries became a NSW Government agency. In 2012, Sydney Ferries will be franchised under a plan by the NSW Government to improve ferry services.
 Structure and Governance
Freshwater arrives at Manly
Sydney Ferries operates services on Sydney Harbour and the Parramatta River as an agency of the NSW Department of Transport.
There are also a number of privately-owned ferry companies providing services throughout NSW provided under a service contract with NSW Department of Transport (DoT) in line with the Passenger Transport Act 1990 (NSW).
As with all other NSW transport agencies, amendments to the Transport Administration Act 1988 (NSW) [TA Act] established a new framework for the administration and governance of the delivery of transport services and infrastructure.
The Sydney Ferries Board was abolished in line with the 2010 amendments to the TA Act and a new Audit and Risk Committee, independent from operational management or internal audit and risk management, was constituted.
The Executive of Sydney Ferries – formed by the Chief Executive, the Chief Operating Officer, the Chief Financial Officer, the General Manager, Engineering and the General Counsel and Company Secretary – is responsible for organisational strategy, policy and performance and meets weekly to discuss operational, and performance issues. The members of the Executive are joined by the Director, Strategy and Communications; the Director, Human Resources; the Customer Relations Manager and the Facilities Manager.
 Contract and Obligations
Sydney Ferry Scarborough underway with the Sydney CBD in the background
Sydney Ferries entered into a seven year service contract with the NSW Department of Transport for the operation of ferry services in Sydney commencing 1 April 2010.
The contract sets out the service routes and schedules for operation by Sydney Ferries with all ticket revenue managed under the MyZone system.
Sydney Ferries maintains a strategic focus on three areas: safety, service and efficiency. Sydney Ferries also supports two of the priority outcomes under the NSW State Plan, being to improve the public transport system (through increased share of commute trips made by public transport), and to provide reliable public transport (by running 99.5% of ferry services on time).
Sydney Ferries is a Registered Training Organisation (RTO), accredited with the NSW Vocational Education and Training Accreditation Board (VETAB). Sydney Ferries assures compliance with its international maritime safety training obligations under these RTO quality standards.
Sydney Ferries' fleet maintenance is conducted at the Sydney Ferries’ Maintenance Facility at Balmain Shipyard in Mort Bay. A major works upgrade to the shipyard was completed in February 2011 to improve operational safety, functionality and environmental compliance of the yard.
Sydney ferries, Circular Quay
In 2009-10, 172,627 Sydney Ferries services were scheduled, carrying more than 14 million passengers.
Passengers comprise a mixture of commuters and leisure travellers, travelling to 40 destinations over 20 hours per day, seven days per week.
Services on Saturdays (417 services) and Sundays (297 services) mainly cater for leisure travel. Demand is greatest on Sundays when a large number of Sydney residents and visitors take advantage of the popular $2.50 Family Funday Sunday tickets, which offer discounted travel for family groups.
The most popular destination is Manly with almost six million passengers travelling on this route in 2009-10.
Patronage is generally highest in January with 1.71 million passengers travelling on Sydney Ferries in January 2011 and 1.53 million in January 2010.
Sydney Ferries record for a single day was last set on Sunday 2 January 2011, when 94,918 passenger validations were recorded across the harbour with almost half making the trip to Manly.
Sydney Ferries fleet
Vessel Class Service Capacity Speed Length Displacement Routes Origin of name
Collaroy Freshwater 1988 1100 14 kn 70.4 m 1140 t Manly Collaroy Beach
Freshwater Freshwater 1982 1100 14 kn 70.4 m 1140 t Manly Freshwater Beach
Narrabeen Freshwater 1984 1100 14 kn 70.4 m 1140 t Manly Narrabeen Beach
Queenscliff Freshwater 1983 1100 14 kn 70.4 m 1140 t Manly Queenscliff Beach
Alexander First Fleet 1985 393 12 kn 25.38 m 105 t Inner Harbour Alexander, part of the 1787 First Fleet
Borrowdale First Fleet 1985 393 12 kn 25.38 m 105 t Inner Harbour Borrowdale, part of the 1787 First Fleet
Charlotte First Fleet 1985 393 12 kn 25.38 m 105 t Inner Harbour Charlotte, part of the 1787 First Fleet
Fishburn First Fleet 1985 403 12 kn 25.38 m 105 t Inner Harbour Fishburn, part of the 1787 First Fleet
Friendship First Fleet 1986 403 12 kn 25.38 m 105 t Inner Harbour Friendship, part of the 1787 First Fleet
Golden Grove First Fleet 1986 403 12 kn 25.38 m 105 t Inner Harbour Golden Grove, part of the 1787 First Fleet
Scarborough First Fleet 1986 403 12 kn 25.38 m 105 t Inner Harbour Scarborough, part of the 1787 First Fleet
Sirius First Fleet 1984 393 12 kn 25.38 m 105 t Inner Harbour HMS Sirius, flagship of the 1787 First Fleet
Supply First Fleet 1984 393 12 kn 25.38 m 105 t Inner Harbour HMS Supply, part of the 1787 First Fleet
Lady Herron Lady Class 1979 554 11 kn 38.71 m 287 t Taronga Zoo Wife of Sir Leslie Herron, former Lieutenant Governor of NSW
Lady Northcott Lady Class 1974 815 12 kn 43.79 m 383 t Taronga Zoo, Manly Relief Vessel & Cruises Wife of Sir John Northcott, a NSW Governor
Betty Cuthbert RiverCat 1992 230 22 kn 36.8 m 41 t Parramatta River Betty Cuthbert, Australian World Champion athlete
Dawn Fraser RiverCat 1992 230 22 kn 36.8 m 41 t Parramatta River Dawn Fraser, Australian World Champion swimmer
Evonne Goolagong RiverCat 1993 230 22 kn 36.8 m 41 t Parramatta River Evonne Goolagong, Australian World Champion tennis player
Marlene Mathews RiverCat 1993 230 22 kn 36.8 m 41 t Parramatta River Marlene Mathews, Australian World Champion athlete
Marjorie Jackson RiverCat 1993 230 22 kn 36.8 m 41 t Parramatta River Marjorie Jackson, Australian World Champion athlete
Nicole Livingstone RiverCat 1995 230 22 kn 36.8 m 41 t Parramatta River Nicole Livingstone, Australian World Champion swimmer
Shane Gould RiverCat 1993 230 22 kn 36.8 m 41 t Parramatta River Shane Gould,Australian World Champion swimmer
Anne Sargeant HarbourCat 1998 150 22 kn 29.6 m 35 t Inner Harbour/ Parramatta Anne Sargeant, a netballer
Pam Burridge HarbourCat 1998 150 22 kn 29.6 m 35 t Inner Harbour / Parramatta Pam Burridge, a surfer
Louise Sauvage SuperCat 2001 250 26 kn 37.76 m 49 t Eastern Suburbs Louise Sauvage, a paralympian
Saint Mary MacKillop SuperCat 2000 250 26 kn 37.76 m 49 t Eastern Suburbs Saint Mary MacKillop, Australia's firstsaint cannonised in 2010
SuperCat4 SuperCat 2001 250 26 kn 37.76 m 49 t Eastern Suburbs No name decided for this vessel
Susie O’Neill SuperCat 2000 250 26 kn 37.76 m 49 t Eastern Suburbs Susie O’Neill, a swimmer
Fantasea Crystal* Fantasea Charter Vessel 2002 222 22 kn 23.94 m 32 t Parramatta River N/A
Fantasea Spirit* Fantasea Charter Vessel 2002 222 22 kn 23.94 m 32 t Parramatta River N/A
Charter vessels on contract from Fantasea Palm Beach Ferry Company, however operate on behalf of Sydney Ferries
See also: Sydney Harbour fatal ferry crash
On Wednesday, 28 March 2007, the Sydney Ferries HarbourCat Pam Burridge and a private vessel Merinda collided beneath the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The report of the Office of Transport Safety Investigations findings stated 'the Merinda was not exhibiting the navigation lights it was required to, it did not become visible to the Master of the Pam Burridge until it was too late for him to take effective collision-avoidance action, and ii. because a proper look-out was not maintained onboard the Merinda, the approach of the Pam Burridge was either not detected, or was detected in insufficient time for the Helmsman to give way to, or avoid, the ferry. The summary of the Coroner’s Report noted “It was the error made in failing to illuminate the navigation lights [on the private vessel Merinda] that allowed the other causal factors to align to create a cascading causal effect resulting in the collision. The death toll of the accident was four, including a fourteen year-old girl. The passengers on the private vessel were a group from a figure skating seminar at a local rink, who were on a sightseeing cruise of the harbour. Australian champion Sean Carlow was among the survivors of the accident. His mother and coach, former Australian Olympic competitor Liz Cain, had her leg amputated, while one of the dead was a skating judge who had returned from officiating at the 2007 World Figure Skating Championships the previous week. On 3 April 2007, then Premier of New South Wales Morris Iemma appointed Bret Walker, a Senior Counsel, to undertake a special commission of inquiry into Sydney Ferries' operations, following the HarbourCat tragedy.
Two accidents were recorded in 2007. In January, one man was killed when a Sydney RiverCat collided with a dinghy, he later died in hospital. In March, a Sydney Ferries vessel crashed into a whale-watching ship before hitting Pyrmont Bridge in Darling Harbour.
On 23 November 2008, at 5:15pm the Lady Northcott ran into the stern of Friendship while the former was berthing behind the latter at Circular Quay. No one was on board the Friendship, and no passengers were injured on the Lady Northcott.
On 6 April 2009 the Lady Northcott crashed into rocks after it overshot Taronga Zoo wharf. No one was injured in the accident, and it was blamed on driver error.
On 11 October 2010 at 8:47am the HarbourCat ferry Anne Sergeant ran into the Kirribilli Jeffrey Street Wharf. One passenger was taken to hospital with some other passengers receiving minor injuries.
On Sunday, 7 November, 2010, at approximately 4.30pm, a speedboat crashed into the Fantasea Spirit (owned and operated by Palm Beach Ferries, operating for Sydney Ferries) 100m from Meadowbank Wharf on the Parramatta River, injuring six people. The Skipper of the speedboat, a 49-year-old Dundas man, was charged with culpably navigating in manner dangerous causing grievous bodily harm (GBH) and operate recreational vessel negligently causing death or GBH. 
 See also