The Lower Portland Ferry will be temporarily out of service for a compulsory inspection and maintenance from Monday 15 January 2024 for approximately 12 weeks, depending on the required works.
In accordance with Australian Maritime Safety Regulations, Lower Portland Ferry is required to undergo an out-of-water service to retain its commercial license for operating a public service.
Council endeavoured to source a replacement ferry to allow the connection to remain open during the service, however Transport for NSW has advised that a suitable replacement is not available.
Hawkesbury City Mayor Sarah McMahon said she appreciated that the downtime for the ferry would be inconvenient to residents, but that it was unavoidable, due to the legal requirements for maintenance.
“The Lower Portland Ferry is a critical link between the Hawkesbury and The Hills for many residents. These works are essential to ensure the ferry remains safe and reliable,” Mayor McMahon said.
“Council will do everything in our power to ensure that the ferry is returned to service as quickly as possible.”
Mayor of The Hills Shire Council Dr Peter Gangemi said the works are required to keep the Ferry operating, which is in the long-term interests of residents.
“The Lower Portland Ferry connects our Councils on the Hawkesbury River, and the inspection will enable the service to continue beyond April when its current licence to operate expires,” Mayor Gangemi said.
Motorists are advised to detour via Sackville Ferry, approximately 13 minutes south of the Lower Portland Ferry.
The cost of the ferry overhaul will be jointly shared by Hawkesbury City Council and The Hills Shire Council. Both Mayor McMahon and Mayor Gangemi urge the community to only rely on official sources of information when it comes to the operations of the Ferry.
Council will provide the community with updates on the progress of the works via www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au and Council’s Facebook page.