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Lord Mayor Cr John Chedid shows his support to Blues Coach Laurie Daley. Lord Mayor Cr John Chedid shows his support to Blues Coach Laurie Daley.
03 July 2013 Posted by 

Business unites to retain our ferry service

By Cr John Chedid
Parramatta Lord Mayor

PARRAMATTA’S business community has joined Council in opposing state Government’s planned reductions to the City’s iconic river ferry service.

The NSW Ministry of Transport’s “Sydney’s Ferry Future” Report released in May 2013 revealed plans to eliminate Parramatta’s direct commuter service link to Sydney’s CBD. Their excuse? Low passenger numbers.

I am committed to working with the Minister and the State Government to ensure that ferry services to Parramatta are not reduced.

This is an important service for residents and visitors alike. While I understand that the service needs to be improved, I would suggest that the State Government reconsider its existing timetable and using a lighter vessel before cutting the service.

I would also emphasise that there should be a lot of consideration into additional ferry terminals along the river, such as one at the University of Western Sydney, Parramatta Campus. This campus has almost 15,000 students and is growing, so there is a demand for a regular ferry service to there.

I’m pleased to say that council is not alone in challenging the reductions.

According to Paul Dillon, newly elected president of the Parramatta Chamber of Commerce, the only discussion on the ferries should be how to improve the service and make it an effective and profitable part of the overall transport system.

“The Parramatta Chamber of Commerce supports Council on this issue; improving the service is the only sensible option. Cutting the service only makes it less efficient and less attractive. This government seems obsessed with soft option cuts and that is never going to produce solution,” Dillon said.

Michael Sugg, Chief Executive of the Western Sydney Business Connection added that the growth in the Western Sydney labour market meant that a well-conceived ferry service would be used by commuters into Parramatta from points east. “A surging employment market needs more transport options, not cuts.”

Go Blues!
With the tally now tied in the State of Origin series, we’re counting on the Blues triumphing in the end. Best wishes to the NSW Blues from all of us for the July 17 final match at the ANZ Stadium.

Nicole Baines

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