New Settlement Point Ferry
Wednesday 9 April, 2008
The long awaited new $2.2 million dollar Settlement Point ferry will officially be launched this morning (Wednesday) at Settlement Point from 10am.
This is the first new local ferry to come into service since 1952. For the past 16 months, Port Macquarie's Birdon Marine has been constructing the new 21 vehicle ferry.
In total Council is spending $2.8 million to improve ferry services which will increase the vehicle capacity of both services by 53% per river crossing.
The 21-vehicle ferry is replacing the 15-vehicle facility, which will replace the old Hibbard ferry.
Launching the new services, Council Administrator Dick Persson said, "This is an exciting day for local residents from both sides of the Hastings River. In particular, the people of the North Shore have been very patient waiting for the improved ferry and that is now exactly what they have.
"Without doubt, this is the newest ferry on the east coast of Australia and was manufactured here in the Hastings using local construction talent.
"The new modern ferry will reduce travel and waiting times by increasing the vehicle capacity as well as allowing the previous ferry to be used as the new Hibbard Ferry, Mr Persson said.
The new multi-million dollar ferry has been undergoing testing since being commissioned last Thursday. Before the old ferry can replace the Hibbard ferry, it will undergo maintenance and slipping work at Birdon Marine.