25 August 2014

The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) is calling for public submissions on how best to set fares for seven regular private ferry services in Sydney, the Central Coast, NSW North Coast and the Stockton ferry in Newcastle.

Each year, IPART recommends maximum fares that can be charged by the private operators of regular ferry services, and also sets maximum fares for the Stockton ferry service, which is operated by the State Transit Authority. We have commenced a review of maximum fares to be effective from 1 January 2015.

IPART Chairman Dr Peter Boxall said last year’s review showed that some ferry operators were not recovering their costs.

“We made some changes last year, but this year we are proposing to determine fares based on the same model used for other transport providers, measuring the costs of providing the services in the most efficient way before setting fares.”

Details about the proposed new approach to determine fares are included in the Information Paper released today for Review of fares for Private Ferries and Stockton Ferry from 2015. IPART is inviting public comment about the proposed approach before 20 September 2014.

The services covered by the review are:

  • Central Coast Ferries – Woy Woy to Empire Bay

  • Church Point Ferry Service – Scotland Island and western foreshore of Pittwater

  • Clarence River Ferries – Iluka to Yamba

  • Cronulla and National Park Ferry Service – Cronulla to Bundeena

  • Brooklyn Ferry Services – Brooklyn to Dangar Island

  • Matilda Cruises – Circular Quay to Darling Harbour, and Circular Quay to Lane Cove

  • Palm Beach Ferries – Palm Beach to Mackerel Beach and the Basin, and Palm Beach to Ettalong and Wagstaffe

  • Stockton Ferry (Newcastle Buses and Ferries) – Newcastle to Stockton.

“These services provide an important form of transport for the communities they serve and we are seeking feedback from both the ferry operators and their passengers on how to best set fares to address affordability, reliability and safety,” Dr Boxall said.

The availability of concession tickets is outside the scope of this review and is a matter for government.

The Information Paper is available on IPART’s website <http://www.ipart.nsw.gov.au>.

Media Contact: Julie Sheather 02 9290 8403 or 0409 514 643