Hundreds of protesters were on board for the MV Queenscliff's final voyage from Manly to Circular Quay today.
The classic ferry is to be taken out of service, under a plan by the State Government to retire two of the much-loved ferries, and restrict the remaining two to weekend-only operation. They will be replaced with Chinese-made, smaller, faster vessels.
Northern Beaches Deputy Mayor Candy Bingham, who has led the Save the Many Ferries push, said the Government should keep all four ferries.
Today's a very sad day," Cr Bingham said.
"What a time to get rid of these ferries. We are left with two big ferries just as Sydney is coming out of COVID restrictions. Poor old Manly is dying from a lack of tourists, so let's get ride of our big ferries. What a stupid idea! Four million people in 2019 came to Manly on the big ferries. They want the experience of the big old ferries."
Ms Bingham said that all four Freshwater class ferries should be kept in operation, until they can be replaced by new, made-in Australia, electric powered ferries, designed to match our large, double-ended Harbour Queens. She said it's not too late for new Transport Minister Rob Stokes to reverse the decision to retire the two classic ferries.
Journalists and film crews joined ferry supporters on the final emotional trip to Circular Quay, with huge coverage of the event on media and social media sites.
Candy Bingham, Deputy Mayor & Manly Ward Councillor on Northern Beaches Council. Background in marketing, public relations and community engagement. Author of five business books. Former Lady Mayoress of Sydney. Aka Candy Tymson.