Sitting pretty in Newcastle Port, Sydney’s brand new ferries harbour a dangerous underbelly.

 

9News revealed tonight that solid asbestos had been uncovered last week in gaskets on three of the four vessels as they were given a final fit-out following delivery from Indonesia.

 

Paul Garrett from the Maritime Union said “we were warned” about having the boats built overseas.

“At the end of the day, there’s no safe asbestos – someone should be sacked,” he said.
Sydney ferry operator Transdev ordered the new fleet of 10 river class ferries and three emerald class ferries from Australian ship-builder Birdon.

Birdon outsourced the work to Singapore, Indonesia and China.

All three countries have been flagged by the Australian Border Force on a warning list of nations whose imports have had traces of asbestos fibres.

Deputy Labor leader Yasmin Catley said it was evidence manufacturing needed to be done in Australia.
“If we built them here, then we actually have the confidence that the standard and quality of the product are what we expect, and they’re safe,” she said.
In a statement to 9News, Transdev said the asbestos was confined and didn’t present a risk of airborne contamination.
A licensed independent asbestos removal contractor was brought in yesterday and now says the area has been remediated.

Concerningly, there are still six more river class ferries yet to arrive.