Local News

Clarence Valley community stand by Ulmarra-Southgate ferry service

Emma Pritchard


Last week, the Clarence Valley Independent asked several residents and tourists to share how important the Ulmarra ferry is to them and the local community, how often they use it, and how its possible withdrawal from service will affect them…

Andrea Buckland: I always use the ferry when I visit the area because it’s a reliable service, and it saves me additional time travelling into South Grafton and Grafton if I need to cross the river, which is roughly a 60km round trip. I’m not a local, but as a regular visitor to the area, I rely on the ferry as much as the locals. It would be such a shame to lose it because these are the type of services which people living in regional areas need.

Alister Smith: The ferry provides an important link for farming communities on either side of the river, and those like myself that provide services to the industry. Forcing people to travel that extra distance through Grafton or down to Lawrence (to use the other ferry) will add to our time and costs.

John McIntyre: I’ve got a message for the NSW Government, back off. The Ulmarra ferry has been at the forefront of life in the riverside township for many years. Without it, people would be looking at completing a return trip of more than 50km instead of around 4km between Ulmarra and Southgate. The additional mileage including extra fuel costs and travel time would be a huge inconvenience and place financial strain on everyone who uses it.

Ada Cormie: Whilst I have never used the ferry service myself, many of my friends who live in the area regularly use it. It would be an outright atrocity if the ferry was taken out of action. I know a lot of people rely on it, and it doesn’t make sense with all this talk of possibly discontinuing it.

Brian Knight: I’ve used the Ulmarra ferry as a means of crossing the Clarence River a number of times through the years, and I can’t fathom why the NSW Government would suddenly spark all these discussions about the possibility of stopping the service. The Clarence Valley is a heavily populated area, and with the Clarence River running through it, one would think that the more options people have to cross it, the better. But is seems this is not the case with the current NSW Government.