TENDERS are opening today (29 November) for the local construction of seven new ferries for Western Sydney.

Sydney-based shipbuilder Incat Crowther designed the new Parramatta River ferries.

The seven new ferries ar eto replace the seven existing RiverCat vessels after 30 years of service. They will run predominantly on the F3 Parramatta River route.

The state government is encouraging bids from local shipbuilders of all sizes and is allowing tenderers to submit proposals for each and/or multiple vessels.

Transport for NSW chief operations officer Howard Collins said the new vessels will be more fuel efficient than older models with improved seating and access for passengers.

“These Parramatta River ferries will also be future-proofed for conversion to electric propulsion when the network infrastructure is ready,” he said.

Minister for Transport, Veterans and Western Sydney David Elliott said the project will be supported by the state government’s $77 billion investment in transport infrastructure over the next four years.

“I strongly support local manufacturing and am excited by the opportunity this tender will provide for local businesses to help deliver Australian-designed vessels for our world-class city,” Mr Elliott said.

“While we already have a record low unemployment rate in NSW, the more we can design and also build things right here in Australia, the more jobs and opportunities we will create for our community.”