THE Cronulla-Bundeena ferry service has faced many challenges in its 80-year history, but none greater than in 1975.
Then owner Jack Gowland warned he would have to cease operating because he couldn’t afford $6400 for new lifejackets, without which the service would lose its licence.
Mr Gowland told the Leader revenue had decreased since they were forced to discontinue the run to Royal National Park after Audley wharf shut in 1973.
At the same time, wages and other costs had risen.
He called on the government to take over the service or provide a subsidy.
A local bus operator quickly jumped in and applied to run road services.
After months of discussions, Mr Gowland announced he would continue to run services without a government subsidy, but fares would have to rise by 50 per cent.
The service was started on May 12, 1939 by MV Curranulla, which is still operating.
MV Curranulla is Australia’s oldest commuter ferry operating to a regular timetable.
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