Ferry service abandons pet ban plan
Palm Beach Ferries has backed away at the last minute from a plan to ban pets from its ferries unless they are in a carrier.
The company announced the plan on Friday, June 25, to start from Thursday, July 1.
But on Wednesday, June 30, the company decided instead to "monitor usage" and "provide guidance".
"This means you can continue to use our services with your pets and animals like you have in the past, but we do reserve the right to refuse travel," said Palm Beach Ferries manager Ms Elisabeth Styler.
In the initial announcement, the company stated: "From July 1, staff will be enforcing the current NSW Passenger Transport Act and regulations.
"All animals and pets must be in a carrier to travel on ferries and be under control at all times.
"Animals and pets on leashes will not be allowed.
"Staff have the right to refuse travel.
"Assistance animals are permitted to travel without a carrier."
The social media post referred to the company's website which stated: "In accordance with the Passenger Transport (General) Regulation 2017, regulation 53 Control of Animals, pet animals must not travel on ferries unless they are suitably confined in a box, basket or other container.
"However, permission to bring pet animals on ferries is still required by the operating crew.
"This rule does not apply to assistance animals.
"In accordance with industry recognition, therapy animals, facility animals and emotional support animals are considered to be companion animals.
"These animals do not have public access rights and can only travel using the arrangements provided for travelling with pets."
However, at 5:30pm on June 30, Ms Styler posted: "We have been reading all your comments on our recent post regarding pets and animals onboard our services and have decided to review the NSW Passenger Transport Act and regulations again to see if we can still allow you to travel with them.
"Rather than strictly enforcing the NSW Passenger Transport Act and regulations from July 1, we have decided to take the approach to monitor usage, provide guidance to customers and enforce if there is any risk to other passengers' safety or wellbeing.
"This means you can continue to use our services with your pets and animals like you have in the past, but we do reserve the right to refuse travel.
"This may occur when your animals or pets are not clean, appear vicious or likely to annoy, threaten or inconvenience other customers, or if the service has reached capacity.
"We do listen to your feedback and want to provide the best service possible and feel that the above approach is the best compromise going forward."
Social media, 25-30 Jun 2021
Fantasea Palm Beach Ferries