Drummoyne Wharf Repairs
|About this Item||Subjects||Wharves; Ferries
||Speakers||D'Amore Ms Angela
||Business||Private Members Statements
Ms ANGELA D'AMORE (Drummoyne) [4.43 p.m.]: I wish to speak about the upgrades that have been made to wharves in the State seat of Drummoyne. Drummoyne is blessed with an extensive foreshore that provides an important route for ferry commuters both within and outside the electorate of Drummoyne. The State seat of Drummoyne has five wharves: Abbotsford, Birkenhead Point, Cabarita, Chiswick, and Drummoyne. Four wharves—Abbotsford, Birkenhead Point, Cabarita and Chiswick—are the responsibility of the State Government, and the amalgamated council of Canada Bay owns Drummoyne Wharf. The New South Wales Government has spent in excess of $5 million in capital expenditure on these wharfs since 1995 and this figure does not include additional expenditure by Sydney Ferries or New South Wales Waterways Authority. This included the building of three wharfs.
A brand new wharf was built at Cabarita, known as Cabarita Wharf, following the approval by then Drummoyne council of developments at Breakfast Point and Cabarita. This capital project shows that the State Government is proactive in providing major transport infrastructure for the growing Drummoyne electorate. Abbotsford and Chiswick wharfs received major upgrades to their existing structures. As the State member for Drummoyne I regularly use the services at Cabarita and Abbotsford, which are very pleasant trips into the city. Actual expenditure on the State-run wharfs in 2003-04 was $58,000 to maintain the three wharfs. This is indicative of the State Government's ongoing funding commitment for these wharfs. The State Government takes full responsibility for every wharf it owns in the State seat of Drummoyne. In 1999 the Government provided a one-off grant of $60,000 to the then Drummoyne council for the upgrade of Drummoyne Wharf.
Sydney Ferries pays Canada Bay Council $5,100 per annum to access Drummoyne Wharf and has also paid $10,000 for the provision of emergency repairs in the past five years. However, I do note that Canada Bay Council, as the owner of Drummoyne Wharf, has the responsibility to maintain Drummoyne Wharf to a serviceable standard. Sydney Ferries expects that the annual berthing fees it pays to wharf owners will be spent on maintenance. I will be seeking from Canada Bay Council a brief detailing where the money has been spent, to ensure it is spent properly on Drummoyne Wharf. I am happy to record in this House that following extensive representations to Canada Bay Council on behalf on my residents, Canada Bay Council undertook urgent repairs to Drummoyne Wharf.
I commend council for actioning these repairs, which were undertaken in January 2005. Throughout 2003-04 I met with Sydney Ferries over some urgent issues with Drummoyne council. This matter received considerable media attention. An audit on 10 September 2004, submitted to Canada Bay Council, outlined that Drummoyne Wharf required urgent work on the piles, mooring bollards, bracing beams, non-skid surfacing, roof structure, hand railings and safety markings. Sydney Ferries had indicated to Canada Bay Council that unless this work was undertaken as a matter of urgency, Sydney Ferries may have to suspend services to the wharf, something we do not want.
While I welcome the council's decision to undertake those repairs classed as urgent, I will continue to work with Canada Bay Council to ensure that appropriate upgrades are undertaken in an appropriate time, to minimise inconvenience to the 200 commuters who use the ferry service from Drummoyne Wharf. There are 17 wharves around the State that are owned by local councils and these councils work very hard to make sure they meet their responsibilities to upgrade. I note also that New South Wales Maritime has 10 wharfs under its jurisdiction, to which it allocates $1 million a year, but not to Drummoyne Wharf.
I now turn to comments made by the Hon Don Harwin in the upper House on 24 February. I signal my disappointment at the misrepresentations and lies he has chosen to put on record. I know this gentleman very well. I am surprised he did not come and speak to me; perhaps because he knew I would tell him the truth. Commuters use the wharf and the State Government provides the service to commuters. He failed to recognise that Canada Bay Council has responsibility for upgrading the wharf. He failed to acknowledge that council receives a fee from Sydney Ferries to dock ferries there. He failed to acknowledge that the State Government has provided previous funding and he failed to acknowledge that three Liberal councillors on Canada Bay Council did nothing to ensure the upgrades were made, which led to the closure of the wharf in January 2005 for a month to allow for urgent repairs to be undertaken.
Late last year I was notified that during a low tide, passengers had slipped on the wharf, which is why over the past two year I have actively placed pressure on council to upgrade. Not only did the Hon. Don Harwin lie to the House, but the Leader of the Opposition, who took two years to work out there was an issue, despite four media articles depicting my concern, distorted the facts and used local commuters as pawns for a short political gain.