The Woy Woy Town Centre Wharf will be transformed into a modern tourist gateway featuring additional space for commercial operators and recreational boaters, with the NSW Liberal National Government announcing $3,990,000 in funding to Central Coast Council for the project.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro and Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast Hon. Scot MacDonald MLC said the existing jetty would be replaced by a pontoon wharf accommodating 35-metre vessels up to 250 tonnes.
Mr MacDonald said funded works also include improved disability access, a new dedicated fishing wharf, new sea wall, cantilever boardwalk, footpaths, landscaping, solar powered street lighting and removing power poles.
“The current jetty becomes submerged when a king tide comes in, causing disruption to commuter ferry services and interrupting other recreational activities,” Mr MacDonald said.
“The new pontoon wharf will rise with the tide, reducing weather delays and providing certainty for commuters, as well as providing more space so recreational boaters can access the wharf during busy periods.”
Liberal candidate for Gosford, Sue Dengate said she was thrilled to see a substantial grant to the wharf following her discussions with commuters and operators in previous weeks.
“Many of our train travellers get the ferry to Woy Woy wharf to catch the train, tourists travel on it to view our beautiful waterways and our small businesses rely on the people that the ferry brings to Woy Woy,” Ms Dengate said.
“I have been fighting to get this dilapidated wharf replaced and I know that this new wharf and surrounds will not only provide a safe and convenient wharf, but the new surrounds will make it a showpiece for the local community.”
Mr Barilaro said the upgraded facilities would provide safe and convenient access to the waterway precinct from the Woy Woy town centre and train station, increasing tourist visitation during peak periods and out of season, which in turn will create jobs.
“Around 200,000 ferry trips are made to and from Woy Woy Wharf each year and a revitalised wharf precinct will attract even more visitors, particularly overseas tourists yet to discover the attractions that Brisbane Water and the Central Coast have to offer,” Mr Barilaro said.
“This project will directly create up to 82 jobs and an additional 30 jobs across the Central Coast during construction, with flow on economic and employment benefits resulting from increased tourism.”
However, Labor Member for Gosford Liesl Tesch has claimed the victory also, announced she had secured the funding after the project had previously been rejected by the Liberal Government.
Ms Tesch put the issue back on the agenda with a petition that secured more than 2,000 signatures from the community since September, and nominated it as her project of choice for the Regional Communities Development Fund.
Woy Woy Wharf was originally rejected by the Liberal Government under the “Regional Growth, Environment and Tourism Fund”, and was only successful now thanks to Ms Tesch working with Central Coast Council to bring the project back to life.
“Locals know how important it is that we have a wharf that serves the community and works for the businesses that rely on our waterways,” Ms Tesch said.
“The Government ignored the community and businesses when they canned this project, and I am proud that I was able to deliver this for the community.”
In addition to the wharf, Ms Tesch said the funding would further revitalise the Woy Woy Waterfront.
“Woy Woy Wharf sits at the gateway of the Peninsula and we deserve a landmark that we can be proud of - that’s what this funding will do.”
“It will not only deliver the much needed floating pontoon wharf, but also important works to improve the sea wall.”
Ms Tesch acknowledged the efforts of Central Coast Council in developing this project.
“Central Coast Council were quick to work with me to make this project happen, and they deserve recognition for their contribution to funding part of this project.”