Floating pontoons should replace wharf, says Mehrtens
A floating pontoon should be the preferred option for the replacement of the Woy Woy public wharf, according to Cr Richard Mehrtens.
The poor state of the wharf was debated by Central Coast Council at it meeting on February 26 but no clear plan of action for fixing or replacing the wharf was resolved.
Council director Mr Mike Dowling said: "We have a grant funding application currently before the State Government and indications are they are looking at it favourably but we haven't had a date as yet of when that will be determined."
Mr Dowling said there were issues with disabled access and the design of the replacement wharf.
"We have to be very careful to maintain access all through the year and we are looking at a range of designs, including a floating wharf and a floating pontoon," he said.
Cr Mehrtens said he had attended an inspection of the wharf with deputy mayor Cr Chris Holstein and mayor Cr Jane Smith.
"My concern after the briefing was that despite floating pontoons being the preferred model at Ettalong and at the new Koolewong Wharf, it wasn't necessarily going to be the preferred model at Woy Woy," Cr Mehrtens said.
"A floating pontoon needs to be the best standard of practice...so I would ask that a report provides the cost difference between a floating pontoon and whatever the other standard might be," he said.
"I felt uncomfortable leaving the briefing that a floating pontoon was not going to be the solution.
"It was appalling to be standing there on the king tide watching as these people were trying to disembark.
"We get the argument it only happens once or twice a year but it has been four times in the past two months.
"Every other wharf that has had an upgrade on the Coast has got a floating pontoon," Cr Mehrtens said.
Cr Greg Best called on staff to report to a future Council meeting on the current situation with Woy Woy wharf and options available to council to address situation in partnership with the State.
Cr Holstein said disability access was one of a range of issues that needed to be addressed as part of any proposal or State funding to replace the wharf.
Other issues, according to Cr Holstein, included foreshore stabilisation and weather protection.
"When we had that meeting, on February 4, I was told we would have an answer in a couple of weeks," Cr Holstein said.
Central Coast Ferries owner Mr George Conway said his business had a NSW Government contract to take passengers from the wharf.
"Unfortunately the old wharf at Woy Woy is not up to modern-day standard.
"We have problems with disabled access to the point where on a hide tide we can't get people in a wheel chair onto the vessel because of the angle of the boarding ramp," Mr Conway said.
"The wharf is rotten," he said.
"It has been patched up with sticky tape for years.
"The numbers sprouted to rectify the problem are ridiculous because the wharf replacement with a floating platform would not be that expensive.
"They did it at Ettalong," he said.
Central Coast Council agenda
Item 5.2, 26 Feb 2018