Outcome of NBC Church Point Wharf Feasibility Study; President’s end of year message


21 December 2023

Church Point Commuter Wharf Feasibility Study: report on NBC recommendation 

Robyn Iredale (SIRA President), Bill Gye (SIRA Subcommittee Church Point member) and Michael Weiner (WPCA President) attended the NBC Council Meeting on 19 December. Bill Gye and Michael Weiner spoke on behalf of offshore residents during the discussion of the Church Point Commuter Wharf Feasibility Study. Options to extend commuter boat facilities were discussed; the Attachment Booklet for the meeting provides the full feasibility study starting on page 162. Option 2a, which the meeting agreed to progress with subject to funding, is an additional structure at Rostrevor Reserve. This is good news as it was the second preference of offshore residents. The first preference of both the offshore and onshore communities was a second arc on the existing commuter wharf. However, this is not seen as feasible in the short term.

The recommendation (see 3.a below) to investigate improvement of public transport operations, mentioned on page 224 of the Feasibility Report, is a response to the submission from Church Point Ferries. The community can help by getting behind CP Ferries and lobbying for this. 

The document below reports on the outcome and was written by Robyn Iredale, on behalf of The Church Point SIRA Subcommittee.

Agenda Item at NBC Meeting on 19 December, 2023

Bill Gye, Robyn Iredale and Michael Weiner attended


The purpose of the report is to inform Council of the outcome of the public exhibition of the draft Church Point Commuter Wharf Feasibility Study (the draft Study) and recommend that Council endorse the final Church Point Commuter Wharf Feasibility Study (as amended).


· Council, acting on concerns about safety and capacity of the existing Church Point commuter wharf, commissioned a report into the feasibility of providing additional capacity for commuter boats in various locations on Pittwater.

· The existing commuter wharf has capacity for 111 boats.  With 300 permits, the existing commuter wharf is unable to accommodate demand and experiences frequent overcrowding and double stacking of vessels or tie ups illegally elsewhere.

· The draft Study which provided options for alternative locations to install an additional facility was placed on public exhibition from Monday 29 August 2022 until Monday 26 September 2022.  A total of 128 submissions were received.

· The submissions suggest that whilst most offshore residents favour a structure at Rostrevor Reserve, onshore residents oppose the option.

· Onshore residents provided the greatest support for Option 3a at Rowlands Reserve.

· It is proposed to progress with Option 2a subject to grant or other funding being sourced.

RECOMMENDATION (order was reversed slightly by Michael Gencher)

That Council:

1.       Endorse the Church Point Commuter Wharf Feasibility Study (January 2023) as amended.

2.       Investigate opportunities to improve the management and operation of the existing facility in consultation with the community. 

3.       Write to the NSW Minister for Transport seeking:

a.       improvements to public transport options for off-shore residents in the Pittwater; and

b.       the relocation of swing moorings to permit the extension of the existing facility in the medium to long term.

4.      Develop a grant-based capital funding bid for the installation of an additional facility at Rostrevor Reserve in the short term (Option 2a).

Council officers estimated that the wharf at Rostrevor Reserve would cost $900,000 and they need to raise funds for that. It is seen as the quickest, cheapest solution but in the long run, and with Transport for NSW’s approval, the existing commuter wharf could be expanded in the long term. Note better management of existing wharf pending.

2023 End of Year Message

As the year draws to a close, we want to thank everyone who has worked so hard to make the island a lovely place to live. The firefighters, first responders, water line people, community vehicle drivers, bushcare folk, café workers, choir organisers and the other entertainers. 

When you add them up, more than 60 people give their time and energy to supporting and bringing light to our community. We couldn’t manage without these wonderful volunteers and on behalf of SIRA, thank you all. 

Thanks also to the SIRA Committee members who have stepped aside and the new ones who came onboard. Marie Minslow has rejoined the committee, for the fourth time, and Maddy Bandfield, Julie Paterson and Julie Torney are first timers.

We have a very healthy committee of 14 and we are looking forward to the year ahead.

Some changes have been implemented – most importantly the formation of a Transport Subcommittee to cover all aspects related to island transport. We want to give this higher priority as the demand for accessibility continues to grow.

The Water and Wastewater Subcommittee has taken on waste management again. Their 2024 goal will be trying to get mains water and sewerage to the island, finally! 

Colin Haskell has stepped into the Vice President’s role and I welcome this and his ongoing support.

We wish you a very happy festive season and best wishes for the year ahead. Let’s hope there can be peace in the troubled spots in the world. 

Robyn Iredale

President, SIRA