Bondi View

Proposed Yarra Bay ferry link has community groups in disagreement

An artists' impression of the La Perouse wharf. Photo: NSW government

By SASHA FOOT

The NSW government plans to create a ferry link between La Perouse and Kurnell to connect the northern headland of Botany Bay to the southern headland.

The wharf is projected to be 180 metres long and is expected to accommodate 500 people per ferry ride.

The Kurnell area, especially Kamay Botany Bay National Park, holds cultural significance to Aboriginal people at La Perouse.

Aboriginal people have inhabited the La Perouse area for thousands of years. When the British settled at Botany Bay in 1788 around 1500 Aboriginal people were estimated to have lived between Broken Bay and Botany Bay.

The La Perouse Local Aboriginal Land Council supports the Kamay Ferry Wharves project.

CEO of La Perouse Aboriginal Land Council Chris Ingrey told City Hub the project will provide cultural and economic benefits for the La Perouse Aboriginal community.

“The proposed ferry service will provide a crucial transport link for Aboriginal people at La Perouse to Kurnell and ensure our people have access to Country and stay physically connected to their traditional lands,” he said.

Megastructure misery

Save Yarra Bay Alliance was formed in 2018 to fight the development of a mega cruise ship terminal in Yarra Bay.

Save Yarra Bay is concerned that the projects are interrelated, and the proposed wharf ‘megastructure’ will provide a steppingstone for the future cruise ship industry.

Spokesperson for Save Yarra Bay Maria Poulos commented on the response from La Perouse Local Aboriginal Land Council.

“[Save Yarra Bay] understands there are some commercial arrangements there, but a lot of the Indigenous community do not support it,” she told City Hub.

She said traffic density issues, alongside environmental and recreational impacts are concerning residents.

“There are a lot of people that really care about protecting the bay and its current uses,” she said.

Save Yarra Bay has been encouraging the community to make submissions, especially since the current lockdown has meant protesting is not possible.

“The only way we have to raise our objections now is the submission process,” Poulos said.

Randwick Council is submitting their opposition to the project on environmental, cultural and traffic grounds.

The Wharf Project is currently on exhibition for public feedback until August 11th.

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