Produce the money and the boats

Letters to the editor

Lest anyone is tempted to laugh at yet another proposal for a fast ferry service from Ettalong to Sydney, I think it is worthwhile pointing out that all of the previous similar proposals had the same thing in common, and that is to secure the valuable waterfront crown land at Ettalong for commercial exploitation.

The proposed ferry service is merely a Trojan horse aimed at convincing the government to approve the leasing and development of the land in the area. All of the previous proposals have foundered because there is not the slightest possibility that an Ettalong to Sydney ferry service could ever be commercially viable, feasible or productive. In 1994 it was estimated that such a proposal would cost in the vicinity of $50 million and even if that optimistic figure was anywhere near correct, today, the cost of the same venture would run to at least three times that amount without factoring in the cost of the now proposed full-time dredge to be stationed at Ettalong to carry out constant dredging.

I believe the last proposal for a fast ferry dragged on in Gosford Council for years until finally the Council asked the proponent to demonstrate they had the money and the boats, and when the applicant could not produce either that was the end of the matter. I suggest council and government adopt the same methodology when considering this latest plan and require the developer to put up or shut up and save us all a lot of time, angst and money.

Email, 12 Mar 2017 Vic Jefferies, St Huberts Island

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