Smoking Ceremony marks start of latest Ferry Wharf

A Smoking Ceremony and Welcome to Country marked the start of construction of the Greenwich Point Wharf upgrade - the latest wharf upgrade in Transport for NSW’s Safe Accessible Transport Program being delivered by BESIX Watpac.

Smoking Ceremony marks start of latest Ferry Wharf

National Indigenous Affairs Manager James Alley said the tradition of conducting a Smoking Ceremony had become an integral part of BESIX Watpac’s reconciliation actions, particularly on ferry wharf projects.

“Reconciliation is about more than just words; it is about visible and meaningful action. When commencing work on any of the ferry wharves we’ve worked on, we’ve conducted a Smoking Ceremony and Welcome to Country,” he said.

“The design for this ferry wharf features various sustainability and Connecting with Country elements, including a number of permanent indigenous artworks prepared in collaboration with Aboriginal artist Shane Youngberry and storytelling from Uncle Rodney Mason and Aunty Thelma Rudd.”

Commencement of construction on Greenwich Point Wharf follows the successful completion of three previous wharves.

“We’ve delivered three upgrades under the Safe Accessible Transport Program to date, including the Taronga Zoo and North Sydney wharves,” BESIX Watpac CEO Mark Baker said.

“The most recently completed project was the Double Bay Wharf. This project received incredibly positive compliments from the Mayor of Woollahra Council, and also achieved a Gold rating against Transport for NSW’s Sustainable Design Guidelines, exceeding contract requirements.

“We’re proud to be delivering yet another vital piece of infrastructure for Transport for NSW."

The new wharf at Greenwich Point has been designed to be more safe, inclusive and accessible. It includes a new floating pontoon, connected by an extended gangway, as well as a new passenger lift and stairs which will assist in providing equitable access from the street level and bus stop directly to the wharf.

Transport for NSW Executive Director Planning and Programs, Steven Issa thanked the community for providing their input during the design process.

“The NSW Government is committed to making public transport safe, inclusive and easy to use for all passengers. Following important feedback from the community and Lane Cove Council, we made some changes during the design phase, which included maximising weather protection” Mr Issa said.

BESIX Watpac is working with experienced local marine contractor Polaris Marine Group to deliver the Greenwich Point Wharf.

"There’s an overwhelming sense of excitement in the company as our team returns to break ground with BESIX Watpac on another one of Sydney’s significant wharf upgrades,” General Manager for Polaris Marine Group Stephen Richmond said.

“After months of careful planning we look forward to delivering a new wharf design that increases functionality and access for passengers.”

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