Balls Head Coal Loader

The Balls Head Coal Loader wharf is located on the western shore of the Waverton Peninsula in the North Sydney local government area, in Balls Head Bay. The Coal Loader is part of the historic Balls Head coal loading facility on adjacent land owned by North Sydney Council.

The wharf was built around 1917 and was originally used to store coal for bunkering vessels. From the 1970s it was used as a transshipment facility for exporting coal from the Hunter Valley. Wharf operations ended in 1992.

Updates and announcements

Roads and Maritime Services is carrying out safety work to the Balls Head Coal Loader.

A section of the Wharf has decayed and could impact ferries and other vessels in the Sydney Harbour Navigation Channel.

This work is not part of the proposed Berrys Bay Maritime Precinct development.

A contractor on behalf on Roads and Maritime will carry out the work by barge on Tuesday 13 June to Friday 16 June 2017, weather and maritime conditions permitting. Our working hours will be 7am to 5pm Monday to Friday and 8.00am to 1pm Saturday.

View the June 2017 emergency work notification (PDF, 58Kb) for more information.

Balls Head coal loader wharf in disrepair
Close up of Balls Head coal loader wharf

Current condition of the Coal Loader wharf

The wharf’s waterside structures are in poor condition and public access to the site is not permitted. Termites and weather damage are deteriorating the timber structure. Pieces of timber from the wharf frequently dislodge from the structure and often fall into the water. This can become a navigational hazard to vessels in Sydney Harbour. To reduce the risk, a steel mesh containment barrier has been installed around the base of the wharf. Roads and Maritime Services also inspects the wharf regularly and removes dislodged timber pieces.

Ongoing inspections of the outer structure and emergency work will be carried out until a decision is made on the future of the wharf.

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