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Monday, 25 June 2018
Page: 133


Mr FALINSKI (Mackellar) (16:23): Today I rise to acknowledge Peter Verrills and his decades of work in the community of Mackellar. Peter hails from one of the oldest families on the Northern Beaches and has been heavily involved in the local ferry service for a number of decades.

In 1976, Peter acquired his first ferry, which he rebuilt and named Ellen Anne after his mother. Peter then started the Palm Beach Ferry Service, which filled a vital gap in local community transport needs. The Ellen Anne bought people to and from Bobbin Head on a daily basis, helping connect people and communities. That was the start of what became a booming business. Over the years Peter continued to expand his fleet. Routes to Ettalong and Sydney Harbour were added. Before long, Peter and the Palm Beach Ferry Service operated 19 ferries. In 2002, Peter helped to build a new ferry called the Aqua Spirit, which reaches a top speed of about 27 knots and carries 250 people. It was such a success that it is on stand-by for Sydney Ferries.

Finally, on 30 November 2004, Peter drove his last ferry and moved into retirement, bringing to an end a remarkable career.

Peter's work and contribution to the community of Mackellar serve as an ample reminder of the positive impacts that individuals can have on local life. His success shows the value of hard work and determination and should serve as an example to us all. Peter's story also highlights the positive impact and impression on the community that a well-run small business can have, with the fact that the Palm Beach ferry service has operated for a number of decades serving as a testament to this. The Palm Beach ferry service is still going strong today. (Time expired)