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   We made a cursory inspection of the shabby wharf. Although the structure seemed sound, it obviously needed refurbishing. The cream paint was peeling, the black bitumen deck cracked and dirty. A few faded signs recalled bygone glory. They invited visitors to sample the delights of the beach, the amusement pier, and the art gallery. One sign pointed the way to the harbour pool and promenade, a wooden structure which had been washed away in a storm years before.

   The old, rusty ferry "Baragoola" was about to depart on its run to Circular Quay, a course it had steered backwards and forwards on innumerable trips for nearly sixty years. Wran stood watching the thick mooring ropes being cast off, as Thorburn explained the importance of the ferries. A gang of scruffy schoolboys, who had apparently taken an early start to their holidays, stared silently down at us from the bow.

   The ferry started to move, a widening gap of water seperating it from the wharf. Beyond our grasp, the boys found their courage. They leapt to their feet, waived and whistled. "Good on yer Nifty!" yelled one. The Boy from Balmain waived back. "Good on yer fellas!" he yelled after them.

   Wearing his larrikin grin for a moment, the Premier turned to me. "Let's go," he said. It was time to meet the people.

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