Sydney Surfers Fall Gravely Ill As $120 Million Wiseman’s Ferry Wavepool Project Flops - Stab Mag

Sydney Surfers Fall Gravely Ill As $120 Million Wiseman’s Ferry Wavepool Project Flops

‘Here’s your refund, now back to your regularly-scheduled rip bowling!’

elsewhere // Jul 31, 2023
Words by Ethan Davis
Reading Time: 2 minutes

The hopes of finding a peak to oneself within 80kms of the Harbour Bridge have dwindled further today after the developers behind the $120 million Wiseman’s Ferry project announced they were issuing refunds to investors.

Pro surfers Steph Gilmore, Joel Parkinson, Josh Kerr, Bede Durbridge, Alana Blanchard and Jack Freestone will be among those getting their deposits back today, like sad unwanted Christmas gifts.

Initially slated to open just months from now, the 18.2ha lot which once promised ‘a 12,600sqm wave-generating pool using Surfloch tech (the same used in the Palm Spring pool), chic hotel, restaurant and six-hole golf course’ cited economic conditions as the main hindrance. 

Heavy rainfall between March and September 2022 in the flood-prone area – which reached the level of the proposed pool, didn’t help either. 

BALNCE, the conglomerate once set to build this aquatic daydream, now asking for BSB’s, describe themselves as a “placemaking company with a multi-disciplinary team across finance, property development, technology and marketing.” ‘Placemaking’ being described as an “evolving field of development practice that leverages culture to serve a community’s shared interests with the intention of creating spaces that promote health and culture.” 

Notable characters involved in BALNCE are 4 Pines co-founder Jaron Mitchell, and Balter co-founder Sean Ronan, who both sold their business’ to Japanese-owned CUB (Carlton & United Breweries) in recent years. 

A press release from BALNCE obtained by radio station Coast FM reads the following:

“The recent news regarding the completion of our civil tender and the challenges we have faced in securing a viable price during a hyper-escalated market may have left questions (to be answered),” said a spokesperson in the statement, which was also posted on various Wisemans Ferry businesses through the week.”

“Unfortunately, since the completion of our civil tender, we have been unable to secure a construction price that maintains an adequate contingency for the fund due to hyper-escalation.”

“While we’ve completed several rounds of preliminary project pricing throughout this journey, to maintain an accurate and viable fund build-up, the development costs have changed so dramatically that simply adding more debt or equity to compensate does not preserve a viable financial model that the investment is based upon.”

“No unitholders’ funds will be lost, all investments will be refunded in full. Unitholder funds have never been used for any purposes and have been held in the Custodian’s trust account as outlined in the PDS.”

Back to second ramp I guess.


Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up


Most Recent

How Kipp Caddy Got KO’d + Tore His Hamstring Paddling An Outer-Reef Bombie

Spoiler: it involves a friend’s board spearing him in the head…

Sep 26, 2023


How Surfers Get Paid Season 2, Episode 2

Loyalty and the Royalty of the Performance Surfboard.

Sep 25, 2023

The Surprising Link Between Neoprene And The USA’s ‘Cancer Alley’

A forthcoming documentary called 'The Big Sea' will change how you look at wetsuits.

Sep 25, 2023

Radioactive Wastewater From Fukushima’s Nuclear Power Plant Is Being Dumped In The Pacific Ocean

What does releasing 500 Olympic swimming pools of fission fondue mean for surfing? 

Sep 24, 2023

Meet Aranui 5: The 126m, 103-Cabin Luxury Cruise Ship & Home To Olympic Surfers At Teahupo’o 2024

Who's gonna get the Presidential Suite?

Sep 23, 2023

Here’s How The Surfers Feel About The 2024 Schedule

Kelly Slater, Caroline Marks, and nine other CTers share their thoughts.

Sep 22, 2023

Risk Reward: The Dickhead Index

Sam McIntosh explains Stab's business model in light of a recent editorial slip.

Sep 22, 2023

Surfing’s Chief Of Sport Explains Why The WSL Finals Will Remain At Lower Trestles

The Stab Interview: Jessi Miley-Dyer

Sep 20, 2023

Full Frame: A Loaded Scoop Of Emerald Green

Russell Bierke in Ireland, by Arthur Picard.

Sep 20, 2023

Quiksilver Is About To Throw A Week-Long Party In France And Your Name Is On The Guest List

Want to see Clay Marzo, Sierra Kerr, Noa Deane, and more compete against world champs?…

Sep 20, 2023

Cloudbreak’s Back, Trestles Remains, J-Bay And Surf Ranch Gone

Here's the WSL's 2024 Championship Tour schedule.

Sep 20, 2023


Stab Edit Of The Year: Liam O’Brien In ‘Wandering’

An 18-minute DIY surf film featuring one of the CT’s classiest acts.

Sep 20, 2023

How Do CT Surfboards Differ From Our Own?

We got dims from all 51 tour pros and compared them to our Stab Reader…

Sep 20, 2023

Wait…How Did Caity Simmers Get A Spot In The Olympics?

Some sneaky selection criteria means Team USA is beginning to look mighty formidable.

Sep 19, 2023


A Goofyfoot’s Guide To Better Surfing

Parker Coffin and Luke Swanson get illuminated in Indo.

Sep 18, 2023

We Found The Center Of The Surf/Skate/Fashion Venn Diagram

A very fashionable drop from Globe and Austyn Gillette

Sep 18, 2023

Europocalypse Now (or Next Summer At The Very Latest)

Sure signs of surfing’s end times in SW France.

Sep 17, 2023

What’s It Like To Fly Into Russia On Invasion Day For A Surf Trip?

Here's our interview with Stab Highway Speedo guy, Letty Mortensen.

Sep 16, 2023