Randwick Council to vote on National Heritage Listing for Yarra Bay

On 30 April, Randwick City Council Deputy Mayor Danny Said (Labor, South Ward) will present a motion to the Council meeting. The motion will recommend the nomination of Yarra Bay for inclusion on the National Heritage List.

Randwick City Council has already applied to the NSW Government to have the area included in the State Heritage Register.

The Sydney Business Chamber clearly sees heritage listing as a real threat to their plans to transform Yarra Bay for the benefit of the foreign-owned cruise industry. Their director of policy Chris Lamont told the Daily Telegraph:

“It would be disappointing if the heritage listing process was being abused to exclude necessary and important considerations around a new cruise ship terminal.”

A representative of Save Yarra Bay will speak in favour of the motion. Will the Sydney Business Chamber find someone to speak against it? And how will Liberal Councillors vote? It should be an interesting night.

We will publish Councillor Said’s motion as soon as it is available. Before the meeting date, Save Yarra Bay Coalition members and supporters are encouraged to make representations to Councillors – their contact details are here.

If you can, please also attend the Council meeting on Tuesday 30 April – 6 pm, Council Chambers, 1st Floor Randwick Town Hall, 90 Avoca Street Randwick.

Randwick Council continues fight to Save Yarra Bay

The Mayor of Randwick City, Councillor Kathy Neilson has written to the Minister for Transport and Roads, Andrew Constance and the Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney, Stuart Ayres, to request a meeting to discuss Council’s (and our) concerns and objections to the Yarra Bay mega cruise ship terminal proposal. This includes a request for the release of the Strategic Business Case.

Mayor Neilson’s letter to Andrew Constance is here (the letter to Stuart Ayres is identical).

Mayor Neilson has also requested a meeting with Peter Collins who led the Cruise Industry Reference Group. The recommendations of the group were included in the NSW Cruise Development Plan and Mayor Neilson is seeking a briefing on these recommendations.

Matt Thistlethwaite has written to the Prime Minister

Matt Thistlethwaite, Federal Member for Kingsford Smith reports on his letter to the Prime Minister:

Following the NSW State election, it’s now even more important for our local community to speak out strongly against the proposed cruise ship terminal at Yarra Bay.

We need to speak together and let both the Federal and State Governments know that the people of Kingsford Smith don’t want a cruise ship terminal in our community.

It was of course the axed Prime Minister, the former Member for Wentworth, who made a captain’s call to rule out Garden Island as the preferred location for Sydney’s new cruise ship terminal.

The former [State] Liberal leader, Peter Collins, was appointed to head up a Cruise Industry Reference Group and asked to identify some possible solutions to the current crush of cruise ships coming into Sydney Harbour.

The preferred option for an additional cruise ship terminal was Garden Island West, with option two being North-East Garden Island.

Further down the list, the recommendations of the Cruise Industry Reference Group clearly stated that for options three and four, Molineaux Point/Botany Bay and Yarra Bay/Botany Bay, respectively, consultation with Indigenous and local community representatives and in accordance with environmental safeguards should be carried out.

This, of course, hasn’t happened, and our community may have to pay the price.

Once again the Bidjigal people, whose ancestors have called Yarra Bay their home for thousands of years, have not been consulted on this disastrous plan.

They say a cruise ship terminal in their backyard will destroy local traditional fishing areas and livelihoods.

And the numbers just don’t add up.

An independent review shows that accommodating cruise ships at Garden Island would cost $143 million.

And yet taxpayers are being asked to spend over half a billion dollars on an ill-conceived cruise ship terminal at Yarra Bay.

Adding insult to injury, the cruise ship industry says it won’t contribute financially.

That’s why I’ve written to our Prime Minister, who is also the Member for Cook, on behalf of a community ready to fight to the end against a cruise ship terminal at Yarra Bay.

Mindful that the electorate of Cook is within sight of the proposed cruise ship terminal, I’ve asked our Prime Minister, ‘Where are you on this?’

I’ve also suggested that it’s time to make Garden Island the next site for Sydney’s cruise ship terminal.

It’s high time for Governments, both Federal and State, to listen to the people, and for all of us to have our say loudly and clearly, ‘Save Yarra Bay’!

Matt Thistlethwaite
Federal Member for Kingsford Smith

Who Should I Vote For?

To help voters committed to saving Yarra Bay to decide who to vote for in this Saturday’s State Election, we invited the candidates and the political parties contesting the Maroubra and Coogeee electoral divisions to outline their policies and actions.

Most candidates and political parties have responded, and their responses are available for you to read on our Use Your Vote Page.

We also set up an opinion page, in the hope that some of our most vocal voices would make considered statements explaining why they had decided to vote for a particular candidate and political party. Only one response so far but there is still time for more – on our My Opinion page.

Save Yarra Bay participates in Fix NSW rally & march

Save the Bay Coalition is participating in the Fix NSW rally and march in Sydney CBD on Sunday 3 March.

The event will send a strong message to the Berejikilian Government that its overdevelopment of New South Wales and its secret plans to destroy communities and public assets for its commercial and property developer clients are NOT OK.

Save Yarra Bay will be prominent at the event as Maria Poulos will be co-MC for the rally with Peter Boyle (WestConnex Action Group). Congratulations Maria, you will be great!

Please join us on Sunday 3 March 2019 in Hyde Park. We will be meeting in Hyde Park north, on the path from the Park and Elizabeth Street corner to the Archibald Fountain. We will be there from 11:30 for the event which runs 13:00-15:00. Please wear your Save Yarra Bay T shirt (if you don’t have one yet you can buy one at our information stand at the event) – and you can collect a sign to carry at our stand.

Lets join dozens of other groups fighting for their communities and their heritage to show the out of touch Berejiklian government what people power can do and what ignoring us will mean. One time, one place, one voice, FIX NSW! Save our Bay! Please share details of the event with your networks.

Speakers at the rally will include:

  • Raymond “Bubbly” Weatherall and dancers – Acknowledgement of Country
  • Penny Sharpe – State Labor deputy leader
  • Senator Mehreen Faruqi – NSW Greens
  • Councillor Jess Miller – City of Sydney
  • Jean Hinchliffe – School Strike 4 Climate
  • Julie Lyford – Save Gloucester
  • Bruce Shillingsworth of the Murta Paki Nation, Brewarrina – Western NSW water crisis

Two mega cruise ships at once equals CONGESTION

Botany resident Dennis Hourn shares his experiences of cruise ship terminal congestion at the Marina Bay Cruise Centre in Singapore.

Based on our experiences and as one who has done more cruises than I can remember, there are many logistical issues I can see in locating a two berth mega cruise ship terminal in Botany Bay.

To give you just one example: Last year we sailed on the Ovation of the Seas and docked at the Marina Bay Cruise Centre in Singapore at the same time as another mega cruise ship.

Despite the state of the art, very modern facilities at Singapore, it was chaotic. Over ten thousand people disembarked from the two ships at 8:30 AM into the terminal, looking to get out as quickly as they could. However the transport system, even in this most modern of cities, struggled to cope.

The Singapore Marina Bay Cruise Centre has been operating for only a few years and it is huge. It covers 30,000 square metres or close to 8 acres. It is serviced by a bus terminus and the nearby Marina Bay Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) rail system. I think it cost close to 700 million dollars and took five years to build.

If you want to look at what they want to put at Yarra Bay you need to look no further than the two berth Marina Bay Cruise Centre. Quite frankly I have to say a terminal of this size would look very much out of place at Yarra Bay.

Anyway the day we arrived there were hundreds of taxis, hire cars and buses attempting to clear the terminal of this massive influx of passengers and crew. It took hours. Surrounding areas were clogged. Thankfully the Singapore cruise terminal is not located in a residential area. And bear in mind the Singapore terminal is better placed than most to handle such large numbers of people with the MRT just 200 metres away.

Ovation of the Seas docked in Wellington New Zealand. Photo: RNZ / Emile Donovan

A terminal in Botany Bay would have little access to public transport, something that has plagued the White Bay Terminal. Just imagine up to 10,000 people trying to get out of Yarra Bay with no or little public transport.

When two ships are berthed at a Botany Bay mega cruise ship terminal, the potential number of passengers and crew wanting to get into the CBD would be similar to our experience in Singapore. Simple maths dictates you would require more than 200 buses or combination of buses, cars and taxis.

The route into the city would be via Southern Cross Drive (M1) – just what Southern Cross Drive doesn’t need in the morning peak – additional traffic on an already clogged transport artery. And just think about the impact of 200 buses cars and taxis on local traffic as they snake their way through Botany, Mascot and Matraville to the M1 in peak hour.

Then all these passengers and crew would need to return to the terminal at the end of their days outings. This means the same number of vehicles would have to do the return trip during the evening peak hour, with the added stress of having to reach the ships before they sail.

There is another issue: I anticipate the commute time from a Botany Bay mega cruise ship terminal to the city could be more than an hour as it would take place in peak time. Adding the time it takes for cruise passengers and crew to actually get onto the buses would leave them but a few hours to enjoy our city.

I would suggest therefore that the cruise ship companies would introduce overnight stays when they dock at Botany Bay. Residents near the proposed terminal would consequently be exposed to noise and particulate pollution as the ships staying overnight generate their own electricity.

In a nutshell, locating a two berth mega cruise ship terminal 16 km from the CBD at Yarra Bay would be a logistical nightmare. It would unnecessarily burden both the immediate area, the M1 and the CBD itself. From this point of view, it makes no sense whatsoever.

The whole thing to me seems like a thought bubble out of control.

Help keep Yarra Bay clean and free of cruise ships for all to enjoy

Save the Bay Coalition and Responsible Runners regularly remove rubbish from Yarra Bay and its surrounds

On Sunday 20 January at 10 am, Save the Bay Coalition will team up with Responsible Runners, Sydney Water and Beat the Bottle to hold a beach clean-up for 30-45 minutes. The clean-up is to raise awareness of plastic pollution and to protest the Berejiklian Government’s plans to turn Yarra Bay into a Mega Cruise Ship Terminal. We will have live music and some reusable gifts for children.

For people taking part in the clean-up, we will provide gloves, litter-pickers, rubbish bags, and jars for sharp objects. We will also give away some caps, T-shirts and gifts for those collecting litter.

See you at Yarra Bay Sailing Club at 10 am. Please share in your networks.