Protest against Yarra Bay cruise ship terminal plan

Captain Cook left the bay because it was too shallow

Bayside Councillor Liz Barlow

The battle for Botany Bay has entered a new phase with a public rally rejecting the proposal for a cruise ship terminal at Yarra Bay.

And Bayside Council last week formally rejected the NSW Government's proposal for a cruise ship terminal and called for the release of all related documents to enable impacted communities to be fully informed.

Bayside has allocated $20,000 to support the No Cruise Ships in Botany Bay Campaign and will encourage other councils bordering the bay, particularly, Sutherland Shire Council, to participate in the campaign.

Councillor Bill Saravinovski said it was critical the council send a message to the community that it does not support a cruise ship terminal in Botany Bay.

"This decision has already been made. It's been made on a business case study and not on environmental issues," Cr Saravinovski said.

"At the end of the day it is going to happen whether we like it or not. But the critical issue is that they have got to come clean in terms of the documentation. I don't like blowing money on a study when the decision has been made. It's going to be made on a business case by the cruise ship lobby.

"We all know the damage that Botany Bay has suffered with the developments of the port and the runway."

Cr Saravinovski suggested an advertising blitz as part of the No Cruise Ships in Botany Bay Campaign with vans carrying slogans parked outside the electoral offices of the PM and the Premier.

"That is the only way we will get the message across," he said.

"Unless we engage the broader community, this is a foregone conclusion.

"They are going to do community consultation. Well, that's all hogwash. We ask they come clean and provide the documentation so that whatever Environmental Impact Statement they have which they say they are not going to release, then we can challenge this.

"We all know the damage that has been caused. My greatest fear is the ongoing damage."

Cr Saravinovski said he was disappointed in the Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

He said Bayside Council had written to the PM asking for financial assistance in the $770,000 Ramsgate Beach Nourishment Project, currently underway.

The beach is being restored to counter the effects of erosion caused by development in Botany Bay.

"We wrote a letter to the PM seeking funding to help with restoring the sand at Ramsgate Beach and we got knocked back," he said.

He questioned the suitability of Botany Bay for a cruise ship terminal, particularly in light of the news that the 2017 Cruise Industry Reference Report. by former NSW Liberals leader and naval officer, Peter Collins had named Garden Island as the most suitable location for a new terminal. This idea was ruled out by then Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

An estimated 1,000 residents attended a protest rally at Yarra Bay on Sunday.

Save the Bay Community Forum convenor, Maria Poulos said, "The beauty of the forum was that we had so many different political parties, from The Greens to the Shooters and Fishers Party, Liberal, Labor and many people from around the bay.

"How many major developments do you have cross-party support for endorsing a community campaign?

"We called for the release of Peter Collins Cruise Industry Reference Report and the Strategic Business Case."

Cr Christina Curry, who addressed the rally on Sunday said said the council, the community and the protection of the bay have not been considered.

"We have seen reports from previous years that the impact this will have on the bay and the huge amount of money that council will have to spend to ensure the protection of the amenity of the bay for the community to enjoy.

"We should also address the mayor of Sutherland Shire. They have got to stand up for the protection of the bay which forms their electorate, too."

Cr Liz Barlow added, "Captain Cook left the bay because it was too shallow.

"Maybe the campaign should be aimed at the PM. It is his newest part of the electorate and he should be looking after it," she said.