October 23 - 29, 2022: Issue 559


Conservation Zones Review Residents Forum: Resolutions Call For Shift In Criteria Applied, For Keeping Pittwater's Green-Blue Wings Intact, For State Election Candidates To Declare Their Position On Pittwater Community's Stated Expectations

Northern Beaches Council is proposing to rezone around 3,600 properties in the former Pittwater LGA from the existing Conservation C4 (Environmental Living) zone to Residential (R) Zones. The proposal, currently open for feedback, states the council wants to know if residents agree with the approach and criteria used in the review to identify and map core habitat areas, biodiversity corridor areas, threatened ecological communities, and threatened flora and fauna species habitat. Athttps://yoursay.northernbeaches.nsw.gov.au/planning-ezones

The feedback period was extended to December 2nd in the October 2022 Council Meeting through a Motion presented by Cr. Rory Amon.

The process undertaken (Zoning Methodology) and criteria used (Criteria Definitions) has created confusion as some areas in Pittwater are shown to be rezoned R2 (residential) while looking at the online mapping tool and applying 'Hazard Criteria thresholds met' or others 'Biodiversity' filter for the exact same area produces, as one example at Elanora Heights:

However, as Planners have told councillors they currently estimate that in the former Pittwater LGA, 3,613 properties will move from a C zone to an R (residential) zone, and 1,328 from an R zone to a C zone, resulting in an overall loss of 2,285 properties from C zones, the focus is on shifting sites formerly zoned E4 and now C4 (for land with special environmental value) to become R2 (low density residential).

As the council has stated, in regards to the Housing Strategy it submitted to the state government; ‘’Council proposed a locally specific medium density complying development model as an alternative to the Low-Rise Medium Density Housing Code. Additionally Council proposed seniors and affordable housing as an alternative to the new Housing SEPP (formerly the Affordable Rental Housing 2009 and Seniors and People with a Disability 2004 SEPPs) which were not supported’’ the densification of housing in these areas can occur via the R2 rezoning.  

On Sunday October 16th a Residents Forum was held in the Mona Vale Memorial Hall to provide an overview of the proposed changes.

Former Pittwater Councillor Sue Young pointed out that the whole of the council document is based on ‘criteria’ which the state government have not as yet signed off on. 

''If the rating in the criteria could be changed from a rating of 0.5 to a rating of 1 then most of the proposed changes from a C4 to an R2 zoning would not occur.'' Ms Young said

''The council’s criteria is a ‘medium environmental criteria’ for ‘Biodiversity Corridor and Urban Tree Canopy’ which should be ‘high environmental criteria’ as these would maintain the conservation zones.''

Sue explained that in ''No1; Biodiversity Corridor and Tree Canopy - council considers a medium environmental criteria with a rating of 0.5 - that should be a 1.''

'' No 2; the council considers a medium criteria is applicable for Ridgeline or Escarpment, giving that a 0.5 as well, that too should be a 1.

No 3 is Geotechnical Planning Class: C3 Hawkesbury Sandstone with Slope > 25 degrees or C5 Narrabeen Group with Slope > 15 degrees. That has been given a 0.5 criteria by the council as well, and I consider this should be in Hazard criteria and should be a 1.''

Sue stated that residents should provide in their feedback that they don't agree with the criteria, based on this application of a 0.5 where a 1 should be applied.

Pittwater Natural Heritage Associations' Marita Macrae reiterated and supported Sue Young’s points, stating that we live in a whole landscape and the understanding of what creates a biodiversity or fauna corridor includes understanding that plants and animals need to be enabled to move across that whole landscape. 

''Whatever the permissible use of a zoning may become, it would be likely that vegetation and trees would be lost, and with them go fauna corridors, and we’re not thinking of just a little passage, we’re thinking of great swathes of vegetation through the landscape, mostly native. 

The term for fauna is a very general one as well. Fauna as a definition should be that which includes species such as the threatened powerful owls right down to the little moths and flies as these are all important. The threatened species rely on these other species to survive. So for prey animals such as the powerful owls, whose prey is mostly possums, if the possums go then so do the powerful owls.''

Former Pittwater Councillor and Mayor David James OAM pointed out that during the earlier days of that council there was a ‘developer’s rush to get into dual occupancies because they could be strata titled’. Which meant that on a 600 to 700 metre block an equivalent sized house could be built, a ‘developer’s paradise’. 

''Pittwater Council passed a Resolution that prohibited subdivision. As a consequence of that there were over 300 applications before the council that [were not happy]. Once [or if] you see this being allowed here, you will see dual occupancies take off like a rocket – and that s something to be very very careful of.’'

Mona Vale Residents Association member Marcia Rackham spoke to the Council Meeting held two days later, presenting the Resolutions that stemmed from the Community Forum. 

Presentation of Resolutions to Council. Draft Review Conservation Zones Pittwater LGA.

I would like to begin by acknowledging the Garigal people on whose land we are conducting this meeting this evening and pay my respects to ancestors past, present and emerging.

On Sunday 16th October a planning forum was held in the Memorial Hall in Mona Vale to high light and discuss the proposed changes to land zoning in the Pittwater local government area. This was a very well attended meeting and was supported by the following 11 Pittwater interest groups:

  • Bayview and Church Point Residents Assoc
  • Canopy Keepers
  • Church Point Friends
  • Clareville and Bilgola Plateau Residents Assoc
  • Mona Vale Residents Assoc
  • Palm Beach Protection Group
  • Pittwater Environmental Heritage Group
  • Pittwater Community Alliance
  • Pittwater Natural Heritage Assoc
  • West Pittwater Community Association
  • and the Palm Beach/ Whale Beach Assoc.

The purpose of the forum was to try and get a better result for Pittwater from the review in terms of nature conservation, protection of visual quality and scenic character of the natural and built environment, into the future for the Pittwater LGA.

We had several speakers and had some distinguished guests for our Q and A panel. What was evident during the meeting was just how confused people are about the proposal to re-zone vast parcels of land throughout the suburbs of Pittwater from a conservation zoning into an R? zone. I have used the term R? purposefully as it is unclear what R zoning, we have the potential to move into if reclassified. Many in the Pittwater community have no idea this is happening. Only seven years out from a very up to date LEP council is wishing to change the rules again. It was very evident when comparing mapping for the now three combined councils that Pittwater was rich in conservation zones. These proposed changes to conservation zoning will tip the balance heavily into residential zoning along ridgelines, steep sloping land, canopied forests all contributing to areas that possess bucket loads of scenic beauty. Scenic beauty that has been completely omitted from the review yet is the very essence of the Pittwater LGA. 

We understand that residents can book an onsite visit from council to inspect their property prior to the review being finalised but it is unclear on the “your say” page as to how this can be arranged, surely an oversight on council’s part.

The criteria that council has set for conservation zones is also hotly contested by the community. We consider the methodology to be flawed. Has council really considered what the implications could be for the community of Pittwater if things that we value so highly are downgraded to the degree that they have been in the draft review. And why change a zoning from Environmental living to conservation when the former classification in many instances is a much better fit.

Out of our forum the following three resolutions were recorded all with an overwhelming majority.

Resolution 1.

That the medium Environmental value criteria that form the basis of the conservation zones review should be changed as follows:

  1. Biodiversity Corridor and urban tree canopy be given a High Environmental Value.
  2. Ridgeline or Escarpment given a High Environmental Value
  3. Geotechnical Planning Class: C3 Hawkesbury Sandstone with slope >25 degrees or C5 Narrabeen Group with slope >15 degrees be included in Hazard criteria.

Resolution 2.

We the residents of the Northern Beaches Council area, believe the bushland landscape of the former Pittwater Local Government area is its predominant feature. With the built form secondary, and that this must be maintained in the future local environmental plan and development control plan.

We therefore call on NBC, in the former Pittwater area, to:

  1. Rule out rezoning of C4 land to residential.
  2. Apply conservation zonings to properties where any significant environmental values or hazards are present.      
  3. Create scenic foreshore protection areas from shorelines to ridges.
  4. Retain all heritage conservation areas and investigate those proposed- but not yet implemented- by the former Pittwater Council.

Resolution 3.

This meeting strongly objects to the proposed reduction in the numbers of properties in Conservation Zones in the area of Pittwater ward within Northern Beaches Council LGA.

Such rezoning will enable a greater level of development and consequent reduction in native flora and fauna, green space and the unique natural character of the Pittwater area.

We ask that all candidates for Pittwater in the coming State election declare their position on:

  1. The proposed changes to conservation zones.
  2. The establishment of a scenic foreshore protection area.
  3. What planning controls they will support to address our concerns.               

Thank you.



Out And About October 2022 

- A Mix Of People, Places, A Beautiful Environment

Spotted after an early morning dip, Bilgola SLSC's David Madew who is also one of the people behind organising the annual Pittwater Swim Series

The Pittwater Ocean Swim Series series is a brilliant excuse to take in the beauty of five of Sydney’s Northern Beaches during the height of summer while supporting the local surf lifesaving clubs who organise the events.

When you enter and complete 3 out of 5 swims in the Series and you’ll go in the draw to win a big prize. The upcoming 2023 Summer Pittwater Ocean Swim Series includes:

The Newport Pool to Peak on January 8th 2023 - This ocean swim offers three different swim distances; 400m for 10 years and over, 800m for 13 years and over and 2km for 13 years and over. Great prizes are available via a lucky swimmer draw and medals are presented to category winners and placegetters. Fresh fruit is provided for swimmers on their return to the beach and there is a succulent BBQ.

Blackmores Billy Swim on January 15th 2023 - The Blackmores Billy Swim, affectionately known as the 'Billy', has two different swims starting an hour apart, 500m and 1.5km and the more daring of swimmers can certainly try to complete both. The event is a major fundraiser for Bilgola Surf Life Saving Club, supporting patrol activities and equipment acquisition throughout the season. Your entry fees help keep Bilgola Beach safe. Blackmores is once again the major sponsor, with Harris Farm supplying fruit for after swim replenishment.

Warriewood To Mona Vale Swim (& Family Swim) on January 22nd 2023 - The Mona Vale Ocean Swim is a two swim event on Sydney's Northern Beaches. The first of the swims is the 1km Janice Mason Family Fun Swim at Mona Vale, a relaxed and enjoyable swim for the whole family. Following that, the longer of the two swims, the Don Jenkins Memorial Swim, takes swimmers on a 2.26km journey from Warriewood Beach to the Mona Vale Basin. The Warriewood to Mona Vale swim was first held during the 1977-78 season with 20 swimmers, and it is now named after the founder of the swim, Mona Vale life member Don 'Doc' Jenkins. It is recognised as one of the first organised swims in Australia.

The Big Swim: Palm to Whale Beach on January 29th 2023 - The Macquarie Big Swim from Palm Beach to Whale Beach is one of the premier events on the ocean swim calendar, with a proud history and a satisfying and challenging course. The 2.8km point-to-point ocean swim started in 1974 with just shy of 40 competitors; but today, it is pushing 2000 competitors, attracting ocean swimmers from all over the country. Starting on the northernmost beach on the peninsula, this ocean swim offers two different swim distances; the Ray White (Prestige) Palm Beach Little Big Swim which is a 1km ocean swim and the main event, the ‘Big Swim' a 2.5km ocean swimming epic.

The 'Round the Bends' swim or the Newport To Avalon Swim (& Surf Swim) on March 13th 2023 - The Newport To Avalon Swim (& Surf Swim) event hosts two previously separate swims in one awesome day of ocean swimming on Sydney's Northern Beaches. There's a 1.2km 'family' swim around the buoys off Avalon Beach and the pinnacle event, the 'Around The Bends' Newport to Avalon Beach 2.5km point-to-point journey swim. For the really keen, there is a rare opportunity to swim both events for the same price! Organisers have scheduled it so that any parent in the 'Around The Bends' swim can be finished and ready to join their kids in the shorter swim - making it a family affair.

More in this in November!

Photo: A J Guesdon.

Spotted: Former longest serving Mayor of Pittwater Patricia Giles OAM and her sister Jan out shopping in Avalon Beach village for wool on Saturday morning, October 22nd, to knit baby clothes for a soon to be born addition to the family - Congratulations! Photo: A J Guesdon.
Spotted: Palm Beach Longboarder Members at opening of Gabriella Moses exhibition, at The Studio Careel Bay, Careel Bay Marina. Her artwork is on display if you missed the great opening night, Gabreilla's exhibition will run until October 31st. Photo: Adriaan van der Wallen.

Gabriella Moses is an Illustrator embellished logos, specific illustrations or posters for business or personal use, as well as custom painted wall murals. Residents would have seen her work for the Avalon on the Green posters, fundraising for Avalon Public School.

Find out more at: www.gabriellamoses.com.au



Surfers Honoured In Oldest Room In Parliament: Midget Farrelly Lifetime Achievement Awards To Pam Burridge - Tom Carroll

Sally Fitzgibbons, Layne Beachley, Pam Burridge, Johanna Farrelly, Beverlie Farrelly, Tom Carroll, Harry Hodge. Photo by Harry Hayes.

It’s not everyday you see surfboards in Parliament House but on Friday October 21st Surfing NSW and four of the state’s surfing legends captivated the NSW Parliamentarians in one of the grandest rooms of the NSW Parliament, the Jubilee Room.

It was a special day with the presentation of the Midget Farrelly Lifetime Achievement award to two former world champions, Pam Burridge and Tom Carroll by Farrelly’s family, as well as the acknowledgement of the award-winning Her Wave initiative and Surfers Rescue 24/7.

Both award recipients paid tribute to Farrelly, Surfing NSW’s first president and first world champion, and the incredible life he led as a pioneer in the sport and in all aspects of ocean sports.

“This is an amazing honour to receive this award,” said 2021 recipient, 1990 world champion Pam Burridge.

“I feel very privileged to stand here in Parliament House to receive it. I feel so connected to Midget, he did so much to inspire me as a competitor, to run a business, making surfboards. Surfing has given me everything,” she said.

Pam Burridge is known as one of Australia’s first professional surfer girls and blazed the trail for a generation of surfers to come. She won NSW State, National and in 1990 the ASP World Title. Pam toured the world competing for close to 20 years before moving from Newport, Pittwater, to the South Coast.

Pam was the first women in Australia to become a full time professional surfer and has devoted herself to the pursuit of excellence in her chosen sport. Born in Sydney in 1965, Pam was given her first surfboard at the age of 10. Being a strong swimmer and having good ocean knowledge gave her a quick progression in the sport of surfing. Pam entered her first surfing contest in 1977 and won 1st place. She continued her thirst for competition by entering and winning various amateur titles which then led her to join the professional tour at the age of 15.

By the age of 17 she had her first runner-up finish and to her disappointment this happened another 5 times throughout her career. In 1990 she finally broke through winning her first world title at Sunset Beach, Hawaii.

Pam finally quit the pro tour in 1998 retiring to the beautiful NSW South Coast where she now runs her successful surf schools.

More recently Pam was one of five women surfers who featured in the 2021 released documentary Girls Can't Surf which shone a light on how girls who can surf fought through the 1980s fought to create their own professional sport, changing the face of international surf culture forever. The women interviewed include Australians Jodie Cooper, Pam Burridge and Layne Beachley; South African Wendy Botha and Americans Frieda Zamba, Lisa Andersen and Jorga and Jolene Smith. They speak frankly of the fight for equality in a chauvinistic time, their struggles in the surf and their own coming of age.

To highlight how much these women shifted things through their perseverance and persistence, it's worth remembering seven times world champion Layne Beachley was selected as the inaugural winner of the Midget Farrelly Lifetime Achievement Award.

The award, which honours surfing legend Midget Farrelly, was awarded to Beachley at the Vissla Sydney Surf Pro. in Manly in 2018. Midget won Australia’s first world surfing title in 1964 at Manly Beach, the same beach that was hosting the QS 6000 event.

“As a 17-year-old, Midget literally put Manly on the map,” Layne said on receiving the award. 

“Winning the first world title here in front of hundreds of thousands of people, it looked like from the photos, he gave Manly its core surf culture through his performance and through his love of surfing and competitive nature. He helped inspire a future generation of surfers who came from Manly to become world champions.”

“I remember when I staged the first Beachley surf event here at Manly, I remember Midget coming down here to check it out and I thought that’s pretty cool, that the Godfather of surfing has come to check it out.”

“The thing about Midget is that there’s so much people don’t know about his impact and contribution that he made to surfing. From being a world champion and standing up for what he believed in to creating the surf foam blanks, that I used to ride. And to shaping magnificent pieces of equipment and still going out there and demonstrating what it takes to be a great ballerina on the water even into his late 60s. He was a true gentleman, a true lover of the ocean and a true custodian of what it means to be a surfer.”

Tom Carroll was equally pleased with receiving his Midget Farrelly Lifetime Achievement.

“It really is such an honour. Surfing has given me so much and it just doesn’t stop. It’s a script that was written and it’s in me and now I can pass it onto the young kids,” said 2022 recipient and two-time world champion Tom Carroll, who told the story of how his first world title was won with the influence of ballet training after hearing Farrelly drew elements of his surfing style from his sister's ballet.

Tom is another surfer who has grown up by the water and was surfing as a 7 year old. During his Profile interview a few years back, he described his first wave wheer he stood up;

''It was in front of Newport Surf Club on a Thursday afternoon. My sister and my dad were there, on the shorebreak watching, my brother was in the surf. I felt like I stood up for about a minute – I came in said this to dad and he answered ‘you stood up for about a second Tom.’

I’d just gone ‘Really? Is that it?!’''

And that was IT - for decades the man was unbeatable and even today stays focused on what really counts; family, community, sharing the surfing stoke, and being involved in keeping our oceans healthy. Tom opened his week by getting involved in a new partnership between Operation Crayweed, SeaTrees and Boardriders Foundation that is bringing Sydney's lost kelp forests back to life

Pam and Tom were joined by Layne Beachley, Sally Fitzgibbons and Surfing NSW CEO Luke Madden in a panel discussion around lives saved and the community impact surfers have.


State Of The Beaches 2021-2022 Report Released

The Basin remains 'Very Good' for clean water swimming in the latest State of the Beaches Report. Photo: Kevin Murray

The latest State of the Beaches report, released October 16th, states 94% of monitored ocean beaches and 80 % of all monitored swimming spots are graded as good or very good.

While monthly rainfall totals in September and October were average to below average, the Sydney region received above average rainfall totals in Spring 2021 due to a wet November. Mona Vale recorded more than double the long-term monthly average rainfall for November with 203 mm.

Summer 2021–2022 rainfall totals were above average, with February notably wet. Sydney (Observatory Hill) recorded its wettest summer since 1991–1992 with 655 mm of rain over Summer. Collaroy had its highest February rainfall total on record with 419 mm, and Randwick and Rose Bay had their highest total February rainfall since 1990, with 422 mm and 409 mm respectively. Heavy downpours in February resulted in flash flooding across Sydney.

March 2022 was the wettest March on record in many areas of Sydney. Mona Vale and Collaroy had their highest March rainfall totals on record with 577 mm and 686 mm of rain for the month, respectively. 

Residents will recall Surf Life Saving NSW cancelled the State Championships being held at North Steyne and Queenscliff after teeming rains in late February, and the forecast of more heading into the March weekend scheduled competitions. The Junior competitions that went ahead as the conditions hit saw numerous children falling ill with gastro enteritis. 

An abridged timetable for the other Age Divisions was eventually abandoned(The 2022 NSW Age Surf Life Saving Championships + Schedule Changes Due To Weather Forecast For Coming Week)

On Monday March 7th, 2022 SLS NSW released a statement which read:

'Surf Life Saving NSW has made the difficult decision to cancel the remainder of the 2022 NSW Surf Life Saving Championships, proudly supported by Your local club.

This decision has been made in the interests of competitor safety and wellbeing.  In considering the impact that the recent and continuing extreme rainfall has had on water quality and clarity, the impact that large swells have had on the beaches as well as a forecast for hazardous surf conditions for the remainder of this week, it was the strong recommendation from the Championship Safety Committee that it would not be safe to proceed with the event.

This has been an extremely challenging and difficult set of circumstances for the Championship Committee to contend with over the last few weeks.  SLSNSW had been hopeful that the original postponement of the Open and Masters events would allow the Championships to continue and we are extremely disappointed that despite the best efforts of everyone involved in the planning and conduct of the Championships, it is clear that the weather will not improve sufficiently, nor is the beach environment safe from the past two weeks of extreme rainfall.  Additionally, the involvement of many key volunteers in the flood rescue effort has put a significant strain on the ability to ensure the required level of water safety is in place for the event.  The Championship Committee believes it appropriate to make the decision to cancel now, to ensure all participants can make changes to their various travel plans.'

The State of the Beaches 2021-2022 report graded Queenscliff as 'Good' overall but notes; ''microbial water quality is considered suitable for swimming most of the time but may be susceptible to pollution after rain, with several potential sources of faecal contamination, including discharge from Manly Lagoon. Enterococci levels increased with increasing rainfall, occasionally exceeding the safe swimming limit after light rain, and regularly after 10 mm or more.''

North Steyne, similarly ranked 'Good' in the current report, is also ''considered suitable for swimming most of the time but may be susceptible to pollution after rain, with several potential sources of faecal contamination including stormwater and discharge from Manly Lagoon. Enterococci levels generally increased with increasing rainfall, occasionally exceeding the safe swimming limit after 5 mm or more of rain, and frequently after 20 mm or more.''

The severe wet weather resulted in flash flooding across Sydney and major flooding of coastal waterways, including the Hawkesbury–Nepean. Beachwatch issued an extreme wet weather pollution alert on all Sydney daily beach pollution forecasts during March 2022, advising that stormwater pollution and floodwaters may be impacting swimming sites for an extended period, with lifeguard reports of floating debris and discoloured water continuing after the rain had ceased.

The wet weather continued in April 2022 with well above the long-term monthly average rainfall recorded. A heavy rainfall event was recorded on 7–8 April, with Rose Bay receiving a record high daily rainfall total for April of 167 mm, and Randwick recording 155 mm on the 7th. More than 2 and a half times the long-term monthly average rainfall was recorded at Collaroy, Randwick and Rose Bay with 302 mm, 326 mm and 379 mm, respectively.

Beachwatch monitoring showed flooding events impacted waterways beyond the flood zones, including Sydney Harbour and Sydney ocean beaches, making microbial water quality unsuitable for swimming. Routine monitoring at coastal swim sites in Sydney detected significantly elevated microbial counts at all 97 monitored swim sites, which posed an increased health risk to bathers. The most affected areas were in estuaries, such as Pittwater, which have a lower level of flushing and took longer to recover from the floodwater events than the ocean beaches. Routine water quality testing showed some sites unsuitable for swimming for up to 4 weeks

As microbial levels returned to normal at swim sites monitored by Beachwatch there was still a large amount of debris or other hazards, such as murky water, which posed a risk to recreational activities.

Water NSW reported several occurrences of marine algal blooms at Sydney beaches in late 2021. Blooms of Trichodesmium sp. and Noctiluca sp. were reported at Sydney beaches in November and December 2021, and in Sydney Harbour in November 2021. Marine algae advisories were issued on the Beachwatch and Water NSW websites.

The appearance of marine algae is sometimes mistaken for sewage contamination or oil slicks, due to a strong odour and red or brown discolouration in the water caused by the blooms.

As a precaution, direct contact with algae should be avoided as it can cause skin and eye irritations. The marine algal blooms dissipated with changes in tide and wind conditions. 

Palm, Whale, Avalon and Mona Vale beaches were rated Very Good of the Pittwater ocean beaches in the current report, while Narrabeen Lagoon's Birdwood Park and Bilarong Reserve were again rated Poor, while Bayview Baths was again rated Poor in the Pittwater estuarine swimming spots. Elvina Bay and The Basin Estuarine and Great Mackerel Beach were rated Very Good among the Estuarine beaches.

This is an improvement for Elvina Bay which had been downgraded in the previous two reports.

Barrenjoey Beach remained rated 'Good' despite a high level of animal faeces showing up in the results again. The other impact on this popular swimming spot has been contamination from Hawkesbury River during the floods that have impacted the Pittwater estuary throughout the current State of the Beaches report. 

The still high incidence of animal faeces on Barrenjoey Beach, where temporary toilets were introduced on the headland in January 2020 ahead of permanent facilities expected to be constructed at the end of 2022, and where public facilities are adjacent in Governor Phillip Park, and with most of the previously resident birds chased from this area during the quashed 'dog trial', could be an indication that the councils' required actions by the NSW OLG of compliance of dogs in public spaces, and particularly on this beach, where dogs are still seen offleash on a daily basis despite this being a no dogs area, is deficient. Bayview Baths, again rated 'Poor' in the latest State of the Beaches report, and directly downstream from a dogs offleash area on the tidal estuary, has the bulk of its pollution attributed to stormwater runoff, not animal faeces. Barrenjoey Beach is the only of the Pittwater estuarine beaches to show a high level of persisting animal faeces contamination.

The 2021-2022 Report also states that contamination of recreational waters with faecal material from animal and human sources can pose significant health problems to beach users owing to the presence of pathogens (disease-causing microorganisms) in the faecal material. The most common groups of pathogens found in recreational waters are bacteria, protozoans and viruses.

Exposure to contaminated water can cause gastroenteritis, with symptoms including vomiting, diarrhoea, stomach-ache, nausea, headache and fever.

Eye, ear, skin and upper respiratory tract infections can also be contracted when pathogens come into contact with small breaks and tears in the skin or ruptures of the delicate membranes in the ear or nose.

Certain groups of users may be more vulnerable to microbial infection than others. Children, the elderly, people with compromised immune systems, tourists, and people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds are generally most at risk.


The Great Bondi Resurrection: Pro Surfers Make Environmental Impact Through Getting Involved In Operation Crayweed

Laura Enever, Tom Hobbs and Tom Carroll at the Bondi planting event. Photo by Frame.co

More than 50 percent of coastal ecosystems around the world have been lost, but a new partnership between Operation CrayweedSeaTrees and Boardriders Foundation, kicked off at iconic Bondi Beach on Monday October 17, will bring Sydney's lost kelp forests back to life.

World Champion surfer Tom Carroll and big wave surfer Laura Enever joined Operation Crayweed, scientists, Boardriders Foundation and the SeaTrees program to begin the regeneration planting.

Sadly, many ocean ecosystems have been lost globally due to human impacts including pollution, development and now climate change.

“If we start to act now we can turn the tide on this problem and bring these lost ecosystems, including the crayweed forests of Sydney, back to life,” said Sustainable Surf co-founder, Michael Stewart.

“We collaborate with local groups around the world to regenerate the health of damaged coastal ecosystems including kelp forests, coral reefs, mangrove forests, seagrass meadows and more.

“These critical marine areas have "super powers" that help everyone on the planet by improving fisheries, cleaning the waters, boosting biodiversity, protecting our coastlines and capturing huge amounts of carbon emissions and even improving waves for surfing.”

The initiative is working with Operation Crayweed, a science and community engagement project that aims to restore underwater forests of crayweed that went locally extinct along 70km of Sydney’s coastline.

Surfing World Champion Tom Carroll has lived on Sydney’s Northern Beaches his whole life and has been an active advocate for the protection of the coastline since his earliest competitive days.

“Back in the ‘80s, surfing in professional events in Sydney was a real hazard,” said Carroll.

“The ocean was toxic. As soon as the southerly would blow in we were literally surfing in raw sewage and people got sick. Even then I was drawn to do something, to take action and was part of the Surfers Against Sewage protests.

“It’s amazing to know that SeaTrees and Operation Crayweed can restore these highly valuable and important ecosystems, through such simple actions like providing food and habitat, all while capturing atmospheric carbon and producing oxygen.

“To be part of this initiative and help with the restoration along my home stretch of coastline is something very rewarding. And to have the biggest surf brands backing this program through the Boardriders Foundation is something I am very proud to be a part of.”

Fellow professional surfer Laura Enever is also passionate about taking action.

“I’m looking forward to giving back to the ocean by being part of these amazing programs and learning how I can play a part in the restoration process,” she said. 

“The ocean has given us all so much and we must do what we can to protect it for our future generations to love and enjoy just as we do.”

Representing the Boardriders Foundation, Carroll and Enever joined the scientists and project leads behind SeaTrees and Operation Crayweed at Bondi on Monday to begin the restoration ahead of the 70km goal.

“We are very excited about this new partnership with SeaTrees and Boardriders because we share their passion for the ocean,” said Dr Ziggy Marzinelli (USYD/SIMS). 

“The support will allow us to restore crayweed forests at one of Australia’s most iconic coastal spots and get a step closer to our goal of reforesting the entire coastline of Sydney,” added Prof. Adriana Vergés (UNSW/SIMS).

The group of 20 were led by Dr Ziggy Marzinelli and Professor Adriana Vergés in the Operation Crayweed regeneration process that will begin to restore the health of damaged coastal ecosystems along 70km of Sydney’s coastline.

Avalon Beach surfer, Tom Carroll spoke passionately about the human impact on the beaches and oceans and why it was important for him to take part in the initiative.

“There are things that need to be done. I had no idea crayweed had disappeared off our beaches. The scientists have shown us in detail what’s been going on and it’s been an eye-opener for me because I’ve always felt that I’m, in a way, a first-responder for the ocean trying to do what I can and help advocate for it,” he said.

“The scientists involved have come up with a solution and they can see that we can actually do something. We can bring a species back! It’s a little window into what we can do and what more we can do to help. You can see the enthusiasm they have because they know there is a solution."



The 2022 Woolworths Surfer Groms Northern Beaches Comp

Under 14 Boys Winner, Newport's Rene Galloway. Photo: Claudia Haworth/ Surfing NSW

Under 12 Boys Winner, Avalon Beach's Locana Cullen. Photo: A Frame Photography/ Surfing NSW
Under 10 Boys Winner, Avalon Beach's Maverick Macgugan. Photo: A Frame Photography/ Surfing NSW

Stop three out of four of the NSW Based Woolworths Surfer Groms Comp Series wrapped up on Sunday October 16th in what started as fun conditions that turned challenging as the onshore breeze started blowing around mid morning. The Northern Beaches round is the fifth event in this popular annual grom comp.

On the Saturday (October 15th) component of the two day event, the Woolworths Surfers Groms comp headed to Curl Curl Beach in some fun 3-foot waves. On what was an amazing day of surfing, the groms were able to show their full range of skills.

In the second heat of the Under 10 Girls, Coco Woolley (Boomerang Beach, NSW) went from strength to strength.  Despite only catching three waves, they all scored above a 7-point ride.  This was sufficient for her to win the heat with a 14.60 two-wave total, progressing on through to the semi-final where she will now come up against the top-ranked competitor Mila Grainger (Newport, NSW).

Fresh from competing earlier in the day at Bondi in The Volkswagen Australian Open of Surfing, Poppy O’Reilly (Bondi) headed north to make her round 2 heat just in time to lock in a couple of waves, and more importantly progress on through to the next round.

Maverick Macgugan (Avalon, NSW) showed style and poise beyond his years as he took down some stellar competition in his opening-round heat. The stylish natural footer linked together a multitude of turns to claim the heat win. Macgugan was looking to bring this stylish performance through to the quarter-finals.

Day 1 of the Woolworths Surfer Groms finished up with the highly contested Under 12 Boys. Locana Cullen (Avalon) and Jaggar Phillips (Maroubra) are both looking to cement their spot at the top of the 2022 National Rankings. The talented goofy footers both progressed through their quarter-final heats with the surfers locking in two wave scores above 13.00 range. Cullen and Phillips look to set up a finals clash tomorrow with both surfers on the opposite sides of the draw from one another.

The youngest competitors got things underway for the finals day, Sunday, again at Curl Curl. Leading the charge in the Under 8 Mixed divisions was Taylor Bartlett (Manyana). Bartlett was able to find the open face walls to link a couple of turns together, being rewarded with a 5.33 single wave and putting him well on his way to the win.

Talia Tebb (Avoca) notched up her fourth win in the 2022 calendar year taking out the Under 12 Girls and solidifying her spot at the top of the 2022 National Junior Rankings. Tebb continued her impressive form in the challenging conditions scoring one of the highest single waves for the ladies with a 6.33 ride.

In an extremely close final in the Under 10 Girls, it was Alani Morris (Shelly Beach) who came out victorious over Coco Woolley (Boomerang Beach), Everly Morgan (Milton) and Mila Grainger (Newport). The girls were nearly inseparable at times with just 0.24 separating first to third. Morris was able to lock in the highest single waves of the heat with a 5.8 ride which was enough to put the young Central Coast surfer in the lead.

In the highly anticipated Under 12 Boys, it came down to the battle of the backup scores between Locana Cullen (Avalon) and Jaggar Phillips (Maroubra). Phillips started with an early lead, posting a 6.33 single wave before Cullen answered back with 7.07, following it up with a 5.63 to go on and takeout the final.

Earning their spot at the all-expenses-paid, three-day Woolworths Surfer Groms Comps Under 14 National Final Surf Camp was Poppy O’Reilly (Bondi). O’Reilly snatched the final in the dying minutes away from Lani Cairncross (Kiama). Needing a 3.2 single wave O’Reilly was able to post a 3.87 to earn her spot in the National Final.

Local surfer Annalise Wong secured the 3rd spot in the Under 14's finals placings.

Annalise Wong in action on finals day. Photo: Claudia Haworth/ Surfing NSW

It was a similar song in the Boys with Rene Galloway's (Newport) last ditch effort was enough to secure the win. Galloway was able to post the highest wave score in the final with a 6.73 on his way to victory.



Spring In Pittwater

Turimetta Beach, October 17, 2022. Photo: Joe Mills

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