September  3 - 9, 2023: Issue 597


Vessel Sinks On Pittwater: Leaks Fuel Into The Estuary, Now A Shipping Hazard - Boaties State 'At Least 100 More Need Attention'

Submerged vessel off Taylor's Point, September 2, 2023. Photo supplied.

Residents are concerned that a boat that sank off Taylor’s Point late last week, has already leaked oil and fuel into the pristine waters of this bay.

Water users could smell the fuel after the vessel sank.

Numerous people state they had contacted the owner, from at least July, along with NSW Maritime about the vessel several times prior to it sinking on August 31 2023, and when this occurred.

However, no booms were set up to prevent the contaminates spreading into the water and the vessel remains submerged; ‘’without even a Maritime wreck buoy on it, so vessels coming in a night could hit it.’’  It was stated by one sailor on Saturday September 2

The boat was shown to be listing to one side on August 28 and sank shortly after. 

The above photo shows the just visible mast of the vessel as taken on Saturday September 2nd, 2023.

Vessel off Taylor's Point August 28, clearly taking on water (NB: registration number has been removed by the Ed. for privacy, that's why you can see through to the stone wall). Photo supplied

Vessel off Taylor's Point August 29 - going. Photo supplied

Vessel off Taylors Point August 30/31 - gone. Photo supplied

A school of dolphins swam past locals in Refuge Cove last week - they were also seen off Clareville and Taylors Point - where the boat that has sunk is.

''Nice polluted water for them to swim through.'' one resident stated.

Before recent years Pittwater boaties would jump aboard a neighbour's vessel and bail it out or get the pumps going if they could see a problem - or let the owner know. Nowadays people are more reluctant due to the potential for litigation or the dangers boarding a boat that's sinking entail, although everyone is upset when someone loses a boat this way, especially an older one someone has tried to keep afloat.

Locals still correct boats where it's clear the anchor has come loose for each other and the boat may drift into another. That looking out for each other persists.

However, the potential for similar sinking and pollution from fuel and oil leaks has also been brought up. Those who are on the Pittwater estuary every day state the boat that sank is one of several in a similar condition on the waterway, with up to 100 vessels described as 'just sitting on moorings rotting away - we're waiting for them to sink'. 

Examples sent in to the news service include:

Other water-going residents have said some vessels are being used for accommodation, quite likely given the shortage of available affordable housing spoken about daily at present, and that some of these water-bound residents are 'vexatious neighbours', especially ''on a full moon with a drink or two flowing'' - and especially when they are mooring in the quiet small bays of Pittwater adjacent to homes during those full moon moments, or hours.

Transport for NSW's Private Mooring Licence Conditions require that:

  • The vessel must not have any power, water, sewerage or facilities connected to it from the land.
  • The vessel must be maintained in a safe and seaworthy condition.
  • The vessel must not be allowed to accumulate excessive marine growth on the hull.
  • It is strictly prohibited to live onboard or use a vessel as a residence of any kind while attached to a licensed mooring.
  • The licensee must not offer, or attempt to invite an offer for the use of the vessel attached to a licensed mooring for the purposes of short-term rental accommodation in return for money or some other benefit
  • The vessel must be visually suitable and aesthetically consistent with the environment and surroundings of the mooring area.

The reasons behind being required to maintain a vessel is unseaworthy or poorly maintained vessels can and clearly do sink at their mooring, leaking contaminants into the waterways and posing a danger to navigation. The mooring licensee is responsible for the mooring apparatus and the vessel at all times.

In NSW the local Boating Safety Officer is responsible for providing day to day waterway patrols, advice and management of navigation and vessel-related activities on assigned local waterways through education, liaison and enforcement ensuring compliance with relevant legislation and organisational policies and requirements.



Pasadena Restaurant Has Conditions Placed On Licence To Limit Late Night Noise Impact On Neighbours

The Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority has decided to impose three conditions on the licence for the Pasadena at Church Point in relation to an Acoustic Reports' Recommendations, require the venue to install a Noise Limiter and it now has a Prohibition on amplified sound after 11:00pm.

The conditions have been made after complaints from those living in the vicinity regarding amplified noise persisting after 11pm. 

Since re-opening, the venue has been the subject of ongoing disturbance complaints to Police, Council, and L&GNSW. This is the second section 79 disturbance complaint made against the Venue where a finding of undue disturbance has been made. 

The Decision, made on August 25, comes atop the February 2023 refusal made at the Meeting of the Liquor & Gaming Board for an application to allow  the serving of alcohol at the Pasadena  to customers  who are not consuming food. That application proposed operating hours of 5.00am to 12.00 (midnight), except Sunday (10am to 10pm) and 'a maximum number of 350 patrons' - a significant increase for the prior 164 people capacity for the venue, which included staff and people in the reception areas.

The Complainant provided screenshots from a private Facebook group showing residents complaining about noise from the Venue, particularly noting a wedding being held on Monday 14 November 2022. Residents stated they were unable to contact the Venue to discuss the noise, and that one resident who did get in contact was allegedly hung up on. The submission also included a decibel reading of 81Db taken at 9:40pm on 16 December 2022 from a resident’s home on Scotland Island. This level of noise allegedly occurred despite a 25-knot southerly wind blowing at the time, which should have reduced the noise.

The submission provided details of three other specific instances of disturbance caused by functions at the Venue, including one instance where Police attended.

The Complainant’s desired outcome was that the Venue should not be permitted to run events. Failing that, they want the Venue to undergo significant sound-proofing renovations in order to minimise disturbance to the community and to ensure adherence to L&GNSW conditions. 

The Complainant submitted the current situation is untenable and the Venue has shown it cannot comply under its current structure. The Complainant proposed that until improvements have been completed the Venue should not be allowed to continue to host functions. 

When the Venue operates as a restaurant only, no noise or compliance issues appear to occur. 

The Venue alleged the complaint really stems from the long-term animosity towards the commercial properties by offshore residents over parking. In other words, the availability of parking for offshore residents is being used as an ongoing basis for their complaints even though the evidence confirms the General Store and the Venue have “existing use rights parking over the reserve”, the Venue stated. 

Further, the Respondent stated the off-shore residents go to great lengths to drive away patrons, including continually misinforming the public about parking availability which they have done on multiple occasions by commenting on the Venue’s promotional Facebook posts. 

The Venue has provisions for 6-7 car parking places on its site, the rest of its patrons find parking in and around the venue, including in the Council car park that runs from the south perimeter of the premises.

The Pasadena is located on the waterfront of Church Point, directly facing Scotland Island, approximately 400 metres away, and surrounded by the waters of Pittwater. The location means there are no sound barriers to many of the nearby residential premises, in particular those located across the water on Scotland Island. Additionally, Church Point and its surrounds are known for their quietness and hills that will resound and amplify any noise made.

The Respondent argued that the Complainant’s residence is not within immediate proximity of the Venue, which is approximately ... metres away, and it is only because there is a body of water that the sound from the venue is able to travel this far. It argued the level of noise that is considered reasonable here should be based on the location from where the licensed premises operates and that the carrying of sound is something that every waterfront home puts up with or accepts due to the trade-off of living in a waterfront property.

What the venue failed to address in these arguments is that it too must accept it is a waterfront property and must adopt reasonable measures to ensure it does not cause undue disturbance in the context of its geographical location. The distance between a venue and residence is only one factor to be considered in what noise abatements/measures are required for a venue. There are no sound barriers between the Venue and neighbouring residences on Scotland Island, and the acoustically reflective nature of the water requires the Venue to take more care of the noise it creates, the Decision stated.

The Venue had demonstrated through its own submissions that it is well aware of the unique qualities of water in transmitting sound.

The Venue is subject to a noise condition, condition 220, relating to LA10 noise criteria. 

This is currently defined as:

The LA10 noise level emitted from the licensed premises shall not exceed the background noise level in any Octave Band Centre Frequency (31.5Hz–8kHz inclusive) by more than 5dB between 7:00 am and 12:00 midnight at the boundary of any affected residence.

The LA10 noise level emitted from the licensed premises shall not exceed the background noise level in any Octave Band Centre Frequency (31.5Hz–8kHz inclusive) between 12:00 midnight and 7:00 am at the boundary of any affected residence.

Notwithstanding compliance with the above, the noise from the licensed premises shall not be audible within any habitable room in any residential premises between the hours of 12:00 midnight and 7:00 am

Scotland Island is only metres away from the Pasadena - which faces the island

According to L&GNSW records, the Venue has been subject to 13 complaints in addition to this and the 2019 Disturbance Complaint. One complaint was in 2018 and unrelated to noise. Three complaints were made in 2021 and nine in 2022, all related to noise from the Venue.

The 2019 Disturbance Complaint was made by 25 local residents and alleged the Venue was causing undue disturbance to the quiet and good order of the neighbourhood due to amplified sound from music and speeches at the Venue along with anti-social behaviour from patrons. That Decision established that while the Venue had at times caused undue disturbance from amplified entertainment and patron noise, there was a lack of objective evidence from Council, Police or an acoustic engineer to demonstrate the severity of the disturbance. The outcome of the 2019 Disturbance Complaint was a warning with a strong recommendation for the installation of a noise limiter at the Venue.



Dredging Of Ettalong Channel Underway

The NSW Department of Crown Lands has announced dredging has commenced in Ettalong Channel on the Central Coast to clear excess sand that is impacting boating following assessment and approval of a dredging licence.

Crown Lands in the Department of Planning and Environment has approved a 12-month licence for Transport for NSW’s Maritime Infrastructure Delivery Office (MIDO) to conduct maintenance dredging in the channel.

The licence to dredge the channel, located at the entrance to Brisbane Water, will see up to 30,000 cubic metres of sand removed to provide a safe navigable channel for vessels.

The works commenced on Thursday August 23, 2023 with the department stating soon after that;

''Dredging in the Ettalong channel has progressed well, with approximately 4000 cubic metres of sand removed from the channel since work started.

''Recent swell conditions have caused damage to the dredge arm of the Faucon vessel. To complete the work as quickly as possible the Faucon will be replaced by the Port Frederick, a larger dredging vessel and weather permitting dredging work will be completed as planned.''

The Faucon. Photo courtesy NSW Government/Transport for NSW

Faucon is on its way back to her home on the Gold Coast, where crew will have a quick turnaround and then return with a new and improved dredge,” Liesl Tesch, Member for Gosford said on Thursday 31st of August 

However, during the Faucon’s time in the Ettalong Channel, the dredge was able to widen the channel, allowing for the arrival and use of Port Frederick, a faster, more effective trailing suction hopper dredge, which will be in the Ettalong Channel in the coming days.

The Port Frederick dredge was unable to be used to begin with as it requires a wider channel than was previously available until Faucon’s work commenced.

According to Liesel, despite the interruption to dredging caused by Faucon’s malfunction, the replacement dredge will be able to complete in one day the work that Faucon was able to complete in 2.5 days.

The Port Frederick is a Dredger that was built in 1983 by Dorio Engineering in Devonport Tasmania and is sailing under the flag of Australia. Her length overall Length is 49 m, her Breadth:10 m. Gross tonnage: 389 tons,  Deadweight: 486 tons. Her home port is Southport, Queensland.

The MV Port Frederick, is a shallow draught trailing suction hopper dredge. Apparently it cruises along sucking up sand into it's hoppers through a draghead and pipe, which trail along the port side of the vessel when dredging. It then takes this sand from where it wasn't wanted and dumps it where it is wanted.

Transport for NSW's information brochure on the project states:

''For this project and to ensure the dredging campaign could begin as soon as possible the dredged sand will be placed on the Ettalong Shoals. Please see map (below).

'This location was chosen for this maintenance dredging campaign as it allowed us to obtain environmental approvals faster.

This sand placement location has also been used on previous dredging campaigns. Assessments indicated that the sand placed here on the shoals tends to travel towards Ocean Beach so it will provide beach replenishment in time.

Other locations for beach replenishment would require more assessments which would impact our start dredging dates.

We will be exploring a number of sand placement locations including beach nourishment in the 10 year strategy and environmental approval which is currently in development. We will seek community feedback on this in the future.'

The MV Port Frederick. Photo courtesy City of Coffs Harbour

Transport for NSW completed a Review of Environmental Factors (REF) to support its licence application, with measures to be put in place to protect environmentally-sensitive areas, including establishing buffer areas to prevent the disturbance of sea grasses.

The Crown Land Management Act 2016 allows for the granting of licences for dredging in Crown waterways subject to assessments of environmental, social, cultural and economic impacts.

''Applications such as this support safe navigation channels and harbour entrances, and recognise the importance of waterways as an environmental, social and economic asset supporting recreational and commercial boating.'' the Dept. states

Palm Beach Ferries suspended their runs to Wagstaffe and Patonga in early June due to the large tides and shifting sand bars in the Ettalong Channel. This was not the first time the service had been suspended due to a build up of sand in the channel.

A free shuttle bus service was commenced on Monday 19 June, and continues to run between Ettalong and Patonga Wharfs to assist ferry passengers during key travel times.

Weekend shuttle bus services also commenced to run on extended hours during the day to meet the current scheduled timetable.

The shuttle bus will leave approximately 35 minutes before the ferry departure time from Patonga wharf. 

Wheelchair users were advised that Patonga Wharf is not wheelchair accessible and a solution to this is being arranged.

A shuttle ferry service for Wagstaffe passengers to meet the shuttle bus at Ettalong wharf was also made available.

Once the channel is deemed safe to operate, Palm Beach Ferries services will resume back at Ettalong and Wagstaffe. 

The alternative transport arrangements will stay in place until this announced date is made to resume services back to Ettalong and Wagstaffe.



Australian Sailing NSW & ACT Awards 2023 Finalists Announced

Jim Colley & Shaun Connor, Finlaists in Team of the Year. Photo: AST

On Friday September 1 Australian Sailing announced the finalists for the 2023 NSW/ACT Sailing Awards. 

The organisers state they received 89 nominations across the 16 categories. Nominations have come from clubs big and small and from members across the state and territory. 

They include Australian Sailing Team members, volunteers who put in incredible hours to help their clubs, professionals who are working for the sport and the promoters who use technology and social media to make sure sailing is seen by all.

The finalists include a number of people from or associated with local sailing.

The announcement of the winners will take place on Saturday 16th September at the CYCA.

2023 NSW/ACT Sailing Award Finalists

Female Sailor of the Year

  • Lisa Darmanin - Manly 16ft Skiff Sailing Club
  • Zoe Thomson - Middle Harbour Yacht Club
  • Brooke Wilson - Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron

Male Sailor of the Year

  • David Chapman - Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron
  • Sam Newton - Cruising Yacht Club of Australia
  • Tom Slingsby - Woollahra Sailing Club

Team of the Year

  • Logan Radford & Joel Beashel - Gosford SC / Middle Harbour YC & Sth Lake Macquarie ASC
  • Jim Colley & Shaun Connor - Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club / Manly 16ft Skiff Sailing Club
  • Sean Langman- Cruising Yacht Club of Australia

Para Sailor of the Year

  • Sarah Plunkett – Dobroyd Aquatic Club
  • Lachlan Clear - Middle Harbour Yacht Club
  • Allister Peek - Canberra Yacht Club

Youth Sailor of the Year

  • Spencer McKay & Benedict McKay - Woollahra Sailing Club / Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron
  • Logan Radford & Joel Beashel - Gosford SC / Middle Harbour YC & Sth Lake Macquarie ASC
  • Louis Tilly - Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club

Coach of the Year

  • Haylee Outteridge – Wangi Amateur Sailing Club
  • Michael Wiley – Richmond River Sailing & Rowing Club
  • Rafael Trujillo - Australian Sailing Team

Instructor of the Year

  • Dennis Hume - Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club
  • Natasha Nisbet - Woollahra Sailing Club
  • Claudia Thackray - Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron

Official of the Year

  • Sarah Ross – Manly Yacht Club
  • Damien Boldyrew - Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club
  • Denis Thompson – Pete’s Yacht Club

Volunteer of the Year

  • Karen Savery – Balmoral Sailing Club
  • Wilfred Sharland – Speers Point Amateur Sailing Club
  • David McCracken - Cruising Yacht Club of Australia

Lifetime Achievement Award

  • John Kirkjian - Cruising Yacht Club of Australia
  • Steven Hatch - Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club / Cruising Yacht Club of Australia
  • Richard Hudson - Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club

SheSails Award

  • Vicki Kornman - Lane Cove 12ft Sailing Skiff Club / Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron
  • Nicole Douglass - Canberra Yacht Club / Jervis Bay Sailing Club
  • Kathy Veel & Bridget Canham - Cruising Yacht Club of Australia

Sport Professional Award

  • Nadine Steenson – Belmont 16ft Sailing Club
  • Jordan Reece - Cruising Yacht Club of Australia
  • Dillon McGrath - Canberra Yacht Club

Sport Promotion Award

  • Jervis Tilly - Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club
  • Lisa Darmanin - Manly 16ft Skiff Sailing Club
  • Paul O'Rourke - Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club

Sustainability Award

  • Will be announced on the night.

Club of the Year Award Category A

  • Cruising Yacht Club of Australia
  • Woollahra Sailing Club
  • Manly 16ft Skiff Sailing Club

Club of the Year Award Category B

  • Hunters Hill Sailing Club
  • Speers Point Amateur Sailing Club
  • Richmond River Sailing and Rowing Club

Lifetime achievement award: Richard Hudson of RPAYC:  In the Rolex Sydney Hobart Divisional winner was Pretty Woman - Corinthian PHS. Richard Hudson steered his Farr 45, Pretty Woman, to Corinthian PHS honours in the 2022 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. 

Mr. Hudson has been a great proponent of youth sailing and his 2022 crew again paired some older and more seasoned sailors with youngsters, including many first timers - 8 of Pretty Woman's  12 crew members were aged 30 or under. There were 8 men and 4 women on board. A cohesive crew celebrated vibrantly on King's Pier Marina in Hobart, also toasting to a 5th place finish in IRC Division 2, 2nd in the Corinthian IRC division and 29th place overall.  Photo: Salty Dingo

Spring In Pittwater 

Turimetta Moods by Joe Mills, August 29, 2023
Narrabeen Stillness by Joe Mills, August 29, 2023

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