March 17-23, 2024: Issue 618


De-Merge Of Councils Delay/Obfuscate Shenanigans Continued Under New Labor Government: Communities Have Run Out Of Patience

As the newly elected Minns Labor Government finishes its first year as the incumbents, communities across the state are calling on the government to honour their statements throughout their long term in opposition, and repeated during election campaigning; to provide and support a clear path for those who did not want to be forcibly amalgamated to regain the autonomy, democracy, services and viability they had prior to the Coalitions decree of May 2016, and reinstate their Councils.

This week groups from across New South Wales gathered on Macquarie street on Tuesday March 12, the same day the House had listed in the Business Papers the debate for NSW Labor's bill on de-amalgamation, the Local Government Amendment (De-amalgamations) Bill 2024. The Bill, introduced by The Hon. Ron Hoenig, Minister for Local Government, to the NSW Parliament on Tuesday February 6, removes changes inserted by previous Minister for Local Government Steph Cooke.

However, that debate did not take place.

Among those at the Demerge Alliance rally was Cr. Miranda Korzy who held up a signed corflute from a 2017 community forum:

Politicians at the meeting, NSW Labor’s Local Government spokesman Peter Primrose and his Greens’ counterpart David Shoebridge shook hands and signed statements at the forum agreeing to support a plebiscite within the former Pittwater council area for a demerger.

Mr Primrose said that if Labor won government at the next state election, it would run binding plebiscites in the former local government area, following a petition from local residents.  
“Certainly, if we form government and I become the Minister for Local Government, we will join with the other political parties - other than the Liberals and Nationals - and we will introduce legislation to allow you to voluntarily demerge and bring back Pittwater council,” he told the forum.

To kick this process off, proponents for a demerger would need to collect signatures from 10 per cent of residents living in the former council area. 

The Hon. Peter Primrose MLC, Assistant President, has been re-elected. His term of service expires 58th Parliament (05 March 2027).

However, he is not the Minister for Local Government - The Hon. Ron Hoenig, a former Botany Bay Mayor, was placed in that portfolio on 5 April 2023, signalling by October what residents campaigning could expect when he met with Cootamundra-Gundagai Regional Council (CGRC) to outline yet another new pathway which, he stated, empowers that Council to develop a detailed implementation plan to guide the establishment of two new sustainable local government areas.

Ms Korzy stated at the March 12 rally:

''Before the mergers, Pittwater Council carried out a survey which showed 89 per cent of residents wanted to retain our standalone council. Yet we were never given a vote on the issue. 

Pittwater was a financially sound council, having won the Bluett Award the year before the merger. A council where local representatives made decisions on behalf of local residents. 

Nearly eight years on, we can see the outcome of the amalgamation. 

We now have a situation where the six councillors from the two wards representing the former Pittwater LGA, can be outvoted on any decision by the other nine Northern Beaches Councillors. 

We have a situation where staff are short on the ground. Residents are frustrated by a lack of compliance officers and where local Dad’s, worried about snakes in knee high grass, are out mowing local parks and pathways over summer. 

And we have a situation where the council is having to borrow money from our local Mona Vale Cemetery fund to pay for a new software system. 

The amalgamation has not solved the council’s budgetary problems and we are now faced with either having to cut services or raise rates in the next financial year.
Pittwater residents have campaigned for nearly eight years for the return of our council and Labor promised us a demerger referendum. 

It’s time Labor honours that promise and ensures its current bill, before the NSW Parliament, gives communities the vote we’ve been denied until now. 

It must remove the requirement for merged councils to approve deamalgamations - because on councils like mine, that’s never likely to happen. 

And we need the new amendment to ensure state funding is available to cover initial demerger costs. Otherwise, it’s likely that persisting with these mega councils - which require an extra layer of middle management - will end up costing not only local communities but also the state government more to run in the long term.

And finally, Parliament must ensure those plebiscites are binding and not reliant on Boundaries Commission investigations or even the minister's approval. Democracy is not a commodity and the will of the people must be respected.''

March 12 2024 at Macquarie Street - Protect Pittwater Members and Pittwater Residents speaking up.  Photo: Michael Mannington OAM

Despite the mood of rising anger, residents and Protect Pittwater members, continue to gather signatures to reinstate their Pittwater Council and are still calling on the Government to stop being the next obstruction and epitomical flipside of the political coin.

Last month Protect Pittwater Association president Simon Dunn said amendments to the Local Government Act proposed by the NSW government will do nothing to restore democracy for minority councils such as Pittwater, amalgamated into the Northern Beaches Council in 2016.

Mr Dunn said Protect Pittwater wrote to Local Government Minister Ron Hoenig in September 2023 pointing out that the act was missing:

(a) A mechanism for a former area to be reinstated without a resolution of the new amalgamated Council of which the former area has a minority of Councillors to support such a resolution;

(b) an orderly procedure for assets and staff to be allocated when a former Council area was reinstated.

"The legislation introduced to Parliament by Minister Hoenig does nothing to address these two shortcomings and breaks the policy promise Labor took to the last two elections," Mr Dunn said.

"Instead, it perpetuates the endless deferring of decisions between the boundary commission and the minister, with neither being compelled to respect the strong desire of the former council residents to see their beloved Pittwater Council reinstated.

"Protect Pittwater instead urges NSW Labor to amend their proposed legislation to provide for a plebiscite of residents of a former council area - which was already found to be financially viable - to be the only mechanism required to reinstate that former Council.

"The desire for a demerger remains strong in Pittwater, where a statistically reliable survey conducted by the former council before the mergers showed 89 per cent of residents had wanted to remain in our standalone council.

In 'Pittwater Uprising! a secessionist’s viewby Robert Dunn, Pittwater’s first elected Mayor explained:

''The movement for secession, led by Des Creagh of North Avalon, began in 1966. It gathered momentum through the 1980s and 90s, reflecting the growing concerns of residents about the quality of their built and natural environments. Not only was the malapportionment of rate income seen as intrinsically unfair, planning and development decisions which excluded or frustrated the community engendered much passion and activism, leading to the view that secession could be the only remedy.

From this period of agitation and sedition there emerged two committed and tenacious leaders in the persons of Eric Green and Robert Dunn. First elected to Warringah Council, they contended against sustained opposition to represent community aspirations and achieve equity for the residents of A Riding.''

Pittwater residents are hoping the new Labor Government completes its first year, March 25 2024, honouring what it has stated as individual Labor Members at so Pittwater many rallies and community forums, and as a party, since May 12 2016.


Former and sacked by the NSW Coalition Government Pittwater Council Councillor Sue Young and Cr. Miranda Korzy - making some noise at Macquarie Street on March 12. Photo: Michael Mannington OAM


NSW Passes Historic Legislation To Ban Offshore Drilling - Mining

The NSW Labor Government has moved decisively to protect our beaches and coastal environment by banning seabed petroleum and mineral mining off the NSW coast.

The Government secured support from across the NSW Parliament to implement the ban, making NSW the first state in Australia to prohibit seabed petroleum and mineral exploration and mining.

The Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (Seabed Mining and Exploration) Bill 2024 amends the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 to prohibit:
  1. Seabed petroleum and mineral exploration and recovery in NSW coastal waters; and
  2. Other development within the state for the purposes of seabed petroleum and mineral exploration and recovery anywhere.
The Bill, which was passed this week, reaffirms the NSW Labor Government’s commitment to protecting NSW coastal waters from offshore mining activities.

'''These activities can have a devastating effect on our marine wildlife by releasing toxic materials, destroying habitat and creating harmful sediment levels. We must prevent this happening.'' the government said in a released statement

The Bill is designed to stop severe environmental damage that can result from offshore exploration and drilling including oil spills and greenhouse gas emissions.' 

The ban exempts coastal protection works including beach nourishment and beach scraping, which involves removing a layer of sand from the foreshore and transferring it to a different location on that same beach. This strengthens beaches, dunes and cliff systems from erosion.

Certain dredging activities, not involving mineral exploration or recovery, which are required as routine practice with environmental and economic benefits will also continue. This includes laying pipelines or submarine cables.

'No other state or territory has acted so comprehensively to prevent the severe environmental impacts that can result from offshore exploration.' the government said

Minister for Climate Change and Energy Penny Sharpe stated:
“The damage from seabed exploration and mining is significant. It threatens our state's sensitive marine environments, coastal areas and Indigenous heritage.

“With broad support, the NSW Labor Government has taken a responsible and balanced approach to banning seabed mining and protecting our marine environment into the future.”


A Call To End PEP-11 - Ensure Future Generations Are Protected By A Duty Of Care Bill: Paddle Out At Bongin Bongin Bay, Mona Vale Beach

Photo: Chris Barlow 

Over 100 people from the across the community joined independent MP, Dr Sophie Scamps for a paddle out on Saturday March 9 at Mona Vale Beach to call for the federal government to end PEP-11 once and for all. 

This was a youth led event, organised by a group of young residents. It was clear from the turnout, that young people want their voices heard when it comes to action on climate change. 

“It was so amazing to see such a big turnout of young people who care about showing up for their future. Being amongst so many of my peers has shown us the importance of showing up for our planet, and the numbers we saw yesterday showed us what we can do if we all come together to make a change,” Jess Muir local advocate said. 

Anjali Sharma, the young activist who took the former Environment Minister Sussan Ley to court for failing to consider the impacts of climate change was also in attendance.

Anjali Sharma at Mona Vale. Photo: Chris Barlow 

In his initial Sharma v Minister for the Environment Federal Court judgement on May 27 2021, Justice Bromberg found that carbon emissions released from mining and burning fossil fuels will exacerbate climate change causing personal injury and death to Australian children.

Following additional submissions from both parties, as requested by Justice Bromberg, a July 8 2021 ruling entrenched the duty of care into Australian law. In the landmark judgement, the Federal Court ruled the Minister does owe a ‘duty of care’ to protect Australian children from the effects of catastrophic climate change. 

The Court drew a direct line between the mining of coal at Vickery and worsening climate change. The students' aim was to prevent Ley from possibly approving the Whitehaven coal mine extension project, near Gunnedah in New South Wales. They argued that approving this project would endanger their future because of climate hazards, including causing them injury, ill health, death or economic losses.

The following day, July 9, 2021, the Minister for the Environment, Sussan Ley, made a statement and announced the Morrison Government’s intention to appeal the recent Federal Court judgment in relation to the Duty of Care decision.

Ms Ley approved the coal mine extension on September 16, 2021, arguing her decision wouldn’t contribute to global warming because even if the mine was refused, other nations would step in to meet the coal demand. 

At Bongin Bongin Bay Ms Sharma spoke about the concept of a duty of care bill to protect younger generations which Dr Scamps wants to see enshrined into our environment and climate laws.

“The paddle out demonstrated incredible community support for a government duty of care to future generations and community opposition for such explorative and extractive projects such as PEP-11. It is clear that people of all ages and walks of life equally believe that future generations deserve to inherit a world which is safe and liveable, and not threatened by climate disaster increasing in frequency and severity,” Sharma said at the event.  

PEP-11, the plan to drill for oil and gas off the coast between Manly to Newcastle is strongly opposed by locals on the Northern Beaches. 

“As we confront the climate crisis, younger Australians deserve to be heard on decisions that will affect their future - even those too young to vote,” said Dr Scamps,

That’s why she’s supporting a push for a new legal concept, the “Duty of Care” to future generations being championed young people and by her colleague independent Federal Senator, David Pocock.

“The idea of the Duty of Care is to ensure that the interests of younger and future generations are considered by lawmakers when they approve fossil fuel projects or pass laws that will have long term consequences,” she said 

“One example is the Petroleum Exploration Permit, known as PEP-11, which is proposed off our beautiful coast between Sydney and Newcastle,” Anjali said. 

“It’s a fossil fuel project that, if approved, could operate for up to 50 years and significantly add to our CO2 emissions.

“It also runs the risk of oil spills off our coast and degradation of our marine environment. 

“I am really pleased that the NSW government has now decided to legislate to prohibit seabed mining in state waters and associated works like pipelines and terminals in territory controlled by the state.

“Hopefully that will bring a halt to the project. But to put it beyond doubt, the Federal and State ministers for resources need to refuse an extension to the permit.

“Approving new fossil fuel projects when we know that our children’s future depends on urgently reducing emissions and preserving our natural environment is just madness,” Dr Scamps said.

The NSW Labor Government moved decisively to protect our beaches and coastal environment by banning seabed petroleum and mineral mining off the NSW coast this past week in securing the passage of the Bill they first tabled in February. The Government had support from across the NSW Parliament to implement the ban, making NSW the first state in Australia to prohibit seabed petroleum and mineral exploration and mining.

The Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (Seabed Mining and Exploration) Bill 2024 amends the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 to prohibit:
  1. Seabed petroleum and mineral exploration and recovery in NSW coastal waters; and
  2. Other development within the state for the purposes of seabed petroleum and mineral exploration and recovery anywhere
However, as pointed out by Ms Sharma, the Federal Government's pre-election campaign statements need to be honoured as well.

The Paddle for Change was a youth-led climate action event organised by young locals due to the growing call in the community for climate action.

“The paddle for change initiative and the amount of support it garnered clearly indicates that the northern beaches are on the same page when it comes to climate action for our youth. It was so exciting to see a passion across all generations for stronger policy and a harsher stance on potential fossil fuels projects,” Luke Peterson, Mackellar youth advocate. 

Mackellar MP Dr. Sophie Scamps along with Warringah MP Zali Steggall have voiced their support for Senator David Pocock’s Duty of Care and Intergenerational Equity Bill from the time that was scheduled to be introduced by the Senator.

The Climate Change Amendment (Duty of Care and Intergenerational Climate Equity) Bill 2023 seeks to amend the Climate Change Act 2022 to require decision makers to consider the wellbeing of current and future children when making certain decisions that are likely to contribute to climate change, including decisions that will increase scope one, two or three emissions.

An Inquiry into the Climate Change Amendment (Duty of Care and Intergenerational Climate Equity) Bill 2023 is currently underway in the Senate with a report due on 27 March 2024.

Mackellar MP Dr. Scamps speaking at the Paddle for Change Duty of Care rally.
Photos: Chris Barlow 


2024 NSW Surf Life Saving Masters State Championships

Palm Beach SLSC’s Diane Van Ooi, Annabelle Chapman and  Fiona Rae - Gold!

Although North Bondi SLSC is the NSW Surf Life Saving Masters Champion club for a second straight year, claiming the title just days after defending their Age Championship at Queenscliff beach, SLS SNB Branch Masters have also excelled in this year's Surf Life Saving New South Wales State Championships.

The Sydney club has made a habit of success on the peninsula and did so again over the 2024 NSW Surf Life Saving Masters Championships.

They just squeezed past neighbours, Bondi Surf Bathers LSC who finished second, while Manly LSC rounded out the podium ahead of Shelly Beach SLSC on the Central Coast.

Only seven points separated one and two by the end of the day, showing just how tight the contest was, right down to the final event.

Competitors contested a team’s package on the second of the two-day Championships on 14 March, with cascading waves making for tricky and at times breath-taking races across three highly active water zones.

Port Macquarie kicked off their day with a win in the 130 Year Female Taplin, with Debra Bartlett, Raelene Myers and Sara-Jane Oakeshott taking gold ahead of the teams from Bondi SBLSC and North Avoca SLSC.

Later, in the 170 Year Female Taplin, Palm Beach SLSC’s Fiona Rae, Annabelle Chapman and Diane Van Ooi were winners – much to the surprise of Diane who wasn’t aware she was in the lead for the final swim leg.

Diane, who fellow Palmy Members state is half fish, also won Silver in the 60+ female Surf Swim and points for PBSLSC in the 60-64 yrs Female Rescue Tube Race.

On Day One of the Masters Fiona won Gold in the 55-59 yrs Female Ironperson, and Gold in the 55-59 Female Single Ski, with Lise Layard of Mona Vale SLSC's Masters taking the Silver, Jo-anne Dryden from Stockton the Bronze and Manly's Jo-Ann Carmichael gaining points for her in 4th. 

In the 55-59 yrs Female Board Race Lise secured the Silver, Fiona Rae the Bronze with Wamberal's Colleen Harrison winning the Gold. Fiona then won Silver in the 55-65 female iron person, while Janet Proudfoot, Newport SLSC, came in just outside the medals, adding points to Newport's Masters tally. Janet was in every Final for the 55-59 yrs Female Board, Ski and Surf Race.

The Palm Beach Masters girls confirmed in January they are heading to the 2024 Australian Surf Life Saving Championships, the Aussies, which will be held on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, at Alexandra Headland SLSC, Maroochydore SLSC and Mooloolaba SLSC from 13 to 21 April. Mona Vale and Newport also send a strong Masters Team each year as well.

Lise, Fiona and Colleen

Staring into the near-blinding sun when competition began early in the morning on 13 March, Mona Vale SLSC’s Kristyn Monnock was among the women who navigated somewhat tricky surf conditions the best on her ski, picking up a win in the 50-54 Female category.

The Warriewood Sandmen took Gold again this year in 200 yrs min Male Beach Relay- congratulations Iain Archer, Glen Bauder, Adam Gee and Ben Hargy. Adam also won the Silver in the 50-54 yrs Male Beach Sprint.

Warriewood's Adam Gee

Also on the track, Warwick Cavanagh from North Cronulla SLSC was the quickest in the 75-79 Male Beach Sprint, Stephen Nelson of Queenscliff SLSC gave the home crowd something to cheer in the 60-64 Male Sprint, and Sharon Deans from Coogee SLSC won the 50-54 Female Sprint with Queenscliff's Kelly McFadden picking up the Silver medal.

Andrew Stuart, North Curl Curl, won Gold in the 60+ M 1km Beach Run, Tim Gates Palm Beach, the Bronze, while Michael Kirkby, Freshwater, and Michael Bochner, Manly, gained points for their clubs in 4th and 5th, among a host of Manly runners; Kit Lloyd, Tim Farrelly, Paul Hewitt and Mark Epper, as well as North Steyne's Edward Platt and Dee Why's Ian Nicol. 

Further down the beach on Day Two, Avoca Beach SLSC added to their medal haul and pushed themselves up the point score with the team of Mark Felton, Matthew Jones, and David O’Grady winning the 170 Year Male Taplin.

Moving into mid-morning, Wanda SLSC’s Hayden Allum, Joel, and Benjamin Bolewski grabbed gold for their club in the 110 Year Male Board Relay, the former two adding to the medal they won earlier in the day in the 110 Year Taplin, while Manly’s Julia Bell, Rachel Crerar, and Florence Epper won the 110 Year Female Board Relay.

Bondi’s Margaret Simpson-Lee, Jeanette Brits, and Robyn Hill all placed inside the top five swimmers as they comfortably won the 150 Year Female Surf Teams, while Freshwater SLSC had a much tighter finish in the 170 Year Male as the team of Dave Bredeson, John de Mestre, and Andrew De Vries pipped North Bondi’s team by five points.

Just after midday, an ecstatic Stockton SLSC team earned the Hunter club’s first gold of the Championships – Katie Mulquiney, Kylie Whitbred, and Jo-anne Dryden positively stoked to take out the 130 Year Female Single Ski Relay.

Closer to Queenscliff SLSC, Calvin Brodie, Gregory Byrnes, and Mark Norris navigated challenging surf to claim the 150 Year Male Ski Relay.

Caves Beach SLSC and North Bondi were among the winners in the Double Ski, with Paul Carter and Robert Hunt taking out the 70-74 Male category for the Hunter club and Megan Rumford and Elizabeth Wise doing so for the eventual champions.

Central Coast had a good run in the Board Rescue late in the day –The Lakes SLSC’s Lauren Goldie and Leeanne Longford teamed up to take out the 40-44 Female event, and Terrigal SLSC’s Chris Mensforth and Hayden Smith added another medal to their tally in the 30-34 Male.

The 2024 NSW Surf Life Saving Championships, proudly presented by Your local club, continued Friday 15 March, with the beginning of the Open and Surf Boat Championships.

Results for the 2024 NSW Surf Boat State Championships in so far show the Manly Moonlighters won Gold in the 160 yrs min Female Surf Boat, congratulations Claire Ward, Amy Lanza (Reserve), Kate Munro, Lara Husselbee and Bastien Wallace. Queenscliff's Forty & Firing took Bronze in 160 yrs min Male Surf Boat; Simon Barnes, Patrick Kelleher, Stuart Menogue, Jonathan O'Loughlin, Nigel Johnston, while North Narrabeen's Dreadnaughts 200 yrs min Female Surf Boat crew; Aleisha Pollicina, Julie Anderson, Kerrie McManus and Lee Chaloner with legendary sweep Don McManus, won Silver. 

Another Legendary sweep, Matthew Sheridan, steered the Queenscliff Reality Queens;  Kristina Larsen, Kelly Marsh, Nicki Daley and Robyn Moore, to Silver in the180 yrs min Female Surf Boat Final.

A 'catch-up' round of our local surf boat crews efforts over the Season so far, from the local carnivals through to the ASRL Open, this year held down at beautiful Lorne in Victoria, runs Sunday March 24, before they all get ready to head north to this years' Aussies too.

Masters Divisions from local clubs among the top 15 were: Manly LSC on 338, Freshwater SLSC 145, Queenscliff SLSC 135, Palm Beach SLSC 118 and Newport SLSC on 92. However Dee Why picked up a solid 84 points, Mona Vale 72, North Steyne 50, Collaroy 31, North Curl Curl 26, Warriewood 25, Narrabeen 23, Avalon Beach 6, some indication of how strong the local Masters Divisions within our clubs are.

Manly LSC's Women's Masters - cleaned up again!

The 2024 NSW Surf Life Saving Open and Surf Boat Championships, proudly presented by Your local club, wrap up today, Sunday March 17, with an individual finals package to be streamed live on Facebook, YouTube and Kayo Freebies via Surf Life Saving NSW - enjoy the action HERE if you can't get over that Narrabeen bridge and a little further south.

The NSW Surf Boat Championships finals will also be available to watch at 4pm with the viewing link shared via SLSNSW Facebook and Youtube. It will include semi finals highlights and all eight finals races. Good luck to all the crews this weekend!

All Masters Results can be accessed here. 

Results available so far for the 2024 NSW Surf Boat State Championships 

Photos courtesy of Shane Abrahamson and SLS NSW - a few more of this year's great annual celebration run HERE


All Abilities Shine At Inclusive Surf Championships

Around 80 athletes from more than a dozen surf clubs have taken part in the 7th annual NSW Surf Life Saving Inclusive Championships at Queenscliff beach, with growing numbers and beaming smiles a sure sign the event was once again a big hit.

Less than a decade after the first ever Inclusive Championships was held at Swansea Belmont, the beachfront at North Steyne SLSC was packed with eager competitors, happy handlers and parents excited to see the event unfold on Sunday morning, 10 March.

“It all sort of came about seven years ago because we noted that some of our nippers and youth members didn’t have an avenue to progress in Surf Life Saving, they’d turn up to the club and there was nothing really for them,” said referee Michael Wasley.

“It’s an event we’re all very passionate about, we love it, and you can see just from the numbers on the beach there is a lot of support.”

The event program plays out much the same as the Age, Open and Masters Championships, with competitors contesting events on the beach track and in the surf. 

Once the race is run, athletes were awarded their medals to raucous applause on the podium.

“We have a number of people who are fiercely competitive, but I’d say the majority are here for pure enjoyment,” Michael said with a smile.

“I think this year, with it being the first year there will be adaptive events at Aussies as well, it will be interesting to see the uptake and hopefully we can all build on that.”

Indeed, Amy Grace Smith from Ocean Beach SLSC loved every second of the competition, and even picked up a medal to take home with her.

“I do all the events, I’ve been doing it for a while and I feel supported by this community and the people around me,” she said.

“The next step for us is to get it out to more of the clubs,” Michael added.

“A lot of clubs still don’t know this exists, so the hope is the kids and adults here today go back to their clubs, with their medals, they talk about it and other people get involved from there.”

Michael is a Mona Vale SLSC Member. He first started out as a nipper when he was younger and later re-joined Mona Vale back in 1986. He has held numerous positions throughout the club such as Club Captain, Powercraft Captain, Junior Board Captain, Training Officer, Age Manager and Junior Carnival Manager.

Michael won the NSW Initiative of the Year along with Rob Fry, David Moreton and then MVSLSC President Bryce Munro for the first ever Special Needs Branch Championships through the Sydney Northern Beaches Branch.

The first local Inclusive initiative came out of Newport SLSC in 2002. In 2012 Doug and Sandy Menzies were awarded Pittwater Council’s Volunteers Award for their contribution to the Newport Special Nippers Program over the previous 10 years, a program about inclusion for all children and integrating children with a disability alongside other children to help eliminate isolation and stigma.

Now there are many NSW clubs running Inclusive programs and the number is growing each year; Avoca Beach SLSC, Bellambi SLSC, Blackhead SLSC, Bulli SLSC, Coledale SLSC, Collaroy SLSC, Coogee SLSC, Cooks Hill SLSC, Elouera SLSC, Fingal Beach SLSC, Maroubra SLSC, Mona Vale SLSC, Moruya SLSC, Newport SLSC, Ocean Beach SLSC, Nobbys Beach SLSC, North Steyne SLSC, Ocean Beach SLSC, Pambula SLSC, Redhead SLSC, South Curl Curl SLSC, Stockton Beach SLSC, Swansea Belmont SLSC, Toowoon Bay SLSC, Towradgi SLSC, Wanda SLSC, Windang SLSC and Woonona SLSC.

More great photos by SLSNSW in this week's Aquatics Feature.


Local Australian Boardriders Battle 2024 Grand Finalists Looking Forward To Next Comps.

Tru Starling in the ABB Grand Final. Photo: Surfing Australia

A huge congrats to Burleigh Boardriders for taking out the 2024 Hyundai ABB Grand Final on home turf!

Congrats to NASA, North Steyne BRC and North Narrabeen BRC who made it through to the Quarterfinal heats and to North Narrabeen BRC for making it through to the Semifinals as well. A nice opener for a club that's celebrating its 60th year at a Black Tie function in October this year for team members Nathan Hedge, Davey Cathels, Jordy Lawler, Tru Starling and Tommy Hinwood along with the club itself.

Our area also sent in Bungan BRC, Long Reef SRA and Freshwater BRC, which is outstanding representation - to even make it to the Grand Final.

Although no club made it through to the final heats, as the ABB Final will be held at Burleigh for another few years, there's bound to be a few 'shifts' next year and the year after that. 

With so many current and prior champions in our local surfing clubs, and the opportunity to waylay some of that home wave advantage during the next comps., there is no reason this years great showing won't be improved on.

As NASA - North Avalon Surfriders Association - said afterwards; ''We put in a good effort, didn’t get the result we were hoping for but made some epic memories and hopefully entertained everyone at home.  We are all stoked hearing from everyone who tuned in and blown away by how much support and love we were given. 

Thank you to Rob Bain for being an epic team captain/guru/mentor and for running up that big hill- sah. 
Epic work from the team; Cedar Leigh Jones, Van Whiteman, Isaiah Vaeleki,  and Arch Whiteman
Can’t wait to show em what we got next year!''

Some NASA  2024 Hyundai ABB Grand Final Pics - thanks NASA and Surfing Australia!:


Autumn In Pittwater 

Joe Mills: An unusual shot of our regular friend the octopus  who we find in the tidal flats alongside the Narrabeen Rock Pool wall.  Most locals call him 'Occy'.  He is curled up here and displaying his light colours to disguise as a rock.  In the middle of the pic, the two little white patches are his eyes.  

To give you a bit of size, his head would fit in the palm of your hand, and his tentacles would reach to your elbow.  He has become a local attraction, until someone sees him as Calamari.  Photo by Joe Mills

A Catch-up round of Joe's 'Turimetta Moods' runs Sunday week, Issue 619 - a few more from the week ending March 15 2024:

First ones out - Turimetta Beach, March 2024. Photo: Joe Mills
Narrabeen Lagoon entrance Paddlers, March 2024. Photo: Joe Mills
Narrabeen Lagoon entrance Cormorant's Fishing Convention, March 2024. Photo: Joe Mills
Beached -  Narrabeen Lagoon entrance a little later on Wednesday the 13th of March. Low Tide was at 5:14am. 0.17m. Photo: Joe Mills

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