May 5 - 11, 2024: Issue 624


Failure Of Demerger Poll Vote Shows Problem With Labor Proposal

Protect Pittwater members at the April 30, 2024 Council Meeting

The failure of Northern Beaches Council at this week’s meeting to support calls for a demerger poll shows Labor’s Bill for changes to deamalgamation pathways is unworkable.

Pittwater Greens Councillor Miranda Korzy said (May 4, 2024) she submitted a motion for a demerger poll to be held at the September 14 council election, the cheapest way to administer the vote. 

However, a Liberal Councillor, Cr. Gencher, seconded by another Liberal Councillor, Cr. Page, had amended the motion to remove the poll, replacing it with a set of steps that would not provide that vote.

These included:

  • Receive an urgent briefing prior to the May ordinary meeting on the outcome of an internal preliminary desktop analysis of the financial implications of a demerger of the three former council areas of Pittwater, Warringah and Manly.
  • Receive an urgent report at the May ordinary meeting setting out:
    • The details of the analysis; and
    • A strategy for gathering community feedback on the analysis and the cost of conducting a Poll at the local government elections via ‘Your Say’, including to receive community or other professional analysis undertaken on the Council’s analysis.
  • Receive a report, at the June ordinary meeting, summarising the outcome of the community feedback and implications of conducting a Poll.
  • Note that, if it so chooses, it can resolve at its June meeting to hold a Poll regarding de-amalgamation or any other matter.

The amendment ended with a statement of the obvious - that councillors could still vote for a poll at a later meeting.

“The crux of the issue was to provide the community with the vote denied to us when we were amalgamated in 2016,” Ms Korzy said.

“It is something that is fundamental to democracy.

“Here we have an example of a council not prepared to recognise this fact and instead voting for a grab bag of consolation prizes.  

The problem with Labor’s demerger proposals is that they require amalgamated councils to vote for a poll that threatens their own demise.

“As one resident said later, ‘Turkeys don’t vote for Christmas’.

“The council’s financial situation is already clear from the budget papers and it’s not rosy.

“However, my motion also called for: a desktop business analysis, giving staff the opportunity to put their best foot forward - but with a longer timeframe. 

“Additionally, I had called for the report to discuss geographic cohesion, communities of interest, and democratic representation.”  

Labor when in Opposition amended the Local Government Act (Section 218CC) to create a council led pathway for communities that could demonstrate a majority wished to de-amalgamate from their forcibly merged council. 

The amendment “218CC Proposals for de-amalgamations” specified (6) that the government would pay for the deamalgamation:

“(6) The Minister is, by making grants under section 620 or using money otherwise appropriated by Parliament for the purpose, to ensure that the cost of any de-amalgamation of the new area resulting from a business case submitted under this section is fully funded,” the amendment said.

Labor also promised at the previous two state elections that it would introduce amendments to the Local Government Act to give small communities a say, via a referendum.

Now, however, Labor’s Bill allows only amalgamated councils, rather than communities in the former council areas, to petition for a referendum.

Labor is expected to bring forward its Bill in Parliament this week, and has listed it for Tuesday May 7th on the Business Papers.

Simon Dunn, president of Protect Pittwater, in addressing the April 30 Council Meeting in support of Cr. Korzy’s Motion, stated:

Madam Mayor & Councillors, I am the president of Protect Pittwater.

After 8 years of an amalgamated council I think it is fair to say that the honeymoon is well and truly over and the myth that achieving ‘scale and capacity’ will solve the real problems facing NSW Councils is well and truly busted.

In tonight’s agenda you are presented with the touching euphemism of an “an emerging financial sustainability issue” – which is really a forecast deficit of $5.8M for 2025 – and more alarmingly a funding gap of $151 million for infrastructure over the coming years – all leading to the likelihood of a 7.7% special increase in rates.

Already in June 2023 Council approved borrowing of $4.6M from the Mona Vale Cemetery Reserve to overcome cash flow pressures and to the shock of many in the Pittwater Community.

More recently your CEO has seen fit to create a new Executive Role of Chief Operating Officer which appears to be in response to the inordinate volume of ‘back office’ operational work taking up the CEO’s time.  Clearly, trying to manage one of the largest Councils in NSW is proving to be a far more challenging and costly task than the well-paid consultants, expert accountants and former NSW Baird Government all anticipated when they set scale and capacity as the only real criteria for forcibly merging NSW Councils in 2016.

As Cr Korzy notes in her introduction to her motion, even former members of the NSW Government have conceded the policy was fundamentally flawed.

Let me be clear Councillors, none of this is a criticism of you or your CEO or your hard working staff who are trying to make the best of an impossible situation.

In fact, Councillors, I think most of you are all community minded people who give up your leisure time and want to do your best to serve your local communities.  But how can do that effectively when all 15 of you need to vote of each issue brought before this Council – not just those effecting your particular wards.  This means you each have to have a detailed background and be across community views in each of the other wards – you don’t just say; ‘well that’s in Curl Curl Ward – I don’t need to know or understand that issue – I ‘ll leave it to the Councillor from that ward’ - you have to know every issue.

And this bring us back to the fundamental problem with a Council set-up to serve 250,000 residents across more than 25,000 hectares.  No matter how hard you work, you cannot be across every important issue which occurs in this region and inevitably many important issues will not be properly addressed.  Pittwater Council had 9 Councillors serving a community of only 60,000 and the workload on each volunteer councillor was incredibly burdensome.  

It is really an unfair ask to put this on you Councillors to vote for a poll that exposes you to the criticism, potentially, of your community. But unfortunately, the state government politicians have not passed legislation that gives us any other choice and Cr. Korzy’s Motion for a poll is the only option available.

Simon and Hannah Dunn, children of Pittwater's First Mayor, Robert Dunn

Protect Pittwater secretary Anna Ma=aria Monticelli also addressed the Meeting in support of the Motion, stating:

We all know, Pittwater residents never wanted to be amalgamated into a mega NBC.

The merger was forced upon them and they were never given a democratic choice.  

In fact, the process was done without their consent and with various deals behind the scenes.

The present situation to me is overwhelmingly obvious. 

Pittwater residents want their democratic rights to be restored and their destiny to be returned to the people who live in Pittwater.

In my experience, over the years the discontent has become enormous. 

You all know, Pittwater  residents are constantly in this chamber or emailing - complaining about council policies, DA’s- and the way their area is being governed. 

Yet they have NO REAL SAY - Which is a basic flaw in the way local government is supposed to work.

This issue is not going away, it is only going to become bigger and bigger as more people are thrust into a small area.


The Business papers for the lower house list for Tuesday May 7th:

Local Government Amendment (De-amalgamations) Bill; resumption of the adjourned debate, on the motion of Mr Ron Hoenig, “That this bill be now read a second time.” 


Paul Watson Returns To Hobart En Route To Antarctica To Protect Whales As Japan Launches New 'Mother Ship Sized Whaler' - Pittwater's Jools Farrell On Board

Paul Watson is back in Australian waters again
The gentleman who has long been supported by many residents of Pittwater, even when not visiting our shores and beaches, has returned to Australian waters before heading south to ensure the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary,  an area of 50 million square kilometres surrounding the continent of Antarctica where the International Whaling Commission (IWC) has banned all types of commercial whaling, remains just that - a whale sanctuary.

Ocean conservation organisation Captain Paul Watson Foundation, which sails under the banner of Neptune’s Pirates has just acquired a new vessel, The Bandero, a former Japanese Fisheries Patrol ship, to combat illegal whaling in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. The vessel, which has just sailed from Busan, Korea, docked in Hobart, Tasmania on Wednesday May 1st.

Japan ended its Antarctic whaling program in 2018 after the relentless pursuit by Watson’s ships and later, a ruling by the International Court of Justice concluding Japan’s whaling program in the Antarctic (JARPA II) was in breach of obligations assumed by Japan under the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling (‘ICRW’). Despite this, Japanese whaling company Kyodo Senpaku, recently launched a newly built $50 million dollar whale processing factory ship, the Kangei Maru, in Shimonoseki, which has been designed with the ability to travel as far as Antarctica to hunt whales.

“If Japan decides to return to the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary, the Captain Paul Watson Foundation will target illegal whaling activities in Australia’s Antarctic Territory,” said Omar Todd, CEO at The Captain Paul Watson Foundation.

Captain Paul Watson is known for his fight against whaling in the Southern Ocean Sanctuary and his actions have saved the lives of thousands of whales throughout the years. Under the new foundation bearing his name, he is joined by volunteers and activists from around the Globe in the effort to protect whales and the delicate balance of life in Antarctic waters.

“The previous organizations I founded have moved to the mainstream, but my team and I remain loyal to our cause and continue with the same course of action, utilising our proven strategies of aggressive non-violence,” stated Captain Paul Watson

The Bandero, sailing on a single permit voyage to Australia as the Northern Horizon, under a Mongolian Flag, was recently purchased covertly by Watson’s Foundation from the Japanese government. 

“Months of preparation went into acquiring a suitable vessel to restart Southern Ocean campaigns. Though this vessel will be used to curtail whaling in Antarctic waters, there is no denying Japan builds some of the best quality vessels, in fact this ship is tailor-made for what we do” said Captain Locky MacLean, who has helped acquire 10 ships for Captain Watson over the two decades he has sailed with him, including the former Japanese Oceanographic Research vessel Seifu Maru in 2012, which was also unveiled in Hobart and named Sam Simon, after the Producer of the Simpsons television show, who donated funds toward the vessel’s acquisition.

The Bandero, named after the Tequila brand of American Billionaire, John Paul DeJoria, Founder of Patron Tequila and John Paul Mitchell hair care products, is a 64-meter ship with a gross tonnage of 499 tons, and will be stationed in Hobart, Tasmania in the coming weeks while undergoing reflagging and survey work. Skipper Mark Gibbs, who sailed the ship down from Korea in 17 days, stated

“Its a big ocean out there, and thanks to benefactors like John Paul DeJoria, we’ll be able to do our bit, protecting marine wildlife”. Gibbs, a marine scientist from Queensland, works with coral reef restoration when not on the high seas helping out at the Paul Watson Foundation.

The Bandero

Crew aboard the Bandero, including Pittwater's Jools Farrell (lady in blue)

In 2022, Mr. DeJoria also donated funds for the purchase of a former Scottish Fisheries Patrol vessel now named the John Paul DeJoria. The activists will be taking the ship to Iceland this summer to oppose the illegal hunting of endangered Fin whales. The John Paul DeJoria will then reposition to Australia to join the Bandero at the end of year for the campaign to defend whales in the Southern Ocean.



Sydney Surf Pro Set To Start At North Narrabeen This Week With A Decent Swell Forecast -  Erin Brooks + Mikey McDonagh Win Bonsoy Gold Coast Pro Presented By GWM

North Narrabeen National Surfing Reserve - Dedicated on 17th October 2009. National Surfing Reserves recognise iconic sites of cultural and historic significance in Australian surfing

The GWM Sydney Surf Pro presented by Bonsoy, one of the biggest events on the World Surf League calendar, is set to kick off this week in a decent swell. In 2024, North Narrabeen will play host to a WSL rated Challenger Series event, the ultimate battleground for surfers to showcase their talents.

The event is set to take place from Thursday 9 May 2024 to Thursday 16 May 2024.

As always the first focus will be on a decent wave to showcase the competitors styles. The 7 day forecast for Thursday to Sunday states;

On Thursday, the surf is forecast to be in the chest high (1.1m-1.3m) range, the dominant swell is from the S, with a wave period of 15 seconds. There's also a secondary swell which is coming from the S with a wave period of 9 seconds. The wind is expected to be sideshore and light (4mph-7mph) from the SW. The water should be pretty clean with some light bump to it.

Friday's forecast is for waves in the 1.1m-1.3m range, the dominant swell is from the SE, with a wave period of 10 seconds. There's also a secondary swell which is coming from the SE with a wave period of 11 seconds. The wind is expected to be side onshore and very light(>3mph) from the SW. The water should be glassy. 

On Saturday, May 11, the surf is expected to be in the shoulder high (1.4m-1.6m) range, the primary swell is from the S, with a wave period of 19 seconds. There's also a secondary swell which is coming from the SE with a wave period of 9 seconds. The wind is expected to be side onshore and gentle (8mph-12mph) from the SW. The water should has some light bump. 

On Sunday, the surf is expected to be in the Overhead (2m-3.6m) range, the dominant swell is from the E, with a wave period of 8 seconds. There's also a secondary swell which is coming from the S with a wave period of 14 seconds. The wind is expected to be onshore and fresh (19mph-24mph) from the SW. The water should be choppy.

You can watch online if you can’t get there, at:

On Saturday, May 4, 2024, Erin Brooks (CAN) and Mikey McDonagh (AUS) won the Bonsoy Gold Coast Pro presented by GWM, Stop No. 1 of the 2024 World Surf League (WSL) Challenger Series (CS). The pair were the standout performers on an action-packed Finals Day, with Snapper Rocks delivering epic conditions once again with clean surf in the three-to-four-foot range. 

16-year-old Erin Brooks (CAN) has started her 2024 Challenger Series season perfectly, claiming an epic win at Snapper Rocks. This is Brooks’ second event win on the Challenger Series level, and it will see her lead the Challenger rankings as she hopes to qualify for the elite Championship Tour by the season's end.

“It feels really good to win,” Brooks said. “Good job to Luana (Silva). I thought she was going to get me in the end. I made so many mistakes in the heat, so I’m glad to get the win. My goals are to keep surfing well and I’m really excited about the next event at North Narrabeen. It’s a left and I really prefer to go left, plus I just spent a month training on my frontside in Fiji, so hopefully I can continue to do well.” 

In the Final, Brooks faced Brazil’s Luana Silva, who had been on a roll over the last few days of competition. Silva may have dropped the first score of the Final, but Brooks had control of the matchup early, posting an excellent 8.00-point ride (out of a possible 10) on her opening ride. Silva kept busy, posting mid-range scores, but it wasn’t enough to overcome Brooks’ heat total of 13.90 (out of a possible 20).  

On her way to the win, Brooks earned a Perfect 10-point ride for a super deep barrel ride in Semifinal 1 against Isabella Nichols (AUS). The prodigious young goofy-footer took off deep, grabbing her rail to pull up into a huge pit, completely disappearing before flying out with a huge spit. Brooks continued down the line to tag three turns and guarantee a perfect score. It was the second perfect score of the event, the second ever on the women’s Challenger Series, and the first of Brooks’ career. 

“That is definitely the best barrel I’ve had in a contest,” Brooks said. “It was much bigger than I realized. I knew whoever got that wave would win the heat. It was such a perfect barrel.”  

Erin Brooks at the 2024 Bonsoy Gold Coast Pro. Photo: Cait Miers/WSL

On Friday former CT competitor Macy Callaghan (AUS) put on the performance of her career, posting a Perfect 10-point ride in the Round of 16 at Snapper Rocks. The Gold Coast transplant made her intentions clear from the beginning of her matchup with reigning event winner India Robinson (AUS), taking off late and pulling into multiple barrels early. After posting a few solid scores, Callaghan eventually found her perfect down-the-line tube, pulling in late and coming out after the spit to end up with an 18.67 two-wave total (out of a possible 20). 

“I’m pretty speechless, to be honest,” Callaghan said. “That was probably the best heat of my life. Apparently, we weren’t getting behind the rock enough, so that was for all the boys out there. I want to give it one last crack and make it back on the CT next year. I’m just waiting to get some good waves. This is my first comp of the year, and I’m pretty happy with how it’s going so far. I’m so used to picking off the scraps out here, so I’m stoked to have had some space out there. My coach was just like, ‘You have to sit behind the rock. You’ve got 30 minutes, jet-ski assist, you’re sitting behind the rock, and you’re going to give it a go,’ and I’m glad I did. That was fun. I don’t know if it was luck or what, but I’m just so stoked.”   

George Pittar (AUS) continued his dream run in 2024, overcoming Gold Coast standout Oscar Berry (AUS) in Heat 7 of the Round of 16. Pittars’ surgeon-like front-side approach was on full display as he joined the excellent score club with a 15.13 combined score to win the heat and progress into the Quarterfinals.

Pittar defeated Michael Rodrigues (BRA) in the Quarterfinals but was eliminated in the Semis by Samuel Pupo (BRA).

George Pittar at the 2024 Bonsoy Gold Coast Pro. Photo: Cait Miers/WSL

Lennox Head’s Mikey McDonagh Earns Career-Best Result

Lennox Head local Mikey McDonagh (AUS) claimed the biggest win of his career at Snapper Rocks, dominating the day and, in particular, the Final against reigning event winner Samuel Pupo (BRA). McDonagh is in his second season on the Challenger Series, and after finishing 27th in the rankings in 2023, this is the perfect start for the 22-year-old who has aspirations to join the CT by the end of the year. 

“I still don’t even know if this is real,” McDonagh said. “It feels like it could be a dream, and I could wake up at any moment. This is the best day of my life. I’m pretty lost for words, to be honest. I haven’t cracked the Quarters before, I’ve had a lot of 9th-place results so getting into the Quarterfinals is definitely a bit of a monkey off the back. I felt like once I got into those rounds, I could actually unshackle the chains off me and actually show my surfing. It’s a long year, but I’m super stoked to start this way, and I just want to keep it going and hopefully get to the end goal.” 

In the Final, McDonagh took charge early, surfing multiple waves all the way down the point, getting cheers from the crowd on every turn. McDonagh eventually landed on a two-wave total of 15.43 (out of a possible 20), which left Pupo needing a near-perfect score. McDonagh’s power and flow on his frontside was the perfect match for the long walls of Snapper Rocks, and it was enough to see him get the win and leave the Gold Coast sitting on top of the rankings. 

L to r: Andrew Stark, Samuel Pupo, Mikey McDonagh, Erin Brooks, Luana Silva, Jim Wilson. Photo: Cait Miers/WSL



Governor Phillip Park Plan Of Management Changes To Facilitate Trial Of Dogs Offleash On North Palm Beach: Have Your Say

Closes: Sunday 2 June 2024
Council states it is currently reviewing and updating the Plan of Management for Governor Phillip Park, Palm Beach and considering the recreational, environmental, social and cultural values and characteristics of the area.

The plan will guide the use and management of the park to meet community needs now and into the future.

Council want to know how you use the park, what you value and any ideas and aspirations you have for this well-loved area.

Why is the Council preparing a new Plan of Management (PoM) for Governor Phillip Park?

Council states a new Governor Phillip Park PoM is required to:
  • incorporate a proposal for an off-leash dog trial
  • meet council's obligations under the Crown Land Management Act 2016
  • determine current and future needs of the community in relation to the use and management of the park to ensure that the site and facilities continues to meet the expectations of users and the community
North Palm Beach was the scene, just a few weeks back, where a local wildlife volunteer was fending offleash dogs away from a distressed rare turtle, and where dogs may be seen offleash on the beach, despite this being a no dogs zone, all day every day, unchallenged.

See Pittwater Online April report: Dog Attacks On Wildlife On North Palm Beach

In response to an earlier 'consultation' residents and families who used the beach objected to the area being turned over to becoming a 'dog beach', pointing out this will be used to access the Barrenjoey headland and dunes areas, where wildlife lives.

Council states it resolved on 22 August 2023 to prepare draft Plans of Management for areas proposed for a potential dog off-leash trial at Governor Phillip Park in Palm Beach and Mona Vale Beach (south). Plans of Management are legally required before Council can make a decision to progress any potential trials.

The scope of the Plan of Management relates to the entire reserve, so they want to hear the community’s views on all use and management of Governor Phillip Park.

Barrenjoey Head is managed by the National Park and Wildlife Service and is part of Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park.

A plan of management was adopted by the new NSW Government on February 21 2024 and can be viewed at Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, Lion Island, Long Island and Spectacle Island nature reserves plan of management | NSW Environment and Heritage 

More information on why those changes occurred can be read about in the Pittwater Online January 2024 report:

Governor Phillip Park is Crown land and owned and managed by the NSW Government.

The Minister responsible for Crown land can appoint Council as the Crown land manager for a Crown land reserve. Council is then responsible for it’s care, control and management. The land must be managed in accordance with the Crown Land Management Act 2016 and the Local Government Act 1993.

Key dates listed for changing the Governor Phillip Plan of Management are:
  • Timeline item 1 - active; Apr - Jun 2024: Idea gathering, Gathering residents ideas and aspirations for this area
  • Timeline item 2 - incomplete; Jun - Jul 2024: Review and report - Review community ideas and report what they heard
  • Timeline item 3 - incomplete; Aug - Oct 2024: Prepare the draft PoM
  • Timeline item 4 - incomplete; Nov 2024: Refer draft PoM to NSW Government
  • Timeline item 5 - incomplete; Feb 2025: Report draft PoM to Council, Requesting public exhibition
  • Timeline item 6 - incomplete; Mar - Apr 2025: Public exhibition, Gathering residents feedback on their draft PoM
  • Timeline item 7 - incomplete; May 2025: Review community feedback, update draft PoM
  • Timeline item 8 - incomplete; Jun 2025: Report updated draft PoM to NSW Government
  • Timeline item 9 - incomplete; Aug 2025: Report updated draft PoM to Council, Requesting adoption

Council resolved at the Council Meeting held on 22 August 2023 to prepare draft Plans of Management for areas proposed for a potential dog off-leash trial at Governor Phillip Park in Palm Beach and Mona Vale Beach (south).

The August 2023 Meeting discussions disclosed ratepayers have already footed the bill for $800,000 on legal costs resulting from the previous trial at Station Beach where had not followed the right process, and were allowing dogs offleash in a critically endangered habitat area. The REF cost for the current 'trials' was $125,000 alone, despite the authors spending just 10 hours at both locations and not sighting any wildlife due to the amount of dogs offleash in those no dogs areas while conducting those wildlife surveys, and Council staff have spent hundreds of hours working on the consultation, which itself cost $96,000.00 - both these last two figures are ex-GST.

The consultants found only two or three threatened species present but checking on the government BioNet database, records show sightings of a number of species the REF stated were only moderately likely to occur. These included the Hawksbill Turtle (critically endangered), Little Eagle (vulnerable) and Sooty Oyster Catcher (vulnerable).

In fact, the turtle the wildlife carer was trying to keep dogs away from in Palm Beach dunes was a Hawksbill. The Hawksbill Sea Turtle has experienced a population decline of almost 80% in the last 120 years and is listed by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as Critically Endangered and under the federal Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC) as Vulnerable. The same listing applies in NSW.

The Mona Vale Beach (southern end) Plan of Management is currently being prepared. Public consultation on that project will be undertaken separately to this project.

Feedback from government agencies has outlined major legal hurdles to be overcome before the Council can move forward with a trial. First amongst these are preparation of the new POMs, that would need to be approved by council and the relevant minister, for reserves where trials are proposed. 

Other hurdles include: taking over as the Crown Land Manager (or gaining a licence over) relevant Crown Land below the Mean High Water Mark; completion of other required environmental assessments under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act; changes to the Pittwater Dog Control Policy; and orders under the Companion Animals Act declaring the off leash dog areas.

North Palm Beach; dogs are being taken into this area despite clear signage this is a no dogs area

Governor Phillip Park signage - photo taken February 2024.


New Marine Rescue NSW Base Opens At Middle Harbour

On Wednesday May 1st 2024 Minister for Emergency Services Jihad Dib, officially opened the new Marine Rescue Middle Harbour base at The Spit in Mosman, one of the busiest boating areas in the state. 

The new $3.8 million building, funded by the NSW Government, provides easy access to the unit’s two vessels to support the search and rescue missions of Marine Rescue NSW volunteers. 

The pristine waters of Sydney and surrounds are enjoyed by Sydneysiders year-round, making Middle Harbour a fixture in the top 10 busiest Marine Rescue NSW bases in the state.

Situated next to the Spit Bridge in Mosman, the new base mirrors its surroundings with a design inspired by the contours of a ship and a colour scheme replicating the water, sky and nearby bushland.  

The Marine Rescue Middle Harbour base was built by Sydney based Farindon Constructions and designed by Mona Vale’s Centric Architects, who envisioned the front of the building to represent the bow of a boat as it cuts through the water. 

Spanning 350 square metres, the single-storey structure includes crew readiness facilities, radio, training and meeting rooms, offices and a kitchen/dining area. 

Minister Dib said Marine Rescue NSW volunteers are the unsung heroes of the state’s waterways.

“They play a vital role in keeping people who enjoy our waterways safe.

“Our beautiful waterways are busy year-round, so it is important Marine Rescue NSW has the facilities and equipment it needs to carry out its important role.

“This investment is recognition of the volunteers’ dedication and an assurance that they will have the resources and support needed to save lives,” Minister Dib said.

Marine Rescue NSW Commissioner Alex Barrell thanked the NSW Government for its support in realising the new base.

“This state-of-the-art building significantly enhances our rescue capability around Middle Harbour and Sydney Harbour, and ensures the 89 volunteers at the unit have facilities designed and equipped for modern emergency management.

“Middle Harbour and surrounding waterways are some of the busiest boating areas in NSW, and this new facility will help ensure our volunteers are rescue ready when emergencies arise.

“Volunteers at Marine Rescue Middle Harbour completed 193 search and rescue missions last year, safely returning 555 people to shore,” Commissioner Barrell said.

Marine Rescue Middle Harbour Unit Commander Peter Steigrad said the new base provides a major boost to Sydney’s boating community.

“This new facility has expanded our search and rescue capabilities and has already played a vital role in numerous emergency responses.

“It serves not only as a hub for emergency responses but also as a training base for volunteer crews to ensure they are rescue ready,” he said.

Marine Rescue NSW is a volunteer based not-for-profit professional organisation dedicated to keeping boaters safe on the water and supporting local communities.

MRNSW Middle Harbour opening (l to r) Minister Dib, Unit Commander Steigrad, MRNSW Commissioner Barrell.


Autumn In Pittwater 

Deep Creek, Middle Creek and Turimetta sunrises, along with captures from Avalon Beach to Warriewood form part of Turimetta Moods: April 2024 - words and photos by Joe Mills, running as this Issue's Pictorial

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