Sydney Ports has nominated for the The Australian Marine Environment Protection Association (AUSMEPA) Environmental Award for 2010.  AUSMEPA  was launched in 2000 where A declaration of a voluntary commitment ‘to save the seas’ was signed by a number of individuals representing a wide range of shipping industry, government and non government organisations who were committed to protecting Australia’s precious marine environment.

The Award is presented to worthy recipients to recognise and promote achievements, innovation and best practice in minimising marine pollution and the protection of the marine environment. The previous recipients of the award are: 2009 Government of Victoria (EPA Victoria and Melbourne Water) and in 2006: SEA SA P/L.  There were no awards in 2007 and 2008. 

Port Botany (Penrhyn Estuary/ Penrhyn Spit/ Penrhyn Boat Ramp and Jetty)  photographed in 2008 before the expansion with the remains of the Government Pier (built c1880) in foreground:

(Photographs: L-R: by Ian Sanderson details; by Brent Pearson details )

Sydney Ports used the EPA’s Green Draft Offsets (Biobanking by its former name) to establish a ‘value’ for Penrhyn should the ‘enhancement’ plan for the area fail – Offset Package – Note the saltmarsh is valued at $980,000 and the shorebird habitat at $340,000.

3 Responses to “Sydney Ports Nominates for Environmental Award”
  1. Greg Killeen says:

    I am somewhat shocked and dismayed to read that the Sydney Port’s Corporation could actually be nominated for an environment award for making enhancements of Botany Bay marine life after the ongoing negative impact it has caused to Botany Bay’s surrounding environment and ecology from the initial port development in the mid-1970s and the current port expansion that commenced around 2006. Have people forgotten about the erosion of the beaches around the bay, the loss of breeding habitats for the migratory birds, including the little terns, that are protected under RAMSAR, an international treaty? There is not enough time and space to include all of the information about the impact on local residents, of whom many have lived in the Botany/Banksmeadow area prior to the initial port construction in the mid-1970s, which removed the beach from adjoining residential properties with the reclamation of land from Botany Bay’s seabed and extended the shoreline some 300 m to the south and created what has been known in recent years as Botany Beach as well as Sir Joseph Banks Park and Foreshore Road. Although the community group, Save Botany Beach, did save the beach from the development application approval for the port expansion, there was an amendment to the development application which did not require any community notification or feedback which enabled Frank Sartor to sign off on the destruction of the entire Botany Beach (except for a 400 m remnants at the Western) has been replaced by a rock seawall, as well as a boat ramp and car park which has been highly criticised by the various fishing groups for such a poor design. To top it all off the port expansion has now encroached within 400 m of residential homes that used to be beach frontage, and the residents have received absolutely nothing from the Sydney Port’s Corporation or the NSW Government!

    But the Sydney Port’s Corporation and the NSW Government both believe the boat ramp, car park, pedestrian bridge, observation deck to look at stacked containers, and the three million-dollar gymnasium at JJ Cahill Memorial High School at Mascot in Kristina Keneally’s Heffron electorate (nowhere near the port expansion) are fair compensation for local residents that have to live with the ongoing inconvenience of having a 24/7 Port Botany operating within 400 m of the backdoor that will increase the noise pollution, light pollution (in the evenings) and create a tripling of the current number of trucks that will increase the noise and traffic congestion, as well as air pollution from the carcinogenic fine diesel particles spewing from the container trucks and other port related vehicles! I would certainly like to know if anybody is hosting the awards for environmental vandalism, increasing pollution and gridlock? If you find out please let me know so I can nominate the Sydney Port’s Corporation and the NSW Government

  2. Peter Fagan says:

    I was walking on the remnant of Foreshore Beach recently. After rain it is a bit stinky & I wouldn’t swim there for quids. I also notice that smaller pieces of blue metal (one foot in length or less) are being washed off the new port breakwaters and are ending up on the sandy beach at the tideline. My guess is that in two years time, the beach and shallows will be more or less covered in these blue metal fragments.

  3. admin says:

    Notes on the Government Pier:
    Cultural Heritage Assessment of the Proposed Port Botany Expansion v.4 Navin Officer Heritage Consultants January 2003
    6.5 Government Pier (Long Pier)
    In 1880 the Government Pier or Long Pier was built at Banksmeadow as ‘…a considerable amount of departmental material was being landed at the wharf for the Sand Lime Brickworks, and it was considered desirable that such material should be free from wharfage rates’ (Cooper 23/8/1920). Its principal purpose was to unload coal from Newcastle to supply the needs of the burgeoning industries established in the area. A tramway associated with the pier was opened in May 1882 (Jervis 1938:98). This tram ran along Botany Road right past the Sand, Lime and Brickworks, down Pier Road and onto the Government Pier (Jervis 1938:238).
    On February 18, 1921 the Government Pier was ‘denationalised’ and handed over to the Botany Municipal Council (Cooper 4/3/1921). Under Council control, nine coal bins were purchased, from Howard Smith’s Wharf, Darling Harbour, and re-erected on the Government Pier. Not long after, another two bins and seven hoppers were erected on the pier. Between 1921 and 1937 the revenue from the wharf exceeded £21,000, whilst expenditure was less than £6,000.
    The pier was still in use when the Bunnerong Power Station was built by the Sydney Municipal Council (later known as the Sydney County Council) in about 1929 (ie. the year that Bunnerong A unit was installed). Coal to supply the power station was unloaded from steamers onto the jetty and taken by train to the power station (Larcombe nd:119). At its peak, the coal trade amounted to 15,000 tons a year (MSB 1979:2).
    Around the same time as Bunnerong Power Station was being commissioned, the Australian Oil Company H. C Sleigh Ltd. established a terminal on the Alexandria Canal. In 1948 Bitumen and Oil Refineries Australia Ltd (BORAL) established a refinery at Matraville on the northern side of the entrance of Botany Bay. At the same time a tanker mooring buoy was laid off Yarra Bay, with a submarine pipeline to Yarra Point to carry crude oil direct from ships to the refinery (MSB 1976:36) Other pipelines and moorings were established off Yarra Bay and Bumborah Point in subsequent years. Generally the development of port facilities for industry before 1950 was on a relatively small scale when compared with modern operations. The developments carried out before 1950 were designed to utilise the naturally deeper waters of the northern foreshore (MSB 1976:36). These naturally deeper waters explain in part the occurrence of early industry in the study area.
    By 1961 the jetty was being used by the firm R. C. Bradshaw Pty. Ltd. for sand-dredging operations. The coal bins were being used in the operations to store sand (Wharf Inspector 2/3/1966). By this stage the condition of the wharf was starting to deteriorate and Bradshaw had taken some measures to strengthen the piling by dumping ballast under the jetty (Harbour Master 9/8/1961). An inspection of the wharf made on February 22, 1966 found that a substantial area at the outer end of the stone pier had been washed away. The Wharf Inspector reported:
    ‘For the greater part of its length, this jetty is constructed in stone and it is extended at the outer end by a substantial timber wharf structure. This timber section contains large ‘hopper’ bins, which it is assumed were formerly used for coal storage. The bins on the eastern side are in a state of partial collapse, but some of those on the western side are presently in use for sand storage…
    The timber structure at the outer end is very old and weathered and in very poor general condition. The piles, some of which are eaten off, are at 10’ centres transversely and 16’ centres longitudinally. These are spanned by 12” x 6” cap wales at 16’ centres, which in turn support 12” x 12” girders at 5’ centres. These sub-structure timbers are in poor condition. The original decking is of 9” x 4” timber and is so old and weathered as to be practically useless. In order to in some way stabilise the structure, R. C. Bradshaw Pty. Ltd. have tipped a large quantity of stone around the piles and up the underside of the girders, this treatment being confined to those sections of the structure which they use and over which their trucks pass. In addition, 9” x 4” decking has been laid at right angles to the original decking, to accommodate the wheels of the trucks’ (Wharf Inspector 2/3/1966).
    No repairs were carried out on the jetty and an inspection made on October 24, 1968 disclosed that the jetty was not being used. All the sand dredging equipment and shed remains were still on the end of the jetty, in a state of disrepair (Wharf Inspector 28/10/1968). By December 1969 the machinery was removed from the jetty (Wharf Inspector 28/1/1970), and in 1970 demolition of the jetty began. The contractor employed to demolish the jetty commenced by burning the pier. The Council did not approve of this method and so the demolition work was stopped (Madden 8/6/1970).
    Further wharf inspections drew attention to the ballast which had been placed under the jetty, and the hazards this could cause for ships once the jetty was removed (Wharf Inspector 24/6/1970). The wharf Inspector was further concerned stating
    ‘…that a considerable amount of unsatisfactory filling has been placed at the outer end of the reclaimed area, the filling consists of top soil, grass, brickbats, broken concrete, timber, old corrugated iron etc. This filling has been used to cover demolished timber from the jetty structure and is considered most unsatisfactory due to its nature and should be removed. Heavy seas could spread the filling over a large area of the adjacent bed and the timber could become a navigational hazard in this event. The filling no doubt would be unsatisfactory to be left on the area for the future reclamation in conjunction with the port development’ (Senior Wharf Inspector 27/8/1970).
    Over the next few years the Port Authority corresponded with the Botany Council reminding them of their duty to remove the pier (File 98/00107). Up to the present no further deconstruction work has been carried out on Long Pier.

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