Anger over $10 million Sydney marina expansion18th January 2021
Marina manager Matthew Hundleby said the company consulted with the community for more than two years and had “listened to their concerns and ideas”.
“This has resulted in the inclusion of a neighbourhood shop, kayak pontoon, as well as changes to the original plan to allow better access for all waterways users,” he said.
But City of Canada Bay mayor Angelo Tsirekas said the proposal would be “a scar on the face of our beautiful waterway”, while Lane Cove MP and Counter Terrorism and Corrections Minister Anthony Roberts said it was not in the public interest.
“The new DA is very similar in scope to the original proposal and has not addressed the initial concerns raised by our local community,” Mr Roberts said. He said the redevelopment would increase congestion on the river and may present a danger to other users.
Cr Tsirekas said the modified plans did not assuage his concerns and he would do all he could to stop “the overdevelopment of the marina”.
He remained concerned about the “dramatic” visual impact of the expansion, the environmental impacts on the river and foreshore areas and the traffic and parking issues that would arise from the development.
Mr Hundleby said the redevelopment would not impact ferry services or a neighbouring park.
“The addition of 27 vessels will take up less space than the current marina and moorings, and free up over hectare of water space,” he said.
Graeme MacLaren, the president of community action group Save Gladesville Bridge Waterway, said the project was “an opportunistic grab for the bay” that would diminish the water views of residents.
“We will not be able to see Rivercats or boats moving up or down the river,” he said. “Similarly our heritage home – preserved to be seen from the river – will no longer be seen by the general public.”
An online petition opposing the expansion had last week gathered more than 1200 signatures.
Mr Hundleby said the project was opposed by residents adjacent to the marina who enjoy exclusive access to the waterfront through private jetties.
“The access they currently enjoy is not in jeopardy,” he said. “We have received great support from residents who do not have their own personal jetty or berth.”
The City of Canada Bay is accepting submissions about the expansion until February 8, but the proposal will be determined by the Sydney Eastern City Planning Panel.
Hunter’s Hill Council is reviewing the amended plans after previously raising objections to aspects of the marina expansion. A spokeswoman said the council had concerns about the “scale, size and heritage” of the proposal.
The marina expansion is backed by the Boating Industry Association, whose president Darren Vaux said the facilities were an “appropriate response” to market needs and would deliver social, environmental and economic benefits.
But Nigel Price, executive officer of The Athletic Association of The Great Public Schools of NSW, said the original proposal presented “a significant risk to the safety and welfare of our students”. Private school rowers commonly use that section of the Parramatta River.
A Captain Cook Cruises spokeswoman said the company stood by concerns that the proposal would risk public safety and reduce access to the waterway.
“It will increase the likelihood of a collision; it will inevitably result in further speed restrictions impacting thousands of commuters; and will make sailing and rowing unsafe in the area,” its submission said.
The National Trust will submit an objection to the revised plans. David Burdon, its director of conservation, said the redevelopment still included moorings for large vessels and removed shipwright workshops and slipway activities.
“There is already great pressure on this waterway, and it will be hard to have a swimmable, healthy Parramatta River enjoyed by everyone when it is subjected to increased congestion at one of its more sensitive locations,” he said.
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Andrew Taylor is a Senior Reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald.