#Noshipatavoca – Minister Tony Kelly is floundering but recalcitrant – No Ship at Avoca needs support

Interviewed in Last Fridays Stateline program, NSW Minister for Lands, Tony Kelly,  says former HMAS Adelaide is to be scuttled

. . . on a sea bed that has rock underneath so it will ensure that the boat will sit safely on the sea bed. It’s also an area where there’s not great rips and wave activity. So that the report indicates there’ll be no adverse effect on the waves or on sand drift.

All seabed ultimatelty has rock underneath it.  The point, Minister Kelly, is that this wreck is to sit on a sandy bottom. Here it has the potential to interfere with the movement of sand.  It poses a very real threat to the natural cycle of erosion and deposition of beach sand, despite your assertion that it’s to be scuttled in an area where there are no “great rips and wave activity”.

While Minister Kelly, suggests that the wreck is too deep to have a negative impact on the beach at Avoca, claiming it’s below the wave zone, others are taking a different view. The No Ship at Avoca website  presents a very different assessment.  In the absence of an EIS and in the face of obfuscation from Minister Tony Kelly, they’ve been carefully researching the issues.  Their latest findings present further cause for concern, in particular the following new information:

We have enlisted the help of a well respected coastal geoscientist and climatologist plus a coastal engineer named Alexander Nielsen whose 1994 report was used as a source of data for the environmental assessment (REF) of the HMAS Adelaide sinking. They have found important omissions in the REF and predict serious consequences for Avoca which include:

  • ship will cause a change in wave refraction which is likely to cause over a 5 metre permanent reduction of the beach, endangering property especially at North Avoca
  • ship is in a closed beach compartment causing the likely toxic pollutants that will leach out to concentrate within the area
  • no ocean circulation modelling undertaken
  • no consideration of local hydrodynamics of the bay eg. letting out of the lake at least twice a year and the presence of mega rips
  • no testing of sediment transfer between where the ship is placed and the beach (studies show that this sandbed significantly contributes to beach replenishment)

In summary then, there are still some fundamental problems with the NSW Government’s approach

  • The REF hasn’t involved a thorough dynamic assessment of likely impacts;
  • The community has been denied a thorough consultation process; and,
  • There are real questions about whether or not all toxic materials have been removed from HMAS Adelaide.

Last Friday’s Stateline Program covered the issues well.

The No Ship at Avoca group need to engage technical support to conduct a more thorough study of the coastal dunamiocs and the imnpact of the proposed scuttling.  They need our support.  Please donate to the group at on the No Ship at Avova website.

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