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Cruise ship crisis, dog-gone food, Nine feeds Liberal Party: News Bites – 4 Sept 2019

NSW Govt is preparing a strategic business case for a cruise ship terminal at Yarra Bay. Photo: Alec Smart

Bite-sized bulletins by ALEC SMART

Ship avoid
Randwick Council is engaging specialists to research potential impacts of a proposed third Sydney terminal for cruise ships at Molineux Point and Yarra Bay in Botany Bay. Mayor Kathy Neilson tabled the motion on 27 August and the council voted overwhelmingly to endorse a budget of $50,000 to fund the research.

The NSW Government is preparing a strategic business case for the terminal, which envisions cruise ships docking at one of two adjacent sites on the northern side of Botany Bay – Molineaux Point and Yarra Bay – both requiring the construction of a massive wharf and surrounding infrastructure.
Opponents of the plan claim wildlife, including a seal colony, will be negatively impacted, and toxic sludge buried beneath the silt will be released into the bay when it is dredged.
Much of Yarra Bay is only a few metres deep, so substantial dredging will be needed to accommodate large vessels, stirring up contaminated sediment from decades of poor waste disposal from surrounding industry.
Furthermore, the height of newer ‘mega’ cruise ships may intrude upon airspace used by passenger jets landing and taking off from Sydney Airport.

Yarra Bay Beach and Frenchman’s Bay have been nominated by Randwick Council for heritage listing. Council minutes noted: “a cruise ship terminal in Yarra Bay and Molinenux Point will have potentially detrimental environmental impacts on the heritage significance of Yarra Bay .. as the first point of contact between Aboriginal people and European Settlers, including Yarra Bay Beach, which was the first landing place for Governor Arthur Phillip prior to settlement of Sydney Cove in 1788; and Yarra Bay Reserve where a number of encounters are recorded between the Aboriginal population and Captain James Cook’s expedition in 1770. Other heritage significant sites include .. the use and occupation of the La Perouse area and Yarra Bay by Aboriginal peoples of the Bidjigal and Cadigal groups and their unbroken connection to the land over 7500 years.”


Gone to the dogs
At the end of August, a group of animal charities, including PetRescue, Mars Petcare, and PETstock, came together to facilitate and distribute over 21,300 kgs of free pet food to 37 rescue groups and community outreach organisations across NSW.
$175,000 worth of food was donated to aid scores of NSW rescue pets in need. Laurel Richardson, PetRescue Program Coordinator, said, “Every donation helps to provide a welcomed reprieve for volunteer-run rescue groups and local outreach organisations, allowing them to continue to save the lives of, and provide dedicated quality care to pets that are in need.”

Food donations are part of PetRescue’s ongoing partnership with Mars Petcare and PETstock to provide millions of dollars’ worth of free food to vulnerable pets in need across Australia.
“Since 2016, we’ve donated millions of meals to pets in need around Australia,” said Barry O’Sullivan, General Manager, Mars Petcare Australia. Recipient groups include Animal Adoption Agency, DCH Animal Adoptions, Homeless Cats Helping Hand, Inner City Strays, and West Connect Domestic Violence Services.


Smoothing rough edges
Malabar Pool is closed for five days this week while council contractors smooth the rough edges. Work will be done to repair the surface area around the edge of the pool, which, according to Randwick Council, is “uneven, sharp, full of cracks and difficult to walk on with bare feet. The area will be smoothed with concrete and a textured surface will be created to keep it from being slippery. This will improve community access and safety for all.”
The pool is expected to be reopened on the weekend.


The new Marrickville Library and Pavillion is open on Marrickville Rd, and to celebrate the opening the library will be hosting a year of tours, events and programs.
The new building, which includes an outdoor children’s play area, an indoor café, six study rooms and The Pavillion event-hire room with a kitchen, integrates contemporary design themes with the conserved heritage elements of the original hospital building. Over 20,000 new books were added to the collection, bringing the total to 85,000 books. The entire second floor is now dedicated to the Council’s historic art book collection.


Tram track
Woollahra Council are inviting comment on the concept design for the proposed new accessible path trail that will follow the historic tramway route through Gap Park.
According to the council: “The proposed path will connect the Military Road end park entry in the north to Old South Head Road in the south. The pathway will take visitors along the historic tram route, a bushland rock escarpment and an exotic rain forest gully, a quite different experience to the exposed Coastal Walk path hugging the cliff tops. The asphalt path will be 2 metres wide and include rest areas, habitat boardwalk, sandstone log wall, and interpretive / wayfinding signage.”
You can add comment to the online survey via the council’s webpage.


Nine lives
Channel Nine, which merged with the ailing Fairfax Media last year and took on publication of their historically-independent Sydney Morning Herald, Age and the Australian Financial Review newspapers, hosted a lavish corporate fundraiser for the Liberal Party on Monday 2 September.
Hosted by Channel Nine’s CEO, Hugh Marks, corporate sponsors and Liberal Party supporters paid $10,000 a head to dine with Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Communications Minister Paul Fletcher at Nine’s TV studios in Willoughby.

The event was organised by the Liberal Party’s fundraising section, Australian Business Network, although Channel Nine paid the cost of the catering bill.
An estimated $700,000 was raised for the Liberal Party from the event.
It will be interesting to see whether the Herald’s future political allegiances and editorial guidelines will realign, especially after Channel Nine’s $113.94m offer to acquire the remaining shares in Macquarie Media from Rupert Murdoch’s NewsCorp. Macquarie Media own 2GB Radio, home of ultra-conservative shock-jock Alan Jones.


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