There has been many complaints made to North Head Sewage Plant about the smells from the plant drifting across residential areas. Last year DECCW (Dept. of Environment, Climate Change and Water) decided to investigate but the decision to prosecute Sydney Water stalled because supposedly they couldn't prove that the odours came from NHSTP.
Visitors to North Head, the residents in the area, members of North Head Sanctuary Foundation, who spend a lot of time at North Head, can all attest to where the odours come from so why isn't something being done?.
What concerns locals is that the smell is a combination of sewage odour and chemical treatment. What damage is being done to our environment, and to the residents who live in the path of the odour drift?
Last year the federal government's National Pollutant Inventory showed Sydney Water's North Head plant dumped 24 kilograms of mercury off Manly in 2009-10. Although there has been a major upgrade of the facility, the smells still continue - which makes us wonder, what are the figures now? Just what, and how much is still being dumped off Manly??
Local member, Mike Baird, has convened a meeting this week with Sydney Water, local residents and the Infrastructure and Biodiversity Regulation. Let's hope we can get some answers, and solutions.
(Residents should record dates of odour complaints and report incidents directly to EPA (DECCW) ph 131555 or John Keegan, who is monitoring the issue on behalf of Little Manly Precint: firstname.lastname@example.org.
What do you think about this issue?
We all love surf carnivals and surf championships, which is why Manly beach welcomes the Annual Manly Surf Carnival every January and the Australian Open which will be hosted at Manly in February (11-19, 2012). So why do we need to bid to host the NSW State Championships in March, for 2012/13 when this event will close our public beach for 7 days?
Manly Council staff have stated that their resources are already stretched running a series of events each year, an additional 1,000 cars need to be parked, and you don't have to be a traffic engineering to work out the impact on local traffic.
Why not give another Sydney beach suburb the opportunity to bid for this event?
According to Angelika Treichler, it would seem that, after more than 20 years in the area, only one pair of breeding penguins remain in Manly Cove West with the colony being slowly killed-off by by boats and dogs.
And the soon-to-be father, affectionately known by locals as Mr Stickybeak, is recovering from a propeller injury to his back. Although penguins usually partner for life - after losing his partner, he has since partnered a female who also lost her partner, when they 'met' at Taronga Zoo.
Angelika is saddened that this may be the last nest of eggs to be hatched at Manly Cove West with Mr Sticybeak being the last remaining male. After a dog killed seven penguins at adjacent Federation Point last year, none of their offspring have returned to that spot this season to breed. The toll continues with another penguin killed by a dog three weeks ago and two more were lost to propellers.
It's hard to believe, but there is no public wharf access in Manly dispite the fact that so many boaties visit (or rather try to) Manly! The only facility we have is a small pontoon attached to the side of the Forty Baskets Swimming Pool, a long way from Manly town and with no parking available.
We have, for example, a situation where children from Bear Cottage are taken out for a boat ride on the harbour but can not disembarked at Manly Wharf so they can have lunch.
We also have a situation where the magnificent Tallship, the Soren Larsen, which is to be relocated to Sydney this November, will not be able to berth anywhere in Manly as part of its offerings to visitors. (See the history of this wonderful ship here)
Local resident of Little Manly, Ray Mathieson, has been pushing the issue for the need for a public wharf for years via the local Marine Watch, the Harbour User Group, NSW Maritime and of course to Council for years, so far without success.
Support is there from boat owners, the public , NSW Water Police and the Manly Council, however, the Council is reluctant to push the issue as the NSW Government, via NSW Maritime, is very quick to push the issue back to the Council with all costs and maintenance to be borne by the Council.
The perfect location is the old Fun Pier Wharf out from the Manly Wharf Hotel. In past years this wharf has been an unofficial public wharf however the wharf is part of the lease to Magid, the leaseholder from NSW Maritime, who has sub-leased the facility to the privately owned fast ferries operating from this wharf along with other ferry and taxi services. It is therefore unlikely this could become a public wharf.
Another potential public wharf is the Aquarium wharf, off the back of the Manly Pavilion Restaurant and Function area. Although it has been said to be too prone to weather and wave action, it is understood that is something that can be managed.
What do you think? Is it time Manly had a public wharf?
Candy Bingham, Deputy Mayor, Northern Beaches Council. Background in marketing, public relations & community engagement. Author of five business books. Former Lady Mayoress of Sydney. Aka Candy Tymson.