Showing posts with label Yamba. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Yamba. Show all posts

Saturday, 14 April 2018

Tweets of the Week




Monday, 5 February 2018

The Australian Face of UK-based Noble Caledonia Cruise Line


The Noble Caledonia Limited cruise line would like the option of extending the number of its cruise days this coming October when it boards its UK passengers on the MV Caledonian Sky for its Australian Coastal Odyssey down the east coast of Australia.

This “small” cruise ship of 4,200 gross tonnage, dead weight of 645t, 90.6m in length, 15.3m wide, with a 4.25 maximum draft, will enter the Port of Yamba-Clarence River across a difficult bar at the river mouth in a month where coastal storms and strong wind warnings are not uncommon.

A ship with a reputation for damaging reefs will attempt this crossing in close proximity to a culturally important reef protected by Native Title.

It will ignore potential risk - not just to the ship and marine environment but to race relations in the Clarence Valley should the ship’s captain collide for a third time with a mapped underwater natural feature.

Noble Caledonia will be sending its cruise ship into the Clarence River estuary because it can – reaping the benefit of insistent and persistent lobbying of the NSW Berejiklian Government by the international cruise industry.

Which included meetings last year between Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight & Nationals MP for Oxley Melinda Pavey and Royal Caribbean (28 February & 8 June), Carnival Australia (10 March, 8 June & 8 July), Carnival Global (21 March), Norwegian Cruise Lines (8 June), Cruise Line International Association (8 June & 21 June). As well as meetings between cruise ship industry representatives and Deputy Premier, Minister for Regional NSW, Minister for Skills, Minister for Small Business, Nationals MP for John Barilaro, Minister for Tourism and Major Events, and Assistant Minister for Skills, Nationals MP for Northern Tablelands, Adam Marshall. Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events and Minister for Sport, Nationals MLC Niall Blair and, Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, Nationals MP for Bega Andrew Constance.

However, the then predominately British and Swedish owner-shareholders of Noble Caledonia Limited (UK) went one step further when they first contemplated a move into Australian waters. 

They formed a partnership with the APT Group (owned by wealthy Victorian businessman Geoff McGeary) in 2012 - thereby providing themselves with a number of Australian beards and the lobbying services of a political donor to the Liberal Party of Australia who had through this partnership become a significant shareholder in the cruise line.

Meet these alleged beards………………..

Christopher Phillips "Chris" HALL  – Group Managing Director of Noble Caledonia Limited and Noble Caledonia Holdings Limited since 7 May 2015, as well as Group Manager APT Group since July 2014 – allegedly still resident in Australia.

Ross Malcolm KEMP – Group Finance Director of  Noble Caledonia Limited and Noble Caledonia Holdings Limited since 9 October 2014, as well as Group Finance Director APT Group since 2012 – allegedly still resident in Australia.

Thursday, 21 December 2017

The true nature of Noble Caledonian Limited?


One can tell a great deal about a corporation if one looks at when and how it was created.

The Noble Caledonia cruise line* likes to brag that it was created in 1991 out of a passion for small ships.

The company which created the cruise line was called Quayshelfco  382 Limited (incorporated 1 August 1991) before its name change to Noble Caledonia Limited registered on 30 October 1991 and, it has extremely long articles of association.

Here is just one sub-clause:


Hmmmmm.......

Noble Caledonia also likes to boast that; Being an independent company where the owners are involved in all aspects puts us in a unique place. From this position of freedom and not having to pander to shareholders and financial institutions....

In fact this company is owned by Noble Caledonia Holdings Limited which in turned is owned by its shareholders Arawak Travel Holdings Limited (formerly Arawak Capital Limited) and Cruising Investments (NC) Pty Ltd and, the ultimate controlling party is Polhavet AB a company registered in Sweden.  Noble Caledonia Limited is not always free of the need "to pander" to financial insitutions as the group appears to borrow large sums as required.

* See opinion on Noble Caledonia's operations in Australia & South Pacific at  https://northcoastvoices.blogspot.com.au/2017/11/reef-destroying-cruise-ship-given-nsw.html

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Clarence Valley Council decides to open its door wide to the cruise ship industry


On 21 November 2017 at Clarence Valley Council’s ordinary monthly meeting Mayor Jim SimmonsDeputy Mayor Jason Kingsley and Crs. Richie WilliamsonArthur Lysaught, and Andrew Baker voted in effect to open council’s doors to the cruise ship industry by indicating in principal support for the Port of Yamba to be a designated cruise ship destination, with the possibility of establishing an international cruise ship terminal within the Clarence River estuary.

The debate in the chamber indicated that councillors received a number of emails on this subject from valley residents and that the majority of these expressed concerns about this Berejiklian Government proposal.

However, community concern was virtually ignored by both council administration and this group of five councillors hell-bent on doing Sydney's bidding after Nationals MP for Clarence Chris Gulaptis had reportedly lobbied on behalf of the proposal.

As usual Cr. Baker excelled himself when it came to the number of inaccurate statements he could pack into his participation in debate.

Concerned Iluka and Yamba residents now await this…….

FacebookABC North Coast, 21 November 2017:

Billy Walker The Yaegl Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation held a meeting last week where this issue was raised. Keep an eye out for our response in the local papers in the next week or so.

Friday, 17 November 2017

It is being suggested to Lower Clarence communities that inviting the cruise ship industry into the Clarence River estuary will bring financial gain to their towns - but will it?


At this month’s ordinary monthly meeting Clarence Valley Council will be considering whether or not to give in principle support to the NSW Government’s proposal to designate the Port of Yamba as a cruise ship destination and possibly build a cruise ship terminal in the Clarence River estuary.

The Berejiklian Government appears to be presenting this proposal as a way to increase the annual regional income of the Clarence Valley. But is it and will it?

Nowhere have I found any mention of the business model employed by the global cruise ship industry. An industry which seeks to create demand through the judicious use of political donations and paid lobbyists.

According to  Professor Ross Klein, Associate Dean for Graduate Programs and Research, Memorial University of Newfoundland; “Standing up to a cruise line can sometimes be difficult, especially given the industry’s generous contributions to political campaigns, their active lobbying efforts, and their degree of influence with mass media” [Klein, R. (2013) The Cruise Industry’s Business Model: Implications for Ports]

As an example, between 1997-2007 Cruise Line International Association spent US$10 million on lobbying the U.S Congress

In the first instance the business model used by cruise ship operators seeks to have passengers spend most of their money on-board the ship.

So many of the traditional services supplied on a cruise are no longer covered by the upfront cost of the fare and attract an additional charge per use.

Any land-based tours or shopping trips are organised by the cruise operator and not infrequently the cost is not absorbed by the cruise line so a fee for participation is paid by passengers directly to this shipping company.

The fee paid by the cruise operator to a land-based tour business contracted to supply the actual service usually ranges from as little as 10% up to an est. 50% of the fee paid by passengers.

Even when passengers leave the ship to wander around coastal zone towns you can bet that the cruise ship operator will have approached local businesses requesting a fee to include these businesses on a list of recommended shops/cafes/hotels/clubs - because that is part of the business model.


From state government a cruise line expects and often receives reduced harbour fees & charges and from state and local government it expects upgrades in infrastructure worth literally millions of dollars, without giving a firm guarantee that it will continue to use a particular port as a genuine destination rather than as a short "technical call".

What is worse is that once the cruise industry becomes established in a small port there is evidence to suggest that the regular incursion of up to 350 passengers at a time into coastal towns sees a decrease in the number of land-based tourists, who now see these towns as crowded and impersonal - no longer offering an intimate holiday experience.

It is these land-based tourists who fill Yamba and Iluka’s camping grounds, motels, hotels and holiday units and, are more likely to patronise the full range of dining/entertainment/sporting experiences on offer. So to see a significant proportion of them replaced by cruise passengers over time is not likely to compensate for the risk of economic loss during peak holiday periods in the Lower Clarence.

The first small cruise ship is due in Yamba on or about 24 October 2018 and this is it’s published itinerary: arrive during breakfast, disembark to visit “Flinders Well, Yamba Lighthouse, and the Yamba Historical Museum” or “alternatively walk in the nearby Iluka Nature Reserve”, return to ship for lunch and depart in the afternoon.

Now I'm no economist but even I know that this itinerary doesn’t exactly ring the till in a big way for businesses in Yamba or Iluka.

This cruise ship, which is a repeat offender when it comes to reef and coral damage, is probably coming in on the high tide but as it expects to leave in the afternoon it is not going out with maximum water depth under its keel  -  which should ring some alarm bells.

Through the prism of this industry business model the Port of Yamba will not be seen as a boutique destination but merely as one more excuse to extend the number of nights passengers spend on a floating hotel being milked by the hotelier for as much money as possible before they finally leave the cruise at a major city port.

What Australian lobbyists for the cruise industry are not telling the regional ports they are currently attempting to smoodge is that when it comes to Australian east coast cruise destinations Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne accounted for 65% of total passenger onshore visit days and 90% of the home port passenger onshore visit days. [Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA)2016 & 2017]

Which means most of the spending money cruise ship passengers have in their wallets is more likely to be spent at large ports.

One cannot escape the suspicion that the health of the Clarence River estuary, existing coastal tourism revenue and safety of the Native Title reef Dirrangun are being placed at risk by this proposal, for what is essentially a dream of financial return for Lower Clarence communities rather than a solid reality.

Interested readers can find more information in the presentations included in the report of an international symposium held in 2013 which can be found at http://www.jbna.org/IS%20-%20Charleston-Report.pdf. For an idea of how many of these not-so-small cruise ships come into a regional harbour once berthing facilities are established see https://www.portauthoritynsw.com.au/port-of-eden/port-services-facilities/eden-cruise-schedule/.

Monday, 13 November 2017

Is the NSW Berejiklian Government cruising for a bruising on the Clarence River?


It would appear that the Clarence Valley may be less than whole-heartedly enthusiastic about the NSW Berejiklian Coaltion Government's plans for the Port of Yamba.

Editor Bill North at The Daily Examiner, 25 October 2017, p.9:

Cruisin’ for a bruisin’

ONCE again dollar-sign gazes are cast in the direction of the pristine Clarence River estuary.

The Future Transport 2056 strategy announced by the NSW Government yesterday is considering Coffs and Yamba as potential ports for international cruise ships.

But I think the suggestion of a cruise ship terminal at Yamba could turn into a shipwreck before the idea ever sets sail.

It harks back to the ‘Eastgate Port’ proposal being pushed by developers which has ruffled feathers of residents, activist groups and politicians alike.

There are plenty of obstructions standing in the way of such a large scale development in the Clarence River.

Heavy dredging will be required to navigate the Yamba Bar, which happened to be the subject of a landmark native title claim for the Yaegl people in August.

Then where to build? The mind boggles when looking at aerial photographs of the Yamba estuary. To upgrade the current marina it’s difficult to imagine Hickey Island and Dart Island escaping impact.

Creating a gimmick stopover for lavish spenders would undoubtedly provide a significant economic boost for the region, but would also redefine Yamba as a tourist destination. And something tells me we like Yamba just the way it is, thank you very much.

Editor Bill North at The Daily Examiner, 26 October 2017, p.7:

WHILE massive industrial harbours dominate major river mouths throughout the developed world, forever and a day the Clarence River has managed to resist such a human-induced transformation and maintain its pristine beauty.

The river delta provided many a natural barrier for early explorers of the coastline, and no doubt helps explain the low population of the region compared to other, more accessible major river systems.

Just take a look down the coast at Newcastle to see coal loaders, ships and warehouses flood the landscape of its vast river delta system.

We’ve grown used to shunning large-scale port developments. We’ve come to expect environmental priorities will win the day. Some cling onto this inertia with hope, others find it a frustrating impediment to progress.

This week the NSW Government broached the idea of an international terminal at Yamba.

Many confidently declare that such a project will never get off the ground. Such statements are either naive or a prophetic summation of the strong will of the people of the Clarence because you can bet your bottom dollar developers from across the seas are admiring the untapped potential of such a destination – for industry, tourism or whatever makes a quick buck.


25 October 2017 David Whitby Getting a boat of that size in the Clarence would be a HUGE problem due to the lack of water depth at several places leading to the Goodwood wharf. Then there would be a traffic problem through to the Highway, not to mention the lack of facilities ....or NO facilities at the Goodwood wharf. Just another pipe dream.

29 October 2017 Bill Robb The blokes dreaming, there's not a chance as the reef at the entrance to the clarence is too high. If you dont mind dredging or blowing the reef down to size, then it could happen! Good luck with that environmental impact statement. Coffs would be the only engineering option available. The Jetty harbour would need some major work at the entrance and dredging of the harbour, not to mention fixing up the rest of the place. Plus I live in Coffs, so of course I am going to be biased.


31 October 2017 Michelle Argent I'm deeply sceptical about the whole thing particularly in light of Chris Gulaptis' media comment that Goodwood Island (Yamba Port) could not be used because it was used for live cattle exports. It is not but that is part of Euen's megaport insane proposal. Makes me think this is a softly softly approach to step 1 - get dredging done and navigate negotiations with our local aboriginal elders regarding the reef

2 November 2017 Karen von Ahlefeldt Fully agree


1 November 2017 Lloyd Palmer They would have to discharge ballast before the bar crossing, that will include anything tropical exotic and nasty

1 November 2017 Peter Lowry What Berejiklian as well ?

1 November 2017 Lloyd Palmer Whatever that is it sounds nasty

1 November 2017 Billy Walker And to mention the most significant site, the Dirrangan Reef which is sacred to the Yaegl Traditional Owners and the wider Aboriginal communities on the North Coast of NSW

2 November Billy Walker The Yaegl Traditional Owners have protection orders for the protection of the reef, known to the Yaegl people as Durrarngan reef, regardless of any proposals we must be notified under the Native Title Act, this also applies to any further dredging in and around the mouth of the river

3 November 2017 Matty Carlin Maybe I'm way out of the loop, but WHY would you think there would be such a push for a cruise ship terminal?
Seriously.
There's no transport options.
Nothing overly touristy to see or stay at.
Next to no infrastructure.
Yamba cannot be expanded on due to swamp, river & National Park.
So many things.
A terminal is a place of passenger exchange, or somewhere to get off to do touristy things.
I honestly can't envision it becoming a feasible and logical process.
If anything I think it would be great for the area to expand on the Slipway to encourage some vessels to use it for repairs, etc. Would bring in jobs and external income to the area which is what is lacking.

4 November 2017 Michelle Argent Another excellent commentary on this issue on northcoastvoices.blogspot.com in 3/11 blog. We are going to have to be very alert. Write to the Minister as recommended in this blog.

4 November 2017 Colin Beeby When you look at the mouth of the Clarence and then a shot of a cruise ship, you have to laugh. Then look at the mayor and Govt.members talking about a conjunction and fall over laughing.

4 November 2017 Peter Appleton Matthew I could be wrong but I believe ships of similar draught have worked the Clarence over the years without impacting on the reef or the need for extra dredging etc.

5 November 2017 Sebastian Rooks I am of the same opinion, however we need to be certain that this is not an opening salvo to get shipping in.
The way they have gone about this is alarming.

5 November 2017 Colin Ogilvie Could you supply dates and details of such visits ?

5 November 2017 Peter Appleton No Colin but someone mentioned it on another forum. The ships mentioned were The Island Trader (Yamba Trader), The Avondale, The Vili and The Kuri Pearl. I don't really know any more than that or if there were any issues with them.

5 November 2017 Matty Carlin The Island Trader is half that size.

5 November 2017 Kate Maclaren Nooo! That would be tragic!

5 November 2017 Michelle Argent What the bureaucrats don 't or won't understand is that people flock here precisely because the clarence coast is natural and not too touristy. Crass cruise ships of this type are the very thing that are not wanted. Write to your local member and the Minister for Infrastructure and be heard otherwise the punters and lobbyists will win out!

6 November 2017 Matthew Smith Liz Mercy-Bushell the whole community needs to stand up on this it could be the thin edge of the wedge

Clarence Valley IndependentLetter to the Editor, 7 November 2017:

Valley Watch is alarmed to read the joint media release from Ministers Melinda Pavey (Roads, Maritime and Freight) and Andrew Constance (Transport and Infrastructure) and Member for Coffs Harbour Andrew Fraser which states unequivocally “In October 2018, the Cruise Ship Caledonian Sky plans to stop off at Yamba as part of the Australian Coastal Odyssey”.

Talk about being treated like mushrooms! They claim it is part of the Future Transport 2056 strategy, but this “strategy” hasn’t yet been presented to the community of Yamba, and when the Future Transport team does come in late November, its mobile van will visit Grafton and Coffs Harbour. But will it come to Yamba, the area most affected? Apparently not.

There are just too many unanswered questions. Cruise ships like these use their auxiliary diesel  motors non-stop when they are moored to provide lighting, air conditioning and heating.

That means diesel fumes wafting over Yamba and Iluka all day and night. In May last year P&O was reportedly fined $15,000 by the NSW Environment Protection Authority for exceeding its diesel emissions limits.

They generate dangerous wastes and produce sewage, grey water and solid waste which are stored on board. Just one accidental discharge could do irreparable damage to our estuary, our fishing industry and our reputation. And accidents do happen.

There needs to be careful, painstaking consideration of all aspects of this proposal before our parliamentarians and councillors agree. Instead we seem to have a reckless, off-the-cuff endorsement of a potentially dangerous project.

Ros Woodward
President
November 2, 2017

The Daily Examiner, 9 November 2017, p9:

Cruisin’ for an eco bruisin’

BY NOW most Daily Examiner readers will have heard about the Berejiklian Government announcement that the Port of Yamba is being considered as a “small cruise ship” destination and possible site for a cruise terminal.

Such ships currently operating in Australian waters can be as big as 5000 tons with a carrying capacity of more than 800 passengers.

What some people may not realise, that even before any completed investigation or genuine community consultation, the Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Melinda Pavey has announced that the first small cruise ship will arrive in October next year.

Her office reportedly identified that ship as the Caledonian Sky, which is a 26-year-old, 90.6m long vessel with 4200 gross tonnage, a beam width of 15.2m, maximum draft of 4m and a carrying capacity of up to 114 passengers.

This is the same cruise ship which caused irreversible damage to a candidate UNESCO World Heritage Site pristine reef system off Indonesian Papua in March this year, and the London-based cruise operator has reportedly been fined £350 million by the Indonesian Government.

Such accidents are relatively common among small cruise ships as official maritime incident reports between 2008-2017 mention repeated groundings, collisions with wharfs and breakwaters, in port onboard fires and accidental contaminated water/fuel discharges. Norovirus-infected passengers have also been reported on small cruise ships and excessive air emissions found on inspection by authorities.

This is not the only information Minister Pavey was not broadcasting to the Lower Clarence.

What the Berejiklian Government is also not telling Clarence Valley residents is that along with Eden and Coffs Harbour, the Port of Yamba is to be designated a “multipurpose port” which will ideally include “commercial shipping, cruise shipping and Defence facilities”.

Apparently this generic vision for NSW regional ports will likely translate in the environmentally sensitive Clarence River estuary into an estimated 20km of capital and development river dredging, a possible multi-storied cruise ship terminal with parking for 400 cars, 20 coaches, eight trucks and 20 taxis as well as a new commercial shipping wharf capable of berthing freighters up to 300m long carrying “liquids, timber, coal, iron ore...”.

Locals might remember that this is the same ship length as one class of super freighters mentioned in that private proposal to turn Yamba into an industrialised mega port.

When considering this State Government preferred style of coastal development, the words loss of environmental and cultural values, increased traffic generation, industrial level noise, congestion and waste management immediately spring to mind.

One wonders if Clarence Valley Council and the Yamba Chamber of Commerce will be as enthusiastic about those cruise ship plans once they realise that these ships are merely the thin end of the wedge that NSW Nationals and Sydney-centric Liberals hope to drive into a Lower Clarence community resolved to keep the estuary clean, green and seafood productive.

Judith M Melville, Yamba

Friday, 3 November 2017

Reef destroying cruise ship given NSW Government permission to enter the Clarence River in October 2018


This was the NSW Berejiklian Government in roll-over-the-top-of-Clarence-River-Estuary-communities mode, courtesy of Nationals MP Andrew Fraser and Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Melinda Pavey with the Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Andrew Constance in an October 2017 media release:


An investigation into a new International Cruise Ship Terminal for the NSW mid North Coast will start as part of a future transport blueprint, with Coffs Harbour and Yamba identified as potential locations.

Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Melinda Pavey, Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Andrew Constance, alongside Member for Coffs Harbour Andrew Fraser announced the start of investigations as part of the launch of the government’s Future Transport 2056 strategy.

“This is a major step, with the need for a facility being recognised in the 10 to 20 year horizon, so early investigations can begin now”, Mrs Pavey said.

The new facility has the potential to link in with North Coast tourist hotspots and part of the process will look at how to integrate the proposed port with the wider area.

“The Cruise Industry is booming and is set to get bigger in coming years. A cruise terminal would give the region a share of that industry,” Mr Constance said.

Future Transport 2056 is Transport for NSW’s new strategy to meet our transport needs over the coming four decades and is currently seeking community feedback.

“The strategy has a strong focus on regional NSW, with an emphasis on customer needs, better connectivity and growing regions,” Mr Fraser said.

Future Transport 2056 is currently open for public feedback until December 3, 2017. To view the draft strategy, go to future.transport.nsw.gov.au. Alternately, the Future Transport team will be visiting Port Macquarie on October 30, 2017. Details on our website.

What this does not say is that Future Transport 2056 only mentions Yamba twice.

The first time in the dot point sentence; Maritime infrastructure development (e.g. Coffs Harbour/Yamba).

The second time in another dot point one liner; Coffs Harbour / Yamba cruise terminal/ infrastructure development.

In a section titled Our Customers the draft plan makes the generic one sentence statement; Improve public transport connections to arrival and departure points such as airports and cruise terminals.
The media release talks of a need for “investigation” and a plan to consult with the community in Grafton – not downriver at the  two communities most affected, Yamba or Iluka.

Despite the claims that Yamba is only a “potential” location, Roads, Freight & Maritime Minister and Nationals MP for Oxley Melinda Pavey blithely announced in the Clarence Valley Independent that the first cruise ship will moor in the Clarence River estuary in October next year:

The NSW Tourism plan outlines a commitment to a Cruise Development Plan over the next 10 years to develop the state’s tourist economy into the future,” Ms Pavey’s office wrote in an emailed response.

“The plan identifies the North Coast as being the most visited regional destination in NSW and the cruise industry offers further opportunities to strengthen that.

“There is considerable interest across industry and community in using the North Coast of NSW as a place for ships to berth.

“In fact, operators are already beginning to look at destinations such as Yamba for smaller cruise vessels. “

On this, Ms Pavey’s office said: “In October 2018, the Cruise Ship Caledonian Sky plans to stop off at Yamba as part of the Australian Coastal Odyssey.”

This will be the small cruise ship Caledonian Sky, a 26 year-old 90m long vessel which has seen better days, with a carrying capacity of 114 passengers.


What Minister Pavey was careful not to point out is that this same small cruise ship ran aground and smashed a wide area of pristine coral reef in Raja Ampat, Indonesian Papua, in March 2017, with the damage area extending 18,882 sq. metres. The majority of this area being heavily damaged and even reefs receiving medium damage only having a 50% chance of survival .

The situation was allegedly made even worse when a tugboat helped pull the vessel to deeper waters.

According to Rappler.com, 14 March 2017:

"JAKARTA, Indonesia (UPDATED) —The government of Indonesia had harsh words for the captain of cruise vessel MV Caledonian Sky, which was responsible for destroying a huge amount of coral reefs in Raja Ampat, Papua.

The damage by Caledonian Sky which was captained by Keith Michael Taylor was devastating and irreparable," said a statement from Djoko Hartoyo of the Information and Law Bureau of the Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs, released on Tuesday, March 14.

"The destruction of Raja Ampat coral reefs which were developed by nature for hundreds of years was done in less than one day by Caledonian Sky and its Captain. It is simply impossible to restore that part of Raja Ampat. Fish that were normally seen in that particular were all gone."

The statement then went on to suggest that Taylor cared little about the destruction he inflicted.

Melinda Pavey’s desire to keep this incident under wraps comes as no surprise, given that this cruise ship would have to navigate a relatively narrow passage past the culturally significant coffee rock reef, Dirragun, which is now covered by Native Title.

Perhaps it is time for concerned Lower Clarence residents to start contacting the minister in order to express their views on her grand plans for the Port of Yamba at:

The Hon. Melinda Pavey MP
GPO Box 5341
SYDNEY NSW 2001
Phone:(02) 8574 7300
Fax: (02) 9339 5570
Email Link: Contact the Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight

UPDATE

Taranaki Daily News, 15 February 2013, p.3:

Talking of visitors, we turn to the good folk of the cruise ship Caledonian Sky and their Wednesday visit to New Plymouth. A smartly dressed reporter at this paper had the gumption to approach a pair of these travellers to see what they thought of the city. It didn't quite go according to plan, with the English pair mistaking him for a hawker and rudely demanding identification. Come now, chaps, the reporter didn't ask you for identification. Mind you, it was obvious you were from a cruise ship. The expansive waistlines, white walk socks and boorish behaviour gave it away.

Papua New Guinea Post – Courier, 2 May 2014, p.5

TROBRIAND Islanders have threatened to "block or disrupt" future visits by tourists to protest the alleged dumping of rubbish by cruise ship.

Kudeuli and Wapaya villagers on the island of Kitava, which is part of the famed Trobriand Islands group, have alleged that the cruise ship MV Caledonian Sky dumped bags of rubbish on their beaches after a recent visit.

The villagers took pictures of empty bottles of wine, can drinks and plastic bags which they alleged were dropped off by five dinghies not far from their villages. The rubbish eventually washed up on their beaches while heavy items sank to the bottom of the ocean, the islanders claimed.

The Jakarta Post, 17 March 2017:

Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan has said the captain of UK cruise vessel MV Caledonian Sky, which recently ran aground in Raja Ampat, West Papua, had previously made a similar mistake, in which his vessel entered shallow waters in Medan, North Sumatra, destroying sea biota in the area.
“We have data on the ship captain’s mistake in Medan,” said Luhut on Thursday. 

[my yellow highlighting]

Friday, 27 October 2017

Are the NSW Berejiklian Government & local Nationals preparing to trash the Clarence River Estuary?


If there’s one thing the NSW Nationals can be relied on to do it is to run with any short-sighted idea which involves the threat of environmental degradation and risk to regional water catchments.

Here we have them joining the Liberals in touting what appears to be a deal done in Sydney (with no genuine local community consultation) to bring international cruise ships into the environmentally sensitive Clarence River estuary – an act which would require a significant degree of initial and ongoing dredging to maintain access, with perhaps the partial dismantling of one of the internal training walls which were built to direct flood water flows.
Even cruise operators with smaller vessels will demand a guarantee of risk free access and some form of terminal – demands which would see existing local tourism along with commercial and recreational fishing disrupted and perhaps diminished.
It seems that Nationals MP for Clarence Chris Gulaptis has all but forgotten that just last year he was not in favour of the last attempt to co-opt the Lower Clarence River for the personal gain of outside financial interests.
Perhaps he needs reminding that ships that meet his specifications such as this one pictured below would still require estuary modification and shoreline development which is also unlikely to tick any of the social or environmental boxes he once thought important.
As the average small cruise ship would exceed length overall LOA 30 metres they would all require compulsory pilotage to and from the river entrance to their berth.

Local residents are aware that Mr. Gulaptis has been lobbying Clarence Valley Council on the matter of cruise ships having access to and use of the river estuary. Perhaps he might like to inform us all exactly on whose behalf he has been doing this lobbying? And declare if he is receiving some form of consideration or financial benefit from such lobbying?
The Daily Examiner, 25 October 2017:

THE FIRST cruise ship that could test the Port of Yamba's passenger facilities could arrive before the end of the year, says Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis.

"I've heard there could be a cruise ship coming this year,” Mr Gulaptis said.

But he was unsure of the any details of the size or type of vessel that could be coming.

Mr Gulaptis was with the NSW Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight, Melinda Pavey, and Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, Andrew Constance, yesterday when they announced Yamba and Coffs Harbour were being considered as potential international cruise ship terminals for the NSW Mid North Coast.

Mrs Pavey announced the start of investigations as part of the launch of the government's Future Transport 2056 strategy.

"This is a major step, with the need for a facility being recognised in the 10 to 20-year horizon, so early investigations can begin now,” Mrs Pavey said.

The new facility has the potential to link in with North Coast tourist hotspots and part of the process will look at how to integrate the proposed port with the wider area.

"The cruise industry is booming and is set to get bigger in coming years.

"A cruise terminal would give the region a share of that industry,” Mr Constance said.

Despite the minister's optimism, Mr Gulaptis said there were lot of obstacles to overcome.

"Just where passengers would embark and disembark is not known,” he said.

"Goodwood Island could handle the size of the vessels, but its facilities have been used for live cattle exports and it's well away from Yamba.

"The only other place I can think of is at the marina on the other side of the wall, where the fishing boats moor.”

He said any use of the river would need approval of its owners, the Yaegl People, and the ships could not impact the Dirrangun reef, which was sacred to them.

He said the vessels would be much smaller than the big cruise liners.

"I think the maximum draught at Yamba is about five metres, so that should limit the size of the vessels to no bigger than 5000 tonnes,” he said.

The prospect of cruising liners coming to Yamba alarmed environmentalists such as Iluka's Ian Gaillard, who was a vocal opponent of a proposal that emerged last year to build a megaport in the Clarence Estuary.

He said people may think cruise liners coming to Yamba could represent progress, but in reality, it would be a retrograde step.

"Cruise ships bring with them some of the worst excesses of modern life,” he said.

”The danger for the local populace is that once these things are established, they change the amenity of the place forever.”

NSW Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Melinda Pavey is obviously confident that she and her cronies will be able to expand Port of Yamba by stealth.

Perhaps someone should remind her that Northern Rivers communities tend to jealously guard the existing aesthetic, environmental, cultural, social and economic values of their waterways and lands.

Like Chris Gulaptis, last year Cr. Jim Simmons was mindful of the environmental and cultural issues associated with dredging the entrance to the river and estuary.

Look at him now..... 

Clarence Valley’s new mayor Jim Simmons was quick to jump on board the idea to support Yamba and Grafton's tourist credentials. “Oh yeh, we’d give it  a go at Grafton.  We’ve got the best beaches up here and I think Coffs Harbour has had its fair share of things and it’s time other places got a go,” he says.

Monday, 2 October 2017

Yamba Mega Port Proposal: "This clown just won't take no for an answer"


"This clown just won't take no for an answer" would be a fairly accurate assessment of most Lower Clarence River residents’ opinion of Desmond Euen’s (pictured left) latest attempt to promote his proposal to industrialise the Clarence River estuary by re-creating the Port of Yamba as a mega port.

Having been told repeatedly by local communities that his proposal was unwelcome and, by local government and the NSW Baird Government that the proposal would not be supported/endorsed, he still persists.

In August this year Mr. Euen participated in the following inquiry via the submission process.


On 24 November 2016, the Australian Government announced it will develop a national freight and supply chain strategy (the strategy) to increase the productivity and efficiency of Australia's freight supply chain. The strategy is in response to Infrastructure Australia's Australian Infrastructure Plan.

On 9 March 2017, the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, the Hon Darren Chester MP, released Terms of Reference PDF: 219 KB  for an inquiry into National Freight and Supply Chain Priorities (the inquiry).

The Inquiry will inform the development of the strategy and determine how to best lift the productivity and efficiency of Australia's freight supply chain. The inquiry is being led by the Department assisted by Infrastructure Australia and a four member Expert Panel appointed by Minister Chester. On 26 May 2017, the Department released the Discussion Paper for the inquiry, marking the commencement of the public consultation period. Submissions closed on 28 July 2017 and the Department is now analysing the responses, together with comments received from meetings with key stakeholders.

A draft report will be made available for industry and government for comment by December, and the final report provided to the Government by March 2018.

A series of frequently asked questions about the inquiry and the strategy have been prepared to assist you.

The Discussion Paper, working papers prepared for the Inquiry and the submissions (except for those marked ‘in-confidence’) can be accessed below.

Discussion paper PDF: 558 KB 

As Inter-Port Global Pty Ltd he submitted two documents (Submission 27 in above link) – one of which was for Gladstone Strategic Development Area in Queensland and the other for the Port of Yamba on the NSW North Coast.
                               
The 42-page Yamba document was originally created by Euen on 27 July 2017 according to its “Properties” page. It asserts to be a submission originally made to Infrastructure Australia at an earlier date.

Desmond Euen of Unit 1103, 2865 Gold Coast Highway, SURFERS PARADISE QLD 4217 registered Inter-Port Global Pty Ltd on 24 August 2016. To date he is the sole director and shareholder as well as the company secretary.

There were a number of confidential submissions to the Inquiry into National Freight and Supply Chain Priorities and it is possible that one of these may be from the group of corporate lawyers, investment companies and property developers behind United Land Councils Ltd and United First Peoples Syndications Pty Ltd who made a joint submission to the NSW Legislative Council General Purpose Standing Committee No. 6 Inquiry Into Crown Land in August 2016 which included the Yamba mega port proposal .

The Inquiry into National Freight and Supply Chain Priorities is due to hand its report to the COAG Transport and Infrastructure Council sometime before end March 2018.