04 August 2007

Powerboat racing in Manly or whales, dolphins and penguins?

Some of the natural assets of Manly are that Sydney Harbour is framed by two National Parks. Aquatic wildlife such as whales, dolphins, penguins and many others often show themselves to residents and visitors there.

These assets are under constant threat to be privatised or destroyed. This time the idea is to race “the world's fastest boats” (220 km/h) from Manly to the Harbour Bridge next March. “Exclusion zones”, or “ f r e e vantage points for spectators” will lock others out of the common ground. The National Park, alienated from its purpose, will have its vegetation massively trampled down.

Manly Mayor Peter Macdonald “ said the combination of an aquatic reserve, an environmentally sensitive area and a fairy penguin habitat “doesn't lend itself to large engines roaring through it''.

Similar events ran aground because of “the possible ecological damage.” “The noise from the engines would not be inconsequential for fish and marine mammals in the harbour'' ... "In fact, it would be quite dangerous for them, especially for marine mammals like dolphins and whales that would be disoriented by it.''

Increasingly less Harbour is visible as private motor boats appropriate it as parking. Fast roaring boats already hurl (mainly?) tourists across the Harbour, which is the habitat of the (often) surface floating Little Penguins. Authorities attempt to combat anti-social-behaviour of motorists in terms of noise and pollution. Injury and death are the hallmark of asphalt OR acquatic racing.

  • Do not turn Sydney Harbour into a (privatised) racing track
  • Do not turn National Parks into free 'show-grounds'
  • Do protect the unique terrestial and aquatic wildlife of Manly
  • Do consider sustainable options.
Via Manly Daily, Chelsea White and John Morecombe, Power struggle,sighted 04Aug07

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