15 August 2009

Manly Wharf - Depriving the Public of Access?

There are attempts to grab some of the public pedestrian space by private enterprise on Manly Wharf.
The wharf is in the middle of Manly Cove, which is framed by green National parks with the odd whale or dolphins visiting Sydney Harbour. It is also the gateway for people arriving in Manly by public transport. Some 6 million commuters pass through this point for work of leisure. The options are to walk through the enclosed middle in the inside, which is crowded and full of cooking fumes. Alternative paths are walks to the right and left on the open air, along pubs and eateries on one side and a natural habitat on the other. The actual Cove and the infrastructure under the wharf are a dense biotope for local wildlife. Unique Manly Little Penguins (Eudyptula minor) have their habitat in various locations. Walking along the wharf the lucky resident or visitor can catch a glimpse of what makes Manly unique.The plan to privatise some of the Wharf's walking paths on the West Esplanade side to monetize the "spectacular waterfront positions" for a few paying customers is myopic. Bursting suburbia is thirsty for public spaces, which are fast disappearing in Manly. Visitors come to be "seven miles from Sydney, and a thousand miles from care" and not to be 'in it' again. Encroaching with intensified commercial operations would not be beneficial for the wildlife.

The human footprint seeking constantly to enlarge in delicate environments, can trample an area. Already there are signs of visible pollution in the Cove water: dumped bikes, chucked shopping trolleys etc. With intensification the noise pollution would negatively impact on human and wildlife habitat.

Boat parking is proliferating and also a danger to swimmers and wildlife. Some just come to 'get tanked' in private racing boats, unload their dogs, have some alcohol, clutter up the cove and then race off again. A trend to be encouraged?Do not deprive the public of access to the Manly Wharf walkways
Do not accelerate rapid development and hence human disturbance to penguins and other wildlife.
Do not forget why people come here to live or visit

"Sprawling from land right out into the ocean as we clamber for more of its resources" Ocean Sprawl on Planet Green 0809

- Manly penguin wardens "will protest against what they say is the possible encroachment on penguin habitats by Hugo’s restaurant." Penguins already have lost habitat to the School of Artillery at North Head and "People living near the beach want to build pools on top of penguin nests". There will be a protest on September 13 via Manly Daily 180809
- Little Penguins, climate change, ongoing coastal development and habitat degradation. PDF

Image: 1 and 3 Google Maps

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