No Ship Action Group needs to learn to scuba dive!
The HMAS Adelaide was always ready to sink with no damage to the environment until the No Ship Action Group (NSAG) intervened purely on a NOT ON MY BEACH (NOMBY) attitude.
Whilst one may admire the NSAG’s willingness to go into battle to protect their local environment, one suspects their environmental credentials when for 10 years there was not a squawk from them when the sinking was proposed a kilometre north of Avoca Beach at Terrigal. Moreover, when their battle is based on a false premise then one’s admiration turns to disbelief. The false premise was proven by the NSAG’s abandonment of most of their concerns at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) i.e. PCBs & Sampling Issue, Heavy Metals & Paint, Leaching of PCBs & Heavy Metals, the Rust Preventative Compound & the Towing Issue before the AAT had retired to consider their decision. The NSAG also withdrew their lead concerns and then reactivated it. However, a quick referral to any chemistry book will tell you that Lead Dioxide the basis compound in red lead paint is insoluble in salt water and does not bio-accumulate. In addition, whilst the NSAG will claim they are a community-based group once again their credentials are drawn into question when they have conveniently ignored all the benefits that would accrue to the region from the sinking. For example, for scuba divers, local businesses, community groups, surf live saving clubs and ocean swimmers, for biodiversity, fishing enthusiasts, tourism, education and the significant economic effects for an area which is generally economically depressed.
When the AAT handed down the decision that the sinking should go ahead, with lead remediation required, the NSAG is still saying the State Government cannot be trusted. This was after the Environmental Defenders Office a largely funded state government organisation funded their entire appeal against the sinking.
It is time the NSAG abandon their opposition to this project.
Might I suggest the NSAG learn to scuba dive and come down to the deep side?
And they will discover like William Shakespeare forecasted over 500 years ago in The Tempest that
“Full 35 fathoms the HMAS Adelaide will lie,
Of her bones, corals will be made,
Those will be pearls that were her eyes,
And nothing of her will change
That has suffered a sea change into something rich & strange”
John Rowe , Secretary Gordons Bay Scuba Diving Club