Ian McPhedran, The Herald Sun
January 3, 2013
“The government has decided that a minimal return to taxpayers for scrap is a better outcome than spending $4 million to make each ship safe for use as a dive wreck. The 8000-tonne hulks have a scrap metal value of about $2.5 million each.”
Debris from the dumped warship HMAS Adelaide collected on Avoca Beach after the big swell over the weekend (Feb 23 & 24, 2013). This marine pollution was sanctioned by the Minister for Environment Tony Bourke, Barry O’Farrell, Chris Hartcher, Gosford Council and John Asquith from the Community Environment Network, University of Newcastle and the Marine Discovery Centre. Taxpayers paid $10 million to dump this rubbish next to this beautiful beach.
Much more is washing up, this is just what one person collected on their morning walk on Saturday. When the same honeycomb aluminium started washing up on Avoca Beach six weeks after HMAS Adelaide was dumped in April 2011, Les Graham from Terrigal Dive identified it as the interior walling from the ship.
Hopefully the State Govt and the diving community will take some responsibility in the long term for cleaning up the debris released from the wreck - it is dangerous for marine life, swimmers and surfers. The community of Avoca should not have to be picking up the mess as the ship breaks down and washes up on the beach over the coming decades
Some of the money from the diving permits and dive fees should be put into a fund to clean up the mess. To deliberately dump the ship in such a high swell environment was totally irresponsible and the government and local organisations who supported it need to take responsibility for the clean up as time goes on and the wreck inevitably breaks down into the surrounding marine environment.
For more pictures and community’s response check out No Ship on facebook