Residents say “No Way to Yarra Bay!”
Monday 18th November 2019, 9:23am
The catchcry of “Yarra Bay, no way” was chanted fervently by protestors at the Yarra Bay Sailing Club yesterday, with more than 1,000 local residents gathering to rally against a proposed $500 million cruise terminal at the site.
Organised by The Save the Bay Coalition, the protest saw politicians in attendance, with the Federal Member for Kingsford Smith Matt Thistlethwaite calling on Prime Minister Scott Morrison to squash the proposal.
“We want the PM to stand up for Botany Bay, to stand up for the people in his community who are going to be affected by this proposal,” he told the crowd.
“It was our former PM Malcolm Turnbull who ruled out Garden Island…if Scott Morrison reconsiders Garden Island and seriously has a look at it, we can avoid Yarra Bay’s destruction,” Thistlethwaite added.
Also taking centre stage was former NSW Liberal leader Peter Collins, who said the Fed Govt’s view that a port at Garden Island would be a “threat to national security” was baseless.
“Malcolm Turnbull went on TV as PM and said this is not happening because of national security…I take offence as somebody who has stood in Navy uniform for 37 years,” Collins said.
“If that’s the case, the govt had better close down Newcastle Airport tonight because it shares the same runway as Australia’s F35 strike aircraft,” he added.
Putting across the govt’s case was acting CEO of the Port of Authority of NSW Philip Holliday, who tried to assure protestors their concerns and questions were being taken seriously. “There has been some criticism that we have not yet provided any answers, however, that is because we are still working to ensure we have all the questions,” Holliday reasoned.
But despite his conciliatory tone, Holliday all but ruled out a return to Garden Island as a potential site for a new terminal. “The Defence Force’s position has never really changed, irrespective of attempts by the NSW Govt to request access…the narrow portion of land that RMS holds is simply too thin to operate a berth for cruise ships,” he said.
Source: Cruise Weekly