The National Board of Surfrider Foundation is backing calls for the NSW Government to not proceed with the proposed scuttling of the Ex-HMAS Adelaide off Avoca Beach until more investigation of sand movements around the wreck are completed.
Noted coastal geoscientist Associate Professor Ian Goodwin has slammed the study of the ship’s likely effects on sand movement on Avoca’s famous surf as incomplete and unlikely to be correct.
“Surfrider is not saying the Adelaide should not be sunk, but we are saying a lot more research has to be done to prove sandbanks won’t be badly affected.
“It’s too close to the beach and in too shallow water,” said Surfrider Foundation Director, Brendan Donohoe
The proposed scuttling has been mired in controversy most recently involving local surfers demanding and winning an injunction on the scuttling, claiming the stripping of hazardous materials was far from complete despite government assurances.
“Locals know their beach, they love their beach and are right to do everything they can to protect it.
“These people are heroes, they have never given up on getting the best outcome for the Coast despite strong criticism from others who see the scuttling as a great thing.
“The scuttling may be a great thing but let’s get it right.
“Maybe Avoca is the wrong spot. Let’s check all possibilities about the damage it could cause, not only to surf quality but also to beach safety.
“Changed sandbanks and beach erosion or realignment can lead to more treacherous rips and currents,” said Mr Donohoe.
“I’m a town planner, not an economist, but I seriously doubt the economic benefits to the Central Coast if it’s a competition between surfing and wreck diving. Surfing is a hugely popular activity and Avoca is a red hot surf spot.
Any action that could potentially damage the surf quality must be avoided,” he said.
The Surfrider Foundation is calling for ongoing monitoring of toxic leaching and other effects of the scuttling.
10 Nov 2010
Surf Rider Foundation Australia