State Significant Infrastructure
Kamay Ferry Wharves
Randwick City, Sutherland Shire
Current Status: Determination
Interact with the stages for their names
- Prepare EIS
- Collate Submissions
- Response to Submissions
New Ferry Wharves at La Perouse and Kurnell
Attachments & Resources
Notice of Exhibition (1)
Response to Submissions (10)
Additional Information (5)
Management Plans and Strategies (2)
Other Documents (2)
Note: Only documents approved by the Department after November 2019 will be published above. Any documents approved before this time can be viewed on the Applicant's website.
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Note: Only enforcements and inspections undertaken by the Department from March 2020 will be shown above.
The la Perouse beachfront is a very popular area for locals to take young families, and this ferry terminal will impact the ability of locals to access the beach in a safe manner given the extra water traffic/boats.
Bare Island area is also a very popular spot for scuba divers who would be diving in the path of the ferries- this is a safety risk and also will have negative impact on the marine life due to pollution.
I do not support the installation of a ferry wharf at La Perouse as the local area is insufficient to support the required development and infrastructure and will have catastrophic impact on local roads.
Please see attached for more information.
It will also be wonderful for tourists.
The wharves will provide for marine habitat for fishing and viewing as they do on Sydney Harbour.
Finally the project will help Botany Bay shed its industrial image to become a recreational destination.
1.The wharf can be a destination in itself, the same way the St Kilda pier is in Melbourne. There could be interpretative signs along the wharf the same way the National Parks and Wildlife have provided interesting historical information on the bins around La Perouse. The wharf should be part of the 'La Perouse' experience, particularly in relation to indigenous history. The La Perouse Museum is doing a very good job of reinventing itself in the context of Aboriginal history. There should be a plan for the whole area from the former Little Bay Hospital site, the Little Bay Cemetery through to Yarra Bay.
2. The wharf should be integrated into bike paths like the punt is that crosses the Yarra River under the Westgate Bridge in Melbourne. It is a wonderful bike trip to go from downtown Melbourne, to the punt, cross the River and head into Williamstown for fish and chips. You are able to take the train back to the City. Sydney needs to have similar offerings. There is no reason why this can't be done but the bike paths have to be safe the way they are in Melbourne.
3. Think about the Cronulla to Bundeena ferry as an example. People should be able to take public transport to the ferry and then be able to get back home. I don't know what the public transport is like in Kurnell. There is far too great a reliance on car transport in Sydney. I note that there are going to be 13 extra car spaces at La Perouse. This will have very little impact in the summer or on many weekends and will just take up public space. People can't even get past the roundabout at Little Bay and Bunnerong Rd on some weekends. People have to be encouraged to take public transport or leave their cars elsewhere and take a shuttle to La Perouse which is what is done in many English or European towns to ease congestion.
To summarise I think the project has merit but needs to be integrated into an overall plan that encourages people to get out of their cars, get some exercise while at the same time learning about the natural environment, the history of the area and its cultural significance.
However I have grave doubts if someone has sat down and guessed how many locals and tourists will use it verses it actually being a viable suggestion considering the amount of new structures that are needed.
At Bare Island in particular traffic is incredibly heavy on fine days in the summer time, it is not uncommon for traffic to backup to Bunnerong road, there is limited parking around the area, only one road in and I fail to see how the area can handle additional traffic from people seeking to ride the ferry across the bay. I don't see how this can be addressed without significant additional parking and access being provided. Perhaps the ferry could make 3 stops picking up passengers from another site with ample parking and/or public transport access and less congestion around the shores of Botany Bay perhaps at Kyeemagh or Brighton?
A review of the the Marine biodiversity section reveals that the EIS only really considers impacts upon marine life within the construction zone stating without references that minimal impact on marine life outside of the zone is expected. I note it was reported that weedy sea dragons were very hard to find at Kurnell after the port expansion dredging in 2009 for a number of years - possibly due to sediment mobilisation from the dredging. See this website for the reference: https://www.michaelmcfadyenscuba.info/viewpage.php?page_id=295 see the third paragraph.
While dredging is not proposed for this project the above reference does indicate the sensitivity of marine life such as sea dragons to increased sedimentation and the potential for impact of the rocky reef and marine life inhabiting it to the east of the proposed construction.
I note the main concern from an environmental impact is White's seahorse being present in the seagrass and that surveys could not find any seahorses. Seahorses can be surprisingly cryptic and difficult to find and I would recommend engaging with the local diving community as I am sure there would be interest in volunteers surveying to try to find any seahorses present.
I note that the species listed as likely to be present include Green and loggerhead turtles. I have also found a Hawksbill turtle nearby at the inscription point divesite which is not very far away in August 2018. I have added images of this turtle to this submission. They are listed as vulnerable in Australia but critically endangered internationally and being highly mobile could enter the area where the ferry operates. I have also sighted green turtles nearby on a number of occasions.
On the subject of piling it is only noted that piling is not expected to cause much sedimentation, but no mention is made on precautions to be taken to minimise the risk. This document on a project in Tasmania goes into detail on the methods proposed during piling operations to minimise the risk of disturbing sediments.
The relevant section is section 3.3 Piling method on Page 15 where it notes the method to be used to minimize disturbing sediments and also the use of a floating boom to contain any silt. The bottom in this area is sandy in appearance but a lots of silt can be raised if you impact the bottom whilst diving.
I believe the EIS should include commitment to use best practice for piling installation to minimize the mobilization of silt and mention the risk to marine life on rocky reefs in the vicinity if excessive silt is raised. The recommendations provided in the reference listed above to achieve this do not appear at all onerous
An additional concern is the swept envelope as marked on the map for ferries. Both Kurnell and Bare Island are popular with recreational divers. The reefs underwater at Bare Island run due west from the steps to the island from the bridge and comes quite close to the area mapped out as "Ferry Swept Path Envelope on Figure 10-1 of the EIS." Divers will generally not plan to surface from the reefs and will normally surface close to the island, however in an emergency situation or if divers get lost they may need to surface from these reefs. Similarly at Kurnell divers will surface approximately 300m east of the proposed wharf location when exiting from the Sutherland Point dive site and potentially 50m or more from shore.
The reason they are popular dive sites is the huge diversity of marine life that is difficult to find elsewhere, including pygmy pipehorses, red fingered anglerfish and the newly described red wide bodied pipefish as well as seahorses, a large variety of nudibranches and many fish and cephalopod species
The reef in the area closest to the proposed Kurnell wharf is around 50m from shore in a depth of 10-12m and divers may surface well offshore in an emergency or to find the exit. I would like to see consultations take place with the diving community to map out areas of concern and adjust the ferry swept path so in normal circumstances the ferry does not travel across these areas so as to avoid potential for impact on divers by the ferry. Ferry captains should also be made aware of the fact that divers can be present in these areas.
An accurate map that has been generated by a local diver using a floating GPS logger will be a useful reference for Bare Island. Of particular concern are the isolated reefs shown to the west of the island. The map can be found here: https://www.viz.org.au/sydneys-shore-dive-sites/bare-island I would like to see this resource included in any EIS and planning for this project and require ferry operators to take this risk into account when navigating between the two proposed wharves.
There are also other reefs in this area including a reef running out from La Perouse point that are dived at times.
I am a keen scuba diver who visits La Perouse to dive at Bare Island and I visit the Kamay National Park to dive at Kurnell.
Bare Island and Kurnell are easily two of my favourite diving spots, not just in Sydney, but in the world. What I love is the abundance of marine life at both of these dive sites and the accessibility from the shore as a shore dive. Botony Bay is simply beautiful under water, with yellow, purple, orange and pink sponges covering the rocks, and with beautiful patches of Ecklonia hornemann too. We have the weedy sea dragons and big bellied seahorses, red indianfish, sharks, rays, anglerfish, moray eels, gurnards and the more famous green sea turtles, and for the days with poor visibility we can enjoy seeing the many different coloured nudibranchs. These sites are simply beautiful, but this marine habitat is being threatened by this project.
I object to the La Perouse to Kurnell ferry terminal proposal for the following reasons.
I am most concerned that: ..
- there will be a negative impact on the Weedy Sea dragons and their habitat
- there will be an impact on the White’s Seahorse that is an Endangered species.
- the construction process will destroy some of the Threatened seagrass habitat that the Seahorse lives on which is very sensitive &will probably not return. This has been confirmed in scientific studies.
- there will be a loss of water clarity during the 13 months of construction which will affect diving and may affect the fauna and flora of the area around Bare Island as it is only 300m from the wharf.
- the frequency of extra marine ferries (coupled with the speed at which they travel) will create a hazardous environment for divers and will likely result in harm to the resident turtles and other marine species.
- the size of wharf is an overdevelopment and will make an unnecessary impact to the environment - if a wharf is so important why can it not be smaller? It is 5 times the size of the previous wharf
- that the sediment stirred up from 13 months of construction and piling will result in a loss of water quality and clarity which will affect the diving experience and impact on the flora and fauna in the area including the weedy seadragons, nudibranches, turtles etc.
- this is a misuse of $17million tax payer money to reinstate a ferry service in order to get more people visiting Captain Cook’s landing place at Kurnell (that is the stated objective).
- That it will increase traffic congestion and parking issues at La Perouse. Only 13 extra spaces at Bare Island when the ferries may have 150 passengers every 30mins? Really this is a pathetic attempt to create extra parking and will only increase congestion in the area and make local residents feel the pain.
- That the effects on Bare island don’t seem to have been really considered when it is only 300m away (it is not really covered as it is considered outside the study area).
- No designated parking bays for divers means that as a result of this project we are unlikely to ever get to dive the area again - unlike people catching a ferry, divers with 30kg on their back cannot walk for a kilometer to get to a dive site, or travel by public transport. We need a car because the tanks are heavy and the gear when wet is a hazard if we were on buses.
- Dive shops have suffered significantly during COVID due to lockdowns, with some in Sydney even shutting down permanently. The remaining dive shops such as ProDive, Dive Centre Bondi and Abyss regularly teach divers in the Bare Island and Kurnell areas. It is one of the safest areas in Sydney to reach depth and see beautiful things that will ensure those divers keep diving. This project is threatening those businesses by removing access to key dive sites for students and visitors.
- When the ferry ran in the 70s Sydney was a much smaller city without as much congestion - this project aims to create more foot passengers in already congested areas of the city, without any thought for how that will impact residents or locals who rely upon these areas for their recreational activities.
After attending the consultation briefing on 24-July and hearing that the government will use "marine offsets" since they recognise that marine life will be affected by this project I feel completely failed by the government in this proposal. The fact that Kurnell is deemed to include a marine sanctuary zone that has mostly been ignored in this proposal, shows me that this government does not care about the environment. The marine surveys have not stretched further than the minimal area you could get away with to get the project through. Marine ecosystems are sensitive and construction 300m away from these delicate sites will most certainly have a negative impact. This is a true failure and a waste of tax payers money. I hope that this project can be reconsidered and we can instead move the money elsewhere to help PROTECT marine life, rather than harm it.
I have 2 objection:
1 there is simply not enough people in the area that will want to use the ferry and keep it cost effective. Kurnell residents will not travel to laperouse to travel to the city. This would be a 2 hr trip.
2 and most importantly for me there is a huge boom in recreational users of the laperouse waterways. the windsurfers and wing foilers utilise the area multipe times a week when the wind is up.
it would be a shame to destroy or make another area of sydney restricted to public recreational use.
Please reconsider for the sake of the local residents and water sports enthusiast. (at the very least do some research into the use of area)
However, we object to the potential use of the Wharf for commercial tourism operations that are unrelated to the above-mentioned primary objectives. The proposal in its current form does not place any limits on the number of, or type of commercial vessels that can access the wharves.
La Perouse is already over-populated with tourists during summer periods, with significant traffic congestion and limited parking. New commercial operations should be limited to activities that have a direct connection to Aboriginal Culture, the “Meeting Place” concept and British / French arrivals. Commercial operations for unrelated tourist activities such as whale watching, deep sea fishing, jet boat joy rides, recreational cruises, etc. should be operated from other parts of Botany Bay where there is better access and parking.
The following sections detail our objections relating to tourism-related commercial operations, the risk of water pollution at La Perouse and the Noise assessment related to wharf operations.
EIS Chapter 5 Project Description
The project description notes that the wharves can be used by commercial vessels, but no details are provided in relation to type of, or number of commercial activities that will be permitted, or how these will be regulated.
“Tourism-related commercial vessels” is non-descriptive and could cover a range of activities including jet boating (for joy rides), whale-watching, deep-sea fishing, recreational cruises, etc. It is not clear how the environmental impacts (including noise and water pollution) can be effectively managed if there are no procedures in place for managing the number of and type of commercial operations.
We recommend that the project approval includes a condition that limits the number and type of commercial and recreational vessels that can access the wharves. For commercial operations, we recommend an approval process that requires minimum environmental performance limits related to noise levels, environmental emissions, and regular maintenance of vessels to minimise the risk of water pollution.
EIS Chapter 24 Hazard and Risk
This chapter addresses the potential risk of fuel / oil leaks from Ferries and notes that there will be a plan (for Ferries) that would include measures such as regular inspections of machinery and equipment for fuel or hydraulic fluid leaks to prevent leakages.
However, the risk assessment does not consider the potential risk of fuel / oil leaks from other commercial / recreational vessels that will access the wharves and how this risk will be managed.
Frenchman’s Bay Beach is frequented by many families with young children that are attracted to the calm waters that are mostly free from waves. The proximity of populated beach areas is very close to the wharf, and we are concerned about the risk of water pollution associated with non-regulated commercial / recreational vessels.
For commercial operations, we recommend an approval process that requires minimum environmental performance limits and regular maintenance of vessels to minimise the risk of water pollution. For recreational vessels, we recommend this installation of signage to encourage boat owners to regularly inspect and maintain their vessels to minimise the risk of water pollution.
Appendix O Surface Noise and Vibration Impact Assessment Report
Section 5.1.1 Ferry operations
• Table 41: The assumed sound power noise levels for recreational vessels (accelerating) are 14dB lower than assumed for the Ferry. This approach is not considered conservative, given that a range of difference commercial / recreational vessels could be allowed to use the wharf. A more conservative approach would be to assume that the noise levels associated non-Ferry vessels are equivalent to Ferries.
• Note 2 of Table 41 says that recreational vehicle loading noise levels are assumed to be 5dB lower than when accelerating. Either the stated sound power level of 98 dB is incorrect or Note 2 is incorrect as the idle noise level is 14 dB higher than the accelerating level.
• The assumed operating time of recreational vessels (7 minutes) is not conservative as the multi-user berth can cater for many vessels between 2 m and 20 m long per Chapter 5 of EIS. Other commercial vessels could include passenger noise, PA systems, horns, etc., but these are not included in the noise modelling assumptions.
• Figure 16 – The location of the eastern vessel berthing area is not consistent with the location described in the EIS (e.g., Figure 5-4 and Figure 5-6 of EIS).
Section 5.2 Ferry operations assessment
• At La Perouse, one public ferry and two recreational vessels are assumed to be berthing and departing in a worst-case situation (full capacity) 15-minute interval. As previously noted, the multi-user wharf can likely accommodate more than two recreational / commercial vessels in any given 15-minute interval.
• Table 44: The noise prediction result for PRC1 -Frenchmans Beach is 52 dB under enhanced weather conditions compared with the project noise trigger level of 48 dB, exceeding by 4 dB. It is not clear why this receiver is not shaded orange and identified as an exceedance in the table or following discussion.
Conclusion of noise assessment
• Some of the noise modelling inputs related to the number of commercial / recreational vessels accessing the wharf are not conservative, including the assumed source noise levels and number of vessels in the worst-case situation. More conservative assumptions will result in higher noise predictions.
• The noise model should include the correct location of commercial / recreational vessels.
• Discussion should be provided in relation to the potential impacts of the 4 dB exceedance at receiver PRC1 -Frenchmans Beach, noting that noise levels will be higher still with more conservative noise modelling assumptions.
• The report recommends “that a confirmation of our assessment be undertaken once a ferry operator has been appointed and details of the ferry sound power levels are made available”. We support this comment and recommend that this be included as an approval condition if the Project is approved.
Having lived all my life in the Eastern Suburbs, and having spent more days than I can remember at La Perouse, I would like to offer these comments:
1. From my knowledge of several severe storms across Botany Bay, I believe it will be necessary to provide EXTREMELY STRONG wharves and a very powerful ferry which could withstand such future events.
2. The ideal ferry would be the restored ex-Manly ferry, the South Steyne . Its size and strength would make it extremely feasible. Also, its heritage significance would be a positive enhancement to this commuter service and a major attraction.
3. Transporting the public to and from the La Perouse wharf would be much easier and simpler if the Circular Quay to Kingsford Light Rail line was extended to La Perouse. 99% of the required land is already vacant along the middle of Anzac Parade - the location of the original tram line.
4. If additional electrical sub-stations are required, there is plenty of space to install them underground along this corridor. This system is already in place under High Cross Park in Randwick.
5. Where is this ferry to be berthed for service and overnight?
6. Will there be a spare vessel available when the main one is out of service?
• there will be an impact on the White’s Seahorse (Sydney Seahorse) that is an Endangered Species, as well as weedy sea dragons, nudibranchs, turtles and seals etc.
• the construction process will destroy some of the Threatened seagrass habitat that the Seahorse lives on which is very sensitive and will probably not return -confirmed in the EIS study.
• there will be a loss of water clarity during the 13 months of construction which will affect diving and most likely affect the fauna and flora of the area around Bare Island as it is only 300m from the wharf. It would also affect the recreational use of the bay.
• the size of wharf is an overdevelopment. It is 5 times the size of the previous wharf and extends 140m into the bay, plus it has a huge wharf head. A smaller wharf would be more appropriate, meet the stated objective, and have a smaller environmental impact.
• if the proposal were to go ahead, there would be an increase in large commercial vessels as well as the ferries operating, and this will affect wildlife and flora, and the overall environment of the area.
• it is a misuse of a whopping $17 million tax payer money to reinstate a 40 year old ferry service in order to get more people visiting Captain Cook’s landing place at Kurnell (the stated objective). Why is visiting Cook's landing place considered more important than preserving the very environmentally sensitive area and culturally important nature of La Perouse?
• it will increase traffic congestion and parking issues at La Perouse. Already the small amount of parking at this location is not adequate for busy days, eg most weekends, when there are bottlenecks reaching back to Anzac Parade.
• it will have effects on nearby heritage-listed Bare island which should be taken into account considering it is only 300m away. Couldn't the millions of dollars be more appropriately allocated to Bare Island?
This whole area needs to be considered with much more sensitivity and care than the current NSW Government appears to be able to demonstrate, or possess.