The policy of The Glebe Society Incorporated
covering Blackwattle Bay and Rozelle Bay
and the land adjacent to them.

First published: 1991
Revised: 1997
Revised: 2003



2. Land Based Developments
2.1 Foreshores
2.2 Waterfront Open Space/Parks
2.3 Existing Waterfront Industry
2.4 Local Building/Development Codes

3. Water Based Developments
3.1 The Natural Communities of the Bays
3,2 The Rowing Clubs
3.3 Shipping and Boating
3.4 Marinas, Boat Repair/Slipways and Boatels .
3.5 Wharves and Ramps
3.6 Commuter Ferries
3.7 Recreational Fishing

4, Development of Roads/Bridges
4.1 Roads .
4.2 Bridges

5. Landfill



1.1 This policy has been developed to provide The Glebe Society Incorporated (hereinafter referred to as “The Society”) with a single mechanism for responding to proposed developments/activities on the bays, on the adjacent foreshores in Glebe, and on foreshores outside Glebe but which impact on Glebe.

1.2 Inherent in this policy is The Society’s belief that all relevant authorities should consider the total impact on the bays when considering any individual development proposal. Ideally there should be a moratorium on all development until a total development plan for the bays is conceived. It is suggested that such a plan should be part of the Sydney Regional Environmental Plan No.26 (or an equivalent plan) provided that such a plan does not remove development consent/rejection power from the Council of the City of Sydney and/or Leichhardt Municipal Council (hereinafter referred to as “Council”).

1.3 This policy emphasises “passive” uses for the bays and foreshores. We understand a “passive” use would: be small scale; non?alienating; consider the attributes of the waterfront; maximise views to and from the water; maximise the quality of use; and be an appropriate use. Such uses would be on a smaller scale than might be considered appropriate for the rest of the harbour, would not conflict with present uses and would support those genuine waterfront activities at present undertaken in the bays.

1,4 The Society is currently working to preserve the quality of this passive space and is actively involved in the community’s push to limit noise from all types of aircraft to a minimum.


“Foreshores” are regarded as the waterfront land around the bays from the “high water mark” to a minimum of fifteen metres landward, but generally encompassing those lands designated as being in the “Foreshores Protection Area”.

2.1.1 The Society:
(a) proposes that the entire length of foreshore from the city to White Bay, be made accessible to the public
(b) proposes that the access be continuous along the foreshore including where waterfront industry is established, and that safe, easy access be available from all parts of the hinterland to the foreshore;
(c) proposes that the access be available for passive use only, and supports the provision of facilities appropriate for passive activities;
(d) supports waterfront access throughout the city;
(e) supports that part of the City?West Urban Strategy that proposes continuous pedestrian access to and around the foreshores with ready access provided for the disabled;
(f) supports continuous cycle access appropriately located so that pedestrian footpaths have priority access to the immediate foreshore.


2.2.1 The Society.
(a) believes that government and Waterways Authority owned waterfront land should be passed to Council forthwith for use as open space;
(b) proposes that where waterfront land becomes available, it should be acquired by Council or the Department of Planning for use as open space;
(c) believes that such acquisition should take place when it is offered for sale and when it is at present being used for non?port purposes;
(d) includes in this category the land adjacent to Bridge Road with its potential link with Wentworth Park if it does not become the home of The Australian Heritage Fleet;
(e) recognises the need for land?based team sports and ball games but promotes the immediate waterfront as “passive”;
(f). promotes appropriate landscaping which takes account of the natural topography of the area as well as the surrounding developments, and The Society cites Blackwattle Bay Park and the Bicentennial Park as landscaping satisfying the stated criteria;
(g) supports the use of native plants where suitable;
(h) promotes landscaping and plantings which enhance views.;
(i) urges Council to clean and maintain waterfront parks regularly;
(j) urges Council to establish public toilets which are away from the foreshores, and are regularly maintained and cleaned;
(k) notes that the quality of the water in the bays is being profoundly affected by stormwater runoff and urges authorities and residents to concentrate efforts on keeping catchment, roads and adjacent parklands free of debris, faeces, chemicals and other pollutants.


2.3.1 Where a genuine waterfront industry at present exists in the bays, The Society:

(a) supports the continued operation of such industry, including The Australian Heritage Fleet and The Sydney Fish Market;
(b) urges the individual industry and the relevant authorities to ensure the operation does not detract from the bays’ attractiveness e.g. the accumulation of rubbish in the water in front of The Fish Market;
(c) understands that such industries are and will remain “small scale”;
(d) understands that such industries will not create traffic and access problems;
(c) rejects activities which lead to a deterioration of water quality.


2.4.1 The Society:

(a) supports the enforcement of the foreshore building line and other controls for waterfront development in LEP 2000, DCP 1 and The Glebe Suburb Profile including Foreshore Scenic Protection Areas, and believes that the same provisions should be extended to apply to all existing commercial, industrial and special use sites and all future development of such sites;
(b) believes any development should not obstruct the views of others;
(c) rejects any development which viewed from the water creates an unsympathetic townscape, or which makes an adverse visual impact on the bays and foreshores;
(d) rejects any development which creates a “walled” effect when viewed from the water, and urges the preservation of view corridors to the water;
(e) rejects overly large individual developments which are out of scale and style with the area and fail to blend in with the character of the area, and urges the observance of Council building height restrictions;
(f) insists that any commercial development on the waterfront should be subject to the same controls as residential development and be subject to an EIS;
(g) rejects the erection of advertising or signage generally.



3.1.1. Originally these bays would have contained mangroves and saltmarsh on the shallower intertidal shores and blackwattle and tea trees on the steeper slopes. Subtidally there would have been extensive beds of the seagrasses Posidonia australis and Zostera capricorni. These would have supported many animals such as water birds, fish, oysters, bivalves and cockles.

3.1.2 The Society seeks the restoration of the bays by:

(a) the removal of debris from the bed of the bays;
(b) the removal of toxic/contaminated sediments from the seabed and the replacement with uncontaminated sediments unless the threat to water quality and marine life during removal outweighs the benefits of such removal and replacement;
(c) the more rigorous policing of the illegal dumping of chemically hazardous substances into drains which connect to the canals around the bays;
(d) restoring mangroves to selected areas of the, bays;
(c) the re?establishment of specific seagrasses on the seabed.


The Society:

(a) supports the activities conducted under the auspices of The Glebe Rowing Club, The University of Sydney Women’s Sports Association Rowing Club, The University of Sydney Canoe Club and The Dragon Boat Association;
b) believes that the rowing/paddling of craft should have priority over other activities in the bays,
(c) recognises the cultural and historical heritage and value of the rowing course and that part of the club building facing the water, both of which are over 100 years old.


The Society:

(a) seeks the phasing out of large commercial boats/ships;
(b) seeks a four knots speed limit for all boats;
(c) points out the enclosed lake quality of the bays with the attendant attractions and problems of lakes (including a lack of flushing).


3.4.1 The Society rejects the development of marinas, boatels and floating hotels,
3.4.2 The Society opposes the development of new boat repair facilities and slipways as they detract from the amenity of the area, and break the continuity of the proposed foreshore walkway.


3.5.1 The Society:

(a) believes wharves must be small scale;
(b) rejects the use of wharves as regular pick up and set down points for cruise craft and supports their development as promenades rather than as stopping off places for large craft;
(c) insists that wharves must not interfere with the rowing course;
(d) supports the proposal of Planning NSW for a “soft” launching ramp adjacent to the rowing clubs and Glebe High School for rowed craft only.


3.6.1 While the Society, supports improvements to public transport systems, especially light rail, the benefits to Glebe residents of introducing passenger ferries to the bays must outweigh any disadvantage to residents.

3.6.2 The Society:

(a) recognises the case for a commuter ferry service, but insists that potential problems with traffic and parking be addressed before considering a ferry service;
(b) prefers the concept of a regular ferry service to the provision of casual/occasional services,
(c) insists that the potential wharf sites not be considered without consultation with the residents of Glebe;
(d) insists that no ferry service be considered without consulting the rowing clubs.


3.7.1 The Society..

(a) supports the use of the bays for recreational fishing,
(b) encourages the relevant authorities to clean up the bays to ensure the fish catch is uncontaminated;
(c) encourages the development of fishing as a suitable recreational activity to be undertaken from all foreshore areas.


4, 1 ROADS

4.1.1 The Society:

(a) rejects perimeter roads around the foreshore;
(b) rejects new roads parallel to the foreshore.


4.2.1 The Society:

(a) seeks the preservation of the old Glebe Island Bridge and its restoration to operational condition for its heritage value and also for its functional value for pedestrians, cyclists, light rail and local traffic;
(b) urges road access for pedestrians and cyclists to Anzac Bridge be at a suitable gradient.


The Society insists that no more landfilling be undertaken in the bays: a vast amount of fill has reduced the size of the bays over the last thirty years especially between Johnston Creek and White’s Creek (western shore), the eastern end of the northern shore, and at the site of the foundations for the Anzac Bridge on the eastern shore.