Sydney Slipways, which was given approval last year by the Minister for Planning, Frank Sartor, has asked for a variation to extend their anchorage limit by 6m in the southerly direction by the side of the old Glebe Island Bridge. This may sound a small amount but the total distance to the other bank in this area is only 37 m. Furthermore, it is just beside the two channels under the Glebe Island Bridge, one of which has to be negotiated by all boat traffic entering or exiting Rozelle and Blackwattle Bays.

The Glebe Society did not oppose the original application by Sydney Slipways, but it did suggest that the proposed water use so close to the Glebe Island Bridge would cause water traffic problems. This variation this will cause a much greater problem by, firstly restricting the area for manoeuvre still further, and secondly by allowing bigger boats to enter the Sydney Slipways anchorage area.

The present application proposes to reduce risk through a protocol for liaison with Sydney Ports governing commercial movements into the Johnson Bay area . There is no mention of the passive use of the Bays by pleasure craft (especially those generated by the dry boat facility in Rozelle Bay), by rowing boats, particularly eights, dragon boats and canoes. The narrow channel leading into and out of Rozelle and Blackwattle Bays from the two very narrow channels under the Glebe Island Bridge is already a potential collision area. The Glebe Society reiterates its previous warning that proposed congestion in the area is creating a dangerous situation for the future and joins with the Sydney University Women’s’ Rowing Club in strongly objecting the proposed variation.

The proposed variation can be viewed at Leichhardt Town Hall: Section 75 (W): Modification Application (2); MP 05_00187: Marine Maintenance Facility, Lots 31 and 34, James Craig Drive, Rozelle Bay.

– Tony Larkum Bays and Foreshores convenor