That Cat

To: Birding-Aus <>
Subject: That Cat
From: John Gamblin <>
Date: Thu, 2 Aug 2001 18:19:10 -0700 (PDT)
Sea trials for ferry service

The Victorian State Government has called for sea
trials to gauge the effects from the wake of the
91-metre catamaran that would be used if a Tasmanian
ferry service is run from Stony Point.

The Minister for Planning, Mr John Thwaites, has ruled
out the need for en environmental effects statement
(EES) but says there is a need to determine if the
wake will impact on Western Port?s beaches. The
Federal Government also decided against an EES. In
particular, I consider that the issue of wake impacts
on public safety, the environment and the coastline of
Port would be best assessed in the context of sea
trials of the vessel or a very similar vessel, Mr.
Thwaites said.

The trials should be held in a variety of weather
conditions and at varying speeds, he said. I believe
the proponent should be responsible for implementing a
monitoring program to measure the wake impacts of the
service in operation, so that statutory conditions can
be modified if problems are identified, Mr Thwaites

TT Line, the Tasmanian Government-owned company which
wants to start the new service, earlier this year
threatened to walk away from the project if an EES was

Eminently sensible Cr David Renouf said the decision
was eminently sensible ... it?s almost exactly what we
asked for all along. But it?s a pity the community had
to go through so much angst with a campaign that was
launched to demand an EES, he said. This is the first
step, we?ll now look to securing all Tasmanian freight
trade down the track and I am hopeful that before long
this will be a daily service all year round.

Cr Renouf said it would be logical for freighters to
use existing or new wharf facilities at Long Island,
north of Hastings. I personally consider the far north
of the bay should be excluded from industrial and port

For all my enthusiasm for the ferry, I don?t want to
see Western Port suffer. Cr Snez Plunkett, who has
been criticised for wanting a full EES and accused of
harming local employment prospects by jeopardising the
ferry project, saw Mr Thwaites? decision as a
reasonably good result. Perhaps not as good as an EES
process, but at least we will have an opportunity to
address any risks, she said.

Cr Plunkett said the sea trials would ensure the ferry
disadvantaged no-one. My only concern that remains is
about how to best manage traffic and who will fund any
associated works.

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