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New Large Marinas slated for Sydney Harbour
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Yacht moored at Blackwattle bay

Yacht moored at Blackwattle bay

There are several large marina developments slated for Sydney Harbour. Whilst the large Marina at Rose Bay has been taking most of the headlines, with wealthy proponents and vocal detractors, there are several lesser known proposals in (long!) process including Balls Head, Berrys Bay, Elizabeth Bay and Blackwattle Bay.

Balls Head

This is essentially a redevelopment of the existing dilapidated coal-loader wharf complex on the western side of Waverton Peninsula. It is owned by Roads and Maritime Services (the Old NSW Maritime). The park and some of the buildings next to the Wharf have been upgraded, but let’s be frank it – the loader wharf is an eye sore, and off –limits to the public due to safety issues. So a re-development here is surely a good thing. But the North Sydney Council and a group of activists don’t think so. There seems to be an enpasse between the RMS & North Sydney Council as a road upgrade proposal has been rejected by council, until RMS submit further details on their Marina proposal. The 160m wharf is proposed to be re-developed for larger yachts and motor cruisers from 12m to 50m, suitable for commercial operations such as Yacht charters, motor cruiser charters and other commercial vessels.

Berrys Bay

There are plans to build a 92 berth marina at Berry Bay – a development proposal was approved by the previous NSW Labour government. Meriden Marinas were awarded the development for up vessels 30m, including a boat yard & car parking. This construction is now underway.

Blackwattle Bay

This area adjacent to the fish markets is sadly run down. It is well used by the larger commercial charter vessel operators. There has been a development proposal accepted by the NSW Maritime as far back as 2005, with several revisions in the interim, but to date no real construction work has progressed.

Rose Bay

This is essentially a redevelopment of the existing marina, however much larger number and capacity of berths. There has been much debate in the public domain, especially with some of the original concepts proposing a massive super boat marina – fortunately, this is has been scaled back and is now under construction…

Point Piper / Elizabeth Bay

Like Rose Bay proposal there has been a strong resident pushback. This development has been previously approved by (the former) NSW Maritime. However, the future of this development proposal is clouded, and seems to have become a political item between City of Sydney and the Ministerial Office for Planning and Infrastructure.

Typically, these new Sydney Harbour Marina developments have good support from the boating fraternity, but some are aggressively opposed by residential activists, green lobbyists, and some councils. Sydney Harbour has been rightly claimed as a working harbour by successive governments. Further the Charter of the RMS is to promote a balanced safe access and use of the harbour. So, the “no new marina” position is simply untenable and short sighted, and the environment damage claims are usually misleading. Tasteful, well designed marinas can be beautifully integrated with the environment – think the lovely (old) Havorsens marina with fish sanctuary at Bobbin Head. Indeed, most boaties by nature absolutely love and care for a beautiful harbour. Equally though, massive new super marina proposals are too imposing and unattractive. A little constructive balance is all that is required. Good luck RMS..!

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