Home' Afloat : September 2013 Contents 8 AFLOAT.com.au September 2013
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Sailing, casual clothing
Some current, sample and
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Boat parking in streets --
planning without infrastructure
I have followed with interest the letters regarding boat parking
in streets. Like other readers I would prefer it didn't happen.
However, the wrong culprit is being targeted and the
symptoms, not the cause is being debated. The real problem is
the NSW Department of Planning without Infrastructure.
For several decades they have had the mantra of cramming
as many people into Sydney, without providing the necessary
infrastructure, whether that be roads, public transport, water
supply, sewerage or electricity (that is why charges are now
going up astronomically to retrofit the necessary services) or
Many councils have tried over the years to include sufficient
off-street parking in their planning instruments so that things
like car and boat parking on streets would be unnecessary. But
they have been overruled by the Department of Planning without
Infrastructure who, along with the big developers want as many
of us as possible to exist in "human filing cabinets".
Off-street parking takes space and displaces the opportunity
for greater densities and profits. The myopic Department of
Planning isn't interested in the community, just developers.
While there have been some attempts to provide mass boat
I wonder how many other of our Afloat family over the years
have enjoyed Captain Chaos's delightful meal suggestions but
haven't let the good man know.
I have just served up the Spiced Chicken recipe in the July
The only trouble is that I have made a rod for my own back.
Everyone has suggested that the next time we have a get-together
I bring the Spiced Chicken!
Bring on more please.
It is a dangerous habit without doubt. Nobody in my sailing
classes, on my charter boats or on my private yacht ever goes
over the side. I hope I can convince at least a few people to
change their habits.
Real men do wear life jackets
Despite all the money spent on expensive public awareness
campaigns, there remains a perception among some Aussie
boaters that "real men wouldn't be caught dead wearing a life
In a perverse way it's an attitude that underscores the point:
real men are caught dead not wearing life jackets.
In late July we very nearly saw another tragic example of
this when three fishermen found themselves floundering in the
extremely cold mid-winter waters of Port Phillip Bay when their
tinnie suddenly sank by the stern. One struggled ashore but the
others quickly succumbed to hypothermia and after four hours
of immersion they were close to the point of no return.
Then, in a million-to-one chance, the only other boat out on
Port Phillip -- a husband and wife crew -- spotted the life jackets
bobbing in the waves and pulled the fishermen to safety. The
rescuers deserve a medal.
That night, on the TV news, the rescued skipper reluctantly
fronted the media scrum, looking more than a little embarrassed
by all the fuss. He was a big man, tall and powerful -- the
quintessential Aussie bloke.
He told his story and turned to go, then paused and squared
up to the cameras to deliver a punch line that went to the heart
of the story.
With great sincerity he said, "Thank God for life jackets.
Without them we wouldn't be here."
In one brief moment of clarity he cut through all the crap
and sent an unequivocal message to each and every one of us:
real men do wear life jackets. In Extremis Veritas.
storage, they have been pathetic and certainly not championed
by the Department.
Even the latest proposal at Homebush has been around for
several years but is just a drop in the bucket of what is needed,
and it hasn't happened yet! Planning without Infrastructure is a
fine art which the Department has perfected. The councils are just
the "whipping boys". We should all congratulate the Department
and the Premier (who is actually the overarching Planning Minister)
for the "perfect storm" they are creating in our streets.
Oh, and by the way the proposed changes to the Planning
Act are designed to make things worse ... much worse. The
Department seems to be totally unaware of just how many people
in NSW live close to the coast, and funnily enough, actually see
our waterways as recreational opportunities.
Retired General Manager (2005) Pittwater Council.
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