Industry, community and the balancing act of Baileys

The proposal by Bailey’s Marine to build a refuelling and marine supply facility at White Bay Wharf 6 has generated much controversy since it was first put forward in late 2006. The proposal is currently being assessed by the Department of Planning and a panel of experts appointed by Planning Minister Frank Sartor. While Leichhardt Council, local precinct groups and community groups have been passionate and vocal in their opposition to the proposal, groups including the Sydney Harbour Maritime Forum, the Commercial Vessel Operators Association of NSW and the Boating Industry Association of NSW have voiced their support for the plan. This month we spoke to Guy Bailey, director of the Bailey’s Marine Group, about the proposal and the challenges facing maritime harbour users.

Why is there such a need for a marine refuelling facility on Sydney Harbour? The proposed location of the Bailey’s facility at White Bay Berth 6 provides an ideal central harbour location in proximity to the base for many working vessels and also provides a fuel supply for recreational craft for which the nearest options would otherwise be Cabarita or Rushcutters Bay. What are implications for recreational and commercial boaters if the proposal is rejected? It is essential to the sound planning for the harbour that this opportunity is not lost.

The facility provides for a significant improvement in the efficiency, competitive forces both in terms of price and environmental compliance, and the environmental management of fuel supply on Sydney Harbour. The facility will also have sewage pump out and sustainability initiatives. If the proposal does not go ahead, boaters will lose out on much needed marine infrastructure. Do you think that residents’ concerns over noise, safety and pollution are justified? Bailey’s core business is the supply of fuel to the marine sector which it has done with safety and ef-

ficiency all around Australia for over 20 years. The fact that Bailey’s are certified to the Australian Standard for Environmental Management Systems (ISO 14001) ensures appropriate procedures and standards are established and maintained through regular external audit. Certification to this standard is not achieved lightly and provides for an extremely high level of confidence in the sound operation of the facility. It is essential, however, that appropriate measures are established to ensure that operations do not result in disturbance to the local community.

What challenges has the changing nature of Sydney’s foreshore presented to those involved in maritime industries? In the past, industry has advocated for the establishment of precincts within the harbour from which maritime businesses, which depend upon waterfront access, could operate with security of tenure. One of the critical issues has been establishing a reasonable balance between the operational requirements of these businesses together with the increasing demand for residential development and managing the interface between the two.
• Interview by Ashlee Betteridge

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Village Voice Balmain April 7