Letters to the Editor, Magnet, October 20, 2016

VISITORS: Clara Rogers of Black Range has sent the Magnet this great photo of seagulls at Eden Wharf titled 'Flocking to Eden for the Whale Festival'. Thank you Clara.

VISITORS: Clara Rogers of Black Range has sent the Magnet this great photo of seagulls at Eden Wharf titled 'Flocking to Eden for the Whale Festival'. Thank you Clara.

Assistance justified 

Your front page article on October 6 seems to imply some criticism of the NSW government for assisting the recovery of the chip mill.

Governments usually do assist people and communities affected by natural disasters.

With the future of a major Eden industry at risk from a huge storm event, I would be very surprised if the NSW government did not provide some support to protect the many direct and indirect jobs at stake in our community.

Rob Bain, Broadwater 

Cruising to disaster  

As we enjoy the annual migration of whales along our coast we look forward to another type of visitor - large cruise ships. 

While I welcome the growth and opportunities the cruise ships will bring I am concerned that they do not damage the assets that draw them here – our clear waters and clean environment. 

I have written to the relevant federal and state ministers to ask what protections are in place and am waiting for this information. 

My own research reveals the following:

Cruise ships are getting larger with the Meraviglia planned to launch next year hosting 5700 passengers.

Website beachpedia reveals that a 3000 passenger cruise ship generates the following waste over a one week voyage: 1 million gallons of grey water,  210,000 gallons of sewage,  25,000 gallons of oily bilge water, 100 gallons of hazardous and toxic waste, 50 tons of garbage plus diesel exhaust emissions. 

It is estimated that  cruise ships now discharge 1 billion gallons of sewage into the oceans each year. 

Many of these ships are akin to floating cities.

Their per capita pollution is higher than their land equivalent due to weak pollution controls, lax enforcement and the difficulty of detecting illegal discharges at sea. 

Cruise vessels traverse all the oceans of the world including pristine arctic and antarctic waters.

The cruise ship industry does not have a good record of compliance. 

From website Quora I learned that shipping companies claim that 'most non-hazardous biodegradable waste is dumped at least 12 miles out to sea. Other waste is kept on board for off-loading and many ships are fitted with Advanced Water Purification. Another quote on the website stated: 'Non toxic natural waste is dumped into the sea in international waters.  That includes all of the food waste and poop'..

Imagine that you are a sea turtle navigating the Pacific when a large cruise ship passes over you and discharges a huge dump.  Not a pleasant experience I am sure you will agree. 

The longer term effects are harmful to our entire ocean systems. 

What can we do?

We can be aware and take note. Every year Friends of the Earth releases a cruise ship report card  that gives an A to F grade to 15 cruise lines. The cruise lines are graded on pollution reduction, water quality compliance and overall compliance.  You might like to consider this before booking a cruise. 

We can pressure our governments to ensure that cruise ships coming to our coast comply with environmental marine legislation. 

The natural environment we enjoy becomes more desirable every year.  It is a natural and economic treasure that is ours to respect, enjoy and protect. 

Dianne Beckett, Merimbula 

Merimbula RSL Club AGM

Are you a member of Merimbula RSL Club? Do you want to see your club move forward and grow and prosper?

This is your chance to have your say about the future direction of your club.

Come along to the annual general meeting at 8pm on Wednesday, October 26 and have your say.

Derrick Bentley, Merimbula

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