ONE of the joys of walking along the Hobart foreshore is that you never know what you are going to see on the Derwent river. And yesterday (December 18) , on a walk around the Battery Point foreshore, there was plenty to see.

A barge anchored offshore, a gang of men at work,  ropes, chains, steel girders drilled into rocks and set in concrete.

The reason for this hive of activity is a move by a number of waterfront residents to build jetties, among them John White, of Tasmanian Compliance Corporation fame,  and Incat’s Craig Clifford, who are Clarke Ave neighbours.

Talk about a preemptive strike.

At a time when debate rages over greater public access to the foreshore.

Many people want a city to casino boardwalk, while others will be happy with manmade impediments removed to allow a low tide path, or scramble track, around the Battery Point foreshore.

At a time when the Hobart City Council is negotiating with four waterfront landowners, Guy and Rosslyn Green, and Ken Hosking and Patricia Hosking, who have two adjacent titles in Marine Terrace which extend to or past the low water mark, to buy the strip between the tide marks. The Greens and the Hoskings want about $700,000 for the land, the Council has offered about $70,000.

At a time when many residents feel disenfranchised by the Battery Point Sullivans Cove Community Association following the 2006 AGM, which is effectively controlled by waterfront residents and their friends.

At a time when the Council has sought legal advice on suspending the Battery Point Advisory Committee, which advises the Council on all Battery Point planning matters, and when Council has asked for a report on alleged breaches at the contentious BPSCCA’s recent AGM.

Mr White is a member of the BPSCCA committee. He and many BPSCCA office-bearers, including Mr Hosking, have long said they want to protect the last wild foreshore in Hobart — Battery Point. That means they don’t want a boardwalk (which some would say is only a jetty sideways).

  Why? While they talk publicly about preserving the historic heritage of the foreshore, less publicly they say they think it would reduce the value of their properties and they fear noise from people walking along it would disturb their peace (never mind about sound from river activity).

A search reveals that Mr White is chairman/president of Friends of the Foreshore Association, which was incorporated in May 2002 and Patricia Probin, also of Clarke Ave, is treasurer. (Mr Hosking is vice chairman).

The search also reveals that the principal activity of the association is to “protect the foreshore at Secherord (sic) Point and Battery Point.”

So what exactly is happening right now?

Mr Clifford and Mr White live respectively, at 16 and 18 Clarke Ave.

Both have slip rails across the foreshore, Mr Clifford to the left of his property when facing the water, Mr White to the right of his property. Early this year, Mr White gained approval for a jetty from the relevant authorities, which is being built on the boundary between the two properties, with access from both titles.

As noted, there is a barge anchored offshore, a sign proclaims the foreshore to be a construction site, with work under way by FPS Constructions. Holes are being drilled in the sea floor to allow pylons to be dropped into it, and girders have been drilled into the granite rocks on the foreshore and set in concrete.

Further around the foreshore, another jetty is about to start. Two properties, 30 and 32 Clarke Ave, also have a FPS Constructions sign up proclaiming a construction site. There are some steel girders already in place,  pink fluoro markings on rocks and huge plastic pipes in a pile, ready for the next stage of construction.

Further along again, in Marine Terrace, on the northern side of the Greens’ property,  there is now a metal stake well out into the water, possibly a territory marker, with a black plastic chain connecting it to the end of the fence. The chain is not stopping anyone from walking across the foreshore, but at knee height and black, it could be a hazard at dusk.

Meanwhile, there is a three-member committee established by the State Government early this year to look at the foreshore issue. By last month, it had yet to meet, but comprises a bureaucrat, someone appointed by the Hobart City Council, whose names have yet to be made public, and the nominee of both the Battery Point Sullivans Cove Community Association and Friends of the Foreshore. Their joint nominee is Sandra Champion, of Clarke Avenue.

The Mercury, Wednesday: Enclave jetty boom

 

 

 

 

Margaretta Pos

A barge anchored offshore, a gang of men at work,  ropes, chains, steel girders drilled into rocks and set in concrete.

The reason for this hive of activity is a move by a number of waterfront residents to build jetties, among them John White, of Tasmanian Compliance Corporation fame,  and Incat’s Craig Clifford, who are Clarke Ave neighbours.

Talk about a preemptive strike.