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Council Backs Bay Boat Ban


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Council backs bay boat ban

BOATS could be banned from entering Cabbage Tree Bay to protect snorkellers, swimmers, divers and marine life after calls from Manly Council.

A report, which was passed by the council, also called on NSW Maritime to amend the schedule to prohibit the entry and anchorage of boats in the waters off Shelly Beach unless in a situation of ``safe haven''.

This included all ``registrable vessels' and if adopted would change current rules which allow boats to drop anchor and enter the bay.

The bay has more than 360 diverse marine species, including rock lobsters, seadragons, octopus and eastern blue groper.

Fairy Bower precinct committee chairwoman Cecily McGee said she was worried swimmers could be injured by boats.

In his mayoral minuted, Cr Peter Macdonald said Cabbage Tree Bay was one of the area's most beautiful environmental assets.

``Its clear, calm water at Shelly Beach and abundant marine life . . . have meant the area has become a popular place for recreation among locals and visitors alike.''

But Cr Richard Morrison said by restricting boats, the council was ``in danger of slipping into a nanny state''.

``I think anyone who swims 1km off the shore is a professional swimmer, we are not talking about families splashing around 50m (off shore),'' he said.

``We are talking about people with goggles and Speedos on, I think they can look for boats off the beach.''

Last month the Daily snapped a photo of a cruiser moored within 50m of swimmers.

A NSW Maritime spokesman said he was not aware of any complaints or recent incidents involving power boats at Cabbage Tree Bay but the council's proposal would be considered.

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