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fact sheets

• port hacking vision
• opportunites
• managing hacking
• bonnievale ramp
• minimising nuisence
• stormwater mgnt
• marine heritage
• biodiveristy
• landscape controls


• jetski issues
• cabbage tree basin
• dunecare report

Providing Opportunities for Everyone

The environmental quality of Port Hacking is the key to its recreational value, allowing a range of recreational activities not possible in estuaries where natural conditions are degraded, or less suitable for activities that require safe and relatively shallow and protected waters. Different environment qualities are needed by different types of user. This is the key challenge in managing recreation in Port Hacking fairly.
Environmental sensitivity Use of estuary and foreshores Impacts on environment * Degree of infrastructure required Use sensitivity to noise?** Sensitivity to water quality?** Sensitive to biodiversity?**
High Swimming Low Low for bay swimming. Moderate for seawater pools Highly sensitive Highly sensitive Moderate
Fishing Low except in the case of over-harvesting Low, except if etc parking required Moderate Highly sensitive Highly sensitive
Canoeing Low Low Highly sensitive Highly sensitive Sensitive
Bushwalking Low Low Highly sensitive Highly sensitive Highly sensitive
Picnicking and foreshore user Low except if picnic grounds are required Moderate in most instances Sensitive Sensitive Moderately sensitive
Residential Substantial Very Substantial Highly sensitive Sensitive Sensitive
Large boats Substantial with infrastructures, or in seagrasses.or if waste is mismanaged. Substantial if marinas, dredging, facilities, mooring, lighting etc required Low sensitivity Low sensitivity Low sensitivity
Low High speed power boats High High if boat ramps, fuelling etc facilities required Very low sensitivity Very low sensitivity Very low sensitivity
* In all cases assuming substantial user numbers for the activity. If numbers for an activity are controlled, the environmental impacts are reduced. However, so to is the justification for allowing the activity, if that activity is competitive with other less impactful activities.

** This is not saying that all users reflect these degrees of sensitivity - it is a reflection of whether the nature of the use requires this resource for its normal enjoyment. Individuals often have multiple uses, and individual sensitivities also vary.

What is the PHPS position?

Some recreational uses have a greater impact on the environment than others. The extent to which a use by some degrades the opportunities available to others is a consideration in deciding what activities ought be encouraged in which areas. There is logic of focusing activities which are indifferent to environmental qualities, and which may damage the opportunities for others, away from uses which are dependent on high quality environments.

To do the opposite (locate activities which are largely indifferent to environment quality, and which have a potential deleterious effect on that environment) is a policy most calculated to accelerate environment harm and maximise the loss of amenity to users.

Some activities require substantial infrastructure expenditures and significant alteration to the natural environment to make them feasible. Others require little. Generally there is a link between infrastructure requirements and indifference to the environment. It makes economic sense to encourage activities which require little infrastructure. It makes sense to locate infrastructure away from the sensitive areas, to protect the low resource demand/low impact uses.

This is at the heart of the PHPS position on recreational use zoning in Port Hacking. Those areas that are less sensitive to the environment or which have the potential to harm that environment, ought be located away from sensitive areas and away from users whose enjoyment is significantly dependent on a pristine, natural context.

This will result in the maximum benefit to users, the most efficient use of scarce resources, and the most sustainable use of our much loved estuary.
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