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Whats On logo button SCUTTLE UPDATES - THE (ex) HMAS ADELAIDE (ll) Whats On logo button
* The first scheduled dive has been cancelled due to heavy seas. READ MORE

* Chris Hartcher - "The Ship will generate millions of dollars" READ MORE

* First Divers Assess The Ship READ MORE

* Successful Scuttling READ MORE

* Scuttling to go ahead despite 11th hour summons

* No Ship Action Group Files To Stop Scuttling READ MORE

* No Ship Action Group and local residents - Vigil at Avoca Beach READ MORE

* The ex HMAS Adelaide arrives READ MORE

* Road Closures and Exclusion zones for the day READ MORE

* NSW Ombudsman wants answers READ MORE

* Mr O'Farrell says the Adelaide WILL be going down despite further protestations..READ MORE

* Ex HMAS Adelaide Progress Report. READ MORE

* More backlash to NSAG re the cost blowout. READ MORE

* NSAG seeking Legal advice READ MORE

* New date for the sinking - April 13 2011 READ MORE

* The decommissioned HMAS Canberra now placing a new tilt on the ex HMAS Adelaide debate... READ MORE >>>

* Local and international divers say that Artificial Reef ships are 'crap' and sterile - not worth visiting... READ MORE >>>

* Estimated costs to remove more hazardous materials escalates

* The decision to approve the permit to scuttle and the reasons behind it as handed down on September 15 2010 are listed below.

Whats On logo button DETAILS - THE (ex) HMAS ADELAIDE (ll) Whats On logo button
HMAS Adelaide (ll) image courtesy Australian Navy


CLASS: Adelaide Class
LAUNCHED: 21 June 1978
COMMISSIONED: 15 November 1980
DECOMMISSIONED: 19 January 2008
DISPLACEMENT: 4,100 tonnes
LENGTH: 138.1 metres
BEAM: 14.3 metres
AIRCRAFT: Up to two Seahawk helicopters
MAIN MACHINERY: Two General Electric LM2500 gas turbines driving a single controllable pitch propeller
SPEED: 30 knots (55.56 km/h)

E-mail LPMA - Project Owners
Whats On logo button (ex) HMAS ADELAIDE Whats On logo button
Whats On Central Coast Logo Button image THE HISTORY:
While being a ship made with nuts and bolts, the HMAS Adelaide, like all sea vessels has a history, stories to tell and memories for all who sailed the ocean on and under her decks.

HMAS Adelaide (ll) is the second ADELAIDE to be decommissioned to make way for HMAS ADELAIDE (lll). The third HMAS Adelaide will be the second of two Canberra Class Landing Helicopter Dock ships due to enter service with the RAN in 2012.

HMAS Adelaide (II) (FFG-01) was a long-range escort frigate with roles including area air HMAS Adelaide decommissions image courtesy Australian Navydefence, anti-submarine warfare, surveillance, reconnaissance and interdiction.
The Ship could simultaneously counter threats from the air, surface and sub-surface.
HMAS Adelaide (II) was decommissioned at Garden Island in Western Australia on the 20th January 2008. The time-honoured tradition marked the end of 27 years of service for what was the Royal Australian Navy's (RAN) oldest frigate.

The ship's Australian White Ensign was lowered for the last time and handed to the Adelaide's Commanding Officer, CMDR Robert Slaven. "Today is an historic occasion, one which the the crew of Adelaide is proud to be a part of," Commander Slaven said.

Built in the United States, Adelaide (II) was commissioned on 15 November 1980 and was the first of six Adelaide Class guided-missile frigates to be delivered to the Royal Australian Navy. Adelaide (II) was the second ship in the RAN to carry this name.
The first was a light cruiser that served from 1922 to 1945.

Information courtesy AUSTRALIAN NAVY WEBSITE

The Ex-HMAS Adelaide Artificial Reef Project aims to create an internationally acclaimed dive site off the shore of Avoca Beach on the Central Coast of NSW.
While ex HMAS Adelaide will be the first of its kind in NSW, it will also be one of 6 naval dive sites around Australia but the one closest to shore and a well populated area.

The date for the scuttling was set for 27th March 2010. The ship needs to settle in an upright position so the scuttling will only be done if weather permits.

For more information on the preparation, arrival and viewing of the Adelaide scuttling please see the ex HMAS Adelaide Website (This website is owned by the LAND AND PROPERTY MANAGEMENT AUTHORITY) and the Central Coast Artificial Reef Project (CCARP) Website.

While many are excited for the scuttling to go ahead, some local residents are none too pleased. As always there are two sides to an issue and some residents of Avoca Beach, where the ship will lay around 1.8 klms offshore, are unhappy with the lack of consultation with the community and thorough investigation.

The Avoca Boardriders held a public meeting in February 2010 regarding the scuttling and referred to many previous studies and reports including the GREENPAECE AND BASEL ACTION NETWORK REPORT titled "Reefing Madness".

"All we ask is for a second opinion on the sanity of scuttling this vessel so close to shore with the knowledge it contains toxic materials of the worst possible kind. Materials that will leach into the water and sediment over time due to corrosion and breakdown of the hull."

There is also more information to be found on the NO SHIP AT AVOCA WEBSITE.

The Land and Property Management Authority (LPMA) is leading this project as...
"* The bed of the ocean is Crown land out to the three nautical mile limit. The ex-HMAS Adelaide will become a structure owned by the Crown resting on Crown land under the management of LPMA.
* LPMA is the lead agency for delivery of the project including environmental studies, ship preparation and sinking as well as ongoing management of the site.
* The nominated site for sinking the ex-HMAS Adelaide is on Crown land forming part of a Regional Crown Reserve within the three nautical mile state limit."

The LPMA says "The assessment shows that the scuttling of the Ex-HMAS ADELAIDE will have no significant impact as defined by the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979".
The LMPA has also supplied a link to their ENVIRONMENTAL Q and A REPORT (completed over 18 months) for those interested in the effects to the environment from the scuttling.

Time will be the final determination of this issue - we all hope it is a positive outcome for our children and our grandchildren's sake.

April 29 2011

Due to the current heavy seas pounding the Central Coast the first scheduled dive of the Ex HMAS Adelaide articial reef has been cancelled.
April 15 2011 - 0700 hrs
The Minister for the Central Coast, Chris Hartcher, says the wreck will generate millions of dollars in tourism and follow-on revenue for the coast's economy.
It would be a unique dive site, the first of its kind in NSW, and a world class recreational facility, Mr Hartcher said in a statement.
Divers from all over Australia and the world would be visiting the central coast, many for the first time.
It would provide a "a great opportunity" to market the coast's many other attractions..
April 14 2011
- 1630 hrs
The first civilian diver on ex-HMAS Adelaide off the New South Wales Central Coast, says yesterday's scuttling at Avoca Beach couldn't have been better planned.
Rob Westadyk, one of several divers who has been assessing the ship in its new home, says it is perfectly placed...

April 13 2011 - 1930 hrs
Aside from an interested pod of dolphins delaying the scuttling all reports say the ex HMAS Adelaide went down perfectly and according to plan.
The event attracted thousands of onlookers at vantage points and on the beach and much local, national and international media attention.
It would appear, with all the controversy, that the NSAG has certainly increased the attention to this event which would have, in comparison, passed almost unnoticed a year ago.

A late notification from the NO SHIP ACTION GROUP in this evening ...
April 12 2011 - 1830 hrs
NO SHIP Action Group filed an 11th-hour summons at 4pm today to stop the ex-HMAS Adelaide being scuttled off Avoca Beach tomorrow morning.

Citing last-minute evidence pertaining to the breaking up of the ex-HMAS Canberra off the coast of Victoria near Geelong, the group filed a summons addressed to State Minister for Primary Industries and Minister for Environment at the Land and Environment Court.

The latest evidence was received via Freedom of Information documents on Friday afternoon. It shows the Victorian ship, which is an identical sister ship to the ex-HMAS Adelaide, has broken up largely because of corrosion inherently caused by the ship’s structure.
Additionally, the ex-HMAS Adelaide’s 23000 sq m of lead paint has not been tested for toxic PCBs despite numerous requests.

“Will Premier O’Farrell respect the court system and allow the Land and Environment Court time to decide the rights and wrongs of sinking this warship?,” a No Ship spokesperson said.
“What is wrong with waiting and letting the court decide. There are serious concerns here.
“What is one week of waiting, compared to two hundred years of pollution washing up on our beaches.”

Friday’s FOI documents follow on from a $4000 report the community group received on Monday last week from a US marine engineer outlining why the ship in Victoria is breaking up so quickly.
“It turns out these frigates are the wrong type of ship to scuttle,” the NSAG spokesperson said.

“We are loathe to lodge the summons at this late and critical stage but we had no choice.

This corrosion must be looked at. We truly thought Barry O’Farrell and the Liberals meant a fresh wave of accountable, clean Governance.”
“We are asking Mr O’Farrell to let the court be the umpire.”

Last year the community spent nearly $70,000 on a legal case against the NSW State Government, which spent about $1 million of taxpayer's money fighting the residents of Avoca Beach...
April 12 2011
The No Ship Action Group will hold a vigil south of the shark tower from 4 pm Tuesday 12th April 2011 through until Wednesday.

Their actions spurred by the belief that the toxicity of the vessel will endanger the lives of their kids, the famous beach and many other reasons is their Australian right and if you really wish to be objective - understandable.

A media release from the NSAG says..
"The No Ship Action Group wish to thank everyone who supported our campaign to stop the scuttling of the ex HMAS Adelaide in Avoca Bay."
"We cannot just accept this act without a show of our disgust at the disregard for our very valid concerns and what has unfolded as a potential environmental disaster for the beach we all treasure."
"We will be holding a vigil at Avoca Beach on Tuesday (April 12) afternoon from 4.00 pm and continuing through Tuesday night to Wednesday when the dumping is planned to occur."

April 11 2011

The Ex HMAS Adelaide arrived under tow and under much ado from local and national media to the scuttling point.
Divers will be exploring the underwater site tomorrow for the final preparations for the scuttling.

Many vantage points are already closed to the public and the road closures are listed below with RTA signage already displaying warnings of closures at priority points around the area.

An intimidating sight, the 145 metre vessel almost fills the vision of the horizon being so close to the shore.

Weather conditions are forecast to be favourable for the scuttling of the vessel on Wednesday 13th April 2011.

April 1 2011
The scuttling of the Ex-HMAS ADELAIDE is scheduled to take place at 10:30am on 13 April 2011, so long as weather conditions are favourable.

On 11 April 2011, the Ex-HMAS ADELAIDE will be towed to the Central Coast. It will be escorted by police and other authorities and will have an exclusion zone in place. It will be anchored off Avoca Beach while final preparations are made such as cutting dive access holes above the water line.

The former Navy Frigate will be located approximately 1.4km south of the Skillion at Terrigal and 1.8km off Avoca Beach in around 32m of water.

On the day of scuttling, an exclusion zone of around 1000m will remain in place until after the Ex-HMAS ADELAIDE in scuttled and all safety checks have been completed. As a matter of public safety, a 1000 metre exclusion zone around the Ex-HMAS ADELAIDE will apply to boats and people.

For more information on Road Closures in Terrigal and Avoca, Parking, Shuttle Buses etc please see the GOSFORD CITY COUNCIL WEBSITE.
April 1 2011
The NSW Ombudsman's office has contacted the LPMA with some questions regarding the Scuttling of the ex HMAS Adelaide.
Giving 14 days to the LPMA to respond the Ombudsman would like responses to many questions some being...
* AAT compliance re dumping permit
* The setting a date prior to the permit being issued.
* The Canberra/Adelaide similarities
A copy of the letter to the LPMA and other information is available from the NO SHIP ACTION GROUP WEBSITE
March 30 2011
While visiting the Coast yesterday Mr O'Farrell says they are committed to the sinking of the ex HMAS Adelaide project despite the ongoing protests from the NO Ship Action Group.
Mr O'Farrell said "The review has been done. The decision has been made by the past government and that decision will proceed".
March 15 2011
Work to comply with the extra conditions set by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal is around 90% complete as at February 2011.
This has included removal of:
•some remnant cabling and other electrical equipment
•canvas and insulation
•loose or flaking paint
•detailed progress report by ship compartment

Regulatory Authority
The Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPC) is the regulatory authority responsible for assessing compliance with all the conditions of the Permit, including the extra conditions set by the Tribunal. DSEWPC’s regulatory process includes inspections of the ship with appropriate experts to determine compliance with the conditions of the Permit.
February 26 2011
While the pros and cons regarding the safety of sinking a ship will be forever bandied, one fact appears to remain set in concrete; the initial budget for the sinking of the ex HMAS Adelaide was 5.8 million dollars.
The ship was 'gifted' to the Central Coast via the the efforts of the CCARP group, made up of local Dive business operators and club members.
The estimated blowout of the cost to remove more toxic and hazardous materials ordered by the AAT is approximately $1.8 million.
With the desperate need for Cancer units, medical equipment and many more desperate community organisations on the Coast it seems a little tacky that both CCARP supporters and the politicians are actually blaming the No Ship Action Group and its supporters for the extra $1.8m when it has only been blown out due to the materials in question not being removed in the first place.
If you were a fence sitter this may be a push to the other side....
February 25 2011
The No Ship Action Group are seeking legal advice regarding the new date for the scuttling of the Adelaide. While there is a tentative date set for Wednesday the 13th April (this will be dependant on the appropriate weather conditions) there are other dates noted in case conditions do not favour a 'safe' sinking.
Other issues being noted are the exclusionary zones and the impact on the local recreational fishing and associated marine habitats.
February 24 2011
The ex HMAS Adelaide has a new scuttling date set for Wednesday the 13th April 2011.
Lands Minister Mr. Kelly expects that the work to remove all the toxic materials, so ordered by the AAT, will completed sometime in March.
Mr Kelly also added that the AAT's decision to ensure a safe ship is sunk may have 'blown out' the budget of $5.8 million by almost another million dollars.
One can only presume this would not have been the case had these materials been removed in the first place.
With the scuttling being held mid week it will be interesting to see how many people will be at the event - there may be a staff shortage on that day - a very, very big one.

February 9 2011
The sister ship to the HMAS Adelaide, recently decommissioned and scuttled, has been on a tilt for a while now. Authorities have posted traveler and local warnings to recreational divers to avoid sections of the wreck due to frames and plating movement, exit blockages and loose items.
Read the full story in the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD

The authorities have been keeping an eye on the unexpected movement of the ship (and the consequential movement of items within) since the initial tilting began.
With the breakup of the ship comes the inevitable flotsam, some floating in the bay while other parts are also being washed ashore.

The No Ship group says The Canberra is in this state in water under a 3 metre swell only, while the Adelaide will be under an expected 4 to 5 metre swell load and closer to the shore.

It appears that yet again, Father time and Mother Nature may be the only real decision makers in this debate.
February 8 2011
From the University of Newcastle
Conserving and better understanding the unique local marine environment is the aim of a partnership between the University of Newcastle and the Central Coast Marine Discovery Centre.

The partnership, which will promote research and education in the marine sustainability and coastal environments, will be formalised this week with the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement between the University and the Marine Discovery Centre.
“As the coastal population of NSW grows, it is imperative that the community is aware of the importance of conserving our precious marine environments,” University of Newcastle Vice-Chancellor, Professor Nicholas Saunders, said.
“The Centre will deliver cutting-edge marine research and the opportunity for the University, its staff and students to inform the community about coastal management.”
The University offers Marine Science and Sustainable Resource Management programs at the Central Coast campus at Ourimbah. The University’s students are volunteers at the Centre and academics contributed to its formation and displays.
“The Centre offers high quality environmental programs and interpretative, hands-on displays that cater to people of all ages,” Marine Discovery Centre Chairperson, John Asquith, said.
“It includes displays such as an interactive Ocean Rock Pool, exhibits on climate change and information on baseline research by the University for the scuttling of the Ex-HMAS Adelaide.
“The Centre celebrates our unique marine environment, will be a draw card for visitors and provides a fun learning environment for young people.”

The Centre has launched a new display to better understand the Port Jackson sharks that live on the Central Coast. It is based on research by University of Newcastle researcher Dr David Powter.
The Central Coast Marine Discovery Centre is a partnership between several community organisations, including the Community Environment Network and the University of Newcastle.
For more information visit THE WEBSITE

The Agreement was signed by University of Newcastle Vice-Chancellor, Professor Nicholas Saunders and Central Coast Marine Discovery Centre Chairperson, John Asquith, at the Centre, 11 Terrigal Drive, Terrigal, on Wednesday 9 February 2011 at 10.30am.
January 31 2011
While the sinking of the ex HMAS Adelaide may be a great draw card for the Central Coast and Terrigal, the apparent guarantees of sinking a 'safe' ship being marred by the orders to strip more 'hazardous materials' from the ship and the ensuing responses and accusations have done the CCARP group no favours.

I can imagine Sue Dengate, (Spokesperson for CCARP and ex part owner and operator of a Sydney-based dive charter operation) gets so brusque in her press releases as she does, as she has put in a lot of work to have this ship sunk as a dive wreck off our Central Coast.

She is as passionate about the sinking of the Adelaide as the No Ship group and many locals are not.

But what will be the eventual cost of this exercise financially and environmentally for our kids. The data from of a period of say 100 years is not available as ships of this kind have never been sunk for such a length of time thus far.
The orders are in place to have the wreck, post sinking, inspected at intervals to check on any contamination. What happens if there is eventually some found? How do you raise and dispose of something this big with, by all reports, a whole new marine habitat attached?

A place to find a common thought regarding the value of usage in the tourism aspect would be from those who already dive... While Australian Dive site forum members, the majority from out of town or interstate, quite raucously state they want it and post threatening comments towards those who may wish to stop it, other local and international forum members state that these purpose sunk ships are sterile and "Crap".
Another forum, Skyscraper City, (new 'locals' and ex-City folk) also want it sunk but their opinion of the locals and opposition to a myriad of Coast skyscrapers being "these anti-development idiots are holding the area back" possibly are more infuriating than supportive.

Residents of Avoca already enjoy a booming tourist trade with their town and the world class surfing beach. Placing that in jeopardy with anything short of 'beyond a reasonable doubt' is a simple matter of protecting their tourism status quo and the longevity of the same and also, in their opinion, the environment too.

Tagged 'NIMBYS' (not in my back yard) they are protecting where they live. The CCARP group have the same protective thoughts by improving the tourism trade to their area.

Would the government offer a guarantee they will repair any damage (if they could) to the shoreline, Avoca's current tourism and its marine environment - of course not - no one would expect that.

While the sinking may be a tourism boost in the short term, we will never see the long term results of this exercise... but our grandkids will.
December 8 2010
The decision and orders NOT to remove all hazardous materials from the Ex HMAS Adelaide prior to scuttling has become a veritable hot potato between offices.

Justice Downes has refused the Lands Department a variation in his original orders.

The sky rocketing costs that have resulted from the work not being done in the original preparation has now extended the proposed scuttle date to March - Mid April 2011 according to Mr McClymont from the Lands Department.
Whatever your thoughts on the protest and stalling of the scuttle some important points to remember are;
* Being local and Australian they, as we all do, have the right to question the decision and ensure that all safety is ensured for their their next generations.
* Avoca Beach is a pristine, close knit peaceful community, proud and protective of their area.
* As was the same with the Gas drilling off our Central Coast, they were not consulted regarding this major environmental and social change and impact on their community.
* While a ship can sink at anytime and the recovery be impossible or as with previous successful scuttling's our generation is not aware of the long term results of this.
* This ship scuttling is the closest to shore artificial reef that has been attempted.
* There has been and still is more work to be done to prepare the ship and remove any harmful substances/fittings since the appeal process began and before the scuttling can take place.

The ship is to be scuttled but in a more acceptable condition for the first one so close to a shore and populated community. Both parties have in effect had a win here.

The following are the points taken into account by the Tribunal as stated by Justice Garry Downes, President;

"During the inspection of the ship, the expert members of the Tribunal noted and brought to the attention of the parties a quantity of wiring that would be likely to be associated with PCBs that remained on board. The Tribunal was advised by Mr Coyle that removal of this wiring was continuing and would be completed prior to the scuttling of the vessel."
"...consistent with the Project Plan and the Initial Ship Inspection, the canvas covering and insulation must be removed to enable all paint surfaces to be examined and, where necessary, treated."
"Further, as there is limited understanding of the specific impacts of lead on the marine environment, especially over the long term and in marine sediments, additional monitoring is appropriate."
The Long Term Monitoring and Management Plan provides for sediment sampling, including for lead and copper, at one month, six months, eighteen months and five years.
Consistent with the other members of the Tribunal, Member Wulf noted that there was very little information as to the long term effects of lead on the marine environment and was of the view that additional sampling should be provided for now, over the long term, above what is prescribed in the Management Plan, these being:
(a) 120 months (10 years) post scuttling;
(b) 180 months (15 years) post scuttling;
(c) 240 months (20 years) post scuttling;
(d) 600 months (50 years) post scuttling.

"The decision under review is varied by:
1. Adding the following to condition 2 to the permit as originally granted:
(e) the ship must be cleaned of all remaining wiring, including junction boxes, which might be associated with polychlorinated biphenyls;
(f) the ship must be cleaned of all canvas and insulation; and
(g) the ship must be cleaned of all exfoliating and/or exfoliated red lead paint;
2. Adding to the section on Sediment Quality in the Long Term Monitoring Plan and Management:
(a) a provision that two sites within the hull are to be added to the sites to be sampled for lead; and
(b) a provision that the Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (or the Minister’s successor) or delegate may require additional sampling of lead if the results of sampling already provided for make that appropriate."

To read all the points of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Decision please download the Decision and the Reasons for Decision Paper in PDF Format.

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The HMAS Adelaide making its final visit to the city of Adelaide proir to her decommissioning in early 2008 - Australian Navy image
HMAS Adelaide on her final entry to Adelaide