Where are we going?

Documenting the action and inaction in the scheme to dump ex-HMAS Adelaide in Bulbararing Bay. The opinions expressed on this site are those of the author.


Heavy grill broken away from the ex-HMAS Adelaide dump site
Doorway bulkhead from the ex-HMAS Adelaide on the bay floor, torn free.Two metres of sharp aluminium sheet from the ex-HMAS Adelaide, backed by buoyant aluminium honeycomb, washed through the surf and onto North Avoca Beach in June 2011Some of the debris from the ex-HMAS Adelaide collected on North Avoca and Avoca Beach
ex-HMAS Adelaide, July 2011 (watch the lot on YouTube video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dev6RnLngK4)- bulkheads broken free, interior panels washed onto North Avoca Beach, and damage to the superstructure.

ex-HMAS Canberra, April 2010 - interior wall paneling broken free and mobile in the ocean, and debris flushed from the warship into the ocean.


In February 2010 a cabal of tourism operators and State government revealed the scheme to dump the Ex-HMAS Adelaide in Bulbararing Bay at Avoca Beach. With $70,000 raised from locals a residents' action group forced full disclosure at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. 

They found:

1. Dangerous carcinogens had been left on the warship and would have been released in the bay in March
    
2. Lead paint remains on the ship

3. Best practice for ship cleaning and directions from the federal Department of Environment were ignored

4. Instructions from governance authorities were selectively interpreted to result in the least amount of work and cost, at the expense of a quality result

5. Studies were not made public until February 2010, were rushed, and incomplete

View the NSW Ombudsman complaint, or use the links to the right to find out more...

As a direct result, 44 tonnes of fibreglass insulation and canvas was taken off the warship in late 2010. 200 junction boxes containing power cables that had tested positive for PCBs were removed by early 2011. In April 2011 the vessel was dumped in the bay to become an unsuccessful dive site, still containing over 1 tonne of plastics and over 20 thousand square metres of lead-containing paint. The paint probably also contains PCBs, based on results from the U.S. disassembly of a sister ship, but the government refused to test it.

1 The government is on camera claiming none were on the ship back in February. Contaminated items were later removed. Paint remains a concern for PCBs.
2 The government and tourism heavies claim 'it is a safe form of lead'. No lead containing compound is safe, folks.
4 Exfoliating paint was not identified and removed.
 'Weeping' cables were left on the vessel past the original dumping date, and only removed mid-year. 

This image is of insulation breaking off the ex-HMAS Canberra


  • The Egg
    Posted 5 Jul 2011, 04:45 by Adrian Brightmoore
Showing posts 1 - 1 of 13. View more »

  • Debris flushed from the ex HMAS Adelaide July 2012 Still courtesy "Munkies on the ex-HMAS Adelaide"
    Posted 21 Jul 2012, 01:28 by Adrian Brightmoore
  • 'Dozers on the Beach One year on and the bulldozers on the beach spend days moving sand back into position to protect homes threatened by the loss of beachfront in the spot predicted by a report prepared and circulated prior to the scuttling.The argument against dumping the ship in the bay included the problem of wave refraction around the broadside of the ship during extreme storm events. The ship is angled to mitigate most of the risk during moderate weather, however the way high energy waves bend creates energy peaks in a refraction pattern with the dumped ship as a focal point. This is like a lens, focussing wave energy on the shoreline in the area of the watchtower and lake entrance.Dumpers ...
    Posted 28 Jun 2012, 14:34 by Adrian Brightmoore
  • Kelly goes down with the ship December 12, 2011: ICAC finds the Minister for Planning, the face of the ex-HMAS Adelaide dumping at Avoca Beach, corrupt on an unrelated matter:FORMER Lands Minister Tony Kelly has been found corrupt by the Independent Commission Against Corruption. http://www.news.com.au/national/former-lands-minister-tony-kelly-found-corrupt-by-icac/story-e6frfkvr-1226219898284#ixzz1gI2hWEH5
    Posted 23 Dec 2011, 20:02 by Adrian Brightmoore
  • Feeding Frenzy - buoys loose due to rust Extracted comments from a recent DiveOz forum discussion about the loose buoys:http://www.diveoz.com.au/discussion_forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=25908   > all of the mooring buoys at the site had been cut!!  > You would have to be a total w**ker to do something like this. Anyone know anything on this?   > There really are some low-life idiots out there.   >Last I heard they were looking at installing chain from the moorings down to a depth, so that free divers with knives cant cut easily..   > This is terrible to hear. How substantial are the chains that hold the buoys? What a crazy protest if that is what it is.   Les Graham (Terrigal Dive)> Hold on hold, On ...
    Posted 31 Oct 2011, 04:23 by Adrian Brightmoore
  • The DPI Strikes Back: Compliance is too Hard ... the saga of the ex HMAS Adelaide should be winding down. Instead the farce is with us as the Department of Primary Industries releases the first sediment sampling study at the dump site. A quick scan is enough to raise eyebrows in disbelief at the accumulated errors and apparent disregard for conditions of the dumping approval:1. No baseline sampling was done. This undermines the sampling program from the start.2. The warship interior sampling required by the AAT additional conditions will not be done. The reason given? The vessel is too deep for commercial SCUBA divers, who are limited to 30m depth.3. Bioaccumulation studies, required to start in the first month, have not been done due to the ...
    Posted 2 Sep 2011, 16:03 by Adrian Brightmoore
  • Always ask the old salt of the area The following comment was provided April 6, 2010, shortly after the original dumping was delayed through the combined action of the EDO, the Avoca Beach community, and the AAT:"This information I’ll divulge is unsubstantiated by reports and findings which I know of, however it may have some impact. It certainly would in the real world  This is from my father in law who lived at North Avoca for 20 years, had his Masters ticket in boating, built his own steel ketch (65 foot long) at Erina which he sailed extensively up and down the east coast  for recreation and had a partnership in a fishing trawler which worked out of Terrigal in the 80’s. He has a ...
    Posted 15 Aug 2011, 15:04 by Adrian Brightmoore
  • "Mother Nature is certainly giving the Adelaide a rough time" These ex HMAS Adelaide diving report quotes are from the gentle folk at Brisbane Waters Aqualung Club: http://www.bwac.com.au/category/dives/local-dives/  http://www.bwac.com.au/153/ex-hmas-adelaide/   "I was surprised to see that the rooms in the lower decks were quite dark and gloomy, not at all what I expected from a ‘prepared’ wreck. Also noticed that there was a lot of silt around, not a problem for me as I was very cautious to not kick it up, but something for newer (i.e. people with less buoyancy control) to be aware of – I’m pretty sure I could have silted out a couple of the rooms and struggled to find ...
    Posted 15 Aug 2011, 15:01 by Adrian Brightmoore
  • Marine Discovery Centre - go have a look at Lead Primer Paint The Central Coast Marine Discovery Centre is near the scout hall at Terrigal. One of the exhibits is a mounted door removed from ex-HMAS Adelaide. The extensive layer of Lead-containing paint on the vessel is illustrated through the scuffed areas of paintwork on the door. The detail photo on the right is from an area in the upper right of the door from the left hand photo. As the warship corrodes underwater, and as sections break free, the bright orange paint will be released in the bay.The Federal Government Environment Department (DEWHA) recommended that the paint on the vessel should also have been tested for Polychlorinated Biphenyl content, however despite repeated requests for evidence that this had ...
    Posted 24 Jul 2011, 02:24 by Adrian Brightmoore
  • Swell times at Bulbararing Bay, Avoca Beach 2011 July 16, Saturday    Divers on DiveOz forum go into minor melt-down debating whether management of the ex-HMAS Adelaide dive site is compromising diver safety. A summary of the points put forward:1. Four people have required hyperbaric chamber treatment for 'the bends' at Prince of Wales Hospital2. The cost of booking a mooring at the site is creating incentive for dive operators to 'rush' dive sessions3. Decompression time is being cut short due to the rush4. A dive shop owner claims any slip ups are due to the volume of work they have to deal with.5. Claims are repeatedly made that divers are responsible for their own safety6. A claim is made ...
    Posted 16 Jul 2011, 11:34 by Adrian Brightmoore
  • 3 Month Environment Report Card - "F" April 13 through July 13 2011 is the first 3 months of the ex-HMAS Adelaide Dump & Dive site.The attached report card is in JPG format.NOTE: Revised August 16 2011 to include the URL for the underwater snaps on each of them. The author of the video recommended they be added via the NSAG people. Individual snapshots are replicated under fair-use provisions of the Copyright Act.
    Posted 15 Aug 2011, 14:45 by Adrian Brightmoore
  • Reefing Warships is Dumping UPDATE: The ex-HMAS Adelaide dump-and-dive site is producing footage of the degrading condition of the warship. Watch the full video on Youtube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dev6RnLngK4Here a diver discovers a pin that's come free, toys momentarily with it, then absently drops it over the side.ex HMAS Canberra survey from April 10 reveals how the interior panels are torn free from a frigate and flushed into the ocean. The ex HMAS Adelaide interior is breaking apart in the same way, polluting the bay. More mobile pieces have ended up on Avoca Beach in early June. There's asbestos, lead paint, and possibly PCB containing paint throughout the vessel, but not for ...
    Posted 15 Aug 2011, 15:09 by Adrian Brightmoore
  • ex HMAS Canberra cracks me up ex-HMAS Canberra dive site closed due to the helicopter hangar falling off. I imagine it's a bit of a surprise to the fishes, who are supposed to be the main eco-beneficiaries of the dumped warship. The real impact is to the income from the site, which in turn drives the available funds to fix problems (like debris in the beach and in the ocean).From Parks Victoria's web site:Change of ConditionsTemporary Closure of the ex-HMAS Canberra Dive Site4 July 2011Parks Victoria regularly monitors the condition of the exHMAS Canberra in the interest of public safety.A recent assessment revealed that the helicopter hanger on the port side had partially separated from ...
    Posted 6 Jul 2011, 05:10 by Adrian Brightmoore
  • Divers with Video Cameras Well, I thought it was funny:https://sites.google.com/site/whathappenedatavoca/how-did-people-behave/divers-with-video-cameras
    Posted 18 Jun 2011, 23:13 by Adrian Brightmoore
  • Prof. Bill Gladstone and Michelle Meares interview on Dumping Day Professor Bill Gladstone and Michelle Meares on ABC 24 on April 13 while Dolphins delay the scuttling: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g6ZTMeXiOD8ABC24: OK, Bill, if you could stay on the line I'd appreciate it before this explosion, oh sorry, not really an explosion, the scuttling happens. We've just got Michelle Meares from the No Ship Action Group, which has been fighting this scuttling, on the phone now as well. Now, Michelle, are you responsible for organising this pod of dolphins to frustrate the scuttling process?MICHELLE MEARES: Look, we can't take credit for that, no (laughs).ABC24: You must be pretty happy that they turned up?MICHELLE MEARES: Look, I think it's sending ...
    Posted 10 Jun 2011, 15:28 by Adrian Brightmoore
  • The ex HMAS Adelaide keeps on giving Yesterday afternoon and today debris from the ex HMAS Adelaide dump site washed ashore at Avoca Beach. See the report from residents here: http://noship.com.au/post/6135658514/oh-buoy-were-we-warned-ship-debris-on-beach-juneThis report from Clare Graham at the Express Advocate:http://express-advocate-wyong.whereilive.com.au/news/story/debris-believed-to-be-from-adelaide-dive-site-washes-up-at-avoca/Channel 10 news reported the problem:... and Sue Dengate, CCARP mouth, declared (paraphrased) 'I don't believe it, but even if it is from the warship it's like, totally OK'"There were some pieces that didn't survive the scuttling itself and remained inside the wreck. It's a possibility ...
    Posted 3 Jun 2011, 05:45 by Adrian Brightmoore
  • "We will decide how screwed up this project is, and the ways in which we screw it up" - DPI? Items marked for removal are still on the warship after dumping:Door not welded:In the rush to get the ex-HMAS Adelaide warship in the water at Bulbararing Bay directly off Avoca Beach, the LPMA (now Dept of Primary Industries) failed again. It seriously begs the question: what else was not done?Updated 19/6/2011: Another dive, another part of the ship that shouldn't be there:
    Posted 18 Jun 2011, 23:21 by Adrian Brightmoore
  • The Rancid Smell of CCARP Unbelievable. Two of six buoys broke away in the swell at Bulbararing Bay and the police have been forced to respond to a fantastic (as in 'fantasy') complaint that it was a deliberate act of sabotage. Press release "Police concerned after navigational buoys removed from recreational dive site – Avoca Beach". The State Government's inability to dump the warship in a quiet location where it wouldn't be buffeted constantly is more likely the problem.This is a photo of the energy in the bay:UPDATE: A July 8 dive video shows two things clearly - the old mount-points for buoys and markers with frayed rope-ends clearly visible, as well as the energy associated with the swell that tugs ...
    Posted 12 Jul 2011, 16:11 by Adrian Brightmoore
  • How Thorough McMahon's Weren't Bob Diaz helpfully shows how thorough McMahon Services weren't. Diaz is the large object that opens the door marked 'weld closed' and then flops through it:From www.youtube.com/watch?v=kEq2BkNcVBc
    Posted 16 May 2011, 05:12 by Adrian Brightmoore
  • Adelaide Dumping Scheme tool winding back. One of the key tools used by LPMA (now DPI) in the HMAS Adelaide Dumping scheme is now being wound back.This extract is from the Planning NSW website:Transitional arrangements pending the repeal of Part 3AThe NSW Government has announced that Part 3A of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 will be repealed. As such, transitional arrangements will be required for those projects which are already in the major projects assessment system under Part 3A.On 13 May 2011, the Government announced several transitional arrangements, which includes revoking the Part 3A status of a number of residential, commercial, retail and coastal projects (see list below). Under these arrangements:  63 projects will now either not be declared as ...
    Posted 13 May 2011, 15:00 by Adrian Brightmoore
  • Oh Buoy! See:1) CCEA Article - http://express-advocate-gosford.whereilive.com.au/news/story/marker-buoy-adrift-from-ex-hmas-adelaide-dive-site-at-avoca/2) After http://www.visitcentralcoast.com.au/content/filelib/Final_Indicative_position_of_buoys_numbered_May_2011.pdf
    Posted 6 May 2011, 17:27 by Adrian Brightmoore
  • April 13, Dumping Day     Scheduled for 10:30am, the dumping was delayed until 13 minutes to noon while attempts were made to chase away this pod of dolphins. Lila and Cath had spent the previous two days at the lookout performing ceremonies. Nice of these guys to show up at the right time!     There was a reminder in the sky of the vicious campaign of deceit over the condition of the ship by the NSW State Government, and the lapses of the Federal Environment department.        All that lingered was a brown smudge.Selected interviews (click links):    David Coyle talks to ABC about technical aspects of the dumping (MP3).    ABC PM's report including Ben Smith wrapping up this phase of the campaign.    ABC Radio ...
    Posted 13 Apr 2011, 05:11 by Adrian Brightmoore
  • April 12, 2011 I dropped in on the vigil at around half past six. People are in good spirits. The warship in the bay was cloaked by darkness, but for a couple of strong lights on a nearby tug and on the Adelaide herself. The buoys span the whole bay. The warship is very big, viewed from the shark tower.Bob Diaz (coastie on DiveOz) posted a Youtube video today showing the first dump as cut plates are popped free from the hull into the bay.NSAG served the NSW State Government with a summons.
    Posted 12 Apr 2011, 06:49 by Adrian Brightmoore
  • 11 April 2011, Towards 2000 The ex-HMAS Adelaide was moved under tug-power from Wharf 1 at White Bay to Bulbararing Bay today.
    Posted 11 Apr 2011, 03:27 by Adrian Brightmoore
  • 7 April 2011, FOI on this whole mess I was delighted to receive the ex-HMAS Canberra inspection report today, then deflated by the realisation that it holds worse news for the concerned community than feared. Originally NSAG president Quentin Riley had shared information about the problems at the site based on conversations he had with Parks Victoria personnel in February. The reports substantiate this, and reveal more:"1  It has been confirmed that the hogging condition has continued.2. The presence of corrosion fatigue is readily apparent3. The hangar will have to eventually be removed to prevent a hazard to divers...""The ship is now in a hogging condition and will continue to hog until a condition of equilibrium is reached.Wave action and hogging stresses ...
    Posted 8 Apr 2011, 15:36 by Adrian Brightmoore
  • 3 April, Sunday - You Cannot Green-wash a Grey Warship This week Ian Kiernan explains he does not support the ex-HMAS Adelaide dumping at Avoca Beach and North Avoca:"When we were originally approached my team and I spent considerable time and resources investigating the community’s concerns. Because I am not a scientist in matters such as this I needed to identify appropriately qualified sources so that we absolutely understood the total dynamics of the situation. It is disappointing to now learn that much of the information provided to us at that time was either ill-informed or incorrect. The outcome is that, regardless of intent, it appears to have been misleading. This has led me to reconsider my position – preferring to adopt the precautionary principle. Regrettably we ...
    Posted 2 Apr 2011, 17:34 by Adrian Brightmoore
  • Friday April 1, 2011 Towing and scuttling details have been posted on Gosford City Council's website.
    Posted 1 Apr 2011, 02:28 by Adrian Brightmoore
  • March 25, 2011 Central Coast Tourism CEO Oliver Philpot has placed the scuttling of the ex-HMAS Adelaide at Avoca Beach on his roadmap for a tourist-led recovery for the New South Wales Central Coast.
    Posted 25 Mar 2011, 03:18 by Adrian Brightmoore
  • February 26, 2011 This week saw the NSW Lands Minister, the Hon. Tony Kelly, and Grant McBride announce the intended dumping date as Wednesday, April 13.The Channel 10 news report is on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FDyYLZFiZTUThe ABC news report is on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LAQWXUb3BU4NBN news report is online at http://www.nbntv.com.au/index.php/2011/02/25/no-ship-action-group-continues-fight-against-scuttling-off-avoca/Read the Ocean Grove Voice article on the downplaying of concerns about the condition of the ex-HMAS Canberra: http://issuu.com/oceangrovevoice/docs/ogv_23feb_2011/7Community video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BUbFuIbxR9gInterview with NSAG ...
    Posted 2 Apr 2011, 16:22 by Adrian Brightmoore
  • December 19, 2010 NSAG presentation at United We Stand, held on Avoca Beach December 12, 2010.
    Posted 25 Feb 2011, 16:40 by Adrian Brightmoore
  • November 20, 2010 One year on for the Ex-HMAS Canberra. This dumped warship has been in the water thirteen months. It is tilting at 23 degrees from the vertical. At 26 degrees a contractor will be brought in to think of something. Here's a schematic of how pronounced 26 degrees from vertical is:
    Posted 25 Feb 2011, 16:39 by Adrian Brightmoore
Showing posts 1 - 30 of 42. View more »

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