Will the sinking of the ex-HMAS Adelaide as a diving wreck go ahead at Avoca Beach as planned?

Opposition to the sinking of the ex-HMAS Adelaide 1.7km off Avoca Beach on the New South Wales Central Coast as a recreational scuba diving wreck is gathering momentum as local residents are extremely concerned about the possible affect that the 4000 tonne ship will have on the local environment.

A special website has been created by Avoca Beach locals to alert people of the issue and a Facebook group “Stop Toxic Ship Being Dumped In Avoca Beach” was formed on the 19th of¬†February¬†and to date has 2,049 members.

The sinking of the ex-HMAS Adelaide has also been featured on the local and Australia-wide press with local ABC Radio interviewing local long-time residents Dr Ian Charleton, Quintin Riley and Gary Whittaker about their concerns of the sinking of the ex-HAMS Adelaide as a scuba diving wreck.

The residents are very concerned about the potential for harmful chemicals to be leached from the ex-HMAS Adelaide ship into the beautiful Avoca Beach environment and the lack of consultation by the government with the local residents.

There are supporters of the project however, and a rival “- AGREE – HMAS Adelaide off Avoca Beach – AGREE -” Facebook group has been formed that supports the project.

Local ABC Radio also hosted an interview with Marine Biology Professor Bill Gladstone of the University of Newcastle and John Asquith of the CEN (Community Environment Network) who both indicated that they support the sinking of the ex-HMAS Adelaide as a scuba diving dive wreck and agree that all possible steps to reduce the risk to the marine environment are being taken in preparation for the sinking of the ship.

The local radio station and the local newspaper have blogs following the issue which make some really interesting reading from lots of points of view.

The story has reached the national news and ABC Radio aired an interview yesterday on PM that highlights the sinking of the ex-HMAS Adelaide. Interestingly, the residents of Avoca Beach are particularly upset about not being consulted about the ex-HMAS Adelaide being sunk in their own backyard. All the publicity and hype about the ship up until very recently, was about the ex-HMAS Adelaide being sunk off Terrigal Beach, not Avoca Beach and the ABC story yesterday had a link to a map of Terrigal not Avoca Beach, so the perpetuation of the myth of the sinking of the ex-HMAS Adelaide off Terrigal beach continues.

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