Making walking and cycling safe for local people commuting to work and enjoying recreational facilities in the Port Botany Precinct is essential. The suburbs of Banksmeadow, Botany, Mascot, Matraville, Phillip Bay, Little Bay and La Perouse existed long before Port Botany. Yarra Bay sailors used to be able to sail an Olympic standard course. Little Bay scouts and cubs would hold an annual rafting race from Yarra Bay to Botany. With the building of the Port came significant changes in access. Yet there was still an extensive beach at Banksmeadow (see the photograph header for this site) and sports like Windsurfing were still possible.
In 2005 the NSW Planning Minister, Frank Sartor, overruled the Government’s Commission of Inquiry(COI) into the Port Botany Expansion and allowed a development twice the size of what had been recommended. Had the COI recommendations been adopted the beach would have remained as well as the spit at Penrhyn, a breeding ground for protected Little Terns, and the boat ramp at Penrhyn. Sports like Windsurfing would still have been possible. But under the Minister’s recommendations that has all gone. A new boat ramp has been built on Foreshore Road to replace the old. There is a bird lookout onto a modified Penrhyn but only a scrap of beach remains and swimmers are warned of the poor water quality recorded there. The nearest swimming beach for Banksmeadow and Botany residents is Yarra Bay. It should be a comfortable walk or bicycle ride. Here are some suggestions for making it so.
Starting point above at Sir Joseph Banks Park. This is in close proximity to the relatively recent cafe precinct in Banksmeadow. There are notable establishments such as Brasserie Bread and Croquembouche. This state of the art playground is close to toilet and BBQ facilities and a very short walk from the overhead bridge to the Port Botany Boat Ramp. The photo on the right shows a connection to the path that is required.
The photo on the left is the cycling/walking path looking west to the boat ramp. On the right is the intersection for the Hutchison Terminal. Here cyclists and walkers cross over on their way to the bird lookout.
The photo on the left shows the gated entrance to the bird watching lookout. This is where the cycling/walking path can be extended. Local resident and member of the Sydney Ports neighbourhood committee, Paul Pickering, is seen nearby with golf balls which regularly find their way across Foreshore Road from Botany Golf Course.
Heading further east is Floodvale Drain which drained contaminants into Penrhyn Estuary. Orica’s cleanup of both Springvale and Floodvale drains has improved the situation. On the right is a shot of the external features of Orica’s Secondary Containment Line. Information on hydraulic containment is available at this link. The community has been told to expect at least another 100 years of cleaning up so the Orica installation on Foreshore is likely to be a more permanent feature than most.
The photo on the right is of the intersection at Botany and Penrhyn. This is for the Patrick Terminal. This one needs to be upgraded to the same standard as the intersection now under construction for the Hutchison Terminal.
The photo on the left shows a section of the path outside Caltex that needs work. On the right is the pathway on the Beauchamp Road bridge.
The Beauchamp Road Bridge is narrow and relatively recent additions like these lights have been poorly positioned. The photo on the right is of the intersection opposite McCauley Street. This is another crossing that needs to be brought up to current safety standards.
The photo on the left shows recent landscaping done by Sydney Ports. This area up until early 2008 was used by fruit sellers on weekends. The landscaping could have been done to complement a walking/cycling path. The photo on the right is the area looking east to the entry to Bumborah Point Road. This road leads to the Tourist Lookout at the end of Prince of Wales Drive and to the walking/cycling paths to Yarra Bay and La Perouse and also to Botany Cemetery and Memorial Gardens.