From the Newsroom

The Angourie Surfing Reserve Community Advisory Committee are calling on the NSW Government to help devise an action plan so the community can better prevent another boat breaking up and polluting the reserve (pictured). Image: contributed

Action to protect Angourie National Surfing Reserve

Rodney Stevens


The Angourie Surfing Reserve Community Advisory Committee has called on NSW Crown Lands and NSW Maritime to help formulate an action plan to prevent a repeat of last month’s trawler disaster.

A 13-metre wooden trawler that broke up on Monday, March 18, on Green Point beach was the second vessel to run aground at Angourie in nine months after the July 8, 2023, stranding of the 15-metre steel ketch Chinook on rocks near Spooky Beach.

On both occasions the community rallied immediately to clean up debris littering local shores in and beyond the National Surfing Reserve, so after the latest incident, the Angourie Surfing Reserve Community Advisory Committee ASRCAC met to discuss seeking advice from authorities regarding an appropriate response to such emergencies.

The ASRCAC have written to NSW DPIE – Crown Lands and Transport NSW – Maritime asking for assistance to better understand the processes and strategies involved, which need to be followed when an emergency situation threatening the reserve occurs.

The letter was also sent to the Yaegl TOAC and Birrigan Gargle LALC, Clarence Valley Council, Marine Rescue, the Port Authority of NSW, NSW Marine Area Command, Northern Rivers Marine Services and Angourie community groups.

“There is currently pollution affecting the waters in the Angourie National Surfing Reserve and growing community concern about it following the delayed response to a drifting abandoned vessel that became wrecked in Green Point Cove,” the letter states.

“Two weeks after a vessel was wrecked and flotsam washed ashore there is still a submerged engine and debris in the surf at Green Point Cove and surfers’ wetsuits are smelling of diesel after surfing all the breaks in the Angourie National Surfing Reserve.

“This follows on from the delayed response to another vessel wrecked on the Angourie Rocks in mid-2023.

“We seek your help in understanding what procedures are in place to respond and what the community can do to make sure the damage is minimised.”

“With more frequent storm events predicted and more non-compliant vessels, the community needs to know what to do in an emergency as there continues to be a reliance on local residents acting promptly to deal with emergency situations and reduce environmental impact.”

The ARSCAC letter states the group needs to better understand how to reduce the confusion about:

Who to contact to efficiently report an unfolding dangerous situation.

The time it will take to respond to reported emergencies or potential emergencies.

What can be done to prevent further damage and escalating salvage costs.

“Following this committee’s previous correspondence regarding similar concerns, we still remain unaware of appropriate emergency response procedures,” the letter