NSW Ports Minister Duncan Gay today invited the primary school children of Sydney to help name a new $1.9M purpose-built vessel designed to keep Sydney Harbour clean of debris and rubbish.
Mr Gay said the competition was open to all primary schools around Sydney Harbour.
“The winning name will be displayed on both sides of the vessel, along with the name of the school and the class which has provided the winning entry. The whole class also will win a cruise on Sydney Harbour aboard an historic schooner,” Mr Gay said.
“The competition winner will be announced on the morning of Friday, 29 July at the gala opening of the Sydney International Boat Show, where the vessel will also be on display at the Cockle Bay marina.
Ian Kiernan AO, Chairman and Founder of Clean Up Australia, said the naming competition was a great opportunity for young children to understand more about environmental issues and have a direct involvement in one of the solutions.
NSW Maritime has established a dedicated mini web site – Caring for Your Harbour – to host competition information and the entry process. The site will continue after the competition as an education channel for boating related marine environment information for primary school children.
Mr Gay said the new 16.3 metre vessel is the flagship of the NSW Maritime Environmental Services fleet.
The vessel is powered by twin 450 horsepower diesel engines and capable of traveling at 15 knots with a full load.
Litter is skimmed from the water with a special water-jet assisted litter capture cage fitted between its catamaran hulls. It is designed with a ramp in its bow section which will allow crew members to access Harbour beaches for cleaning.
The craft will also be used for supporting water traffic management at major aquatic events and will have firefighting and oil spill response capability. Mr Gay said the new vessel will boost the environmental services fleet which last year collected around 3000 cubic metres of litter and debris, the equivalent of 125 garbage trucks.
Environmental Services crews clean Sydney Harbour and the navigable waters of Parramatta and Lane Cove Rivers – an area consisting of 5020 hectares of waterways and a combined foreshore of 270km.
“The most common items found in the daily clean-ups are fast food packaging, plastic containers, cigarette butts and plastic shopping bags,” he said.
“As well as helping to keep the Harbour clean, the Environmental Services crews also remove debris which could be potentially hazardous for boats.”