The concerns of a dedicated community group against opening Jervis Bay up to the cruise ship industry have remained strong, as members have taken to Owen Street, Huskisson daily to gather signatures for their petition.
Members of the Jervis Bay Community Cruiseship Coalition (JBCCC) have collected thousands of signatures this month in opposition of the NSW Government's draft marine park plans to bring cruise ships to the region.
JBCCC member and incoming Shoalhaven Greens councillor, Dr Evan Christen, said it was promising to see holidaymakers on their side, with tourists making up around 90 per cent of the petition's signatories.
"They say they're here for Jervis Bay's beauty and nature and its non-commercial aspect," he said.
The Port Authority of NSW denied it has plans to open up the marine park to cruise ships and said the community would be consulted if it was to go forward.
But the NSW Government names Jervis Bay in plans released in November by the Department of Primary Industries to boost tourism in regional areas.
Meanwhile cruise companies are still advertising and selling tickets that include Jervis Bay on the itinerary.
JBCCC urged the community to voice their opinions before feedback submissions on the government's draft plans close on January 31.
JBCCC member and resident, Penny Davidson, expressed concerns over the government's "lack of transparency", with questions regarding evidence that cruise ships would be economically and environmentally viable left unanswered.
"As far as we know, they haven't done the checks as to where a cruise ship could safely anchor without damaging the environment," she said.
"We have no idea they've done any environmental studies about the impact of a cruise ship, or the number of cruise ships they envisage coming into Jervis Bay and what their impact would be on noise.
"It would be great to see thorough studies done on the impacts and consequences and costs to get clarity around what the limits would be."
The Jervis Bay marine park is one of just five in NSW, and the group want to keep its "pristine" and "ecologically sensitive" waters, and the marine life that live, in it safe.
"Jervis Bay's has an intact, unique ecological marine environment, which has been recognised with its marine park status and needs to be protected," said Ms Davidson.
Once we've lost that integrity, there's no guarantee we can get that back.Penny Davidson, member of the Jervis Bay Community Cruiseship Coalition
"It's got a significant proportion of seagrass beds which aid in keeping the water clean from natural pollutants.
"If we lose the sea grasses, we lose a huge amount of other animals and fish that depend on that, like turtles, sea hares, gropers, seals."
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