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Bass Coast community assembly continues in new location

Today the Your Water Your Say Community Assembly has relocated to a new location across the road from where they were evicted by the Department of Sustainability and the Environment (DSE) on Monday 14th July.

The new location is out of the proposed desalination construction site boundary as detailed by the DSE in their media release of 9th July and the written advice that was not formally given to YWYS until Monday morning 14th July.

The new location is off the public road and well away from both construction and public traffic. It is approximately half a kilometre from any construction activity and satisfies the DSE claims that the assembly must be removed for safety concerns.

Neil Rankine, spokesperson for YWYS, said the “the stated safety concerns of the DSE have been addressed and if the DSE, on behalf of the Brumby Government, want to evict us from the new site then they will need to explain their real reasons for doing so.”

Mr Rankine said “we are highly sceptical that safety concerns were the driving force for removing the assembly and the new location will cause no such issues, so it will be clear that that the intent is to stifle debate and silence this community if they again try to evict us.”

YWYS will continue to protest the building of the largest desalination plant in Australia and continue to demand the Brumby Government release to the public the real full cost of this project and their evaluations that led them to this decision. Neither has been provided to date and the plant construction moves on at speed.

For more information contact:
Andrea Bolch
0400 065 253
Neil Rankine
Name: Jessica Harrison
Phone: 0407 307 231
Name: Bruce Fergie
Phone: 0419 354 815

See also:


"Water: desalination plant Mr K. SMITH (Bass)

"— I wish to raise the hypocrisy of the Brumby socialist government which seems to think it can run roughshod over the people in the Bass electorate. First it forced six wind towers to be built in a pristine foreshore area, and they are hardly ever in use. Then the government told us it was going to supply a third of Melbourne’s water supply from a desalination plant, on which it never consulted with the local council or the community. Now we find this government is going to supply power to the desalination plant by a 75-kilometre-long,
120-megawatt powerline through a 500-metre-wide easement in some of Victoria’s best farming and grazing land, again without any consultation with the local councils or communities.

This proposal has devastated many families who live along the proposed route, and it shows this government has no care or concern for the local community. If it has to go in, the powerline should be put underground and not above ground. The water minister has said that the government has consulted widely. That is a lie. He and his Premier have lost the confidence of the councillors and the community in the electorate of Bass. They do not care what they do down there, but I can tell them that this farce, on top of suing the Your Water Your Say group, has amalgamated the community against them. The powerline must go underground; and this government will go underground at the next election — dead and buried!"

From Members Statements, Hansard, February - June, 2008, revised book 9, 2408.