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Your help needed to save Port Phillip Bay

Dear Supporters,

Blue Wedges is off to court to ask the Federal Environment Minister to protect Port Phillip Bay, but we still need your ongoing support and actions!

Lawyers for the Blue Wedges Coalition filed an application in the Federal Court on Friday 16th November. The Application is being made to the court preventing the Federal Minister for Environment and Water Resources from making an approval of the proposed Channel Deepening Project.

This now puts the spotlight on the Federal Environment Minister Malcolm Turnbull and the Labor Environment Spokesman Peter Garrett. Will they save Port Phillip Bay?

 

The grounds for the application are:

1)      That Victorian Planning Minister Justin Madden’s assessment report was outside the parameters of the 2002 channel deepening referral to the Federal Minister.

2)      That the assessment report fails to consider, or consider adequately:

a)      Impacts of maintenance dredging

b)      Impacts of the proposed 588 ha CAD (confined aquatic disposal, or toxic waste dump)

c)      The contract between the Port of Melbourne Corporation and the dredge contractor- Boskalis, the contents of which have never been disclosed.

d)      Maximum dredge depth and maximum volumes of spoil

e)      Impacts of expected ultimate depth at the Entrance

f)      Impacts of toxic algal blooms

 

Blue Wedges has decided on this course of action because having attended all of the recent SEES Inquiry hearings, we remain more convinced than ever that the CDP poses irreversible risks to the Bay ecosystem. The Trial Dredge operation in 2005 has caused unpredicted and ongoing disintegration of rock at Port Phillip Heads, incrementally changing the hydrodynamics of the Bay. This will alter tidal levels, thus increasing coastal erosion and sand movement, and necessitate extra maintenance dredging. Increased maintenance dredging ultimately multiplies the damage to seagrasses, threatened species, fish and international migratory bird habitats.

 

When the intractable problem of the toxic sediments from the Yarra bed and the PoMC&apss unsatisfactory plans to dump over 2 million tonnes of toxic spoil in the Bay are also considered, we have a time bomb waiting to explode. The Bay is irreplaceable - too precious to risk just so that the PoMC can pursue its dreams of attracting more deep draught container ships and oil tankers down to the Port of Melbourne

 

Court action is costly, and we are relying on donations to fund our legal team. If you would like to assist us in our court action, we would greatly appreciate your donations to:

 


  • Bendigo Bank, Blue Wedges, BSB 633-000, Account No 125738237

  • Donate by credit card online - see Homepage www.bluewedges.org
  • Post cheques to Blue Wedges PO Box 162 Dromana 3936

Thank you to all those who have helped us so far.

Blue Wedges Editor   

Comments

Channel deepening is also a serious threat to our democracy. It is the worst example of rammed-through massive environmental damage for the benefit of a small lobby group which is driving huge population growth and consumption. Channel deepening means more consumption, more pollution, less freedom. We have a state government in Victoria which simply does not care about the quality of peoples' lives and is apparently prepared to risk complete destruction of the most important natural asset and social and aesthetic common good by far. What is driving this? To my mind it must be corruption and incompetence on the grandest scale yet seen in this country. Unfortunately the same scheme is being 'floated' for Port of Hastings, with a horrible gigantic development in Victoria's "Peninsula Biosphere" - which turns out to be another pretend environmental thing which has allowed government cronies to get the jump on real environment groups on the peninsula.

This whole battle has been totally demoralising. I have lost all my faith in democratic government and the Victorian Civil and Administrative tribunal. When one committee failed to get the answers that the government wanted to please its friends, it simply called for another committee.

What is going on in this state?
What is going on in Australia?

It all looks like what Naomi Klein describes in Shock Doctrine, Penguin, Australia, 2007