Channel deepening is the threat – not Blue Wedges
“We are very concerned that the U.S. Naval intelligence agency has got it so terribly wrong”, says Blue Wedges President Jenny Warfe. “We are a peaceful group, committed to non-violence. We have never committed acts of violence towards any one or any thing and never have any intention of doing so.” In fact at our last protest over Gate Bridge (October 2007) the police left us to be "self-regulating" because of our impeccable record of peaceful protest.
However it is not surprising given the PoMC publicity machine along with representatives from the VFF, DPI, State and Commonwealth Governments have attended such workshops as "Activists and How To Beat Them At Their Own Game" sponsored by the Institute of Public Affairs and the Public Relations Institute of Australia, and conducted by Ross Irvine a Canadian PR Consultant. During the half day workshop PoMC&aps;s PR representative of the time was advised; "Call them suicide bombers ... make them all look like terrorists" and " ... let&aps;s call them fruitcakes. Let&aps;s call them nut ... nutters. You know let&aps;s say they&aps;re ..." - "Environmental radicals".
That was back in 2005 when the PoMC had just spent $12 million on an Environmental Impact Statement "and we didn&apst; get the result we wanted” the PoMC PR person opined. Who knows what extra motivation they might have now they&aps;ve spent in excess of $120 million and still don&aps;t have public support for their project? What’s more every day the press is producing more evidence about the bad economics of this project – with the C/B ratio fast approaching 1:1. Respected commentators, economists and industrialists are now calling for a proper analysis of the project and alternatives.
“The only threat to human life, property or the environment comes from the Queen of the Netherlands dredging ship, due to arrive tomorrow” says Jenny Warfe. “This ship is set to cause irreparable damage to the Port Phillip Bay environment. There are also grave public health risks. Port Corporation’s risk analysis accepts that up to ten people will acquire a serious illness. Who will those lucky ten
Victorians be? Unfortunately much of the toxic risk data never made it into the public arena during the Inquiry process last year. POMC scientists have also predicted penguin deaths, fish stock losses and say the risk of toxic algal blooms ranges from “possible to highly likely”. Oil spills are also set to increase due to an increased risk of ships running aground at Port Phillip Heads, although the PoMC’s risk analysis specifically excluded assessing the magnitude of that risk”.
“If they have been to our meetings unannounced, what’s the next step? Inserting active radicals to create an embarrassing situation to blame on Blue Wedges?
People should be concerned. Not about Blue Wedges, however. Rather about the arrival of the dredging ship due to dock tomorrow” says Ms. Warfe.
See this and other news items at: www.bluewedges.org
See also Melbourne Age article of Monday 28 January 2008 "Blue Wedges tagged with sea pirates".