Sustainable Population Australia, Victorian and Tasmanian branch, Annual General Meeting, 2.00pm Saturday July 12 th 2014, Balwyn Library meeting room. Guest Speaker: Jenny Warfe, spokesperson for Blue Wedges: “Politics, Population and Ports.” NOMINATIONS WELCOME - ALL POSITIONS!
Speakers: Jenny Warfe (Blue Wedges); Jenny Lowe (BirdLife); Dave Minton, Port of Hastings Development Authorities; Simon Brannigan, VNPA Marine spokesperson; Hugh Kirkman, Marine Environmental Consultant. Starts 5.45, Tuesday 15 April, Hastings Community Hub, 1973 Frankston-Flinders Rd, Hastings (booking essential) Westernport Bay is a site of international significance for aquatic birds and right on the doorstep of Melbourne. Its extensive intertidal mudflats, seagrass meadows, saltmarshes and mangroves support more than 10,000 migratory
shorebirds and 10,000 waterfowl. Yet despite its incredible importance as a bird sanctuary the Napthine Government plans to drastically expand Port of Hastings within the bay into an international container port - oil spills, dredging, land clearing, and thousands of more ships a year could put Westernport’s birdlife and habitats at risk.
Media reports yesterday that the government has received two 'confidential' reports that link channel deepening to coastal erosion in the south of Port Phillip Bay and the loss of Portsea front beach are no surprise to locals or others who have been watching the changes in the south of the Bay since the channel deepening project ended, Sue Pennicuik, Greens MP for Southern Metropolitan Region said today.
Read more: Beach loss linked to dredging -- Reports say wave surges hit Portsea. by Cameron Houston in the Age of 7 July 2013.
Join us at Portsea Pier at 12 Noon Tuesday 4th December. We’ll have a bucket of money that we’ll hand back to the PoMC when Portsea beach comes back.
Please come back Portsea Beach!
PoMC can have its $100 million bond back when we get our beach back!
Join us at Portsea Pier 12 NOON TUESDAY 4TH DECEMBER 2012
Sheila Newman will interview Jenny live 19 April between 12 midday and 1pm at 3RPP. You can listen live here. What next? Will they sell the people off as slaves? Will the remove access to our bank accounts overnight?
"The growth lobbyists will tell us that we can solve our problems by converting to “clean coal” technologies or nuclear power, building more high rise, producing desalinated water at $10 litre (who knows?), installing “smart” electricity meters, piping water from the Northern Victoria to Melbourne, importing more food on more and bigger ships etc." Federal Candidate, Jenny Warfe writes, "I'm looking forwa
Report on the Victorian Transport Infrastructure Conference
11-12th May 2009 @ the Melbourne Convention Exhibition Centre
by Catherine Manning
President, Southern Victoria Community Action Group Inc.
Ms Pennicuik, Greens member of Victorian Parliament, has drawn attention to discrepancies between figures apparently given the Auditor-General by the Port of Melbourne Corporation and figures obtained from them by the Supplementary EES statement process and the hearings and the Standing Committee on Finance and Public Administration.
Questions about channel deepening and underwriting risks
Australia's Victorian Government appointed two Panels in 2004 and 2007 to consider the Port of Melbourne (PMC) proposal to deepen the shipping channels from the Entrance of Port Phillip Bay in the south to the container ship berths at Appleton Dock in the north, and to consider the potential environmental and financial consequences that could result.
Blue Wedges media release of 1 Aug 2008
Revelations today (Friday 1st August 2008) that the Port of Melbourne Corporation (PoMC) has failed to clean up after itself at The Heads is not surprising, nor was it a surprise that the Corporation was slow to reveal the facts on the issue.
Today, on 16 July 2008, Victorian Greens MP, Sue Pennicuik, called it,
“... another sign of the sad state of our democracy that the state government and Port of Melbourne have pursued another community for daring to oppose their actions."
Greens Media Release, 7 July 08
“The dredging of toxic sediments from the Yarra River should stop until an investigation is carried out into the discovery of dead fish floating in the water at Newport on Saturday”, Greens MP, Sue Pennicuik said.
“It’s more than a strange coincidence that fish are dying not far from where the grab dredge Goomai is digging up silt from the Yarra River bed and putting it in a barge to be dumped in the middle of Port Phillip Bay”, she said.
“So many people have warned the government and the Port of Melbourne that stirring up the contaminated sediments in the Yarra would poison fish and other aquatic life and potentially affect human health," Ms Pennicuik said.
“I am very disturbed that it appears to be happening already”, she said.
“The state government and Port of Melbourne have told Victorians that dredging would stop if there were problems, but dead fish in the Yarra is apparently not enough to stop the dredgers. How much worse does it have to get before dredging is stopped?”
For more information call Sue Pennicuik 0409 055 875
See also www.bluewedges.org
JOIN BLUE WEDGES AND PLANNING BACKLASH AT TWO BIG EVENTS THIS WEEKEND!
1. Saturday 5th July
Over 60 community and environmental groups including Your Water Your Say, Australian Conservation Foundation, Greenpeace, Public Transport Users Association, Friends of the Earth, Tradewatch, Blue Wedges and may others have signed up to be part of this huge Red Alert event. We are all saying: Brumby and Rudd let’s get serious!
The conservation foundation has launched its own independent water quality tests off Sorrento in Victoria, claiming it doesn't trust the official monitor.
They say pictures obtained from satellite images suggest plumes are too big.
'There are certain boundary limits on those particular dredge plumes, looking at the satellite photograph it looks very much like the plume is going well beyond that boundary,' said Conservation Foundation's Chris Smyth. Results from the tests are expected to come through next month, with the official independent monitor happy to consider them.
'I'm not here to judge the motives of others but we are here to look at the information they can bring to the table,' said Independent Monitor Mick Bourke.
Conservation Foundation officials concede even if their tests find turbidity levels are acceptable that will not change their opposition to dredging.
'The project is inappropriate for Port Phillip Bay, we think the risk of Port Phillip Bay is too great,' said Mr Smyth. (Skynews Report)
And from the ACF website:
New satellite images of Port Phillip Bay suggest the size of the plume from the dredging vessel may be breaching the limits set by the Victorian Government.
“These satellite images suggest the plume has spread further than was predicted in the State Government’s environmental management plan,” said ACF’s Marine Campaign Coordinator Chris Smyth.
“We are concerned there has been no public comment by the Port of Melbourne or the government officials acting as the project’s environmental monitor on this possible breach of the environmental management plan.
“Satellite images cannot tell the full story. That’s why it’s so important to get out on the water and do thorough, scientifically-accurate monitoring,” he said.
Monash University scientists are conducting independent scientific monitoring as part of ACF’s BayMonitor program , following widespread concern about the adequacy of the dredging project’s official monitoring program.
Mr Smyth said the scientists were currently testing the turbidity (cloudiness) of the water at locations around Port Phillip Bay.
“Our aim is to conduct solid, independent testing, to shine some light on the Port’s monitoring program and alert the community to the environmental consequences of the channel deepening.
“At present the BayMonitor program is being funded by the Shire of Mornington Peninsula, with some philanthropic support, but if it is going to continue for the duration of the dredging we will need more financial help,” Mr Smyth said.
· Cost of around $1 billion, · Project valuation over 10 years with a terminal value · 12% discount rate not the 6% used by PoMC · Conservative estimate of future shipping fleet compositionOn these figures, this is a dis-benefit to Victorians. Clearly the project is already unjustifiable, even before any more costs blow-outs occur. I also have grave concerns about the Alliance between PoMC and Boskalis. During the SEES Inquiry Boskalis executives said they are now very aware of their responsibilities and had never breached any standards, claiming “zero incidents with environmental impact”. Boskalis failed to mention incidents where standards MUST have been breached, such as the sinking of a Boskalis dredge in Ponte Noir, Republic of Congo in 2006, where 3 people lost their lives, and the collision of Boskalis dredge Fairway in the port of Tianjin China in March 2007, resulting in the dredge being written off. Boskalis is also a joint venture partner in the controversial Jurong Islands project where sand has been illegally taken from Indonesia for land reclamation projects in Singapore. The secrecy surrounding the Alliance between Boskalis and PoMC must be investigated, otherwise Victorian taxpayers may be exposed to unlimited loss and our priceless Bay may be damaged irretrievably. It is noteworthy that both Boskalis and James Hardy Industries have their headquarters in The Netherlands, so in the event of any compensation claims against Boskalis, like the asbestos victims, many Victorians may face insurmountable difficulties in obtaining justice. The public, especially Victorians, can demonstrate their desire for accountability by cutting and pasting this article and emailing it, headed, "Re Port Phillip Bay Channel Deepening", to the following address:[email protected], (The Secretary, Standing Committee on Finance and Public Administration, Legislative Council, Parliament of Victoria, Spring St. Melbourne 3000) From a Blue Wedges press release
"Who owns Port Phillip Bay?"
Our friends at Operation Quarrantine say:
Don't R.I.P. the RIP. The Queen of the Netherlands is heading to The Heads and so is concern for the Bay.
So - Operation Quarrantine has organized a land and water action at Point Nepean and Point Lonsdale, and is calling on people who love the Bay to join them on Saturday 5th April. As well as people on land at Pt. Nepean and Pt. Lonsdale, protesters in boats and board riders will also be confronting the dredge
Participants will include a number of groups and individuals who all share a desire to Save the Bay from Boskalis and see the Queen swiftly and safely back in Holland where she belongs. Holland needs her, we don't!
Details: Saturday 5th of April
On-Land supporters Meet at Point Nepean National Park Carpark at 11 am and Point Lonsdale Pier at 11.30 am
Boats meet at Sorrento Pier at 10 am or at the dredge at 12 noon
Distress signals from land and water 12.30 pm onwards
Along with the toxic dump, dredging of the Heads is the most contentious and foolhardy of the PoMC's plans for the Bay. If work proceeds:
- Unique species and habitats will be destroyed.
- More water will flow in and out of the Bay on every tide, increasing risks of coastal erosion and inundation of low lying land
- Shipping risks will increase
- The dive and eco-tourism industry will be severely compromised or may face closure
Trial dredging in 2005 caused thousands of tonnes of rock to fall into the canyon and Marine Park – almost one quarter of Boskalis’ work ended up somewhere it shouldn’t be, causing extensive damage.
PoMC concealed information about damage from the trial dredge until the eleventh hour of the 2007 Inquiry. Large volumes of mobile rock are still present in the Great Ship Channel as a result of the 2005 Trial dredge, and are a shipping hazard. It could have been responsible for the grounding of the tanker Desh Rakshak in January 2006. With over 500,000 cubic metres of rock set to be quarried, the damage and risks could be exponentially worse.
This planned destruction is irreversible and permanent. It is an act of vandalism, and without any reasonable justification. It should not be tolerated in the 21st Century.
Carey Priest, media spokesperson for Operation Quarrantine, says: “This is one of the last opportunities we have to protect this vital resource for generations to come. We need to show the Brumby government that they will lose office over this dredging project. The people of Victoria do not want the Bay turned into a Quarry! The science is on the table – no ifs, buts or maybes – this is a massively destructive operation to one of the most pristine and unique marine ecosystems in the world.”
If you can help Operation Quarrantine especially with boat support for Bellarine Peninsula please contact Carey 0438 353 243.
For further information contacts: Carey Priest 0438 353 243 (Pt. Nepean side) and Catherine Jones (Pt. Lonsdale side) on 0408 202 187 or email bellarineseastar |AT| gmail com
Visit: www.operationquarrantine.com for more information and SMS 0438 353 243 to be in the loop for up coming actions and events.
The Port of Melbourne Corporation has agreed at a Federal Court hearing on 6 February to delay the dredging of toxic sediment from the mouth of the Yarra River, and, instead, until after the case is heard in the Federal Court on 20 February, limit its operations to the less damaging dredging of clean sand from the south channel.
Transcript from "Whither Australia's ports?" on Radio National's the National Interest of Sunday 1 Feb 2008. Blue Wedges' spokespersons Jenny Warfe debates two proponents of channel deepening.
"Dredging opponents win a short delay" by Catherine Best, Bringelly News 6 Feb 08
"Dredging opponents win a short delay" Sydney Morning Herald 6 Feb 08
"Court deal lets dredging start" Herald-Sun 7 Feb 08
Earlier story: Blue Wedges seeks urgent injunction to stop commencement of dredging
Orignal article at #10;">www.bluewedges.org.
Blue Wedges lawyer is likely to file papers in the Federal Court at 9 am Wednesday 6th February
Blue Wedges lawyer Michael Morehead is likely to file papers in the Federal Court at 9 am tomorrow morning (Wednesday 6th February) seeking an injunction to suspend works and stay the Minister’s decision.
We then await the Court’s convenience as to the time the injunction will be heard – hopefully tomorrow.
Blue Wedges is committed to further legal action. Otherwise, the first work that Boskalis will undertake in Port Phillip Bay is to construct a 6 sq. km aquatic toxic storage facility, adjacent to Melbourne’s premier beaches. The toxic facility would be 60 times the area of the Nowingi toxic facility near Mildura which was rejected by the community and an Independent Panel in 2006.
In just one year, the PoMC’s aquatic toxic facility would receive 7 million tonnes of contaminated and toxic spoil. This is nine times what the Nowingi facility may have accepted in thirty years of operations.
Jenny Warfe: 59871583, 0405 825769
Jo Samuel-King: 0403 069 771
Michael Morehead, lawyer: 0401 960 655
Port and Blue Wedges ordered to mediation, The Age - Feb 08
Protesters vent anger at Premier Brumby, The Age - 5 Feb 08
Peter Garrett gives Port Phillip Bay dredging go ahead, Melbourne Herald Sun - 6 Feb 08
Debate closed on disclosure of dredging, Sydney Morning Herald - 6 Feb 08
Original artilce here
Blue Wedges has won the right to challenge Mr. Garrett's decision to approve the channel deepening project in a full Hearing of the Federal Court on 20th February.
Lawyers for Blue Wedges were successful in obtaining a full Hearing of our case in the Federal Court on 20th February. We also have an undertaking from the PoMC that they will provide us with 24 hours notice if they intend to commence dredging prior to that date if they have received the EMP.
Theoretically that gives us the opportunity to immediately apply for an injunction to stop those works commencing, but it hardly seems necessary as the court made it pretty clear that it would take a dim view of the Port of Melbourne Corporation (PoMC) if it acted to start works before we have had our day in court and the judgment.
Justice North said:
"The court won't lightly allow the threatened damage to happen ... it would be bad manners, if not strategically silly .. and there would be consequences.
The court has a history of protecting legal rights to challenge government decisions"
In other words, it was unnecessary to order a formal stay because the PoMC was unlikely to proceed given the impending court date. This is the reality.
Mr. Garrett took only three days to decide to approve the project having supposedly absorbed 50,000 pages of supporting documentation. Under Section 146 of the EPBC Act Mr. Garrett can revoke his decision. It is time NOW to request he do just that. Write to him now at Peter.Garrett.MP|AT|aph.gov.au
See also "A bay battler fights on" of 20 January 2008 in the Melbourne Age about how 12-year-old Elyse Coates-McCarthy swam to save the bay.
Visit Friends of the Earth's site to send letter to Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett to demand action.
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".
"Victorians, are in shock that the destructive act of channel deepening in Port Phillip Bay has been approved so easily by the Federal Minister for the Environment, Peter Garrett after the considered, prolonged and justified opposition to this project over the past 3+ years by environmentalists" said the President of Sustainable Population Australia's Victorian branch (S.P.A. Vic.) Ms.Jill Quirk on Monday December 31st. "What a sad prospect for Bay swimmers and divers this summer if work starts as planned on the first of February 2007!"
"The risks to marine life, the underwater environment and the health of the body of water which is Melbourne's main recreation and environmental asset are huge and for no return at all as far as quality of life is concerned for Melbourne's citizens." Ms. Quirk said.
"SPA Vic. supports Ms. Jenny Warfe of the Blue Wedges coalition in asking Peter Garrett for the reasons for his approval of the Channel Deepening Project. S.P.A. Vic. also thanks the Blue Wedges for their responsible action in taking this case to the Federal Court. The position of SPA Vic is that this action is in the best interests of Melbourne's future and that of our beautiful Port Phillip Bay which is being placed in jeopardy by our elected and paid leaders."
"Peter Garrett should not have been so quick to please the Victorian Government and the Port of Melbourne Corporation. This approval was precipitate to say the least given the pending Federal Court case regarding this issue." Ms. Quirk said.
Contact: Jill Quirk 0409 7429 27
What You can do
Join the vigil to save Port Phillip Bay on 8 January. See www.bayvigil.org/how-you-can-get-involved.
Contact Blue Wedges.
Original media release on Blue Wedges web site.
Media Release 12/15/07
“Channel deepening approval by Environment Minister Gavin Jennings is scandalous”, says Blue Wedges spokesperson Jenny Warfe. “We still do not know the extent of risk from toxic sediment release, and we still don’t know who is going to pay for the project. What's more, he has set an environmental bond of only $100 million - less than the amount PoMC spent on the Inquiry process to date and less than the combined annual salaries of a few top corporate executives. PoMC is a publicly owned corporation so taxpayers will be funding the environmental bond –thus adding another $100 million to the project costs”
Port Phillip Bay provides benefits in the Billions to our economy annually. It deserves better treatment than what Minister Jennings has dealt today. There’s even more we still don’t know:
- Will the public see the monitoring plan or have any say in the monitoring?
- Will the public ever see the data?
- Will monitoring continue after dredging?
- How independent will the monitor be?
- Who funds the independent monitor?
There has been a consistent pattern of PoMC failing to reveal relevant documents in relation to the extent of Yarra sediment toxicity in 2004 and again in 2007 when three crucial documents have been concealed during the public submission period. Two days ago, the Minister refused to meet us to explain why he considers PoMC’s failure to release such contentious documents as acceptable. Today he sees fit to approve a project which he does not have all the facts on.
The SEES did not include the report Minor Maintenance Dredging Campaign. Water Quality Monitoring in the Dredge and Disposal Plumes. December 2006. Hale. J. That report was the basis for all water quality assessments for the Yarra and Hobsons Bay dredging and for conclusions of the Human Health Study. Only after the Inquiry closed did we learn that water quality sampling was collected during a minor back-hoe dredging operation, as opposed to a major suction dredge operation as planned - and NONE of the sampling locations were in the Yarra.
“Omission of these documents has resulted in the Public Inquiry, the Independent Expert Group, and subsequently the Planning Minister, and Minister for Environment failing to adequately consider the impacts of wider dispersal of toxic materials.” said Ms. Warfe.
“We also asked if a properly designed study to measure fish tissue chemistry data for dioxin and dioxin-like compounds called for by a project consultant towards the end of the Inquiry has been undertaken. We still do not know the answer to that” says Ms. Warfe.
Two other studies related to toxic sediments were only revealed after public presentations to the Inquiry had concluded. They are:
- Baseline Benthic Fauna Surveys for the Port of Melbourne DMG, SE DMG and Yarra River Estuary. Sinclair Knight Merz. Sept 2006
- Bioaccumulation Study. Sinclair Knight Merz. April 2006
What do these documents reveal that PoMC would wish to conceal them from the public?
“Minister Jennings has declined to examine all the facts and has de-valued the Bay. Minister Garrett must not rely on the flawed SEES documents to make his decision under the Federal Environment Protection and Bio-diversity Conservation Act” says Ms. Warfe.
Further media releases
Federal Court update 07/12/07
Court Battle to keep dredge out 04/12/07
DREDGE THREAT TESTS PETER GARRETT, NEW ENVIRONMENT MINISTER
The Federal Court Case to save Port Phillip Bay is a battle between the Goliath of government and the David of Democracy. It began on Wednesday 5th December in Melbourne’s Federal Court.
Blue Wedges have received little help from iconic personalities and organisations of the environmental old guard. Many very active activists think that the ACF and other big ol' environmental organisations have sacrificed too much for professionalism and to retain their position as the governments' first (and usually last) claim to consulting 'environmentalists.
Peter Garrett, one time President of the ACF, is now Federal Labor's Environment Minister. Surely he will stand up for Port Phillip Bay? I mean, how much bigger could an environmental and democratic issue get? A huge number of Victorians are appalled at the local Victorian Government's capitulation to big business and the port of Melbourne Authority, all in scary cause of continuous economic growth. Today is the second day in Melbourne's Federal Court for the Blue Wedges Coalition and Mr Garrett as the environment minister.
According to Blue Wedges spokesperson Jenny Warfe:
"Our new Federal Environment Minister can reject the State assessment report and there would be no need for this case to proceed, but so far we have heard nothing. This will be the first real test of our new Federal government’s commitment to conserving Australia’s unique natural environments and to international obligations."
"The project would produce massive plumes of mud and silt throughout the Bay for two years whilst underway. Worse still the Bay’s ecosystems would take many more years to recover from its effects, and may never recover from the toxic time bomb contained in over 2 million tonnes of contaminated Yarra sediments which the Port of Melbourne Corporation (PoMC) proposes to dredge and then dump again in the Bay."
"Port Phillip Bay provides jobs for thousands of people who rely on a clean healthy environment for their living. It seems unlikely that the PoMC could afford the necessary environmental bond or to compensate all the businesses that rely on the Bay’s water quality for their livelihoods, let alone conduct this implausible and ridiculous $1 billion plus project”.
"What's more, the State government has asked the Federal government to provide around half the funds required to complete the dredging to maintenance stage. There is nothing in this project for ordinary Victorians or Australians, so why should taxpayers be required to fund the trashing of Port Phillip Bay?"
Source: Blue Wedges Media release.
Down on the Mornington Peninsular a group of people who have not yet been ground down, and splintered have managed to unite for around two years a sustained protest all over Melbourne against the radical geological restructuring of the bay that defines the town. This is a real tour de force, an inspiration, which the money-mad government and corporations seem incapable of respecting. There have been Alice-in-Wonderland environment assessments and the government just does not get it that the bay does not belong to business of politicians. It belongs to everyone - and the sea creatures.
This case will show just how bad the rot is in Victoria - Will the judiciary remember what they are there for and represent the people of Melbourne's rights?
"Blue Wedges Coalition is fighting in court tomorrow (Wednesday 5th December) to keep the Boskalis dredge ship, Queen of the Netherlands from beginning work on the channel deepening project early next year.
The Port of Melbourne Corporation (PoMC) wants court proceedings to be concluded before Christmas so work can start on its proposed channel deepening project in January next year.
A Full Court hearing, Blue Wedges claims, should not be before April next year so that the evidence and issues can be properly presented and considered.
This will be argued in Melbourne’s Federal Court this Wednesday (5th December) at 9.30 AM in a Directions Hearing before Justice Weinberg who will decide whether the Blue Wedges application to delay the project can succeed.
"We want to delay the project so that we can get a thorough process and diligent investigation of the impacts," said Blue Wedges spokesperson, Dr Jo Samuel King.
"Crucial information was left out of the Supplementary Environmental Effects Statement prepared by the PoMC and there is no way that dredging should be allowed to begin when they (PoMC) do not know what the environmental consequences will be, or even who is paying for the project"
The Federal Court is at 305 William St. Melbourne near Flagstaff station. The case is listed for Room 6a, Level 6, however check the Law list in the daily press or at http://www.fedcourt.gov.au/ctlists/ctlists.html for further details.
Our Bay is too precious to be treated this way. No Queen of the Netherlands for Port Phillip Bay!"
#ff0000">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
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
#ff0000">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