Blue Wedges speaking out for Port Phillip
and Westernport Bays


UNPRECEDENTED COASTAL EROSION
From Mt. Eliza to the Portarlington locals are noticing erosion and flooding like they’ve never seen before. Portsea beach is particularly hard hit and worth a look. Global warming is increasing sea levels and we can’t do much about that, BUT why did Mr. Brumby deliberately and swiftly increase risks of damage from higher water levels in the Bay by allowing The Entrance to be enlarged and deepened? Here’s just a few of the dozens of photos we have been sent.

Portsea beach Summer 2011. No better in 2014!

Once there were families having fun. Now it’s mostly just a few fossickers picking through the dirty sand

Works underway Portsea beach October 2010.

Portsea pier low landing April 2010. Now regularly underwater in calm weather

In front of Portsea pub. Watch your step mate! March 2010 (This dune has since collapsed)

Bellarine. Picnicking soon a thing of the past! 6th September 2009 Photo P. Cowden

Dog walking beach!! Blairgowrie 18th August 2009. Photo A. Lewins.

No Parking! Pt. Richards 26th August 2009 Photo: P. Cowden


Safety Beach cliffs slumping 19th October 2009 . Photo: L. Warfe

PoMC admits that tide heights have increased since The Entrance has been dredged, but claim it has had no impact on coastal processes. Have you noticed unusual erosion processes in your area? Please send your photos to us at contact@bluewegdes.org.au

**Still no word on the tests for Yarra radionuclides **


The Office of Environmental Monitor (OEM) continues to avoid answering the question.... Why didn’t the PoMC test Yarra sediments for radionuclides? Despite the long but little known history of CSIRO uranium processing near the Yarra River (1940s to 1960s) and a 40+ year history of contamination of the site at 506 Lorimer St. Fishermen’s Bend, that question is still being avoided by the authorities charged with the protection of our health and our environment. Now more than two years after we first asked the question we still haven’t been answered! Dredging and bank stabilisation works are still ongoing in the Yarra 24/7 – and likely will be until late 2010.

Yarra dredging 21st February 2009.

Note spillage from drag head as it dumps sludge on barge. Here’s the “state of the art” equipment for moving the 3 million tonnes of toxic sediment from the Yarra to the middle of Bay dump site. Looks like something from Dickensian England doesn’t it? While other countries can apparently treat toxic material on land and recycle heavy metals, we are continuing to dig up toxins from the Yarra and then dump them again in the Bay – without the community even having been advised whether any radionuclides are present in the spoil and without the dump site even needing to be licensed by the Environment Protection Authority No Channel Deepening!

Thanks to all our supporters who showed their opposition on land and water to the arrival of the Queen of the Netherlands.

Blue Wedges will continue to oppose channel deepening in peaceful lawful non-violent protest. We are encouraged by the breadth of support from other groups and individuals who oppose this destructive plan for our Bay

Friends of the Earth International had one of its biggest responses ever to its on-line petition opposing channel deepening. Only the Iraq war has out rated Channel Deepening! Thanks to all who took the time to sign it. Garret Gagged by Labour Party on YouTube

Act NOW to keep PoMC responsible for its actions against Port Phillip Bay. Obtain & display banners & stickers. Get info via email or phone Dee Robinson on 03 5981 2909.

    Point Nepean was placed on the National Heritage list in June 2006.

The Bend Point Nepean Photo: P. McConchie

Right near here, at The Rip, on 4th April 2008 the Port of Melbourne Corporation started dredging underwater rock walls containing unique sponges and corals. Works at the entrance continued until approx. September 2008.

Plume modelling shows that crushing limestone walls at Rip Bank and Nepean Bank will spread turbidity through The Rip into commonwealth marine areas in Bass Strait and at least as far as Gunnamatta.

POMC booked the dredges in 2004, prior to any environmental assessments being undertaken and prior to receiving any of the necessary approvals. Dredging equipment began arriving in mid January 2008 -just around the corner from this beautiful location.

On December 20th 2007 Environment Minister Garrett approved the project subject to various conditions, including an Environment Management Plan - which he did not approve until 5th February 2008. POMC did not even pay the Federal Court or the Victorian public the courtesy of waiting for the Directions hearing on January 10th before announcing dredges were on the way, and now claims financial imposts incurred because of the Queen of the Netherlands sitting idle from its arrival on 29th January. Following mediation ordered by the Federal Court, limited dredging commenced on 8th February. Our full case against Mr. Garrett in the Federal Court concluded on 3rd March. On 28th March 2008 the court ruled that Minister Garrett's decision was lawful. Justice North however stated: "It is not the function of the court to make a judgment as to whether the channel deepening project is a good thing or a bad thing, or whether it is harmful to the environment or not. " The court has determined that Mr. Garrett made a lawful decision - he ticked the boxes.

The court was not able to rule whether Garrett made a sensible decision. Clearly he hasn't. Where are the overriding social or economic justifications for such a sustained onslaught to the ecology of the Bay? Just like the Franklin Dam in 1983, the Federal government can intervene in contentious state projects which threaten the environment especially IF it wants to. The EPBC Act has provision for Ministers to revoke decisions.

So- keep the pressure on Mr. Garrett to protect the environment. He has made some dud decisions, (including approving channel deepening, Frankston Bypass Freeway, Wonthaggi DeSal,) so far! Watch an ABC story on You Tube


Have you heard about the unresolved ongoing problems?

1. Toxic sediments – threatening our beaches, our fish stocks, our

health

2. Serious 2005 damage at The Heads – uncontrollable, continuing

rockfall and scour, WHICH EVEN POMC admits could last 30 years

We should all be concerned:

* that our beaches will be contaminated

* about predicted high levels of toxins in local fish, eels and mussels

* about added effects of sea level rise from channel deepening

combined with global warming induced rise, and extreme weather

events

* about flooding in the low-lying coastal areas

The future health and amenity of our Bay will be put at risk for the benefit of a few shipping companies, and “immeasurably minor” benefit to ordinary Victorians.

Ask your local Federal MP's where they stand on Channel Deepening. The Rudd Government was swept to power with Greens preferences. The Greens are opposed to Channel Deepening. If your MP is Labor ask him/her to honour the principled stand taken by the Greens and speak out against Channel Deepening.

Channel deepening is merely PoMC’s Business plan - their outdated dreams for the future - using Port Phillip Bay as their no cost resource. Unfortunately it means big costs to Bay inhabitants, Bay related industries and all lovers of the Bay.

It's time:

* To review and outdated parachial project which threatens our irreplacable marine environment

* To tell Mr. Garrett he has abandoned his principles!

Blue Wedges wishes to thank those generous persons who have recently donated to our campaign. Please accept this acknowledgement as our personal thanks to you.

We can certainly assure you that your donations are being used with the whole-hearted commitment to SAVE THE BAY! If you want to Save the Bay - we need your help NOW as we plan our future camapign and consider further legal action.

Please help with a donation before it is too late!

Help us protect the bay for future generations from threats

like Channel Deepening.

Queen of the Netherlands casting a murky cloud over life in the bay.

Photo The Age Craig Abraham (Sept 2005).

Whales in the Bay

 

Let’s herald the saving of the whales in Antarctic waters. Let us also be aware of the deathly ambush that awaits these same animals in Port Phillip Bay

I welcome all efforts by the Federal government to stop the inhumane and barbaric practice of whaling in Antarctic waters. Every year many of these magnificent animals come to rest and enjoy the unsullied waters of Port Phillip Bay before continuing to the renowned coastlines of southern Victoria, Western Australia and Queensland where whale tourism flourishes and millions of dollars flow into the coffers.

The Port of Melbourne Corporation’s channel deepening project is a most vile ambush.

Wake up Australia – the eco system cannot be a ‘pie’ to divide up for commerce alone. Our oceans and bays are a highway and time-travelledroute that ensures the survival of the species.

From Judy Muir Polperro Dolphin Swims Sorrentowww.polperro.com.au

Scene around 30 metres before the "trial" dredging in 2005. In its Media Release accompanying the ‘benchmark report’ even the Port of Melbourne Corporation doesn't deny that during the trial, most of the rockfall damage occurred “in the shallow regions above 30 metres…”. That's also where most diving takes place. We now know around 6,000 cubic metres fell - destroying beautiful scenery like this. Not the 20 or so cubic metres first claimed by PoMC.

Photo by Greg Blair After the dredging at around 30 metres ,
a spider crab is looking for a new home.

Photo by Alan Beckhurst At 37 metres a boulder weighing several tonnes now covers reef where species of corals, sponges, crustaceans and fish lived!


Photo by Alan Beckhurst Port Phillip Heads on-line Camera (refreshed every few minutes).



Photo composite: Ian's images

News

April 2014

Judging by recent media reports it seems the Libs and Labs have descended into an unedifying blue about where they think a massive new port should be.

April 2014

Victorian National Parks Association is running its second Westernport focused seminar in Hastings on Tuesday evening 15th April.

Entitled ‘Westernport: A Bay on the brink’, the free seminar will focus on the potential impacts that port expansion could have on the internationally significant ecosystem of Westernport, its seagrass, salt marsh and mangrove communities and the species that rely on them.

December 2013/January 2014

Summer is here and we are heading for the coast. We really do hope you enjoy your time at the beach, but as you watch ships pass by, often close by, take note of the plume of filthy smoke they belch out and consider this piece published in Crikey in 2009.

December 2013


Documents that Blue Wedges obtained last year using Freedom of Information revealed that the former Brumby government had plans for Hastings which included coal exports in the business case. Given the Napthine government is using project costs and projected trade volumes for an expanded Hastings that are almost identical to the Brumby plan, it is pretty likely that coal is still on the agenda.

September 2013

Consultants Asia-Pacific Applied Science Associates found a high probability that spilt oil would spread widely and quickly across Western Port's globally recognised waters.

August 2013

Blue Wedges members recently met with the Minister for Ports, David Hodgett.

It’s seven years since community groups started raising the alarm about the then Brumby government’s proposed rail and road corridors to the Port of Hastings. Now The Age is all over it.

April 2013

Yesterday Dr. Napthine was all over Hastings.

March 2013

4th December 2012

PoMC can have its $100 million Environmental bond back when we get our beach back!

3rd December 2012

We've been off line for way too long - but we're back!

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