“Just eat it” Mr. Brumby

“Hey Mr. Brumby - how about a nice fish brekkie on Morning TV?
We’ll choose the fish” says John Willis fisherman and Blue Wedges spokesperson.

Mr. Brumby, you said in the Herald Sun of 19th January that the furore about diseased fish in Port Phillip Bay is just a red herring. You said "There is absolutely no risk to human health......Anybody who wants to eat fish should eat fish."

What about the EPA’s advice Mr. Brumby? EPA says don’t eat or even touch any fish with lesions or that look “lethargic or unwell”. Don’t you care if we make ourselves sick? This is worse than when George W Bush told Americans to get out and shop after the Twin Towers fell.

And whilst we have your attention Mr. Brumby, we don’t claim sick fish are necessarily linked to previous dredging. We do say the Yarra and Hobson's Bay environment is already stressed because:

  • Late last year, you approved the daily diversion of 200 mega litres of water from the Yarra to service Melbourne's drinking water needs - reducing environmental flows downstream.
  • We have a drought, further reducing flows into the Yarra.
  • We have had record high temperatures
  • Nutrient and toxicant levels may be higher as a result

The Yarra is already stressed. Please John, don’t stress it further with at least 8 months of intensive dredging without studying future cumulative or exponential impacts of drought, low environmental flow, high temperatures and dredging. It’s not good enough to rely on past records. We are facing a very different future.

It's time to call a halt to channel deepening. Study the known unknowns. Look for the unknown unknowns. If we don't, we risk irreversible damage to the state's biggest economic asset - the Bay.   

What's the rush John? The port is going gang-busters. Record Container throughputs are achieved month after month......there’s no containers Sittin’ on the dock of the Bay.

The Port can afford to give the Bay a break.

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