Steadfast community opposition to dredging

Although Mr. Brumby might be just about to kick back, sip some champagne and slap a few backs, he should think again. People everywhere are still amazed at his brazen bullying demeanour while imposing his pet poisonous project – channel deepening - onto the community. And many are happy to show their anger and displeasure.

What’s more, Brumby still has the vastly unpopular North - South water pipe, the De-Sal plant, a tunnel under Melbourne, more and more trucks emanating from the Port of Melbourne and more coal fired power stations to impose on a community which has really had a gutful of him and his attitude that mega- infrastructures are the answer to all our ills.

So – how heartening it is to see some really innovative ways of showing that we want a solution to our current predicaments, such as climate change and increasing congestion – not more of it- which is of course what all Mr. Brumby’s pet projects will cause.        

One such innovator is Tanya Fry of Dromana, and we are very proud to have Tanya as one of our supporters. Tanya is a professional photographer and visual artist, and aside from her amazing efforts at protesting on the water against having one of the largest dredges in the world, the massive Queen of the Netherlands in our Bay, The Mornington Peninsula Leader reports she has taken her protest further, winning an art award for her work, The Bay. With dredging under way, Tanya has channelled her protest against what she believes is an environmental travesty into her art, producing an award-winning work.

Images of marine life and a mermaid have been merged inside spaghetti jars from her mother’s kitchen. The jars are stacked inside a shipping container to be carried away….somewhere.

Tanya’s work invites one to ponder placing our unique marine environment at risk merely so we can ship more and more “stuff” all around the world – especially if that stuff has been produced in factories where workers are denied basic rights, the goods once here are sold for a song, and mostly find their way into landfill in less than a year. Imagine the greenhouse emissions in producing some of theses knick-knacks, shipping them all around the world, transporting them out of the port by truck, all of us driving miles to purchase them and then discarding them within months.   

Tanya’s work is on display at Cube 37 at the Frankston Arts Centre. Tanya’s prize is a solo exhibition at the Frankston Arts Centre to open next year. Her work and that of the 120 artists whose works are also on display in “A little bit of this, a little bit of that!” runs until this Friday May 23rd. We highly recommend you make the effort to see it!

(Tanya’s mum Joy is also a talented artist. Joy donated her beautiful Leafy seadragon artwork to Blue Wedges for fundraising earlier this year)

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Tanya (centre) in February 2008 with her colleagues who care for the Bay Photo: © Yanni

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Tanya with her winning artwork The Bay, a social comment on bay dredging. Picture: Ian Cook (Leader).

And – a big round of applause for a group of Toorak College students: Sasha, Rebecca, Lara, Hannah, Pip and Mariana who will tackle dredging in Port Phillip Bay as part of World Environment Day next month.

The Mornington Peninsula Leader of 19th May features the girls asking the question:  Would you swim in it?

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Mariana, Pip, Rebecca, Lara, Sasha and Hannah. Picture: Hilton Stone (Leader).

Would you swim in it? Is the question the girls will ask when they present at the Melbourne Water River Health Youth Conference at Flemington Racecourse next month.

The girls will deliver that question and their accompanying presentation twice throughout the conference, which expects to attract more than 300 students from 40 schools across Melbourne. Good on you girls – that should spread the message pretty well on World Environment Day that dredging is a big risk – which delivers NOTHING to the World’s environment. 

The girls say they are passionate about the issue but intend to present a balanced and informative talk. Another round of applause! Balance and objectivity is something rarely seen these days in the mainstream media – and when it is, vested interests seem to squawk pretty loudly.  

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