The ACF and Monash collaboration via the Orca monitoring program is bringing in its first results. And they are worth a close reading.

The Australian Conservation Foundation, in collaboration with Monash University scientists, has been running an independent monitoring program on the ongoing effects of the channel deepening project since March. Some of you have donated to this program, to provide the funds and resources to “keep the Orca operating”. You will be heartened to hear that initial results show that your money has gone to a valuable cause in the interests of the Bay.

Today the ACF has released its first BayMonitor Report, along with its specifically devised Field Manual. The main thrust of the work has been to use satellite images to do a thorough survey of the dredge plume, its extent and intensity. This will be matched with actual water sampling results, so that the scientists can continue to make sense “on the ground” of the daily satellite information. Other sampling will be reported on in due course.

To use their own words, the ACF has found that:

In summary the provisional report indicates the plume spread in northern Port Phillip Bay exceeded the SEES-modelled distribution and the trigger level described in the environmental monitoring plan.

ACF believes the Victorian Government should immediately remove the monitoring role from the Port of Melbourne Corporation and give it – along with more resources and stronger powers – to the Office of the Environmental Monitor."

Needless to say, Blue Wedges congratulates the ACF and Monash researchers on their work so far. It is high time we heard more about the reality than the usual lines from the PoMC and the Office of the Environmental Monitor that all is well, and nothing has exceeded environmental limits nor given us, the public, any cause for concern. Here is credible evidence, from certainly credible researchers, that things are not going according to the predictions of the proponents of the CDP. And we have had to wait to hear this from these people, not our OEM whose catchcry has been that no limits have been exceeded and the “Rule Book” is prevailing successfully. Perhaps the OEM will now have a point of comparison and as a result will act to show some truly independent resolve.

Keep your eyes and ears open. This is not the end…just the beginning.
Full copies of the Report and the Field Manual, along with the media release, can be found by going to these links:  

Good on you, ACF and Monash!! Let’s keep our support going for them (details on their website). Who knows what they will discover next?


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