Dredge plume spreads further than PoMC predicted

......Possibly more in line with what scientists NOT employed by the PoMC have been warning since the first EES in 2004 we suspect!

The Age Saturday 6th September reports that dredging in the north of the bay has created a plume that has turned out to be "a significant deviation" from the Port of Melbourne's expectations.

In particular, the plume was floating east of the dump site off Mordialloc, where contaminated silt from the Yarra mouth has been dumped.

In spite of this, the PoMC has sought to further weaken some environmental thresholds and has already altered some environmental monitoring programs. If the PoMC is allowed further dilute their already pathetically weak Environmental Management Plan (EMP) surely this means the Brumby government doesn’t give a damn about the health of Port Phillip Bay – and maybe any other environmental asset that might stand in the way of their grand plans for the future. See Saturday’s Age article: Dredge plume spreads, seal dies

It also makes you wonder whether our Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett has been keeping an eye over the project as it proceeds. Minister Garrett wasted no time however to block the development of a new Queensland coal port on the basis that it might impact on important nearby wetlands. Today’s media reports that he said a proposed rail line and coal-loading port would have had a "clearly unacceptable" impact on local wetlands, and "The impacts of the rail line and port facility are simply too great to effectively mitigate, and would destroy the ecological integrity of the area. Destruction of fragile wilderness areas cannot be reversed" he said.

Whilst we applaud Mr. Garrett’s intentions to protect the ecological integrity of important wetland areas in this instance, we can’t help but wonder why he was not so bothered by the fragile wetlands in Port Phillip Bay, including the beautiful wilderness area of Mud Islands set to suffer irreversible impacts from increasing sea level rise, the impact of which will be magnified and hastened by increased tide heights resulting from channel deepening.

Mud Islands January 2008

Photo compliments Steb Fisher Photography www.steb.com.au

What’s more, Mr. Garrett reportedly intends to pursue Blue Wedges for court costs, following our Federal Court challenge to Mr. Garrett’s final approval of channel deepening. Our case in part was aimed at protecting the wetlands of Port Phillip Bay! Seems he is being a tad inconsistent doesn’t it? 

See article: http://www.theage.com.au/national/wetlands-coal-port-block-20080905-4aqj.html?skin=text-only

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