On yer bike Bracks!

Blue Wedges supporters around the Bay kept the pressure on Mr. Bracks and his entourage yesterday as they cycled around Port Phillip Bay. Mr. Bracks and thousands of other riders got the clear message that the state government’s channel deepening proposal which includes dumping up to 3 million tonnes of contaminated and toxic sediment within the Bay just must not happen.






Dromana                                                        Sorrento

Blue Wedges supporters in Sorrento, Rye, Dromana, Mt. Martha, Frankston, Mordialloc, St. Kilda and Queenscliff kept the pressure on Mr. Bracks and his entourage yesterday as they cycled around Port Phillip Bay. Mr. Bracks and thousands of other riders got the clear message from Bayside residents, bay users, fishermen and divers that the state government’s proposal to further expand the Port of Melbourne, dredge over 40 million tonnes of sediment, sand and rock from the Bay (including up to 3 million tonnes of contaminated and toxic sediment in the North), then dump it again in spoil grounds within the Bay just must not happen.


Blue Wedges spokesperson Jenny Warfe says “We had a great day beside the Bay enjoying the spectacle of the bike ride and sounding the warning about the channel deepening project. Let’s hope government realises the wonderful asset they have in the Bay, sees sense soon and starts looking at some sensible alternatives to this very risky, damaging project to the Bay, its inhabitants and the businesses which rely on it. Thousands of bike riders and passers by agreed with us too.”


Along with business, union and other community representatives, Ms. Warfe is a member of the Port of Melbourne Corporation’s Public Stakeholder Advisory Committee. She says the most recent meeting last week was told that treating and disposing of the toxic sediments from the Yarra on land, (as recommended by the Independent Panel who assessed the first EES into the project) had been looked at and dismissed as being too expensive and logistically complex – hence the plan was to continue with their original idea of dumping all of the toxic spoil within the Bay – in grounds south-west of Brighton. The material from the south of the Bay would be dumped in a huge new spoil ground off Mt. Martha approximately 7.5 sq. km in area and smothering a huge area of seabed.


“The Bracks government is remaining silent about their plans to continue on with the massive channel deepening project after the election is over – why would they want to admit to creating yet another toxic dump (as well as Hatta-Nowingi near Mildura and a little known proposed holding facility in the Dynon rail area) when they could kid people into believing that it was all over when the trial dredge program concluded?  The fact that the project is still very much ‘alive’ is certainly not appearing in any election material we have seen, and our survey of all candidates has turned up pathetically few responses from ALP MP’s and candidates. Of those ALP candidates who have replied, 10 have been almost identical, with content closely resembling a Port of Melbourne Corporation promotional brochure”.

St. Kilda

Blue Wedges spokesperson Patsy Crotty was at St. Kilda yesterday to greet Mr. Bracks and his entourage and was heartened by the huge number of indications of support from riders and from other passing traffic. Patsy says: “At the election on 25th November we have a unique opportunity to tell Mr. Bracks we don’t want a government that is prepared to damage our Bay. Blue Wedges recommends that people who care about the Bay only vote for a party or individual who is prepared to publicly state their opposition to the dredging proposal. In the Upper House, electing independents and minor parties will ensure that a robust discussion of this critical issue occurs, and that it will not be open slather for whichever government is in power to continue in a direction towards buggering Port Phillip –and, for that matter, Westernport.  In the Upper House ballot, make sure you vote below the line, putting a minimum of 5 numbers below the line. Don’t give any of those five votes to a person or party who supports channel deepening. If you do vote above the line in the Upper House (placing one vote in one square only), your vote preferences will be assumed to be ‘along party lines’ and could therefore end up assisting a candidate who supports channel deepening. Below the line, you can stop validly after 5 if you wish, and thus prevent your vote going anywhere you don’t want it to go.”


Ms. Crotty recommends voters read up on their Upper House and Lower House information either on the Victorian Electoral Commission website, or for electorates whose candidates have completed surveys see www.bluewedges.org


“Rather than just riding around the Bay Mr. Bracks – why don’t you save it?” asks Ms. Warfe and Ms. Crotty


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