Don't vote Labor - Save the Bay instead

The Blue Wedges survey of all electorates has thrown up some interesting information about who really cares about the Bay and how it might be affected if the contentious channel deepening project was to proceed.




Eastern bayside Lower House electorates of Albert Park, Sandringham, Mordialloc, Carrum, Frankston, Mornington and Nepean all provided responses from one or more candidates as did the western shoreline electorate of Tarneit. We were also interested to hear from the electorate of Melbourne which includes much of the Port of Melbourne and the Yarra, which would be the subject of massive dredging of toxic material. Responses were also received from some candidates for all 8 Upper House regions, and numerous other non- bayside seats. River

The most outstanding feature was the identical responses received from over a dozen of the ALP candidates, ALL IN FAVOUR and all looking as if they had been penned by the CEO of the Port of Melbourne Corporation (PoMC). One candidate was even kind enough to include a PoMC Channel Deepening brochure with his survey response for us to read! Thanks go to Mr. Pullen, ALP for Sandringham.

All in all though we have turned up some interesting material from all sides of politics.

In all seats, bayside and non-bayside, The Greens stand out as consistently being against the project. The Greens have a specific policy which opposes channel deepening and which offers alternatives to the present proposal. People Power candidates also consistently opposed the project, but most responses from People Power were received from non-bayside electorates. The ALP candidates stand out for their inability to think for themselves, and apart from a couple of brave souls the Liberals are on the fence. All responses are on our website

Here’s what they think around the Bay:

Albert Park: No response from the Environment Minister Mr. Thwaites– apparently he has no opinion about the well documented environmental

concerns related to the project, as he has not uttered anything about it in Parliament either, other than to say on two occasions that the project is needed to protect the fictitious 80,000 jobs supposedly reliant on the Port. Even the PoMC has given up on the 80,000 figure now and has retreated to a more realistic 10,000 or so. Mr. Thwaites keeps grinding out the hackneyed phrases however. Pretty sad though that our Environment Minister had nothing to say about the project. The Greens John Middleton and People Power Stavros Pavlis both oppose channel deepening, giving individual, thoughtful responses. So Vote 1 Greens or People Power and put ALP last.

Sandringham: ALP candidate Noel Pullen is in favour of the project. He composed his own responses, but included the PoMC brochure for us to have a peek at. Greens candidate Bruce McPhate opposes the project, whilst Murray Thompson Liberal MP apparently has no opinion. Vote 1 Greens in Sandringham

Mordialloc: ALP sitting member Janice Munt is in favour, using the “I have one of these I prepared earlier in the day” responses kindly delivered by a slave in ALP Head Office via the PoMC. Janice was the one who assured us in Parliament that the rocks at The Heads would only be “carefully shaved” and that no damage would occur (Hansard 8th December 2004). We went on to see appalling rockfall damage during the Trial dredge in 2005 – but not a peep out of Janice in Hansard about that! When asked about this last week, Janice said she couldn’t remember. Greens Shana Nerenberg opposes the project, and gave thoughtful replies to all questions. No reply from Liberal Stephen Hartney. Vote 1 Greens in Mordialloc and give Janice the heave–ho.

Carrum: ALP sitting member Jenny Lindell is also in favour. In spite of being the Chair of the Natural Resources and Environment Committee she seems unperturbed by evidence of risk to the Bay. Jenny’s popped the same cake in the oven as her next door neighbour Janice Munt. The replies are identical – and she’s not too keen to chat about it face to face either, other than to neighbour Janice we suppose. Liberal candidate Jeff Shelley has stuck his neck out and said he personally opposes the project. Good on you Jeff - It’s unfortunate that it isn’t Liberal Party policy. Greens Carlos Lopez is also running a strong anti-dredging campaign and has been active in his local area for some time in doing so. So Vote 1 Greens in Carrum or think about Liberal Jeff Shelley as well if you prefer a Liberal philosophy, on the proviso that we can get Jeff to agree that he will vote against the project if elected. ALP’s Jenny Lindell should be last if you care about the Bay.

Frankston: ALP sitting member Alistair Harkness is apparently completely in the dark, or doesn’t care about the Bay, or both – no reply from him. No reply from Liberal candidate Rochelle McArthur either. Only Greens candidate Wendy Smith cares it seems, again providing thoughtful replies to our questions. Vote 1 Wendy Smith in Frankston.

Mornington: ALP candidate William Puls had some reservations but by the time we ran our candidates’ forum on 8th November Bill had decided that he was prepared to VOTE AGAINST the project if elected. Good on you Bill! Greens  candidate Malcolm Jones is also against the project, as is People Power candidate Dr. Mark Fleming. Only Liberal candidate David Morris is equivocal - so Mornington voters now have the luxury of three candidates who say they will vote against the project if elected. What a dilemma: Give Malcolm, Bill and Mark your 1, 2 and 3 votes in whichever order you prefer.

Nepean: Martin Dixon Liberal sitting member is on the slimmest of all margins in the state, and although not having completed our survey, has stated concerns about the project for quite some time – and at the candidates’ forum on 8th November electors heard him say that he would vote against the Channel Deepening Facilitation Bill if re-elected. Good on you Martin. We hope this means you will also vote against any other legislation related to the project, and speak and vote against it in Cabinet meetings if a Liberal government is elected. ALP candidate Anne Marshall is well in favour of the project - along with Janice and Jenny she’s baked another identical cake and sent the same stale replies to our questions. We predict Anne’s attitude will give Martin a much more comfortable margin if it comes down to a Lib/Lab event. Greens candidate Henry Kelsall is firmly opposed to the project, and has thought about alternatives and securing the local economies which rely on the Bay. Henry is proud to be the only candidate who paddled out to protest the arrival of the Queen of the Netherlands Dredge. Good on you Henry! The Greens have taken a strong lead on the issue in Nepean. If you want to Save the Bay it’s Greens 1 or 2, Liberal 1 or 2, (depending on your traditional viewpoint or who you trust more) but make sure it’s ALP last!

Melbourne: Where the toxic sludge would be dug up. Only the Greens seem to care about it, and are against the project. Vote 1 Dr. Richard Di Natale.  Apparently Health Minister Bronwyn Pike couldn’t care less about tonnes of toxic material being excavated from her electorate and dumped in the North of the Bay.

Williamstown:  Let’s not forget Mr. Bracks. Well he forgot us! No reply from our Premier, and nary a word in Hansard for the last 3 years about any concerns he might have for the Bay. Oh well – thank goodness The Greens candidate Michael Faltermaier has thought about it. Being a barrister as well Michael should be able to go toe to toe with Mr. Bracks on the dredging issue, pointing out that the government’s economic justifications for the project just do not add up. If you care about the Bay and the local economies that rely on it - Why not put Mr. Bracks last and Michael first?

Tarneit: Western shoreline seat taking in the areas around Werribee. ALP candidate and Bracks’ Chief of Staff Tim Pallas apparently can’t think for himself either and has had to reply using the recipe from his mates. But: he is the only one who responded in Tarneit, so it’s not looking too good for the electors of Tarneit if their most likely lad can’t even rustle up a reply of his own making. We wonder how fearless his advice to Mr. Bracks has been over the last few years. If you live in Tarneit and care about the Bay, don’t vote Labor.

And as for the Upper House:

It’s the Greens by a mile. They responded in every region but Northern Victoria: They are all against the project, and they all gave responses which showed they had thought about the issue and alternatives to the project, such as a national approach to rail freight from existing deep water ports. Only one Liberal responded, Bruce Atkinson in Eastern Metropolitan. Bruce said he had insufficient information but was concerned about the health of the Bay – we don’t think he is going to save it on his own!

ALP candidates responded in Northern Metropolitan, Northern Victoria, South East Metropolitan, Western Metropolitan, and Western Victoria – all in favour of the project of course.

We suggest you put ALP last on your Upper House ticket. Alternatively, your vote is valid if you chose only five (5) candidates - so you could just vote for five (5) of your choice, ignore the parties HOW TO VOTE cards and their shoddy preference deals. Make up your own minds!   



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