Do You trust the Port Corporation?

Typical tactic of the Port Corporation, says Jenny Warfe, spokesperson for Blue Wedges Coalition. Even before the Channel Deepening Inquiry has heard all the evidence, and before state and federal governments have assessed the Inquiry’s report, the PoMC says it is going ahead with bookings for the dredges, steel and concrete to cover the Hobson’s Bay Sewer crossing under the Yarra, and booking venues etc.


Blue Wedges spokesperson Jenny Ware says “this is just a typical tactic of the Port Corporation, they think they own the Bay – but they certainly don’t. The people of Victoria are custodians of the Bay and we say that this particular project is of no benefit to Victorians. It is certainly of no benefit to the Bay – it places it at great risk.”


The PoMC is arrogant in the extreme. We have sat listening patiently to the Port Corporation’s evidence, over two weeks, without even being able to ask questions. The Inquiry runs until July 31st, but the Port cannot pay the Inquiry the courtesy of listening to any other submissions or expert evidence.


Blue Wedges will be calling four expert witnesses and several impressive advocates. A retired harbour master and a recently retired Port Phillip Sea Pilot will give evidence that the shipping channel through the Entrance has not been designed safely. A highly credentialed Public Health analyst, Dr. Lindsay Swinden will give evidence to support our view that the human health risks associated with toxic Yarra sediments have been understated by the Port Corporation. Dr. Helen Caldicott, Physician, Paediatric specialist and international campaigner for a safe nuclear free world will tell the Inquiry she is appalled at the Port Corporation’s refusal to test Yarra sediments for Dioxins and radionuclides.  Two separate economics experts, Richard McEncroe and Economists@Large will demonstrate that the Port Corporation’s SEES is not an Environmental Effects Study of the Bay, but merely a poorly constructed business case for the Port.


The Port Corporation’s behaviour is the worst example of a bad developer. Would you stand by and let a developer start to prepare the work site, works sheds, concrete and steel for a huge building on the block next to your home before Council had even considered it? We don’t think so. That’s just what the Port has done. Being a bully is being a bad neighbour.


The Port Corporation says what they have done is normal commercial practice. “Well, their track record for strategic commercial decisions leaves quite a bit to be desired”, says Ms. Warfe. “PoMC knowingly purchased a contaminated commercial site in Yarraville (Pivot site) for $13.5 million a few years ago on the basis that it was a good commercial decision. That land is now classified as one of the most contaminated sites in Victoria and valued at $500,000 – less than one twenty-sixth of what they paid four years ago! Taxpayers may now have to pay $70 million to clean it up. “We don’t want the Port Corporation making any more commercial decision on behalf of the Bay and the taxpayers of Victoria thankyou” says Ms. Warfe.


Blue Wedges submission to the Inquiry is on Monday 16th and Tuesday 17th July from 10 AM Planning Panels Victoria, 8 Nicholson St. East Melbourne. All Welcome.

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