A vision for our Bays, waterways and beaches

The Blue Wedges, Port Phillip and Westernport Bays, and the waterways which flow into them belong to the people. They are a community asset of incalculable value to the people of Greater Melbourne and Victoria and should be protected, conserved and managed by government, for the people.

We know and love our Green Wedges and welcome the State Government's excellent legislation to protect them, and we congratulate government for its success in establishing Marine Parks in spite of some powerful opposition.

But, we need to do more to preserve the eco systems of our Bays and the interface between land and sea, the catchments and estuaries. About 85% of plants and animals in southern waters are found nowhere else in the world. Unique and extraordinary biodiversity! But in Western Port Bay alone over 70% of sea grass has been lost due to human activities; mainly port and land developments.

Our marine and freshwater open space and its biodiversity must be protected from threats including the proposal to deepen the shipping channels in The Rip and Port Phillip Bay, unbridled development in catchment areas and ill-thought proposals for breakwaters and marina developments around the coastlines.

What we want

Management of our ancient and fragile marine and freshwater environments is presently fragmented - several agencies have competing or overlapping influence and jurisdiction. This has been to the detriment of all users of our coasts and waterways.

The Bracks Government was elected on a promise to “put the protection and enhancement of the natural and urban environment at the forefront of planning decision-making.”

To properly protect our waterways we urge government to implement this promise by integrating the various Coastal and Catchment Authorities under strongly legislated, or cross-sectorial Bay protection policy. The new Department of Sustainability and Environment is ideally suited to manage this visionary approach to land and water management. As a first step towards this new vision we call on government to adopt the following principles:

  • put a halt to any further marine based industries or commercial developments in these areas until effective Blue Wedges policy is adopted.
  • resist demands for further development of the coastal areas of Port Phillip and Western Port Bay that threaten the ecological integrity or sustainability of the marine or coastal environment.
  • coordinate policies to protect the Blue Wedges across transport, roads, housing, population policy, agriculture and local government portfolios as well as planning and environment.
  • review the impact of all State and municipal infrastructure projects on the integrity of the Blue Wedges, consider alternatives before such projects can proceed and apply the precautionary principle where impacts would be adverse.

And so, we ask State Government to deal with the most pressing current threat to Port Phillip Bay by ensuring that no proposal to deepen the shipping channels in the Bay, The Rip and the Yarra River will be approved until an alternative National goods handling system has been transparently costed and investigated, in line with EES guidelines, and it can be shown that there will be no adverse impacts from any consequent:

  • increase in the size of tides in Port Phillip
  • increased risk of flood damage to coastal areas and their residential developments
  • damage to our outstanding marine habitats and ecosystems
  • alternative plans to develop Western Port
  • damage to our precious and fragile beaches

We believe these actions are the only way to curb the development pressures on our ancient and unique Blue Wedges so that they can be preserved and enjoyed in perpetuity.

Signatories to the charter

  • Australian Anglers Association (Vic Division)
  • Australians for a Sustainable Future
  • Bayside Alliance
  • Beaumaris Conservation Society Inc
  • Bellarine Seastar- Queenscliff
  • Black Rock & Sandringham Conservation Association Inc
  • Brighton Foreshore Preservation Association Inc
  • Carrum Anglers Club
  • Carrum Residents Action Group Inc
  • Clayton Fishing Club
  • Clean Water Cycle
  • Cranbourne Angling Club
  • Defenders of the SE Green Wedge
  • Dive and Dive
  • Dive Industry Association Victoria
  • Diveline Club
  • EarthCare St Kilda
  • EcoVision
  • Elwood Angling Club
  • Forrester Marine
  • Frankston Beach Association Inc
  • Friends of Point Lillias
  • Friends of Brighton Dunes at the Dr Jim Willis Reserve
  • Friends of Chinaman's Creek Inc – West Rosebud
  • Friends of Darebin Creek
  • Friends of Mentone Cliffs
  • Friends of Rosebud Beach and Foreshore Inc
  • Friends of Seaford Foreshore
  • Friends of the Weedy Seadragon
  • Geelong Environment Council Inc
  • Gould St Residents – Frankston
  • John Duyker
  • Kananook Creek Association Inc.
  • Kingston Conservation & Environment Coalition Inc
  • Maribyrnong Truck Action Group
  • McCrae Homestead Coastal Group Inc
  • Moonee Ponds Community Association
  • Mordialloc Beaumaris Conservation League Inc
  • Mornington Environment Association Inc
  • Mornington Peninsula Youth Enterprises
  • Mt. Eliza Association for Environmental Care Inc
  • Nutrition Australia
  • Oakdale Angling Club
  • Oz Dive
  • Peninsula Field Naturalists Club
  • Polperro Dolphin Swims- Sorrento
  • Port Phillip Bay & Westernport Professional Fishermen’s Assoc Inc
  • Protectors of Public Lands Inc - Victoria
  • Queenscliff Community Association
  • Rebel Fishing
  • Rowan Woodlands – Dingley Village
  • Rye Body Balance
  • Sandringham Bicycle Users Group.
  • Save Pt Nepean
  • Sea-All Dolphin Swims –Queenscliff
  • Southern Peninsula Indigenous Flora & Fauna Association Inc
  • Southern Shark Gillnet Fishermen’s Association
  • Southern Women's Action Network
  • The Central Highlands Alliance
  • The Fishing Party (Vic)
  • Timber Plus
  • VRFish
  • Warringal Conservation Society Inc
  • Western Region Environment Centre - Werribee
  • Westernport & Peninsula Protection Council Inc



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