BLUE WEDGES COALITION
SUBMISSION TO THE
SUPPLEMENTARY ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS STATEMENT
The Blue Wedges Coalition formed in 2003 in response to the Port Phillip Bay Channel Deepening Proposal. Blue Wedges supporters attended every day of the first Independent Panel Hearing held from September to December 2004, and made a substantial written and verbal submission to the Hearing.
It is a measure of the community’s deep concern about the wide range of threats posed by the proposal that Blue Wedges Coalition has grown from around 10 bayside groups in August 2003 to approximately 60 community and environmental groups and hundreds of individuals. The demography and characteristics of these groups represent wide community concern, and this submission was written with the involvement of many of our signatories and members, with many and varied interest and expertise. .
The present list of supporting groups is at Attachment 1.1
As was the case in 2004, we wish to firmly present the view that this proposal presents an unacceptable risk to the Bay and its inhabitants, Bay users, Bay related businesses and the wider community. Worse still we contend that government has committed to a project which is not sustainable – it is not an enduring solution to managing the ongoing unsustainable pressure on our natural systems. This is a problem of our own creation – environmental degradation, climate change, population pressures, associated growth and increasing consumption of imported goods – currently a national and international trend. Indeed our concerns have heightened since 2004 and since reading the Supplementary Environmental Effects statement (SEES)
The proposal is not in accord with federal, state and various local government sustainability policies and objectives. It has an inappropriately narrow, state based focus, and should be seen for what it is – the Business Plan for the Port of Melbourne Corporation. It is not the solution for Victoria’s future needs – indeed it is likely to add to our problems. State government has adopted a short-term view for illusory and short-term gains, for a narrow sector of the community.
If not sustainable or enduring – what is the point of risking so much, for so few, for so little, for such a few years?
We will examine just how much we are being asked to risk. We will also examine in some detail the converse – just how much we – the community and final custodians of the Bay - stand to loose.
Analysis of various sections of the SEES will be undertaken to elaborate on our opposition to the proposal, and the assessment of its merits – we do not intend our comments to be used to inform modifications to a proposal which we assert is fundamentally flawed.
Given the ludicrously short timeframe for submissions, we make no apology for any error or omission contained within the submission. We reserve the right to amend and add to this submission and to present new material at the panel hearings.