"PLEASE HELP SAVE OUR BAY"

TELL GARRETT HE IS WRONG. SAY NO WAY TO DREDGING.

The Port of Melbourne Corporation wants to start dredging on 1st February, It doesn’t think it should wait to hear what the Federal Court has to say!

The Bay needs you now. Here’s what to do.

Please Cut & Paste the letter below into an email to Federal Environment Minister Mr. Garrett. Please forward this request to all your friends and also forward copies of your email to:

1. Prime Minister Rudd via via PM’s website at: here

2. Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard at:Julia.Gillard.MP@aph.gov.au

3. Parliamentary Secretary to Prime Minister Maxine McKew at: maxine.mckew@alp.org.au Her new parliamentary address Maxine.McKew.MP@aph.gov.au appears not to be working.

4. c.c. to contact@bluewedges.org would also be appreciated

Mr. Garrett’s decision and Media release of 20th December shows he didn’t listen and he relied on old inaccurate information which he seems to have gleaned from reading superseded PoMC promotional material. See Mr. Garrett’s Media Release at: http://www.environment.gov.au/minister/garrett/...

Of course Mr. Garrett, Minister for the Environment should have assessed the project independently rather than relying only on information assembled by the PoMC and its consultants. But – it looks like he didn’t bother even finding out where Port Phillip Bay is before condoning this act of environmental vandalism.

If you really want to stop the now “jumbo-ised” Queen of the Netherlands from taking up residence in our Bay this is your big chance. The QoN is now 50 metres longer and 50% bigger capacity than when she last ran amok in our Bay, so she shouldn’t be let loose again to do even more damage. Let’s give Mr. Garrett one more chance. Let’s send him and his colleagues hundreds of emails telling them a few good reasons why Mr. Garrett should never have approved channel deepening, and why it must be stopped NOW.

See news items on our website www.bluewedges.org for a history of Royal Boskalis, their worldwide activities and our campaign so far. Especially check out: Super-size me PoMC at: http://www.bluewedges.org/index.php?mact=News,c... and Boskalis sinks some stinkers at: http://www.bluewedges.org/index.php?mact=News,c...

Cheers and thanks,

Cut here

The Hon. Peter Garrett

Minister for Environment Heritage and the Arts

Parliament House

Canberra

ACT 2600

Peter.Garrett.MP@aph.gov.au

Dear Minister,

Save Port Phillip Bay

You have made a grave error in approving the Port Phillip Bay Channel deepening proposal and have committed the Bay to much damage. You do not have enough information to have made a proper decision and the health of the Bay and all who rely on it will suffer as a consequence.

Your Media Release of 20th December relies on promotional material from the Port of Melbourne Corporation rather than facts. I believed you would protect the environment, not be swayed by “developer’s marketing”. You say you will safeguard the “Western Port Ramsar site”. You have confused Western Port and Port Phillip Bay. Western Port is a separate, unique and different ecosystem, in a completely different location.

Here are some facts about Port Phillip Bay and channel deepening:

- Over 100 species of sponges at The Heads occur nowhere else on earth and could be lost FOREVER if this project proceeds. Unique and beautiful sponges, corals and seagrasses would be ripped out and remaining colonies smothered. Benthic organisms responsible for maintaining the Nitrogen balance in the Bay would be smothered, increasing risks of toxic algal blooms.

- Penguins, dolphins, seals, sharks, whales and thousands of marine plant and animal species interactively rely on Port Phillip Bay for habitat. This delicate balance IS under threat.

- Wetlands and coastline are at greater risk from the interaction of global warming and project related sea-level rise. You have not adequately considered this.

- You claim 80,000 jobs rely on the Port. This was proven wrong during the 2004 EES Panel Hearing. The 2007 SEES claims 13,748 jobs rely on the Port. There is NO evidence that ANY of these jobs are threatened. PriceWaterhouse Coopers 2007 study of the Port predicts that trade will quadruple by 2035 regardless of whether channel deepening occurs. There should be plenty MORE jobs, not less!

- Industrial contaminants and toxicants trapped in Yarra silt would be released into the water and then dumped in the Bay. Heavy metals such as Cadmium, Mercury, Zinc, Lead and Arsenic and Ammonia would re-enter the food chain. PoMC did not provide adequate data on toxicant risk. Risks to HUMAN HEALTH from swimming and consuming fish from the Bay have been underestimated and you have not considered this.

- Many thousands of jobs in tourism, fishing and diving and their support industries ARE threatened by this sustained assault on the health of the Bay. Recreational fishing in Port Phillip Bay contributes approximately $1 billion per annum to our economy. That’s over 10 times what the PoMC hopes channel deepening would contribute to the economy annually! PoMC admits that fish stocks will be affected for a number of years so this WILL impact on jobs in recreational and commercial fishing, diving and eco-tourism sectors. Bay related tourism provides around $1 billion benefits per annum in a growing and sustainable industry – and that’s just the Mornington Peninsula! You have just approved an outright assault on all sustainable recreational and commercial diving, fishing and Bay wide tourism.

- PoMC data on future deep draught ship arrivals needs proper analysis. In approving this complex and risky project you have relied on the PoMC marketing material instead of independent research into future trends in shipping.

- PoMC says channel deepening would provide approximately $1.9 billion benefits by 2035. That’s its BEST estimate and that’s ONLY around $70 million per annum! That’s similar to the annual value of JUST the Dive Industry in Port Phillip Bay. Benefits that channel deepening MIGHT provide over 27 years are substantially less than our current sustainable Bay related industries ALREADY DO provide every year!

Your decision to approve channel deepening reflects very badly on the environmental and economic credentials of the Rudd government. You have committed our Bay to a huge assault from which it may never recover.

I hope Blue Wedges is successful in the Federal Court and stops this project but it is outrageous that they have to do what you should be doing. Port Phillip Bay is as important to Australia’s natural history as Lake Pedder. Please do not commit our wondrous, unique and living Port Philip Bay to the same fate as Lake Pedder – lost for ever.

As a distinguished environmental campaigner and now Minister elected to protect Australia’s unique environment, how could you have that on your conscience?

Please provide me with a response and explanation as to how you made your decision to approve the channel deepening project.

Yours sincerely,

Name:

Address:

Ph:

Peter Garrett

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