Environmental & Natural Resources Committee,
East Melbourne. VIC 3002
In responding to the invitation to make a submission to the Inquiry into the Environmental Effects Statement process in Victoria it is proposed to use as an example of a successful inquiry of an Environment Effects Statement – the Port Phillip Bay Channel Deepening Environmental Effects Statement 2004. The rigorous six weeks inquiry was conducted by an expert panel consisting of a skilled chairman and three members with years of scientific backgrounds and experience in marine and coastal management.
Author: Mary Rimington
Victoria’s coasts are precious and locations like Port Phillip Bay are an intensively used environment. Activity and processes on the coast, inland in the catchment, and off shore in the ocean, have an influence on the health and sustainability of the coastal environment.
In view of the well documented evidence of sea level rise, the availability of alternatives, and the adverse environmental impact, we are opposed to the deepening of the Rip and dredging of the South Channel to allow larger container vessels entry to Port Phillip Bay.
Our objection to the deepening of the Rip is based on the fact that there is now sound evidence of sea level rise as a result of climate change, and that even a 1-2 cm rise in tide levels will intensify the beach erosion and flooding already occurring on the eastern, most vulnerable side of Port Phillip Bay.
Pollution in Port Phillip Bay
Glen Agnew reported on the continuing sedimentation problems which affect the marine life in the Bay. There is increasing nutrient growth & decreased light levels well below the SSEP standards for Port Phillip Bay. The heavy rainfall this year has intensified the sedimentation problems, as has any development work upstream from the Mordialloc Creek estuary. Road works and building developments increase the sediment loads entering the Bay. It is also probable that increasing sedimentation has affected the Electroma Georgiana shells causing them to be washed up on Mordialloc beach in recent weeks. The putrid stench lasted for two or three weeks.
It was proposed that the League write to Vic Roads and the EPA informing them of the sedimentation problem and seeking advice on preventing this occurring so frequently.
Thanks to Glen for appearing at the AAT hearing on the Keys- borough wetlands. Glen has also spoken to local groups about his work.
R. Pearson reported that a Friends of Bradshaw Park group was inaugurated two years ago. This Friends group was formalised recently with a committee being formed the minutes of which were circulated to all Mordialloc Councillors and Staff. Friends of Bradshaw Park have applied for funds under the Grants to Community Groups for Conservation & Environmental Projects 1992/93. Funding will be used for revegetating an area of the park. The application for funds was made by the MBCL(which is an incorporated body) on behalf of the FBP.
D. Bainbridge gave a report on the work carried out in the Park stressing the importance of protecting the indigenous plants not only in this location but also along the adjoining railway line and Mordialloc creek and foreshore.
Problems associated with work in the park include foxes which destroy wildlife, people who dump garden rubbish in the park and dogs which dig out plants on the foreshore. Maintenance within Bradshaw Park is time consuming leaving little time for more productive work.
Wetlands / Theme Fun Park Keysborough
J. Cuthbertson presented a report on the Administrative Appeals Tribunal hearing at which he represented MBCL and CRAG. MBCL is extremely grateful to Jack for the enormous amount of time and hard work which he devoted to this important issue. The report is included with these minutes.
The League has received from the DVA a half yearly report on the water quality of creeks in the catchment area. The report does not show readings for heavy metals. We also have a report on the heavy metal content of samples taken from the island in Mordialloc creek. The DVA monitoring committee have completed a draft report on Mordialloc Creek. This is to be sent to the Minister for Conservation.
Parkdale Foreshore Erosion Control
Work has commenced on this section of the foreshore. Plans have been provided for comment. Work so far confirms our feeling that the use of sleepers with timber upright supports and planting with salt resistant vegetation would have been more successful as a means of erosion control. There is a strong possibility that the cliff face will be washed away in heavy storms as the beach offers no protection.
Mordialloc & Environs Development
Plans have been provided by Council for comment/objections from M-B.C.L. The toilet block/fish sales proposal was approved and Council has accepted the League’s suggestion that the colours for the playground equipment should blend with the environment. Blue, yellow and green have been chosen rather than black & purple!