Protecting marine environment in Victoria


By Vannessa Hearman

MELBOURNE — From April 24 the Mirimbiak Nations Aboriginal Corporation, Coast Action and the Surfrider Foundation will hold indigenous coastal workshops along Victoria's coastline.

The one-day workshops are designed to bring together "coastal users" and indigenous communities to discuss the protection of Aboriginal areas of high cultural value. They will include talks and field trips to these sites along the coast. Mirimbiak Nations will present a session covering cross-cultural awareness, local Aboriginal history and the operation of the Native Title Act in Victoria.

The workshops are part of the Surfrider Foundation's campaign to protect the marine environment. Mornington Peninsula branch president Arthur O'Bryan told Green Left Weekly that educating people about pollution reduction, including ocean outfalls, beach clean ups and alternative waste water management and use, is an important part of their work.

The branch, set up in March, involves around 60 people. It is also campaigning for Melbourne Water to find alternatives to dumping sewage and waste water at the ocean outfall near Gunnamatta Beach. To coincide with the release later this month of a report by the CSIRO, Surfriders plan to issue their own research and a list of demands on Melbourne Water.

The workshops are scheduled for Torquay, Mornington Peninsula, Port Fairy and Lakes Entrance. For more information, phone John Voss on 018 386 812.