Protest against bay dredging

Issue 

On January 8, protesters took to piers around Port Philip Bay as part of the campaign against the planned dredging of the bay — scheduled to begin in the coming weeks. The Port of Melbourne Corporation intends to dredge an underwater rock wall containing unique sea life.

Bellarine Seastar campaigner Catherine Jones told the protesters at the Queenscliffe Pier vigil that the tiny star fish, the smallest in the world, had just been discovered in the bay.

Protesters shone their torches in the hope that Labor Premier John Brumby's government would "see the light" and stop the channel dredging. Protester and Socialist Alliance member Chris Johnson told Green Left Weekly: "This is another case of the Victorian government putting profits before the environment and people. Our tax payer dollars will be used for this senseless project and yet we'll see no benefits for it. All we will see is the destruction of this beautiful marine habitat."

Chris Milburn

Submissions oppose Traveston Dam Project

@9point non = BRISBANE – The great majority of the record 16,500 public submissions lodged with Labor Premier Anna Bligh's government on the proposed Traveston Crossing Dam are expected to be opposed to the project, planned for the Mary River inland of the Sunshine Coast. The Queensland government's public comment period closed on January 14.

Australian Conservation Foundation sustainable studies campaigner Kate Noble said the government's economic assessment failed to follow state and federal government guidelines for economic, environmental and social costs and failed to compare those costs with real alternatives.

Mary River Action Group spokesperson Kevin Ingersole told the January 15 Brisbane Courier-Mail: "On the science, this project has got no prospect of being approved by the federal government."

Greater Mary Association chairperson Darryl Stewart said: "This farcical and flawed environmental impact statement contemptuously dismissed any impacts downstream of the proposed dam. This response sends a clear message to the state government that their jackboot approach will not be tolerated."

Residents of the Mary River region have explained that the proposed Traveston Dam threatens 18 vulnerable and endangered species, including reptiles, fish, mammals, birds and plants. In particular, the Mary River Turtle, which occurs only in the Mary River, faces extinction if the dam is built.

The government claims that the Traveston dam is needed to provide water to the city of Brisbane. But opponents say that other options are more ecologically sound and cheaper than the Traveston plan.

For more information, contact the Save the Mary River Co-ordinating Group on (07) 54884800 or visit http://www.savethemaryriver.com.