Car Ferry Business Case seriously Flawed #phillipisland #Cowes #carferry

Car Ferry Business Case seriously Flawed #phillipisland #Cowes #carferry

THE Phillip Island Conservation Society has offered a scathing assessment of the business case for the Cowes to Stony Point car ferry, describing it as deeply flawed, while the environmental impacts of the ferry are “simply too great”. 

PICS this week publicly released its submission to the draft business case, which will be voted on at the April 18 Bass Coast Shire meeting at the Phillip Island golf club. 

The submission offers a detailed analysis of the environmental, economic and social impacts of the proposed car ferry, concluding the proposal fails on all counts. 

“The proposed car ferry is unlikely to be viable or offer significant benefits, and the potential environmental impacts are unacceptable,” the submission states. 

“The proposed car ferry amounts to an expensive and risky use of public funds—funds that could be better spent on alternatives that embody the (Phillip Island and San Remo) Visitor Economy Strategy vision of sustainable growth, genuinely tackle social disadvantage, and preserve our most valuable tourism asset, our natural environment.” In the submission, PICS urges Bass Coast Shire councillors to reject any final Cowes to Stony Point car ferry business case. 

Economically flawed Using the draft business case’s figures, the PICS submission offers detailed economic analysis, concluding “the benefits are questionable and over-stated, and the costs and risks are understated”. 

The submission states the draft business case fails to provide answers on a raft of eco nomic measures, including jetty maintenance cost, vessel cost or depreciation, government subsidy necessary to cover the operating shortfall and provide the ferry operator with a reasonable return on capital, while “there is no attempt to place an economic cost on environmental impacts”. 

“The draft business case says the ferry will run at an operating loss for nine years, while the adjacent text says three years. Which is correct?” the submission asks. 

“There is no allowance on downtime due to adverse conditions, maintenance needs or breakdown - the total economic benefit and operating outcome calculations appear to be based only on projected passenger demand and ignore operational capacity to meet this demand. ” The PICS submission says the draft business case offers no evidence to support its claim a car ferry would bring visitors in the off?peak season, with the submission citing international research that finds weather and public holidays are the main factors affecting peaks and troughs in tourism on a global scale: “The proposed car ferry will not change these factors”. 

The submission states the travel time savings outlined in draft business case are misleading because they don’t account for the pro posed two -hourly service frequency. 

“The Cowes Stony Point car ferry is the only service that will, on average, cost users both time and money. 

“When travel time was raised during the community consultation period, (business case authors) EarthCheck acknowledged the lack of time savings and began to suggest the Cowes Stony Point car ferry would attract patrons be cause it offered a maritime experience. 

“This is an extraordinarily fragile foundation for a business case, particularly when there are superior maritime experiences, such as wildlife cruises, already available on Phillip Island. 

“The bottom line: the benefit cost ratio is too low to justify the car ferry business case and the ferry service is likely to run at a loss over 30 years, requiring a government subsidy to ensure continued operation. ” FEBRUARY Environmentally flawed PICS states the draft business case assessment of environmental impacts is “inadequate”, “simply listing the approval processes that are likely to be required, and concluding the environmental impact is minimal and there is no reason why these approvals would not be granted”. 

“It states that an environmental effects statement referral is unlikely to be required. 

“This simplistic desktop analysis understates potential environmental impacts and risks.” The submission says these risks include:

• Erosion and sand movement that may occur when a new marine structure is constructed, potentially leading to coastal damage and a requirement for maintenance dredging; 

• Impacts on water quality and increased turbidity, leading to adverse impacts on seagrass; 

• Impacts on marine life, including endangered southern right whales, protected under federal environment laws, as well as impacts on the threatened hooded at the IS terminal site; and

• Implications of climate change, such as sea level rise and extreme weather events. 

“A car ferry is inappropriate anywhere on Phillip Island because the potential impacts on natural assets, including beaches, foreshore, the marine environment and wildlife are simply too great.” Socially flawed The PICS submission undermines the draft business case’s argument that a car ferry would open access to employment, recreational and other opportunities for residents. 

“The proposed car ferry would be prohibitive to use for a regular commute, especially for the socially disadvantaged.” Equally, PICS says the business case’s assertion that a car ferry would offer an alternative evacuation point was flawed. 

“A car ferry will not enhance safety on Phillip Island because it is so limited in the number of vehicles that it can move per hour, and it can only move them from one point. 

“It will never be a credible substitute for appropriate road planning and maintenance or aerial evacuation of critically ill or injured patients.” The draft business case states that the proposed car ferry will have no significant social impacts on recreational facilities or community amenity. 

“To the contrary, construction of a car ferry terminal and jetty is an inappropriate industrialisation of an important north?facing beach 300 metres from the centre of Cowes. 

“This is an important beach for safe swimming and sailing, and the only place on the island offering sailing training. The surrounding area is a residential zone.” The submission says PICS welcomes visitors to Phillip Island and supports the Visitor Economy Strategy’s long-term vision of sustainable growth. 

“The key to its delivery is acknowledging that the economy is the environment of Phillip Island and that its natural assets must be protected.” PICS was formed in 1968 to lobby against a proposal that would have negatively impacted Rhyll Inlet. 

The Phillip Island Car Ferry - Ferry Facts & Fantasies #phillipisland #cowes #CarFerry #Environment #Businesscase #BassCoast #FactversusFiction

On a hot evening in Cowes last Saturday night around 120 people jammed into the Parish Hall in Thompson Avenue to hear speakers discuss the Stony Point to Cowes business case. Speakers were Anne Davie - President Phillip Island Conservation Society, Kate McKenzie from Save Our Beach (SOB),  Jeff Nottle - Preserve Westernport Action Group, Cr Michael Whelan - Bass Coast Shire and John Pandazopolous - Chair of Destination Phillip Island.

Destination Phillip Island Chair  Hon John Pandazopoulos tried to convince the audience that a car ferry was a good idea. Cr Michael Whelan spoke about the engagement process and the need to lodge a submission.

 John Pandazopolous - Chair Destination Phillip Island - Photo - Lisa Shonberg

John Pandazopolous - Chair Destination Phillip Island - Photo - Lisa Shonberg

Kate McKenzie of Save our Beaches spoke first about the potential loss of beaches on the north shore of Phillip Island and the impact that would have on residents and visitors.

 Kate McKenzie - Save Our Beach (SOB) - photo Lisa Shonberg

Kate McKenzie - Save Our Beach (SOB) - photo Lisa Shonberg

Phillip Island Conservation Society spoke about alternatives to a car ferry including supporting a southern coastal touring route using existing roads and arterials whilst enhancing some current coastal towns to attract visitors. The route would be from Mornington Pennisula via Stony Point, Hastings, Tooradin, Grantville, Corinella, San Remo and a loop around Phillip Island if desired and continuing to Inverloch and Wilsons Prom. The Conservation Society also supports further improvements to the passenger ferries where local Phillip Island business can engage with visitors and enhance their visit using mini buses or other means. 

The omission of environmental impacts and costs from the business case is outrageous.  The recommendation that the Planning Approval be handled by a Ministerial Intervention is also a huge problem as the community engagement will be able to be avoided.

Photos; Lisa Shonberg (C)

To send a Submission with regard to the Business Case by April 6th. Online go to: http://www.basscoast.vic.gov.au/Business/Cowes_to_Stony_Point_Car_Ferry Or fill in the survey at www.surveymonkey.com/r/ZGJX768 or by phoning EarthCheck on (07) 3238 1901 or emailing consulting@earthcheck.org Or you can post your thoughts to Bass Coast Shire Council, PO Box 118 WONTHAGGI, 3995. 

The History Of the Preserve Westernport Action Group Campaign - Launch

We were very fortunate to have such lovely weather for the launch of our history written by the talented Phyllis Papps.  The Launch was attended by Bass Coast Shire Mayor - Pamela Rothfield, along with Chairman Jeff Nottle and President of Phillip Island Conservation Society - Anne Davie. The view of our beautiful Westernport Bay was the perfect way to celebrate and thank all the volunteer members of our Action Group and the many community members who contributed to the very successful campaign. Many of the key members of the Campaign were present today for the launch. We now have a dedicated page on our website for our History which you can visit here if you contributed anything to our campaign we thank you as does your community.  All documents and submissions to Government are available on our publications page.

The wonderfully written history of the campaign will also be housed in the State Library for future campaign guidance. 

Please take a moment to read it...you may even have a mention or credit within the pages.

Politics Planning Passion & Perseverance - Launch 20/2/18 - Cowes

Anne Davie - President - Phillip Island Conservation Society, Jeff Nottle - Chairman - Preserve Westernport Action Group, Phyllis Papps - Author, Pamela Rothfield - Bass Coast Shire Mayor 

Phillip Island Car Ferry - Business Case - Public Information Sessions

The draft business case for the Cowes to Stony Point car ferry has finally been released.

Draft Business Case Document (Link)

It recommends a 205 metre jetty be located on the beachfront between Mussel Rocks and the Cowes Yacht Club (between Walpole Street and Osbourne Avenue).

Project cost is $80.3 million.

The Cowes Yacht Club will not need relocation.

A terminal building (ticketing/service/admin) to be located on the foreshore will be single storey.

No parking has been provided, with all vehicles expected to queue on the jetty.

Environmental impacts are not known and will need to be investigated.

Community consultation on the draft business case will run until April 6.

Information sessions will be held at the Mussel Rocks BBQ area on March 11, 12 and 13 from 10am-4pm and again on 19th and 20th March from 10am-4pm, with a new public survey (testing levels of support and opposition) online at the shire’s website.

A separate, independent public meeting will be run by the Phillip Island Conservation Society at the Parish Hall in Cowes on Saturday March 10 at 7.30pm.

A protest rally is also being organised by the Save Our Beach Group over the Labour Day long weekend.

The final business case will go before the Bass Coast Shire on April 18, then to the State Government on April 27.

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Screen Shot 2018-02-19 at 1.18.02 pm.png

Cowes Yacht Club 'Save Cowes Beach' Petition - Car Ferry Development

One of our few beautiful North facing Victorian beaches is going to be destroyed by the addition of the Stony Point to Phillip Island car ferry! The council is currently in discussions to locate the terminal at or near the Cowes Yacht Club destroying the beach, having a huge impact upon both locals and tourists who use this beach - swimmers, power boaters, sailors, kayakers and all water users!

This pristine Cowes beach will be cut in half by the proposed ferry terminal which comes with a 400m exclusion zone (200m either side of jetty) making a large area of this family friendly, safe swimming beach unusable! The proposed terminal is right in the middle of a quiet residential area adding traffic to an area where children ride bikes and walk.


Please sign this petition to help us save our beautiful safe family swimming beach!

 

Here is the petitions against use of the Cowes Beach for the car Ferry Petition 


DISCUSSIONS between Phillip Island residents and the consultants behind a business case for a car ferry from Cowes to Stony Point have reached breaking point.
And it’s a sticky situation for the consultants, EarthCheck, after a protest was organised over the weekend to stop the Anderson Road boat ramp from being turned into a car ferry terminal.
Some residents are against any terminal on Phillip Island’s pristine beaches because it’s likely to require substantial dredging and could speed up erosion on the beach. 

Save Cowes West Beach Association,’ which doesn’t have a view on the car ferry itself, but is against the terminal being at the Anderson Road boat ramp. Read the news article from South Gippsland Sentinal Times

Here is further information from Bass Coast Shire Regarding the Business Case for the Car Ferry Link

 Around 300 people attended a protest against the terminal being at the Anderson Road boat ramp - Photo; SGST

Around 300 people attended a protest against the terminal being at the Anderson Road boat ramp - Photo; SGST

 Cowes Yacht Club - Osbourne Avenue, Cowes

Cowes Yacht Club - Osbourne Avenue, Cowes

 

 

 

 

Western Port hit with a New Development Proposal

Western Port Bay could become home to a $250 million gas terminal, according to plans released by one of Australia major Energy Providers AGL.

The news is a blow to campaigners, coming just 3 months after they celebrated the Victorian Governments announcement that the Port of Hastings would not be expanded and industrialized.

AGL issued a press release last week announcing that Crib Point in Westernport was the preferred site for a gas import jetty and pipeline to increase energy security and supply for customers in South Eastern Australia.

"Crib Point is best placed to serve Victoria, Australias biggest Gas market, as well as take advantage of the existing pipeline network, industrial port facility and associated infrastructure' said Richard Wrightson, AGL executive general manager of wholesale markets.

He said AGL would commence construction in 2019 and bring the terminal into operation by 2020/21."

'The irony for Phillip Island is that we do not have gas connection on the island.'  says Jeff Nottle Chairman of Westernport Action Group. "The gas hub proposal is a clear sign our energy policies have failed our community. Energy prices are going up yet Phillip Island still has no commitment for gas connection for residents or business".

'The other concern we have is with the associated pollution. With the increase in maritime traffic, it will have an effect on the environment boating and tourism. Whale striking is a real issue. It will have an impact on eco-tourism, the Whale Festival and Penguin and other shore bird feeding areas.'

  • The release of oil and chemicals through accidental spills and operational discharges,
  • The transfer of alien species through ballast water and on ship hulls
  • Dumping of sewage and garbage
  • Air Pollutants, through Sulphur Dioxide, nitrogen oxide and carbon dioxides
  • Physical and other damage through dropping of anchors, noise and wave disturbance along with striking of whales and marine mammals.

We are seeking further information from AGL and will keep our local stakeholders informed of further developments.

Gas Ship
Whale Striking

 

 

 

Infrastructure Victoria - Port Recommendation Paper

It was fantastic news to read that Infrastructure Victoria has recommended that Bay West become the Main port for Victoria. It makes far more sense to make use of the Highways along the East coast and freight facilities around Bay West. 

We have worked hard to represent Western Port as the amazing Natural wonder it is. We met many experts and spoke with many residents and visitors to our region. What has become apparent is that there is a bright future in celebrating and sharing the abundant beauty of Westernport Bay and protecting it for generations to come. 

We hope that the government of 'the day' listen to the recommendations of the 'umpire' and take note that we may have one this battle but will continue the fight to protect Westernport today.For Tomorrow.

Here is the Report from Infrastructure Victoria recommending Bay West;

We Won! ...Infrastructure Victoria recommends against Container Port at Hastings #phillipisland #Hastings #springst #celebrate #environment #hooray #Auspol

This afternoon we got the fantastic news that all the hard work from our researchers, lobbyists volunteers and supporters have been worth the fight - We Won! Infrastructure Victoria has recommended Bay West instead of Port Hastings. The decision is based on the lack of suitable rail infrastructure and the risk to the ecologically sensitive Port of Hastings. Congratulations to Mr Jeff Nottle Chairman of Preserve Westernport Action Group, Phillip Island Conservation Society and the entire dedicated team. We will be Celebrating Officially very soon. We want to say thanks to everyone who signed petitions, wore the T-Shirts, picked up the phone to Politicians and supported our cause.

 

Celebration Event Coming soon - Stay tuned for details! WoooHoooo!!!!

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."

Margaret Mead

Response to Infrastructure Victoria #Hastings #phillipisland #Springst #tourism #environment

Phillip Island tourist operators. businesses, conservationists and our elected representatives have all shown significant support for PWP and the Response Paper we lodged today with Infrastructure Victoria.

Following reviews of our Response Paper all key stakeholders have supported the PWP response to the recently released Infrastructure Victoria Discussion Paper on the possible location of a second container port.

The Response Paper has been endorsed by the following:

Destination Phillip Island - Regional Tourist Board;

Phillip Island Conservation Society;

Phillip Island Tourism & Business Association

Bass Coast Shire Council - Island Ward Councillor & Mayor -Cr Pamela Rothfield,Island Ward Councillor-Cr Michael Whelan,Westernport Ward Councillor-Cr Clare Le Serve and Westernport Ward Councillor-Cr Geoff Ellis

Many of those formally supporting our position are also lodging their own submission using many of the issues we have been raising over the years.

All submission to IV including ours will be available on the IV site:

http://yoursay.infrastructurevictoria.com.au/ports/submissions

Well done and thanks to all those involved in the process and we should all be pleased that we have led the engagement on this issue for the last 3 years and have delivered a comprehensive well supported final position.

Bass Coast Shire & Infrastructure Victoria Meet to discuss Proposed Port Impact #phillipisland #basscoast #springst #basscoast #hastings

Cr Michael Wheland of the Phillip Island ward organised a presentation from Jonathan Spear and Andrew Varga from Infrastructure Victoria to selected community groups and tourism bodies. Attendees were stunned that the potential impact on tourism to Phillip Island of 6,000 container ships movements PA anchoring and steaming past Cowes and Phillip Island have been omitted from the IV Discussion Paper. IV indicated that they have no evidence of past complaints when bulk ships have entered Western Port so what's the difference?

Businesses and community have until 3 April to make submissions to: yoursay.infrastructurevictoria.com.au

 L to R shows Cr Geoff Ellis, Cr Michael Whelan, Anne Davey, Jonathan Spear, Leigh Phillips, Andrew Varga, Jeff Nottle & Cr Clare LeServe.

L to R shows Cr Geoff Ellis, Cr Michael Whelan, Anne Davey, Jonathan Spear, Leigh Phillips, Andrew Varga, Jeff Nottle & Cr Clare LeServe.

 Map showing the proposed dredging area and shipping channel.

Map showing the proposed dredging area and shipping channel.

 Infrastructure Victoria - Second Container Port Advice

Infrastructure Victoria - Second Container Port Advice

Joint Letter to Victorian Government - Impact of Hastings Container Port #hastings #phillipisland #basscoast #environment

This morning a letter was sent the Victorian Government which is a joint submission from several local Bass Coast Stakeholders;

Westernport & Peninsula Protection Council Inc, Southern Peninsula Indigenous Flora & Fauna Association,Blue Wedges, Environment Victoria, Friends of the Earth, Surfrider Foundation Australia, Victorian National Parks Association, French Island Port Stoppers  and Preserve Westernport Action Group.

The groups represented by their logos on this letter endorse the following:

Bass Coast Shire Council's Agreed Principles on the Impact of a Hastings Container Port:

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1. We are opposed to any form of capital dredging, widening or deepening of channels in Westernport bay.

2. Any change in, or continuation of, the Port of Hastings operations must result in no net loss for the economy, environment and amenity.

3. The Victorian Government and Infrastructure Victoria must demonstrate and justify the need and timing for a second major container port in Victoria through comprehensive, evidence based assessment, including consideration of the current port capacity in Victoria, and via a national approach.

4. Independently verified, scientific research must form the basis of any recommendation for a second container port location in Victoria to ensure that the environmental impact is known, understood and shared with the community. Of equal importance are economic and social impacts. Specifically independent research must be undertaken on the impact on:

a) Coastline including increased erosion and inundation

b)Tourism and the impact on visitation

c)Fishing and the impact on the recreational fishing industry

d)Marine life impact including penguins and whales that enter Western Port

5. All previous research undertaken in relation to the expansion of the Port of Hastings, as well as to project and research scoping material and documents, must be made publically available with full access.

6. The recommendation of Infrastructure Victoria to the Victorian Government on the timing and location of a second container port requires a strategic government approach to fully consider the implications on:

a)Tourism impact on domestic and international visitations

b)Environment

c)Economic development including impact on aquifers that service food production areas

d)Fisheries including recreational fishing and the industry it supports

e)Recreation

Here is a copy of the letter;

 

 

 

Port Decision Imminent - Letter to Bass Coast Shire - Infrastructure Victoria Submission #phillipisland #springst #environment #basscoastshire

Dear Cr Pamela Rothfield

Mayor - Bass Coast Shire Council

As you are no doubt aware Infrastructure Victoria are in the process of preparing recommendations to State Government on the timing and location of a second container port for Victoria. Their final report to Government is due in May 2017.

Based on 3 years of research and engagement with our community we lodged a comprehensive submission to Infrastructure Victoria in January 2017. The submission outlined the potential economic and environmental impacts of industrialising Western Port with the construction of a container port. These impacts include risks to tourism, recreational fishing and boating, increased coastal erosion particularly on the north Shore of Phillip Island, salt water entering and poisoning farming aquifers following dredging, carbon sink release and loss of the natural environment for residents and visitors.

Our submission also included and supported the Bass Coast Shire Council Port of Hastings Guiding Principles developed with key stakeholders in April 2016. We have attached a copy of our report to Infrastructure Victoria for your reference.

We are aware that a recognised risk to the Phillip Island and San Remo Visitor Economy Strategy 2035 is the industrialisation of Western Port and the construction of a container port.

We are somewhat disappointed that key stakeholder Phillip Island Nature Parks did not lodge a submission to the independent agency Infrastructure Victoria given the risks imposed of having 6,000 container ships passing through our marine life’s feeding and breeding grounds.

We are also aware that Infrastructure Victoria intends to release a report on evidence it has received in the very near future. We understand that this report will then lead to a final phase of engagement and opportunity for further submissions.

We urge Council to be ready to initiate the appropriate processes and, if necessary, the formation of a committee or advisory group to respond to the anticipated Infrastructure Victoria report and subsequent engagement.

Given the imminent Infrastructure Victoria report, engagement and submission timeline to Government we request a meeting with all Councillors to further discuss the responses.We believe our proposed discussions should occur as soon as possible and preferably sometime this month.

Our Submission to Infrastructure Victoria #springst #auspol #environment #Westernport #phillipisland

As you may be aware the State Government will take advice from Infrastructure Victoria on the future location of a second Port for Victoria. We have attached our submission on key issues associated with the possible construction of a container port in Western Port. Our group of volunteers have extensively researched the Western Port option and engaged with our regional community and key stakeholders. We firmly believe that locating a container port in Western Port could have a devastating impact on the region’s economy and environment. Such an outcome would impact on Victoria’s reputation as a tourist destination and the regions ability to continue to operate as an environment based sustainable and effective service economy that currently supports thousands of regional jobs.

The battle to save Westernport is not over! We will continue to fight to preserve Western Port Today. For Tomorrow.
Pelican - Photo - Lisa Shonberg

The Future of Port of Hastings - Community & Stakeholders

In April this year a roundtable was held at the Nobbies Conference Centre.  At the roundtable were representatives from Phillip Island Nature Parks, South Gippsland Conservation Society, Preserve Westernport Action Group, Phillip Island Conservation Society, RMIT - Sustainable productivity, Innovation & Climate Change, Westernport Biosphere Council, Westernport Water, Westernport & Peninsula Protection Council Inc, Bass Coast Shire, Bass Coast Landcare, Clean Ocean, Boonwurrung Foundation, PPWCMA, Parks Victoria, Central Coastal Board,Melbourne University, Southern Rural Water, Western Port Seagrass Partnership, Energy Innovation Co-op, Melbourne Water, Phillip Island Tourism Association, Groundswell, Nature Conservancy and Bass Coast Shire.

The discussion was based on the Bass Coast Shire current position. The Infrastructure Victoria Process and it was an opportunity to provide input and views on any future Port of Hastings expansion; 

  • Share expertise and local knowledge

  • Form part of the Bass Coast Shire submission

  • Request Infrastructure Victoria to visit Bass Coast to hear from the community first hand.

With Local Elections coming up in October it is important to inform those who wish to represent the Bass Coast Community on the latest information and community & stakeholder issues.

Attached are the notes from the roundtable: Click the button to read the paper.

Screen Shot 2016-09-23 at 11.46.17 am.png

Port Report to probe need for second port #springst #hastings #phillipisland

THE Preserve Western Port Action Group welcomes the recently released Infrastructure Victoria (IV) discussion paper on the future capacity of ports in Victoria.

The proposed approach, transparency and engagement model adopted by IV to these important issues embraces what we have been calling for since the State Government announced its intention to establish the new entity before the 2014 state election.

Significantly it marks an end to the political rhetoric, vested interests approach adopted by the former Liberal State Government which sought to justify industrialising Western Port with a container port using slogans and a scare campaign. Gone are the incorrect “natural deep water port” and “blasting of the Port Phillip Heads” slogans and the highly criticised “build it and they will come” economic analysis.

The Special Minister of State has formally requested IV to provide advice by May 2017 on if and when we need to build a second container port; and whether a second port should be located at Bay West (in Port Phillip Bay, between Werribee and Geelong) or at Hastings.

IV will consider environmental, economic and social impacts in preparing their advice and recommend a range of years in which they think extra capacity may be required. The paper recognises that there is considerable debate around future growth rates of container trade, capacity of existing ports and the size of container ships that are likely to visit Victorian ports. Changing consumption patterns and new technology like 3D printing will influence future demand for containers and ports capacity. As a result different demand and capacity scenarios will be developed.

IV has also recognised that maximising the capacity of existing ports will ensure that a second port is built only when it is needed and that increasing capacity before it is required would be financially imprudent.

It assumes that once government has decided to invest in a second container port it is likely to be somewhere between 10-15 years from the time of the decision to an operational port at either the Hastings or Bay West sites. The long lead time is why the issue is being considered now and why we as a community need to be engaged in the process now.

In relation to the location question, IV will examine existing reports and carry out some targeted technical studies to fill in the knowledge gaps. We believe the studies should include the impact on erosion and inundation following the required dredging on the Western Port coastlines and in particular the impact of further erosion on the north shore of Phillip Island. Impacts on tourism, penguins, employment, recreational fishing and boating as well as amenity of Westernport also need to be considered.

The Preserve Western Port Action Group will continue to research and prepare submissions to IV and to be further engaged in the consultation phase. In this initial phase of engagement, stakeholders and residents can visit Infrastructure Victoria to:

  • Complete the feedback form to comment on the key factors for deciding when a second port will be needed, and where it should be located;
  • Provide existing evidence to develop our evidence base and assist in informing Infrastructure Victoria’s advice; and
  • Register your interest in upcoming engagement opportunities for the port advice in 2016.


Information gathered in 2016 will be incorporated into a report presenting Infrastructure Victoria’s evidence base, which will be released for another phase of engagement in early 2017.

Jeff Nottle is chairman of the Preserve Western Port Action Group.

Preserving #Westernport #Phillipisland #Hastings

This video was recently submitted by student Cerys Dell and is a recent project for her University course.  It is a great video to watch if you love Westernport and want to help us protect it. This video explains the points involved and what is at stake. Infrastructure Victoria has asked that we prepare any final submissions to them in order for them to make recommendations to the Government on the Future Container Port.  We need your support on this more than ever. Make sure you let the powers that be know that destroying Westernport would be an absolute disaster.

FISHING FACES NEAR EXTINCTION IN WESTERN PORT #phillipisland #fishing #jobs #westernport

We recently presented to or communicated with, all ten recreational fishing clubs around the Western Port waterline on the impact on recreational fishing of building a container port in Western Port. Fishers and the industry they support were shocked to hear the impact that the LNP policy of building a container port in Western Port will have on the region.

Under the LNP container port proposal the declared port waters and anchorage area means no anchoring is allowed. Add to that the safety margin for staying clear of these massive containerships would leave only around 25% of the Western Port as safe, high tide fishable water.

Renowned local fisherman Kevin Chambers stated: “With the speed of the tides in Western Port drift fishing is not viable which means: No Anchoring = No Fishing. Those attempting to fish in the remaining safe high tide areas will face extreme congestion not only on the water but especially on the remaining useable boat ramps.”

Our presentations have been assisted by well known fishing identity Mr. Glenn Cooper, aka Guru Glen of “That’s The Thing About Fishing. Glenn does great work taking the less fortunate people in our community fishing as a means of therapy, to as he puts it, “Changing lives, one life at a time”. www.thatsthethingaboutfishing.org.au

The information sessions included distributing specialised fishing brochures, maps and postcards to be sent to the Hon Jaala Pulford MLC, as the Minister responsible for recreational fishing with the message “We Don’t Want Western Port Fishing Wrecked.”

Mr. Chambers added: “The loss of snapper, whiting and gummy shark fishing spots would be made worse with the dredging required building the container port. The equivalent of 15 MCG’s full of dredge would be removed leading to vastly increased erosion and the smothering of the remaining fish breeding sea grass grounds.”

Mr. Nottle Chairman of the Preserve Western Port Action Group stated” Based on the Economic Study of Recreational Fishing in Victoria 2015 by Ernst and Young recreation fishing generates around $600M every year for the Western Port economy in towns from Stony Point right around to Phillip Island and all the towns in between. This industry and the jobs it generates would all be a risk if the container port was constructed”.

Mr Nottle added: “An oil spill from just one of the 3,000 container ships in Western Port would be catastrophic, as it is a 50% chance the oil will end up on a mud bank at low tide. No known oil spill equipment can clean oil off a mud bank making the oil spill virtually permanent.”

We welcome the opportunity to talk to more fishing clubs about the impact of a container port in Western Port. Contact Kevin 0418 127 748, e.mail: chamkev41@gmail.com

Media Enquiries: Jeff Nottle: 0419 158 232 email: preservewesternport@gmail.com

11/5/2016

 Kein Chambers (Left) Glenn (The Guru) Cooper

Kein Chambers (Left) Glenn (The Guru) Cooper

Geomorphic Impact of the Proposed Port of #Hastings #phillipisland

Last year we approched A/Professor David Kennedy from the University of Melbourne for information on what the likely Geomophic impacts the Port of Hasting Development would cause - this was his response;

Thank you for the information provided by the Western Port Local Coastal Hazard Assessment and the Preserve Western Port Action Group Discussion Paper regarding the proposed development in Western Port, especially the plans for a single channel deep-water channel and associated mooring and swing basin at the northern and southern ends of the this channel.
Based on my > 15 year experience in coastal geomorphology including recent work in Western Port and similar structurally controlled estuaries in New Zealand

...I can conclude that the proposed development is almost certain to have major environmental impacts on the marine and coastal environment of Western Port Bay.

There will be immediate effects from dredging particularly associated with suspended sediment and its impact on the benthic intertidal and subtidal communities. A larger concern are the changes in hydrodynamics and associated sediment movement that will be associated with the development.

A deep-water channel will lead to the propagation of open ocean waves further into the estuary as well as enhance the size of locally-generated wind waves. As the coastline of Western Port has evolved under low energy, fetch-limited, conditions any increase in wave energy will result in significant shoreline erosion. All shorelines adjacent to the area of dredging will be affected. The increased channel size will also likely increase the tidal prism within the estuary.

The potential for major landscape change is not restricted to just the channel area. The eroding shoreline of the north eastern side of the Bay will also be affected.

There is a very high risk of greatly increased erosion throughout the northern, western and southern shores of Western Port including the eastern shoreline of Bass Coast around Coronet Bay and the Phillip Island north shore.

A general lack of knowledge of sediment transport pathways within the Bay mean the potential impacts could be more widespread than inferred here as there is likely be strong connectively between sedimentary systems around the entire bay.

Best regards,
A/Prof David Kennedy
Coastal Geomorphologist
Assocaite Professor
School of Geography
The University of Melbourne
Parkville, Vic, 3010

 

Dredging Westernport will ruin the #Asparagus Industry worth $41.42m #Exports #Springst #Auspol

Recently Preserve Westernport has been out talking with people in Victorias Bunyip Food Belt about the devastating impact dredging Westernport would have on the Agricultural Industry.  The Asparagus Industry relies on the groundwater bores to water their crop.  

Victoria is the leading state in Australia for the production and export of fresh asparagus, producing 95% of the national asparagus crop with a Gross Value of 95% of $41.42 m (ABS: Agriculture 2007-08).

If you would like to download a copy of the presentation as a PDF click here

If you would like to read a copy of the original Geological Survey Report click here 

How Dredging Westernport will affect the Bunyip Food Bowl #Asparagus #exports #springst

The threat has still not gone away!! Last week we had an opportunity to talk with the Hon Jaala Pulford MP, Minister for Regional Development - including fishing. We provided the following letter;

 

The Hon Jaala Pulford

The Preserve Western Port Action Group is a subcommittee of the Phillip Island Conservation Society. We and our community are focused on preserving Western Port as we believe Western Port should be used for recreation and not industrialisation.

Our group would like to congratulate the Andrews Government on three comprehensive reports released since you came to office, in relation to the fragile environment of Western Port. These reports are:

• The Central Regional Coastal Plan;

• The Western Port Local Coastal Hazard Assessment; and

• The revised Western Port Ramsar Site Management Plan.

All three reports contain one very consistent theme and that is, Western Port must be maintained and enhanced for the recreational benefit of all Victorians and given the importance of the Bass Coast/Phillip Island tourism industry, indeed tourists from all over Australia and the world.

To further add to the vital part Western Port Bay plays in Victoria’s environmental and economic future, we must add the May 2015 release of the Governments “Target One Million” recreational fishers program.

ECONOMIC VALUE OF BASS COAST WESTERNPORT TOURISM/RECREATIONAL FISHING

Respected Government sponsored studies over the last two years have highlighted the economic impact importance of tourism and recreational fishing to the Western Port region’s economy, with a combined value of $1.2 billion PA and in the case of Bass Coast Shire, tourism is responsible for 5,000 FTE or 1 in 3 jobs. The above figure is a minimum, as no tourism figures for the eastern side of the Mornington Pensinsula could be extrapolated from those of the whole area.

What is in no doubt is the Western Port annual visitor figure of 8.5 million p.a. taken from the Parks Victoria Revised Safety and Environmental Management Plan, (SEMP), for the local ports of Port Phillip and Western Port

Your press release of 3 May 2015 quotes a figure of $2.3 billion pa benefit to the Vic economy from recreational fishing. Meaning that, 30% of the above figure is attributable to recreational fishing in Western Port Bay.

Also, in terms of ensuring the recreational fishing future of Western Port, will the Andrews Government undertake to remove the previous Governments 2011 much expanded Hastings Port limit??. If this was ever enforced, it would eliminate 75% of the safe, high tide fishable waters of the Bay. What’s left would become an overcrowded mess, both on the water and on the boat ramps, meaning that “Target One Million” would be almost impossible to achieve.

BUNYIP FOODBOWL

Our group has also undertaken research on what would occur if Western Port was dredged down far enough to penetrate the aquifers that supply irrigation water to the asparagus and other vegetable crops in the Bunyip Food bowl.

I have attached a copy of a recent presentation to the Asparagus Council of 14 March 2014 that outlines some of the issues related to the dredging for a container port and potential impact on aquifers.

GEOMORPHIC IMPACT OF A CONTAINER PORT AT HASTINGS

We have attached some information for your consideration that includes advice received from Associate Professor David Kennedy of Melbourne University that highlights the impact that dredging would have on

Western Port and the local beaches.

“There is a very high risk of greatly increased erosion throughout the northern, western and southern shores of Western Port including the eastern shoreline of Bass Coast around Coronet Bay and the Phillip Island north shore.”

Infrastructure Victoria

We are aware of the process of establishing Infrastructure Victoria and support its establishment.

We urge you to ensure that the potential impacts on recreational fishing, agriculture and regional development and the associated impacts on jobs and the local community are included in the analysis. We believe that once industrialisation of Western Port commences with the construction of container port Victoria and the wider community stands to lose economically, environmentally and socially.

We recognise further work is required to comprehensively identify and quantity the adverse impacts and we would be pleased to discuss these issues with you as required.

Regards

Jeff Nottle

Chairman

 Fresh Cut Asparagus - KooWeeRup - Image ABC Rural

Fresh Cut Asparagus - KooWeeRup - Image ABC Rural