The Public Forum held last Saturday night was a great success. Anne Davie from the Phillip Island Conservation Society opened the evening and welcomed the gathering of over 120 in the St Philips Hall on Phillip Island. It was standing room only. Chris Smythe gave an overview of the recent Scenario Planning Workshop that examined a range of alternatives to the Port of Hastings Development. A copy of the report is available on our publications page.
Chairman Jeff Nottle Introduced Dr Hermoine Parsons who gave a very clear explanation from a shipping and logistics perspective that the Port of Hastings is a bad idea. The old thinking of 'Build it and they will come' is a ridiculous notion, it doesn't take into account freight based on the position of existing markets. She explained that the idea of trying to move freight through the south eastern suburbs was outrageous. It would add around the cost of $220 to every container, thus making the industry uncompetitive. It became obvious that the roads to our other markets in Sydney and Adelaide stemmed from the West and so too are airports moving domestic freight. The idea of Ships coming all the way to Westernport as opposed to Port of Melbourne would cause confusion and no one in the industry thinks its a good idea. If the Government goes ahead with it, irrespective of industry experts advice, it will potentially fail in a spectacular way, leaving generations with a debt and an empty port. This has happened in many other countries around the world. Visit our Publications page to view the full report.
Finally Sea Shepherd Mornington chapter leader James Brown gave a reminder to the listeners that once the damage to the environment is done and the animals that live in it are gone there is no chance of turning back the clock. It would take only 3 tides to carry an oil spill throughout Westernport and all life in the bay including the little penguins and migratory sea birds, whales and dolphins would be gone forever along with the millions of dollars in tourism for the state of Victoria.