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”.

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:

Media Enquiries: Jeff Nottle: 0419 158 232 email:


Kein Chambers (Left) Glenn (The Guru) Cooper

Kein Chambers (Left) Glenn (The Guru) Cooper

Council Passes a motion to protect the Ocean

A huge thank you to Councillors Clare Le Serve and Phil Wright on passing a motion at the recent Bass Coast Shire meeting to ensure that both Victorian and Australian Government Infrastructure organisations are made aware of the significance of Westernport and its importance to the Bass Coast Shire in regard to the Environment, Tourism and Jobs. Here is the excert from the minutes;

'Reinforcing Council’s position in relation to the Port of Hastings development - Cr Clare Le Serve Council Decision Moved: Cr. Clare Le Serve / Seconded: Cr. Phil Wright 

That the Mayor 1. write to the Special Minister of State and the Minister for Ports reinforcing Council’s position in relation to the Port of Hastings. 

2. request that the Ministers instruct the soon to be established Infrastructure Victoria to engage with Bass Coast Shire Council on the future of the Port of Hastings, given the importance of Westernport to the Victorian and Australian economy and environment: • 

Supporting sustainable environmentally sensitive development in Westernport; • Working with key stakeholders including tourism operators and bodies, recreational boating and fishing groups as well as community groups; •

Developing a comprehensive submission to Infrastructure Victoria that provides analysis on the costs to the Bass Coast economy, environment and community; and • 

Developing the submission to Infrastructure Victoria in conjunction with the key Bass Coast stakeholder groups.'