Russell Woodford <>
Sun, 16 Mar 1997 01:29:55 +1000 (EST)
By now of you will be aware of the decision to go ahead with
this project. Thanks to Paul Taylor for getting the word to this list so
quickly. I heard it as a news flash on a bus between Melbourne and
Geelong, and subsequently had a bit of an argument with the bus driver,
who refused to believe that the relocation would add between 200 & 600
trucks per week to the Princes Freeway. He said there was "nothing" at
Point Lillias anyhow, so what was all the fuss about!!!
Here's what we get:
20 ha of RAMSAR 'protected' wetland exicsed from the listed area - the
federal government has decided that the 'urgent national interest'
condition has been met. I wonder how they got around the other condition
- that there was no suitable alternative site (Pt Lillias was ranked 7th
out of 7 possible sites by the Coode Island Review Panel)
The State Gov't will add 240 ha to the current Ramsar site which includes
most of the western shores of Port Phillip between Altona and Pt Lillias.
As the Ramsar area already includes the shoreline, what are they adding?
Senator Hill's claim of adding "high quality wetland" is a bit strange if
all the high quality wetland is already included!
90,000 cubic meters of hazardous chemical storage
94,600 cubic meters of bulk fuel storage (not included in the original
200 to 600 heavy vehicles EXTRA on the Prince's Freeway between Pt Wilson
Rd and Laverton - half of these will carry toxic chemicals or fuel. The
original estimate of 200 was done before the fuel storage was added.
Australia is the 2nd country to remove Ramsar-listed wetlands for
industrial reasons (Belgium did it in the early 1980s)
For the cynical minds amongst us, we also get:
a really BIG target for all the trainee pilots flying out of Avalon (Pt
Lillias is on one of the main flight paths for take-off / landing)
A handy little nest egg for the State Government when they sell off the
old storage site at Coode island.
Another convincing reason - as if we need it - not to swim in Corio Bay
once they start dredging.
Another convincing reason to stop eating any fish we catch in Corio Bay
(the Friends of Pt Lillias say that 30 - 40 % of the local commercial
catch comes from the Geelong Arm of the bay - but of course the FOPL are
Lots of handy big tanks etc after 2000, when many of the chemicals
destined for Pt Lillias will be banned under agreements already signed
A booming industrial region to replace the small-revenue generating market
gardens and aquaculture industries just getting going around Avalon
Another big name to put Geelong on the map!
Sorry - I shouldn't make fun of this project. It's no laughing matter,
and it just sickens me. But some bits are really laughable - such as the
money the state government is going to spend to make a nearby island into
a habitat for Orange-Bellied Parrots. I'm not sure what they're
proposing. Big aviaries carrying logos for the chemical companies that
sponsor the project?
Time to get out my list of parliamentary addresses and start writing
again. Please help. You can find a few addresses on the Friends of Point
Lillias web site (or from the birding-aus pages) at:
This is all very disturbing.
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