Brumby and the Melbourne Club browbeat Bracks over the Bay dredging – and Cargo Cultism prevailed

Premier Brumby (as treasurer)has been pushing for the dredging of Port Phillip Bay from the moment the Port of Melbourne imagined it would increase trade because bigger ships carry more. It didn’t matter that we don’t export much manufacturing at all, or that the only country that would need its bigger ships visiting – China – would have very little to export to Australia compared to America, and that the ships would be so empty when they arrived at our small port that no matter how big they were they wouldn’t need a dredged channel to unload at Melbourne’s docks. No matter all this, the bureaucractic drongos went down the path of the innocent New Guinea natives who built airstrips on mountain peaks to attract the planes that gave away food and equipment. Their condition was called that of Cargo Cult. We’re doing the same thing, building deep channels in the hope that the big ships will visit.

It’s interesting to note that former premier Bracks would have been concerned that Williamstown’s beachfront houses would be wiped out in storm and tidal surges given that he lived in Williamstown which was part of his electorate. I’ve witnessed water crossing the beachfront roads at Williamstown under those conditions, and that’s before dredging, and before the near-future sea level rises brought about by the melting of Arctic ice.

It’s always been my contention that premier Bracks resigned because of pressure from now premier Brumby on the dredging of Port Phillip Bay. He was a comparatively decent politician and would hardly have agreed to risk destroying his own suburb. The pressure though, from the Melbourne Club members, plus the sheepdog sychophant Brumby, whose staff denigrated Bracks at every turn, was something a sensible politician wouldn’t entertain. However he tried, for he organised three genuine investigative panels who gave us the dreadful dangers of proceeding. Brumby walked all over those inquiries. He must therefore be the individual blamed for the killing of Port Phillip Bay. The killing begins the moment the dredges begin their world’s third best practice dredging. The best would be to take the contaminated muck out of the Bay waters. But no, they’re redistributing it around the Bay.

I spoke to premier Bracks some weeks before his resignation. My wife and I had coffee with him at Talbot’s London House. He was then a man who was changing. He was relaxed and beyond the focus of State politics. We discussed, with he and his wife Terry, whether he would see the Talbot Puma on his bicycle ride back to his brother-in-laws place near Creswick. I didn’t mention the dredging of Port Phillip Bay because the documentary I had produced and directed on the possibility of an Exxon Valdez in Port Phillip Bay had been argued over at a Williamstown ALP meeting, and Terry had taken a personal copy from my wife’s bookshop.

The real experts on Bay dredging were disregarded by those taking recent evidence. The key witness was Captain Frank Hart, a former harbour master, who spoke from experience on one of the world’s worst and most dangerous stretches of water. He was undermined by those who said he was a former harbour master and didn’t know how things were now. He had been out of the job for a year.

Premier Brumby has been warned; he’s been told that those pilots who tried the new navigation gear to be installed on the bigger ships, all failed, running aground many times. If we do have fully loaded tankers entering port we risk an Exxon Valdex for the Great Sands are waiting for them either side of the dredged channel.

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3 Responses

  1. […] You can read it in full here […]

  2. […] story here Der Beitrag wurde am Wednesday, den 31. October 2007 um 05:01 Uhr veröffentlicht und wurde […]

  3. […] more here Author Rex Giles Comments […]

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