The Bay dredgers know that the courts may find that the dredging could be catastrophic

There is something strange about the Melbourne Ports Corporation. It’s executives imagine they have a handle on Australian shipping despite two investigations into their channel deepening exercise in Port Phillip Bay warning that if it goes ahead many aspects of the bay could be destroyed, including the purity of the water and the creatures that live in it. And then because they weren’t satisfied with those conditions they hired those who either were out of a job, or were acknowledged arse lickers, and had them bring down a report on how the Bay waters would be entirely safe. They say that exports will be held up – I don’t think so, Victoria barely exports anything at all except agricultural product and that’s about to be severely dented by climate change drought – and imports strangled. However the ships from China, where the majority of stuff comes from, is dropped off here after a run across the Pacific to the US and elsewhere, and they enter the Bay quite empty.

The essence of what happens to people when they are hired by the Corporation is illustrated by Greg Garde,QC, who says the use of the courts by channel deepening opponents “was a selfish act.” He continued,” It is, we believe, a spoiler exercise by a disgruntled group.” Note that he said,”we believe” not “my clients believe”. He has become a personal believer in his clients point of view on selfishness. Occasionally criminal barristers have to resort to such ruses. It was a fashion for a while. And who is that selfishness directed at? Those who will benefit from the hoped for Trade, and those who will profit from the expense of the channel deepening exercise. Why? Well the incompetent State government has signed a contract with a clause that enables the dredgers to fine them if they aren’t given the go-ahead within a time frame. Very smart dredgers. They know that courts will consider that what they do to the waters they dredge in may well be found by courts to be detrimental. I think the Melbourne Ports Corporation is pretty much on its last legs for the way they have handled this stuff up. Their economic theory on the dredging was discarded long ago after it was found to be very faulty when expressed to the then Premier Brack’s branch of the Labor Party. However Victorians have a habit of backing those on their last legs. It’s a habit thing at the Melbourne Club – always back those who have the same attitude you have.

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