Port Phillip Bay will be dredged by cowboys and still be devoid of ships

The Dutch company dredging Port Phillip Bay into a disaster area employs dredging cowboys, according to former Captain Gerry Seymour. Seymour has worked for the company and says their only dredging criteria is do it fast. The faster it’s done the more money for the company.

Balmain based Seymour related the story of his refusing to dredge within metres of the Port Kembla wharves. He said he would only dredge to thirty metres. The company hired someone else for the night dredging and when Seymour returned the next morning he saw the dredge had hit the wharves destroying two cranes and all the lifeboats on the dredge.

He said the usual contract stipulates that if they finish the dredging before time there is a daily bonus for every day saved. He holds very little hope for the restoration of the bay.

Seymour also says that going by his experience with shipping companies (and he owned ships himself), if the shipping companies have threatened not to visit a port unless it’s deepened they are already seriously thinking of not using the port. He knows that the cost of freight from anywhere in the world to Sydney or Melbourne is the same, so they would prefer not to have to visit a second port and be up for charges for pilots, tugs and be unable to use toxic metal restorers in the Bay. They’d prefer to unload in Botany Bay or even Brisbane. Seymour said they are ruthless enough to refuse to use Port Phillip Bay even if the dredging has been undertaken at their bidding.

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