Archive for the ‘Dredging’ Category

Grounding of ship is warning of Port Phillip Bay disaster to come
May 9, 2008

Today’s shipping accident involving a relatively small New Zealand cargo vessel is just one more warning for those who live around the bay. It’s hull slid onto the Great Sands and wasn’t deep enough to reach the rocky outcrops the sand hides. This was during mild weather and without the RIP tides being involved. It was relatively easy to drag off. There are an estimated three accidents of this type annually (since 1974).

The real danger is when the tankers with a hull depth of another 3 to 4 metres run onto the sands. It will happen because the mouth of the southern channel has no room for safety. A large ship entering the channel from the RIP is at a an angle, and so a 50 metres wide vessel can be as much as 130 metres wide and the estimated 200 metre wide entrance offers no real safety margins when there is a 14 knot tide running through the RIP and perhaps a storm adding to the chaos.

A fractured hull on a tanker means an Exxon Valdez for Port Phillip Bay. The billion dollar profit alleged from the deepening of the southern channel and the RIP will look puny compared to the $20 billion clean-up ( estimated cost of Exxon Valdez disaster). That was in the ocean were oil could escape. Now, imagine a disaster of that magnitude in the bay. Peter Garret please take notice.

POM’S dishonest bureaucrats are again loose on the channel dredging turbidity
April 30, 2008

The Port of Melbourne are blatantly manipulating the turbidity results on their testing of the effect of the Port Phillip Bay dredging. A small glitch occurred while the dredge was undertaking the most delicate task of all at the RIP (or the Heads). That small glitch meant that the turbidity testing was missing for 25 hours. Fortunately for the POM no data was recorded at all during this period. It will be certain to bring down the figures so that the POM won’t have to report any untoward dredging.

This is the usual shit from POM. The last I was involved in was the challenge they made to my documentary’s (The Last Good Summer) figures on the economy.

The documentary could only be shown at the former Premier’s electoral office at a party meeting if POM supplied a senior economist to state how wrong the documentary’s figures were. Unfortunately for POM their figures were blasted out of the water a few days later and, on the strength of that, a new panel of “Yes” people was hastily drawn together for a reinforcement of the government’s proposal.

Premier F***k Features Brumby needs a lesson in reality
March 4, 2008

“Forget the damned motor car and build the cities for lovers and friends.” A Lewis Mumford quote I read on a blog today and it is in total contrast to Fuck Features Brumby’s pathetic plans to build Melbourne as a mediocre city of the future. Let’s go further out, he says. Let’s add another million people by 2028. Problem is the city will have at its centre a dead bay, engineered courtesy of Cunt Features, and thousands of acres of sprawling housing without any sense of community. Check the suicide rates on the present housing estates, their lack of libraries, entertainment centres, children’s bookshops, and wonder just where this Melbourne Club backed numbers man checked in his soul. Progress, he rants. Progress towards what? he should be asked. He has no vision for urban community centres, beyond that they should be built.

Doesn’t the poor bugger realise that the planet cannot cope with more: rain is becoming a rarity, and sprawling cities are not making for great lifestyles. Smaller communities are better and they encourage social interaction and creativity. I’m living in a town of 300 odd but we have a famers’ market that caters for 4,500 every third Sunday of the month. There are thirty committees in town and they’re often quite comic but when the library was closed, in existence since the gold rush, a third of the town turned up to protest. As a crime reporter I’ve observed the total disintegration of families and kids that live in the high rise abortions that previous visionary (not) governments foisted on us with great fanfare. There needs to be organic growth. And by the way, the answer to affordable housing (one of the reasons he’s opening up agricultural land to subdividers)is taxing those that are driving up our cost of living. These include mining, oil and power companies, and massive agricultural corporations. They are making the money not those on pitiful wages. And yet everything they produce is reflected in in the inflationary figures. And does Brumby have a plan to slow down production and replace such consumer substances with progress in social education and how it can be encouraged? Because spin is Brumby’s reality he only imagines he has

Let’s leave the last word to Lewis Mumford, from his mammoth book, The City in History: “Will the city disappear or will it turn into a vast urban hive? – which would be another mode of disappearance.”

Our political motor mouths haven’t woken yet to the chaos about to descend. They discovered the environment six months ago.

Brumby and Port of Melbourne are pushing Victoria on its face over channel dredging
February 25, 2008

The Port of Melbourne Authority, the Brumby government, and local businessmen who are all supporting the gouging of almost pristine Port Phillip Bay should have, for the planets sake, erred on the side of caution.

It appears that not only will they endanger the Bay but will also be lined up for the damage to the planet (remember UN laws allow us to sue those responsible for careless decisions leading to the delivery of carbon into the atmosphere).

A leaked UN study (John Vidal, The Guardian) states that the true scale of climate change emissions from shipping is almost three times higher than previously believed. Shipping is responsible for 1.12bn tons of CO2, or nearly 4.5% of all global emissions of main greenhouse gas. Aviation is responsible for 650 million tons, just half that of shipping. It’s under intense pressure to lower that figure so imagine how shipping is about to feel it.

What mugs we are in Victoria. We think the game now is fast development wins. Sorry, now the environment of the planet is going under, a slow approach to development is required. And it won’t be us controlling the visits of ships but the UN (with its laws on environmental responsibility). Perhaps all countries should retire from Free Trade and all the rampant carrying of cheap goods between countries. It would appear that we should have encouraged manufacture here. It’s a different game now boys, but of course we’ll try and squeeze as much money out of the transport system as we can.

Simon Ramsay the pip-squeak president of the Victorian Farmers Federation will soon be without a quorum, due to a climate change
February 23, 2008

Simon Ramsay, the pip squeak president of the Victorian Farmer’s Federation increased the pressure on himself yesterday when he said he was tired of minority groups getting the attention of the media and the judiciary.

Poor man doesn’t realise that with global warming his organisation will be very small quite soon. Victoria is going to be one of the largest areas hit by climate change and farmers will be out the door. Won’t we hear Simon moaning then, or will his opinion of minority groups shame him into silence? And if we’d had Blue Wedges style protest groups alerting us to climate change earlier perhaps his farmers would have had a future. Doubt it though, farmers organisations are radically conservative and slow to wake up.

And if projects like dredging had carbon estimates placed on them maybe climate change wouldn’t be so drastic.

Prime Minister Rudd reduces Garnaut to just another opinion
February 21, 2008

Prime Minister Rudd heralded Garnaut as the reason he didn’t go to the election with a climate change policy. He gave him a broad brief, a Royal Commission would have loved the same, and now pretends he hadn’t regarded Ross Garnaut as a serious climate expert.

Spin is okay I suppose(no, it’s not) but when the planet’s existence as we know it is at risk we can certainly blame Rudd and preceding governments as those who had no respect for the environment, and so hit them with writs under the UN legislation that enables such action.

Do we have precedents for their not having respect or concern for the environment? Sure do. There’s the dredging in Port Phillip Bay that has not had carbon release estimated. And then there’s the Tamar valley world’s largest pulp mill go-ahead. Neither of these have world’s best practice techniques. Dumping dredged toxic material in the same water it’s dredged from is a definite no-no as far as wbp is concerned. And the toxins to be used in pulp manufacture is not used in the wbp pulp mills in Scandinavian countries.

Port Phillip Bay will be dredged by cowboys and still be devoid of ships
February 4, 2008

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.

No water to drink? It’s the fault of our politicians and bureaucrats.
February 3, 2008

As usual the planet’s governments are doing nothing to alleviate the global warming gases. We know climate change is on but government bureaucrats and politicians have been living now for several decades of consensual decision-making and are bereft of innovative thought.

Epitomising this is the World Economic Forum, as reported by the Guardian last week. Outside the windows of the Forum’s chalet is the snow of the swiss Alps, suitably enhanced by an artifical snow cannon. The snow takes a third of all the water used in Davos where the Forum is taking place, and where water (and snow) shortage is becoming a problem. However those who are attending the Economic Forum have a benign, almost casual, attitude to the reality of 3 billion people living in water stressed areas within 20 years.

The economic Forum is dealing with alarming figures. For instance to make a cotton T-shirt takes 27,000 litres of water. An individual in a rich developed nation uses about 3,000 litres of water a day when the UN says a minimum of 20 litres a day is required for a person each day. In developed countries flushinbg the toilet in a household average 50 litres a day.

However in Davos they are still on the wrong track, imagining they can balance the needs of industry and people, and regarding that as a priority. They are still attempting to encourage the the growth of product when that has been artificially stimulated by an exploitative advertising industry using many Freudian perceptions to encourage the consuming of what is only be glossy rubbish, given status in a phoney brand name ownership competition.

The Davos wizards think a bureaucratic solution is possible because the only way to to adress problems is with large responses. Problem is that large responses require rules, regulations and customs, and in climate meergtencies such ponderous techniques have to be thrown out the window. hasn’t any of these alleged high-flyers lived in extreme conditions? haven’t they ever felt the need for water when water is fifty k’s away and it may take hours to get there. Let’s go to desert people to get a hold on what a lack of water is about. I have just observed aboriginal water holes near Talbot, Victoria, Australia. They have been dug a day’s walk from each other across some very dry country. Until last year the water holes had water in summer. Now they are dry. A hundred years ago it would have meant the death of the tribes who relied on those holes. Do the Davos mob get it? I don’t think so.

If Melbourne has the same style of rainfall next year as last year, and the desalination plant is not on line, Melbourne won’t have sufficient drinking water. The rainbfall is down but not alarmingly if you look at the figures. However the rain has been coming in brief down pours that doesn’t flow to the catchment areas.

Check on what your local industry and government are doing? Here in Melbourne the State Government under Premier Brumby (with the help of the Federal Government and Minister for the Environment Peter Garrett) are embarking on a horrendously toxic dredging exercise in Port Phillip Bay that will destroy the Bay waters and release huge amounts of global warming gases, and the latter have not been estimated.

Premier Brumby’s mates on Bay dredging are nicking off
January 31, 2008

Those who supported Premier Brumby in his push for the Bay dredging are backing off. Even the individuals from the Melbourne Club are deserting him as they finally understand that they are about destroying the feature that makes Melbourne – the pristine waters of the Bay.

The dredging will destroy the sea grass beds and the fish breeding grounds forever. The unique dolphins that evolved in the Bay will be gone ( as they have in the Gippsland Lake system), and those idyllic summers on beach sands will be replaced by toxic water, dead creatures and the horrendous stink of the pollution.

As the bay waters rise ( the Arctic ice will be gone by 2013, the Antarctic ice a little later) the Bay mess after the dredging will enter beach front living rooms, for the volume of tidal water (neap tides etc) will increase monumentally.

We also know there has been no math done on the chance of an Exxon Valdez with the larger tankers. Captain Frank Hart, former harbour master, says it’s not if it happens but when. He’s been ignored until now. Why? He was undermined by the scurrilous Port of Melbourne Authority and the Department of Sustainability and Environment (they betrayed Melbourne on Yarra pollution so we can’t ever believe them again). Figures on global warming gases have not been considered.

An offer of resignation if the Bay is destroyed by dredging should be on Brumby’s table
January 24, 2008

Premier Brumby should offer to resign if  his vision of bay dredging destroys Victoria’s (and Melbourne’s) recreational grounds. One of the reason we haven’t had too much angst from the monied class is that they go to the ocean for their summers.

However a resignation offer would really test his sincerity and belief in the process that led to Bay dredging.

One aspect that belies his belief is that there has been no speculation on the release of carbon and other warming gases from the dredging.