The Blue Wedges Coalition is a group formed to campaign against the deepening of Port Phillip Bay in Victoria, Australia.
Concerns raised about the bay dredging include:
- Toxic sediments moved from the mouth of the Yarra River will threaten beaches, fish stocks and public health
- There is a high risk of beach contamination
- Predicted high levels of toxins in local fish, eels and mussels
- Serious 2005 damage at The Heads – uncontrollable, continuing rockfall and scour, which even the Port of Melbourne Corporation admits could last 30 years
- The added effects of sea level rise from channel deepening combined with global warming induced rise, and extreme weather events
- Flooding in the low-lying coastal areas
Impacts on marine flora and fauna
- There has been inadequate consideration of impacts on bay flora and fauna.
- Impacts on the Fairy Penguin colony at St Kilda breakwater that will be directly affected by dregding will not be be monitored.
Lack of public consultation
- Their has been a lack of appropriate public consultation regarding the environmental management plan, and its release to the public was delayed.
Poor business case
- The business case for the project does not appear to be sound.
- The number of very large capacity container ships claimed to require deeper draught than the Port Phillip Bay channel currently provides has been consistently overstated by the Victorian Government and the Port of Melbourne Corporation. In 2006 only 0.8% of ships exiting and 1.25% entering the port waited for tide assistance.
- Impacts on ecotourism ventures including diving, canoeing, dolphin and whale watching have not been considered and financial compensation for them has been ruled out.
- Impacts on recreational fishing have not been considered or addressed
Increased truck traffic and carbon emissions
- Large increases in truck traffic on Melbourne roads to service additional container volumes
- No consideration of carbon emissions for either the dredging process or the long term operation of the Port of Melbourne and associated road traffic
- Lack of independent monitoring of environmental impacts, and delays in reporting any environmental impacts