As our campaign is strongly motivated by our love for the Bass Coast, we plan to actively pursue compliance with the Environmental Effects Study (EES) as well as acting on the social and traffic impacts of the project on our community.
In the next few weeks we will summarise the key EES recommendations to make it clear what may be breaches and to which authorities breaches can be reported. A program will be worked around this.
At the brainstorm on the 15th August, 3 action areas were identified:
We plan to get an idea of pre -existing conditions of a few key indicators such as the endangered Hooded Plover, which is known to visit Williamsons Beach and attempt to breed along the coast. Other species will also be important. Whales continue to migrate along the coast – there have been over 30 documented sightings in the last month. Salinity measurements will be important near the outlet, though that will depend on our resources. Noise measurement will be needed. Vibration and light glare will also affect the environment.
During the pilot plant construction, numerous breaches of the Environmental Management Plan were identified, such as dumping of asbestos in Campbell St, waste dumping in Skip Lane and delivery of materials using trucks which were not compliant. We are not too hopeful of a better result now that the Aquasure consortium are in charge– the need for haste, disturbance of acid sulphate soils and waste silt flowing into the Powlett River some of the many conditions likely to cause problems. We have already had contradictory statements about at what hours per day the construction will take place.
Traffic and housing problems are already affecting coastal residents. We need to identify which authorities are in charge of traffic planning and compliance. A list of people whose tenancies are threatened and those who are experiencing problems with housing is being compiled, but follow-up is needed. Many families are not keen to make a fuss, in case they risk their chances of finding secure housing.