15 Oct 2010 @ 2:01 PM 

Watershed Victoria AGM

Date: Tuesday 9th November

Where:  Picassos on Graham, Wonthaggi,

Time:  7pm.

Pizza and pasta available if wishing to dine.

Tags Categories: Events, Media Centre, News, Participate! Posted By: bob
Last Edit: 15 Oct 2010 @ 02 02 PM

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 09 Oct 2010 @ 11:25 AM 

Peter Ryan Nationals MP speaks to the crowd at rally on steps of Parliament 6-10-10 while
Msr Degremont counts his billions and unhappy Melbourne water consumer watches his costs.


Rally outside NAB when letters asking bank to disinvest in desal project were handed in.


Tags Categories: Features, Making Waves, Media Centre, News Posted By: bob
Last Edit: 09 Oct 2010 @ 11 25 AM

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“Scrap the Desal”  Rally on the steps of Parliament

Midday on Wednesday 6th October

We have had a amazing few weeks with the Brumby Government under intense scrutiny over the financing of the desal fiasco.

This is a crucial time, coming up to the state election - Parliament is sitting and politicians are listening.
Join us and bring your outrage at the money we will be paying for the next 30 years to fund a wasteful energy guzzling project which even Labor insiders are now questioning.
Listen to speeches on canning the desal contract.

See Timmie the giant desal tap, all the way from Gippsland!

More info 0407 811 778 or answers@watershedvictoria.org.au

If you can’t come, you could contact your MP and the Premier john.brumby@parliament.vic.gov.au (03) 9651 5000 calling for scrapping the desal plant and replacing it with sustainable cheaper alternatives.


Tags Categories: Events, Features, Media Centre, News Posted By: bob
Last Edit: 04 Oct 2010 @ 09 35 PM

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Watershed Victoria Members offering Premier Brumby Gum Boots for his recent visit to the Wonthaggi desalination site.

Watershed Victoria Members offering Premier Brumby Gum Boots for his recent visit to the Wonthaggi desalination site.

Tags Categories: News Posted By: bob
Last Edit: 09 Sep 2010 @ 10 38 AM

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nab-logo2As requested both Westpac and Nab sent representatives to a meeting with Watershed representatives at Kilcunda on Wednesday 14th October.

westpaclogo2Results of our meeting with the banks in relation to our concerns about them not meeting their ethical investment guidelines:

  • A presentation was given by Watershed pointing out our concerns and some background to the issues. The banks filled us in on various aspects of how they see their obligations and how they assessed the project.
  • The banks have assessed this as a B-grade environmental and social risk project (from an A to C or no ranking range). Our fears were well founded, in that they admitted they largely relied on the proponents environmental assessment (as poorly scoped and resourced as it was), to give the project an acceptable risk assessment.
  • Both banks used a consultant firm, originally employed by AquaSure, to “do their assessment”.
  • The banks agreed that ongoing assessments would be required, although the scope or scale of this was not available.
  • They claimed ‘confidentiality’ as their reason for not previously consulting Watershed, and for not immediately being able to address some of our concerns.
  • The consultant, who was present, said he believed that alternatives were not available, based on previous work he had done for Government, and an unspecified document he did not name or indicate availability of.
  • Watershed pointed out that by relying on a flawed EES and failing to consider all issues the equator principles 2 and 3 in particular had been inadequately addressed. After our presentation there was general agreement that the issues around using desalination to secure Melbourne’s water supply were many and varied.
  • Watershed have left the banks with a list of issues that we feel have been inadequately addressed including some of the above and also the following; we have requested they furnish us with responses to these concerns in a timely fashion:
    • Why was the project given a category B status given the scale, implications for future water policy, location, multiple areas of impact, unresolved concerns and unaddressed issues involved?
    • How can their environmental assessment be adequate given that it either did not, or only inadequately addressed issues such as the need for baseline studies, choice of site or processes, climate change implications, social issues and cumulative impacts of this project over time and with existing and future projects?
    • What do the banks see as ‘consultation’, what will the following plans contain and when will they be available:
      • ’social environmental management plan’
      • ‘borrower’s grievance mechanism’
      • ‘works environmental management plan’
      • ‘ongoing environmental monitoring plan for compliance’ ?
    • What degree of public transparency will the banks require of the above, and when will they be required?

Stay tuned to see whether the banks reassess their involvement in this project or whether we get satisfactory responses to these and other concerns.

  • Please continue to send letters with your concerns to the banks, click here.
  • Should you be prepared to take action if we do not get satisfactory responses please contact us, click here.
  • Click the ‘BANKS’ tab at the top of the page for more information on this issue.
Tags Categories: Features, Media Centre, News, Uncategorised Posted By: neil
Last Edit: 19 Oct 2009 @ 10 10 PM

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Desal housing impact

Housing Hardship on the Bass Coast - more desal impacts

If you know anybody in this kind of situation please call Jessica on 0407 307231,

or if you have evidence of specific locations where people have been dislodged from their accommodation, and replaced by desal workers please call Maurice on 0419 552385.  Maurice is also looking for a copy of the EMP (Environmental Monitoring Plan) that is supposed to exist for the works underway at present, should you happen to know where a copy could be found.

Tags Categories: Features, Media Centre, News, Uncategorised Posted By: neil
Last Edit: 17 Oct 2009 @ 09 07 PM

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 24 Aug 2009 @ 10:52 AM 


img_1413 andrewchapmanbunarongpic-2 hoodedplover whale-longfinnedpilot-70mwestofpilotplant3

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:

·         Monitoring wildlife, especially bird life.

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.

·         Breaches of performance requirements.

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.

·         Social  Impacts.

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.

If you are keen to help with a bird count and keeping an eye on the project, please get in touch with Chris Heislers 0419556381 or Jessica Harrison 0407307231

Tags Categories: Events, Features, News Posted By: neil
Last Edit: 01 Sep 2009 @ 08 53 PM

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“Becoming black balloon junkies at a time when everyone else is being urged by TV ads to kick the habit isn’t a good look”.

Click here for Dr. Peter Fishers article in the Age, Monday 09/03/09

“Unfortunately, at the rate we’re seeing reverse-osmosis desalination introduced, wind farms will only succeed in slowing the shameful rate of growth in emissions”.

And on other options; “All of these options need to be openly considered by the Government if there is to be any serious attempt to achieve real carbon reduction in the next couple of decades”.

Click here to see how alternative water supply options could source the same amount of water at up to one quarter the energy/greenhouse cost.

Tags Categories: Making Waves, News Posted By: neil
Last Edit: 12 May 2009 @ 09 53 PM

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“THE project meant to secure Melbourne against water shortages is facing a crisis: a money shortage because of the global credit squeeze”.

“Banking sources say the project faces a funding gap of between $1 billion and $2 billion. Some in the infrastructure industry say a mere $300 million to $500 million is available from banks for all major projects across the country”.

“The shortfalls confront the Brumby and Rudd governments with either finding the money to bail out the controversial plant, along with a string of other projects across the country, or shelving it”.

Click here for the whole article in the Age on Monday 09/03/09

The real story now will be how the Brumby Government, who have dug such a hole for themselves by relying on this one option, get out of it. Will they;

 - Allow a go ahead without funding and risk the consortia collapsing and the government having to bail them out,

 - Allow a contract where we pay for water even if it isn’t needed (a ‘take or pay’ contract),

 - Give away chunks of Melbourne’s water infrastructure and activities to this multinational consortia to boost their profitability,

 - Beg the Federal Government to contribute from the infrastructure fund, some part of the $4,000+ million cost, for a project giving only 50 full time jobs when operating,

 - The possibilities are mind boggling.

See ‘Tech Talk’ where Watershed Victoria shows alternatives could source the same quantity of water for between 1/3 and 1/2 the cost.

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Categories: Features, Making Waves, News
Posted By: neil
Last Edit: 01 Jun 2009 @ 02 42 PM

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 17 Feb 2009 @ 12:02 AM 


A Dim View Of His Behaviour

A Dim View Of His Behaviour

The decision to flush away sensible water policy and projects. and choose the most polluting, most socially disrupting. most financially expensive method of supplying freshwater to Victorian cities was a political one, finally admitted to by the Water Minister Mr Holding in the recent Rural Press Club session, reported in The Weekly Times.
-On 6th Feb the Water Minister electoral seat was targeted in what is to be an ongoing campaign involving several groups led by Friends Of The Earth Melbourne and Watershed Victoria.


Thanks again to everyone who made the journey to Springvale for this action
We did well in the local media, including this great gallery of images (slow loading - pls be patient)
NB - The Leader photographer missed the fact that there has been a name change of our Minister for Water that is in line with his amazing new honesty policy …

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Categories: News
Posted By: Dominic Gilligan
Last Edit: 15 May 2009 @ 10 44 PM

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