The EES process & terms dictated by ‘the Brumby cartel’ for the Inquiry is the probably the most manipulated time frame for an State imposed project that has occurred in Vic.
Such is the repeated observations made by Watershed members to the EES Panel and in letters to Ombudsmen and parliamentarians.
It is acknowledged by all legal minds as without precedence: “Very strange, very unusual” said one Barrister when he briefed the newly formed Watershed Victoria group in late September 2008.
Unlike comparable proposals like the proposed (and failed) Nowingi Toxic Waste Facility, the people of South Gippsland and Eastern Melbourne and Mornington Penninsula directly affected by the cobbled together proposal, were given little time and little of no access to resources to prepare their cases on the huge effects on housing, farming, tourism, marine ecology, wetland ecology, migrating whales, and climate change.
Nevertheless the State pushed on with the EES process like a steam train on meth-amphetamines and using the same technology as the steam train era!!
Day 10 - WONDERFUL WATERSHED DID US ALL PROUD TODAY
The Watershed team did a great job in trying to raise so many important issues that MUST be thought about by the Inquiry in their deliberations and we should all feel proud of the community effort that has brought us this far. One has to wonder what would have happened if Your Water Your Say and Watershed weren’t there speaking out and raising all these issues? (too scary to think about really)
Danny wonders where all the Bass Coast Shire Councilors were?? Not one in attendance today at the Watershed presentations and Danny wonders why they couldn’t show up to support the community group!! If this is as much a political process as an environmental one it would have been helpful for the ‘politicians’ of local government to have supported this group. Some might think this comment is a little unfair but remember, these are Danny’s views and he has the power of the pen!
It was good to see Allan Bawden come down to Pakenham and his attendance and show of support is appreciated by Danny at the very least. Danny noticed also that the EPA visited for the expert witness presentations but then left as did one DSE person but then wandered in and out when Watershed was presenting. Make of that what you will !!
Also great that so many people could make the trip to Pakenham to show their support and that the community deeply cares about the impact of this proposal from many aspects of social impact to marine damage to climate change.
For those that weren’t able to attend Danny has taken copious notes so all can see how the day went and will get them up to the site as soon as possible after tidying them up and taking out the swear words!!
Danny also proud of the individual presenters - Nola Maxfield, Chris Heislers and David Wingfield - who argued both persuasively and emotionally as to what was wrong with both the EES and the desal plant itself. They should be loudly applauded for their efforts by everyone. Their individual presentations will be put up on the website asap for you to see and enjoy or rather dismay at the lack of information available in the EES to address these specific issues. The presentations really did put a human face on Watershed and just how much real and detailed knowledge and expertise is in the local area that will be directly affected and they need to be listened to and given equal weight to in the Inquiry’s deliberations.
Despite considerable barrister type questions Jochen Kaempf did a great job of virtually telling them that there was so much still missing from the ASR evaluations that they were running a ’severe’ risk in going ahead without considerable further modeling and assessment. His report will be made available on the site as soon as we can get it electronically as well.
It’s a short summary today and if you have the time Danny suggest you have a read of the presentations when they are available on the site as that fills you in since it was our day today.
It’s Bass Coast Council day on Thursday at San Remo and Danny is confident they will put up a strong case.
Kathy Mitchell did also make a point of saying how the Panel did value the input from the community and it will be taken seriously and thanked Watershed and its members for their significant contribution as we were an important part of this process. We can only but dream that it carries equal weight when they are writing their report to the Minister !
Danny dares to dream!