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Dredging of the Yarra begins

Posted in Latest News

wesak-lotus.JPGIt has been a powerful  weekend with a Full Moon and Australia’s 2020 Summit in Canberra. Lots of good ideas have emerged with issues of Sustainability, the need for a unified approach to Economy and Governance, and improved collaboration between community and Government/ regulatory bodies. These are issues that have arisen with our concern for this Dredging project.  We are part of a huge wave of awakening consciousness. Fantastic idea of Australia leading the world in becoming a Green Nation. Victoria’s Premier, John Brumby, is inspired. Hope, folks – the Light dawneth.

The Dredging of the Yarra’s polluting contaminants begins today. Nature seems to be co-operating with mild weather sustaining a calm environment.

Precarious project …

The Age: Dredging project

The Australian Conservation Foundation begins its monitoring project tomorrow.

The Orca sails out into the Bay with students on board to do their own measuring and assessment of the Bay.

I have donated to this project – I like the objectivity. The Orca needs assistance financially. You can also opt to sail out with the team on their trips. Could be an interesting and inspiring experience!

Australian Conservation Foundation.

Cheers !


Ocean walk …

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Honouring nature

Posted in Community, Latest News

Honouring the Feminine at Boonatallung
                   Sunday 13th April 2008   
Boonatallung (Point Nepean) is a traditional women’s birthing place, a dolphin nursery and a place of spectacular beauty and wild feminine energy. Forming one side of the entrance to Port Phillip Bay, she stands as a proud guardian for the fertility of Melbourne. Boonatallung is now under attack from the aggressive ignorance of a large-scale dredging operation in her waters.

With deepest respect for the BoonWurrung women of this land, we are called to gather together at Boonatallung to honour the feminine and bear witness to the suffering of the land, her people and her waters. As women, as children, and as men protecting the feminine, we are all called to stand strong and offer our love and compassion, for the healing of the waters and the sacred feminine, inside and outside.

Plan of the Day:

11am Meet at Gunners Carpark 

11.15- 12.40pm Sacred Walk along the beach to the Point 

12.40-1pm Lunch at the Point 

1.00-3.30pm Gathering at the Point: Honouring the Bay and the Feminine through Music, Song, Story, Dance and Poetry; Healing Meditation; Deep Ecology and Sustaining Our Spirit; Sharing Circle…

3.30-4.45pm Return journey by walk or train.

Logistics: Meet at Gunners carpark by 11am to join the Sacred Walk of 3.5km along the beach and up to the very tip of the Point. If you prefer not to walk, you can catch a tourist train from the Visitor Centre and meet us at the tip of the Point by 1pm (train departs 12.30pm Visitor Centre).

Please Bring: Walking shoes, sun, wind and rain protection, lunch and drinking water, musical instruments, prayers, poems, dances, stories and songs. Wear white or pink.

Entrance Fees: National Park entrance fees are $7.50 adult; $3.70 child and concession. Train fees extra. Please pay at Visitor Centre.

* This is a private gathering and an invitation to you, your family and friends. You have been invited by the Wild Women of the Waters: Sophie, Rose and Meenakshi. 
Contact: 040 0 846 012 or 0405 379 223

Flier for printing: boonatallung-gathering.doc

For those who think it is only the feminine that is sensitive to nature:



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This is a BAY

Posted in Community


This is a pic of Port Phillip Bay taken from the Helicopter pad at Sorrento Park.

It shows a beautiful Bay, the happy little boats, the curves of shoreline and softened aged mountain ranges in the distance.

Our forefathers knew it was Bay, with a small opening to the sea and enclosed all around by land. An ideal site for a settlement and a small city.

It was never thought of as a port. Portland is a port and was created for that purpose. Westernport is a port and was created for that purpose.

Somewhere along the line of time and generations, competitive thinking wore away at the visions for this part of Australia. Somehow, sometime, the patriarchs in charge dismissed what IS for what could BE.

In many places of the world, the pristine beauty of nature has been , and is being, devastated by the lure of possibility beyond the simplicity of the natural. In time, everything comes full circle for there is very little in nature that forms right angles or straight lines. The Universe prefers to run on curves and cycles.

The care of our Bay is now up to all of us: the people in charge of Crown land and Sea; the organisations committed to conservation and protection; the community awareness raising groups; the users of the Bay; those who have come to love its calm joy and marine beauty.

It (the Bay) embraces and encloses us all providing a sanctuary, a shelter from the wildness of the raw Antarctic just beyond the Southern horizon. The marine life that has made this Bay their home are sensible. The people who have purchased land and developed homes and shops, businesses and yes, a City of Melbourne, know this. 

The dredging of the heads will widen the opening to this Bay. We do not know what effects this will have. Time will show us as nature adapts to the swelling tides and deeper channels.

The reasons for doing this at this stage of the planetary mood swings have not perhaps, taken much into account other than vested interests in human civilisation.

This kind of dismissive insensitivity and perhaps ignorance and naivety, invariable bring the need for adjustment in thinking and planning. We humans do this, we learn and grow through experience.  

Patience is needed and understanding. Planners and developers are often secular and self interested.  True visionaries are rare.

For those with more wholistic scopes of knowledge and perception – it is painful to watch the stupidity of half baked ideas bulldozing through nature which will take decades to resettle and grow again.

We have such short lives. Those who want to leave a legacy of building and creating are in a hurry to achieve their own dreams. Those who are agonising over the destruction mourn that they will not see the healing take place.

It is life.

Eric Idle explores the Meaning of Life and expresses what he discovers better than I. With the help of NASA and modern micro technologies  – in visuals and sound …


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Storms and tirades

Posted in Community, Latest News

100_1930-2.jpgThe fury of the storm that wreaked havoc across Melbourne is well matched by the passionate fury expressed by so many at the bull headed devastation of our Bay.

The pic here is of the Bay just after the worst of the storm. The clouds were about to spit muddy rain onto our created world.

I went to the local Blairgowrie beach yesterday (3rd April). As I watched, the dreaded dredger was quietly making its way towards the heads. To think of continuing with this massive project in the wake of such a storm is mind boggling – such stupidity and arrogance plus.

I watched and wept inside myself. A seagull with a fish hook in its mouth sat next to me. Two gulls covered in oil kept shaking their feathers and another was gagging and vomiting nearby.

As if that is not enough, today, the same day the widening of the heads begins, Victorian Government is holding a Climate Change summit. Here, the Premier boasts that Victoria is on cue :

For nearly nine years the Victorian Government has shown national and international leadership on policy and actions to reduce emissions.”  Victoria’s Climate Summit

This is stated with confidence despite all the evidence to the contrary: the Government’s new fleet of expensive petrol-guzzling cars, the decisions on the Goulburn water fiasco, the introduction of GM crops, the dredging of the Bay … and so on. These people seem to truly believe in the their own mythologies. In mental health terms – this is referred to as ‘delusional’. Kenneth Davidson in the Age is kind with his words: he refers to this Victorian Government as “the main residents in La La Land.”  Oh dear! Somewhere along the Way, common sense has been swamped by a plethora of pigs at the trough and self promoting experts.

There are the intrepid who truly care.  

Today, Judy O’Donnell is out on the Bay with Judy Muir and a group of Bay lovers, on Polperro , showering the dolphins with warnings, protection and love.

 Operation  Quarantine has organised a protest at the heads for tomorrow.

You can gather at Sorrento to encourage the intrepid warriors, at Point Nepean, and at Point Lonsdale.

Saturday 5th of April 

On- Land supporters Meet at: 

Point Nepean National Park Carpark at 11 am 

Point Lonsdale Pier at 11.30 am

Boats meet at Sorrento Pier at 10 am or at the dredge at 12 noon

Distress signals from land and water 12.30 pm onwards.

The Blue Wedges and Operation Quarantine sites will keep you up to date with activities.

The monitoring of the Bay will be carried out by the POMc team PLUS, the EPA will continue to monitor all beaches all year throught the two year project PLUS the Australian Conservation Foundation  will be conducting their own in depth monitoring and reporting.

Whatever damage occurs to our Bay through this arrogant bullying behaviour – will not go unnoticed for long. Continue to campaign in whatever way you can.

The Friends of the Earth petition is awakening global awareness; local petitions and mandates coninue to put the official guardians on notice.

The earth will recover, the Bay will recover, and we shall not forget!

Melbourne and its disinterested folk and insensitive developers, will learn. Minister Garrett will learn. Premier Brumby and POMc will learn.

The Bay hurts and needs our love.


This is a planet of learning, of ‘whoops’ and ‘ouch’ and bumbling errors and patch ups, cover ups and avoidances of responsibility – until we learn. On it goes, generation after generation. There will continue be challenges to be met and problems to be solved. With our creativity, our expressive natures, through innovation and by initiating, we learn.

*pic by Jewelz Bould. [after the storm]

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We have helped …

Posted in Latest News

Last night, 29 March, was Earth hour and million of man-made lights went out as people and businesses acknowledged we need to rethink how we live.

The final decision by the Federal Court on friday, declaring Minister Garrett was lawful in his assessment of the Dredging project, is sad for those of us who are deeply concerned about the effects of the dredging on our Bay. My condolences and grateful thoughts go to Blue Wedges for all their diligence and determination for so long.

Melbourne dredging opponents lose case, the Age

Dredging decision vindicated: Garrett, ABC tv news.

Port of Melbourne probes fuel spill, the Age 31 /03/08

We can take solace in that we have contributed enormously to the awakening of our society and humanity generally, to the perils of insensitivity and callous planning when it comes to our environment.  We are not alone, there are many who are equally concerned about the various projects undertaken as we speak and more on the drawing board.

As to what we do from here and how we cope with this is largely an individual choice. As humanity and our global civilisations meet the challenges (and there are many) over the decades ahead, people respond to that which fires their spirit. In that, we achieve much for ourselves personally and for our communities.

Take heart then, know that by participating in this Vigil of Lights on January 8th, and the subsequent marathon of rallies and protests, petitions and letters, that much light has indeed been thrown on the murky waters of politics, corporate manipulations and commercial bullying. The truth will always oust. In time, much will surface. We truly hope and pray the Bay will recover from this gross destruction of a precious marine sanctuary. It shall, given time. Ultimately, many people are still money/greed/power oriented. If nature were like this, our species would never have survived as long as it has. Nature gives so much. We have much to learn.  

Yet, I must also acknowledge that my own life needs attention. I need to retrieve something of my own time and energies. I shall leave this site here for a while and may post occasionally. My love for this Bay and our oceans, land and forests, fauna and flora  is part of me. My deep concern for the caring and careful management of such a beautiful planet – will continue to be something I passionately advocate. 

Meanwhile, you can continue to give your love and care to your own environment and do what you will in this gruelling and challenging period of growth and upheaval of humanity’s relationship and interaction with nature.

Blessings and warm wishes to a community of light bearers and strong spirits,  

You are cherished in my heart and soul,



Pollution alert

Posted in Latest News

The Clean Ocean Foundation are monitoring the ocean beach and have issued a pollution alert. Sludgy foam and a dirty line along the shore have been spotted along the back beach from St.Andrew’s beach to Rye. The issue of Gunamatta sewerage outlet continues to rage. Soiling our own nests is unwise for any species.

bay-toxicity.bmp  Blue Wedges has issued an alert re the Bay. Their latest memo is disturbing. See their site for the full story.

 “No thanks – the fish are no good here” – thoughts from a blind young seal.

Perhaps it is wisest to realise that pollution and toxicity levels are unsafe. I was amused at the instincts of the blind young seal pup which was transported around from Stony Point in Westernport to Chinaman’s Hat island just inside the entrance to the Bay. Considering the toxicity plume shown here, it was a sensible pup that swam all the way through the heads and back to its original spot. The Mornington Leader has the story. Scroll down these postings to 23 February and see the diver’s pics of the seal colony at Chinaman’s Hat and you will understand the choice the seal pup made.

A reminder for those on the Western side of the Bay – there is the sacred walk to Point Lonsdale this Sunday. [See the previous posting] Good on you Catherine!  Enjoy!

It is lovely to have rain again – and cold nights. Had to find my hot water bottle.


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Posted in Community, Latest News

100_1926-1.jpg It is Easter and families enjoy the Easter break while the Blairgowrie Yacht club hosts a race out on the Bay. The sun has been sparkling on the water. Even ‘though it is not as clear as pre-dredging and there are pockets of silt on the sea floor and uprooted seaweed floating in clumps – people still love it. I realised as I watched these children playing in the Bay that it is so safe for little ones. The ocean is not as safe. Another young man drowned at Blairgowrie back beach on the same day.


100_1911-1.jpg Back a few weeks and International Women’s Day (March 8th ) was celebrated down here in Rye. Early morn and a group of women held a meditation on the pier for innocent women and children who have for so long –  and are still dying – in atrocious circumstances. We scattered our flowers on the sea in sacred recognition of their sacrifice.  We prayed together knowing the water of the Bay would join the ocean and the oceans of the world and circulate our blessings around the globe.

 Once again, the Bay has served us well.  I honour its role in our lives.

Catherine Jones is organising a Sacred walk to Point Lonsdale next Sunday 30th March. Fliers are here for you to distribute.



Finally, the Petition organised by a concerned Mentone resident is circulating.


One interesting observation which strengthened my faith in the media. I know many journalists have been avidly investigating and researching. The Herald Sun on Saturday, page 9, had an article about the levels of contamination in the Bay being kept at ‘safe’ levels:

Toxin tests clear

I am still uneasy about it all – can we trust these ‘experts’ ?  It is a lovely characteristic of the Aussie folk to want to to trust in their pollies and corporate folk and our ‘ she’ll be right, mate ‘ characteristic is a noble one.

 I am not comfortable with the revolutionary approach – have been beaten and burned by the adversarial system too many times and as I age I am more protective of my vulnerability.  This is partly why I personally have chosen the angle I have.

 Next Saturday evening is Earth Hour* and during that time, I shall be at the beach with a candle. The template of love and respect we have anchored around the Bay is there for us all to use whenever we feel so inclined. This is a sanctuary. May we continue to treat it as such.

Happy Easter folks!

* Earth hour

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Earth Hour and Goooood news.

Posted in Community, Latest News

 UPdate: 18 March 2008:

Tim Wilson, a local resident of Mentone, has organised a petition to reconsider handling of the toxic waste in our Bay. Please print off and distribute around your local areas.

dredging-petition-2008.doc            dredging-petition-2008.pdf


There is a great deal happening in the world with which we can align ourselves. The Dredging project and the toxic dump project have been referred to the Standing Committee in the State Parliament. We do not know how long this will take. Be assured however, that it is on the agenda at last. 

Low returns from channel deepening not worth the risk to the Bay.

Some fantastic news: the Australian Conservation Foundation along with Monash University will be monitoring the Bay. They need support for the project using their boat, the Orca. If you can help, please donate.

Australian Conservation Foundation 

Port reports stepped up, Peter Ker, the Age  

 And another chance to love the world …  Earth Hour

 On 29 March , many homes in towns, villages and cities across the world will be turning off lights and computers, power points and televisions. Earth hour is 8- 9 pm on Saturday evening here in Ozland. It is fascinating scanning down the listed businesses and organisations committted to participate in recognition of our need to change and adapt our human creations to be more harmoniously interactive with the environment and considerate of limited resources.

Earth Hour: see the difference you can make.

You can sign up as families, individuals, friends, groups, organisations and associations,  neighbourhoods, business … anyone and everyone. No outlay, no hidden cost or requirement – just turn off those lights.

Quite familiar … in reverse?! We shone lights into the dark, now we are asked to register our assistance by turning off lights for an hour. Perhaps we can head for the beach again and love our Bay. Pray for a clear and starry night!

* I shall be away until Tuesday 18 March. Press Page is updated until Tuesday 11 March.  I do hope the Federal Court realises we need to think very carefully about the adverse effects of dredging up foul contamination. Our Marine Sanctuary is precious.

abc tv news: Doctors concerned about Yarra dredging.  11/03/08

Antarctic reveals pesticides, Felicity Ogilvie, abc news. 11/03/08

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What can we do?

Posted in Latest News


Cartoon by Tandberg, The Age, 4 March 2008.

The Mornington Leader newspaper has run a series of in depth articles on the massive turmoil heralded by this Bay project. Perhaps people who have ‘turned a blind eye’ on the supposition that this is just ‘maintenance dredging’ will begin to think about this event horizon. There are letters and reports from people from around the Bay.

Bay of Dregs: Wes Hosking, Mornington Leader

Animated graphic

Experts respond: Is the bund safe? Wes Hosking

There have been numerous issues confronting the people of Victoria and locally groups have formed and been active in their protests and voicing their displeasure through the media.

Due process has been followed: most have pinned their hopes on the ‘new vision’ emerging from the new Federal Government with regards to focussed concern on climate change and the need for Australia to consider Environment and Health.

Whether the concern be the Pulp Mill in Tassie; the glamour, money driven ideas of developers,; the greed and self interest of lobby groups; the m,ost unwise introduction of GM crops; or for us here, the health of the Bay, the same core issues arise:

How do we en masse – grasp the opportunity to think carefully and wisely about mankind’s rampant destruction of what is irreplacable?

What can we do in a society that is still only superficially democratic when money and power are at stake?

I ask these questions sincerely – I do not know the answers.

I have some concerns with the poisoning of the Bay that are not even raised in debates or environmental plans:

1. Sea mists: These come and go through all seasons. If most of the carcinogenic and poisonous elements actually become more powerful when smaller particles, then these (like mercury and DDT) will become part of the ‘fresh air’ which is one of the Bay’s marvellous gifts as a huge carbon and regenerative sink. 

2. Earth changes: We are blessed (so far) by not worrying too much about tectonic plate shifts here in Southern Victoria. We are bombarded by storms, King Tides and the churning of the Bay and ‘unseasonable’ weather. Predicatability of the planetary state and previously reliable patterns and behaviour is becoming an intuitive art. Science is based on ‘what is known’ and we are entering a period (how long?) of more of the ‘unknown’.

3. Selective expertise: People hear so many different ‘expert’ opinions and advice that they resort easily to a parental/child relationship and prefer to trust the Government and Corporate worlds rather than think for themselves. In this, the ‘blind eye’ is created and  normal senses: sight, smell, touch, feeling and hearing are muted.

4. Trust: I have lived in Melbourne all of 50 + years and throughout those decades, the Port of Melbourne has not been renowned for its fairness, transparency, honesty and integrity. This concerns me deeply. To discover now, the extent to which the MCC and the State Governments (and until recently – the Bayside Councils) have been happily complicit in an arrangement involving the health and welfare of an entire Bay and marine sanctuary – with the POMc – is disturbing. That this arrangement will be long term (20 years) and is already explicitly unco-operative and disrespectful of many enterprises, people and nature – is betrayal. It betrays us now: the Bay, the marine world, the lovers of this seaside lifestyle and the future generations of Melbourne.

There are so many good ideas out there: the recent SBS Insight program revealed in both its program and the letters on the site following the broadcast, that there is much we can do – now. All it takes is will and a shared vision.

Australia is a young nation – we must accept that we have much to do and that we will not be settled as a nation and and a cultural lifestyle until we adapt harmoniously to the environment and climate of this land. Wherever I have travelled overseas – this one factor is evident: the climate and environment determines the peoples, cultures and human creations. If we destroy the nature and land that nurtures and feeds us, then we must start again … and again … and again.

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Labyrinths and blind spots.

Posted in Latest News

Day whatever in court:

“Justice North said today it appeared from material before court that the likelihood of the spills occurring was about a million to one.”  The Age today.

With respect, I am not sure what planet Justice North is residing on or what part of the city he abides within. Here, in Rye, we know the chances of a King Tide over winter when the toxic dumped muck is ‘settling’ are far greater than ‘ a million to one’.

It seems that the POMc has everyone fooled. They have used OCEAN methodologies to plan for the containment of toxic waste in a BAY:

 “The Queen of the Netherlands is due to start excavation of the contaminated Williamstown Channel clay today, to use in the construction of the unlicensed toxic waste dump off Mordialloc.

Ironic isn’t it that contaminated clay can be used to construct a containment facility for the more highly contaminated sludge from the Yarra. The trick is that the PoMC has used National Ocean Disposal Guidelines (NODG) to classify the contaminated Williamstown channel clay as “suitable for unconfined disposal”. 

Of course the Bay is not the ocean, and does not behave like the ocean – but that hasn’t stopped the PoMC getting away with using NODG guidelines to justify its poisonous plan for the Bay. We need to stop them getting away with it otherwise we risk the long term health of the Bay and those who rely on it!”


 Clear thinking indicates (for me anyway) that what we have perceived and evaluated as ‘adequate’ until now in terms of environmental care – is plainly insufficient – simply, not good enough! It all sounds like – ‘It’s what we’ve always done!’ as a reason to keep doing what is now considered quite unsatisfactory. Pffft! What really astounds me with these arguments is:  that it is perceived as okay to dump toxic stuff in the ocean anyway! Did these people learn to clean up after themselves as kids?

It is all becoming very tiring and the arrogance and bull headedness of the POMc is so childish and egoccentric.  Is the input of people in the know – valuable and respected enough to be considered? What interests are driving this project?  

It is all happening down Brighton way now: the owners of the beach huts, the users of the Middle Brighton Baths and the members of the Brighton Yacht Club do not seem to be concerned about the toxic dump being constructed along their beach. Further down the Bay around Mordialloc – will the drinkers and diners at Doyles be happy with it all? Will St. Bede’s Mentone, be ruffled?

As someone once said,  (cannot remember who):

“I’d rather be seen as an over-sensitive fool than an arrogant idiot.”

Maybe it IS all about perception and choice.

I do hope our concern is ‘over the top’. This is one time when we certainly do not want to see that ‘one-in-a-million’ chance of a King Tide during the ‘settling period’ of 140 days of uncovered stinking sludge.

To think – this will continue on now until 2030. The POMc (as well as MP Garrett and Justice North) must have tremendous faith in the weather and climate predictability.

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