State Parliament was due to debate today the so-called Channel Deepening Facilitation Bill. The occasion was marked by a colourful gathering of about 120 opponents on steps of Parliament House:
– ending in the presentation of a petition of more than 20,000 signatures calling for the project to be abandoned:
Right at the start MC Rod Quantock announced that the Bill was not in fact to be tabled at this time, but the protest obviously went ahead all the same.
Today’s rally was a follow-up to the action on last Sunday week at the Westgate Bridge. This time the call had gone out to ‘Wear Red, Carry Red, See Red’, and many had heeded it, but the list of speakers, including Victorian Liberal Phil Honeywood and a message of support from Peter Ryan, was a warning not to jump to conclusions at the sight of the Parliament steps festooned with red.
A backdrop to the speakers was a magnificent Weedy Sea Dragon, one of the likely victims of the dredging:
– also presented by one of the speakers in life-size:
Specimens of the toxic sludge that is to be distributed throughout the bay were bottled for delivery to members of the parliament:
– and the rally heard an expert account of the delightful cocktail involved – lead, DDT, toxic algae blooms to name just a few.
(The campaign website – http://www.bluewedges.org – is unfortunately no longer available.)