Sea Red – Rally against channel deepening – 22 February

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:

Overview of protest towards end of proceedings

– ending in the presentation of a petition of more than 20,000 signatures calling for the project to be abandoned:

Petition stretching from top of steps down to street

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:

Enormous model of Weedy Sea Dragon

– also presented by one of the speakers in life-size:

Life-size cut-out Weedy Sea Dragon

Specimens of the toxic sludge that is to be distributed throughout the bay were bottled for delivery to members of the parliament:

Mixing up the toxic sludge

– and the rally heard an expert account of the delightful cocktail involved – lead, DDT, toxic algae blooms to name just a few.

Chalked message on footpath - no nuclear warships in the bay

Another good reason for not deepening the channel … though none of the speakers mentioned it

(The campaign website – http://www.bluewedges.org – is unfortunately no longer available.)

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