White elephant en route to Victorian Parliament

Ziggy, the white elephant balloon mascot for the Save Bastion Point campaign, is en route from Mallacoota to Victoria's Parliament House to head up a rally on the steps of the House tomorrow.

The four by six metre white elephant mascot will lead a rally to bring attention to what protestors describe as the ‘weak Coastal Management Act’ that is enabling a ‘white elephant’ of an upgrade to boat launching facilities at Bastion Point.

Under the spotlight is East Gippsland Shire Council’s intention to build a double boat launching ramp, 130 metre breakwall and approach road along the beach 150 metres southeast of the existing site, known as Option 3b.

The council meets next week to consider tenders to start construction but rally organiser

Jenny Mason from the Save Bastion Point Campaign says it isn’t too late to stop Option 3b from proceeding.

“We’re trying to put pressure on the government as well as trying to broaden the debate. This isn’t just about Bastion Point. If the Coastal Management Act is so weak to allow a development like this then no one is safe,” Ms Mason said this afternoon.

“It’s not an economically responsive development to be undertaken. We are trying to put the spotlight on this very bad decision.

“It’s not too late to stop it. It’s never too late until it happens.”

In 2012 a government project group examined a number of different designs for ocean access at Bastion Point and advised that a less costly, less environmentally damaging alternative to Option 3b was possible.

However East Gippsland Shire Council applied for Coastal Management Act consent to build Option 3b, and in January 2013, the Minister for Environment gave this consent. The East Gippsland Shire Council is currently proceeding with the tender stage.

Greens MP Sue Pennicuik will read a motion in the Victorian upper house this afternoon also expressing concern over the decision.

That motion reads:

589

MS PENNICUIK

— To move —

That this House expresses its concern that t

he Minister for Environment and Climate Change has granted coastal consent for the construction of a boat ramp at Bastion Point, Mallacoota, known as "Option 3B" despite —

(1)     the Gippsland Coastal Board opposing it;

(2)     87 per cent of submissions to the 2007 Inquiry EES opposing it;

(3)     the October 2008 Independent Panel Report on the Ocean Access Boat Ramp, Bastion Point Mallacoota, recommending that a minor improvement to the existing boat ramp is as much as should be done at Bastion Point; and

(4)     the Department of Sustainability and Environment and Department of Transport recommending an alternative option H2.

[Notice given on 30 May 2013 — Listed for 4 days].

[Notice given on 30 May 2013 — Listed for 4 days].

[Notice given on 30 May 2013 — Listed for 4 days].

[Notice given on 30 May 2013 — Listed for 4 days].

[Notice given on 30 May 2013 — Listed for 4 days].

[Notice given on 30 May 2013 — Listed for 4 days].

[Notice given on 30 May 2013 — Listed for 4 days].

Protestors from Mallacoota will be at the rally, supported by supporters from Melbourne and from the Victorian National Parks Association.

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