Preserve Western Port Action Group
2014 in review- Jeff Nottle
From the outset the PWP action group ran very hard and fast in developing and implementing a diverse campaign that engaged with the community and key stakeholders in the lead up to the State election in November 2014.
So what did the group do?
Following the PICS public forum on the Port of Hastings plan on 22 March 2014 a group of enthusiastic people met on 24 March for the initial meeting of the proposed Action Group.
Office bearers were elected and the Mission Statement resolved:
To save Western Port today. For tomorrow.
By providing information, communication and support to Phillip Island and other Western Port communities on the threat posed by the proposed expansion of the Port of Hastings.
Key initiatives over the next months by PWP included:
- Discussing and agreeing the PWP logo;
- Designing and local printing of PWP T shirts;
- Creating wildlife postcards and address stickers to be sent to politicians;
- Developing displays and information for mobile PWP community information stalls;
- PWP volunteer’s manning community information stalls designed to inform the community on what the Coalition were planning for Westernport;
- Making formal contact with the Westernport & Peninsula Protection council (WPPC) and the Victorian National Parks Association (VNPA) as well as Blue Wedges;
- Contacting lawyers at Environmental Defenders office now known as Environmental Justice Australia;
- Launching the first step in the PWP public campaign on 14 April with Ministers Hodgett & Smith at Rhyll. Letters were provided to the Ministers with the local media present;
- Meeting with the newly appointed CEO of the Bass Coast Shire Council to further develop the working relationship with Council;
- Holding a PWP strategic planning day to discuss key campaign issues including implementing a temporary reporting structure.of various working groups to handle events, merchandise, communications, logistical issues and research;
- Preparing and lodging a submission to Bass Coast Shire Council with regards to C82 requesting that Council seek from the Port of Hastings Development Authority details of their hydrological modelling that would show the further coastal erosion and inundation that would occur following their proposed dredging of Westernport.
- PWP and the VNPA approached Professor Costanza of the ANU to hold a workshop on Phillip Island to identify plausible alternatives for the future of Westernport.
- Preparing and lodging a PWP submission with Bass Coast Shire Council to assist with funding the project Council subsequently approved the funding.
PWP Media Release 1.28 May 2014 “Study into the Impact of the Proposed Port Extension Approved”
Organised a tour by boat of northern Westernport including Hastings on Sunday 25 May 2014. The tour had over 50 people from various groups.
PWP Media Release 2. 29 May 2014 “Western Port communities unite against the planned devastation of the bay.”
PWP Media Release 3. 31 May 2014 “”\Planning for a Port in the State of Contradictions!” The Minister for Ports Mr David Hodgett today drove a nail into the coffin of Western Port as we know it. The Minister for Ports has just announced that the project is declared under Major Transport Projects Facilitation Act 2009
PWP Media Release 4 8 June 2014 PROPOSED INTERNATIONAL CONTAINER PORT TO WRECK WESTERN PORT“Western Port as a favourite fishing, boating and water sport haven will be torpedoed and sunk by Mr Napthine’s Port expansion,”
Meeting with key fishing industry representatives on 13 June at the Melbourne Boat Show;
Preparing a fishing impact brochure for wide distribution;
Working with men’s shed volunteers produced 70 brochure holders to stand on retail counters to display and dispense PWP flyers;
Launched a dedicated PWP web site;
Presenting to a Council policy meeting on 2 July together with the Victorian National Parks Association on the coalitions proposal;
Attending a Victoria University supply chain institute presentation at Point Cook;
Photographing whales in Westernport to use for publicity and to establish impact of drilling by Port Authority;
PWP Joint Media Release 5: 14 July with Environmental Justice Australia “ Western Port residents demand answers from Greg Hunt on whales”.
Commencing discussions on developing a partnership with Sea Shepherd
Working with PWP lawyers in sending a letter to Greg Hunt regarding impacts of PODHA marine geotechnical surveys on whales in Western Port;
Hosting the Professor Costanza Scenario planning for Westernport workshop 28/7 – 1/8. The workshop was attended by 75 people from 40 different organisation and included academics, key regional decision makers, business people, local councillors and community groups.
PICS held a scenario planning welcome dinner held on 29 July at St Phillips.
The PWP Art Show opened on 27 July with 65 works of art for sale.Local artists generously donated the proceeds of the Art Show to PWP;
The Art show was regarded by many as the most successful held on Phillip Island with sales of $9,100 and a contribution to PWP of $4,815.
PWP Media Release 6: 1 August; “Shared visions emerge from Westernport Scenario Planning Workshop.”
Attending the C82 Planning Panel Directions Hearing;
Attending and speaking at the Destination Phillip Island Tourism Conference;
Speaking with Deakin University at an environmental studies workshop;
Attending a Victoria University supply chain institute forum on container terminal land side logistics in Melbourne;
Researching and lodging a submission to Council on the Council’s draft Port of Hastings policy position:
Creating a trifold flyer and had 3,000 copies printed.
Launching a PWP Discussion Paper & Web based discussion forum on 19 September;
Printing coffee table quality copies of the PWP Discussion Paper and sending it to key politicians, Councillor and other key stakeholders;
Being interviewed about the PWP Discussion Paper on John Fayne 774 show and 3RRR Radio Marinara show;
PWP Joint Media Release 7 with 6 other NGO’s released on Sept 16th regarding the Ramsar Secretariat- presentation in Switzerland by WPPC.
Staging a “Save the Bay Picnic Day” on Sept.21st on the Cowes foreshore. Over 600 people attended including representatives of PWP manning stalls, Sea Shepherd and Cowes Yacht Club. Free live music and entertainment provided to the community.
Presenting to Newhaven College students;
Holding a community forum at St Phillips on 25 October entitled: “The Port that makes no Sense (or Cent$). The forum was standing room only with around 120 attendees that included media, politicians and the general community;Presenters at the forum included PWP, Dr Hermonie Parsons ( Supply Chain Institute), Chris Smyth ( Scenario Planning)
Making a formal presentation to the C82 Planning Panel hearing;
PWP Media Release 8 12 October. Port of Hastings Information Shutdown Scuttles Planning Panels Victoria C82 Hearing
Being interviewed by ABC Gippsland;
Maintaining a presence at the Cup Weekend- Cowes Art Show and PICAL Open day;
Manning the PWP community information stall at the Pt Leo Surf Carnival;
MAV ANNUAL CONFERENCE the BCSC motion calling for an independent study of the POH issue adopted by the MAV with 88% support!
Designing and erecting 4 large road side signs to encourage people to vote for a candidate that opposes the Port of Hastings.
Launched the Sea Shepherd social media messages in support of PWP;
Designing and taking out full page PWP newspaper advertisements in the Sentinel Times and Western Port News;
Attending the Greens and Western Port Warrior Women event in Hastings on 16 November;
Being interview on WIN Television on the Port expansion proposal;
Participating with PICS in the parade at the Shearwater Festival- Nov. 22-23
Brief Financials (APPROX)
Donations Individuals-sponsors $7400
Donations web/facebook $1790
Donations Artists $4.815
Donations and sales, street stalls etc $8,500
Picnic Day $3,800
Office sundries/equipment $1,900
- PWP manned their community information stall at 14 community events;
- PWP distributed 4,000 general leaflets including leaflets being available at 30 businesses.
- PWP distributed over 2,000 fishing specific leaflets and spoke to an estimated 1000 fishing & boating people.
- Over 600 people attended the PWP Picnic Day, 120 at the community forum
- PWP Facebook following of more than 600 people
- Retweets of PWP media releases topped 50,000
- PWP have approx 250 Interested Persons who receive updates.
- PWP issued 11 Media Releases via a data base to over 40 media outlets.
- PWP issued 3 Joint Media Releases with other key organisations
- PWP Discussion Paper sent by email to over 400 recipients.
- PWP were interviewed eight times by radio and television.
Political Results- November State Election
19.9% of voters in Bass voted for a candidate that opposed the Port of Hastings ( Clare Le serve & Greens)
In Cowes the ALP received more 2 candidate preferred votes than Liberal