Here’s an update from Port of Hastings Development Authority in response to Lisa Schonberg (Citizen Scientist, Whale Watcher & PICS Committee Member) asking what was happening about environmental monitoring in Western Port in preparation for development of the container port.
Interesting that they don’t mention the Phillip Island Nature Park (which has its own Board and manages over 20% of Phillip Island reserves independent of Dept of Environment and Primary Industries, but is still under them), but they do mention they will involve citizen scientists such as Lisa.
Hello Lisa and Happy New Year.
Thank you for the information on recent whale observations in Western Port.
To clarify where we are at in the program – The Authority is currently in the process of procuring lead specialist consultants to deliver major works packages over the next three to four years of feasibility planning for container expansion at the Port of Hastings. This will involve selecting environmental specialists to coordinate and deliver environmental effects studies in Western Port, including marine mammals & dolphins amongst many others. Following anticipated selection of lead consultants in March/April, we expect detailed studies to begin later this year.
The first task for all studies will be detailed collection of historical and current data. Where possible, we will be facilitating this data collection process through contacts within the local community (such as yourself) and contact with local agencies, including Department of Environment and Primary Industries and Parks Victoria.
There is currently marine geotechnical surveys being undertaken which are collecting soil and rock samples of the seabed. This is primarily to inform preliminary engineering design work.
Updates are sent through our stakeholder database, but I will double check to see that your contact details are listed.
Executive Manager, Community Engagement & Stakeholder Relations
2/34 High St Hastings Victoria 3915 (PO Box 129 Hastings Victoria 3915)
P + 61 3 5979 5517 | F +61 3 5979 5555| M + 61 (0)402 342 946