Theage.com.au reports that Victoria’s diving industry has told the Port ofMelbourne Corporation (PoMC) it will be sent broke by a $1 billionchannel-deepening project.
Divingindustry representatives were due to meet with the port operator on Tuesday butdescribed the regular consultation meetings as a waste of time.
Len Salter,founder of the state’s biggest dive company, Dive Victoria Group, said unlessfair compensation was paid to the $60 million a year industry, most operatorswould go broke.
The Queen ofthe Netherlands dredger is currently permitted to gouge up to one million cubicmetres of silt and sand in the south channel near Rosebud under a Federal Courtorder.
Anti-dredgingcampaigners are still trying to stop the project, and the port company will goback to court on February 20 to hear whether it can dredge a further 22 millioncubic metres of silt.
Opponentsargue the dredging would engulf the bay in a massive and dangerous toxic plume.
Dredgingprojects in the United Arab Emirates have had similar affects on marineenvironments however projects continue in spite of indications from the divingindustry on loss of dive sites, visibility and warnings from coastal engineersabout the continued erosion of Dubai’s beaches and extensive damage to themarine environment after a decade of development. Spawninggrounds for marine species, siltation and coastal erosion which causes turbidwaters and the loss of mangroves has been caused by dredging.