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Greens call for delay to Fremantle Port dredging

Greens MP Adele Carles has called for dredging at the Fremantle port to be delayed until next April following revelations that toxic material could affect beaches along the Perth coast when dredging begins next January. “I am very concerned about the impact on beach users and call on the Port to delay works so that these negative impacts are not experienced during the hot Summer months” says Ms Carles.

It has been claimed that up to a million cubic metres of dredged material from Fremantle Harbour could create a sediment plume affecting a large area along the Western Australian coast.

Ms Carles said while she gives cautious support for the expansion plan for Fremantle Harbour, she is very concerned about the potential negative environmental impact that this $250 million dredging operation could create.

The Fremantle MLA says while the Environmental Protection Authority has recommended that the project go ahead, it has also warned that the marine environment will be damaged and that there are serious risks to water quality and beaches if the project is not constantly monitored.

“We have to place our faith in the same WA regulators who have failed spectacularly in recent years (Esperance, Port Coogee and South Beach) – so I am skeptical about whether the promises made on paper will actually be kept. The EPA admits that samples of sediments to be dredged showed Tributyltin (TBT) mercury, pesticides, organochlorides and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH’s) well above the National Ocean Disposal Guidelines for Dredged Material (NODGDM).”

“Port Beach, Leighton and Cottesloe are directly in the firing line of a plume from the dredging” the Member for Fremantle says.

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