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Nepean Bay Bar update


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Presentation to Melbourne Emergence Meetup December 2017 adding detail to original presentation made in February. Slide text served as prompts to deeper discussion. Two slides added at end for context that wasn't needed for live audience.

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Nepean Bay Bar update

  1. 1. Tony Smith Melbourne Emergence Meetup 14 December 2017 Nepean Bay Bar Update
  2. 2. Priorities this evening? • Preparations Pretending to be Policies and Politics • Pristine Port Phillip Mythology and Bromance • Precarious State of Pretentious Freight State • Projections and Uncertainties of Sea Level Rise • Providing Capacity to and beyond Drysdale and Baxter • Practicalities from Arden-Macaulay to Westernport
  3. 3. Contacts with DELWP point to studies being done in Geelong
  4. 4. Failure of policy and politics to comprehend likely trajectory of sea level rise Lesson from Narooma: Erosion and Deposition processes do not respect human-defined shorelines
  5. 5. • Submitted SlideShare link to our February presentation with notes to Draft Port Phillip Bay Environmental Management Plan 2017-2027 process and received encouraging response confirming Dan Ierodiaconou’s involvement • Late April dropped in at Moolap Coastal Strategic Framework session which added introduction to OurCoast Bellarine-Corio Bay process that references considerable technical work including Neville Rosengren and Great Sands • Found another interested DELWP person at Transport Camp in October and copied them the information • As yet nobody is chasing us for more, seeming to be acting as though their job is to apply romantically coloured bandaids
  6. 6. • The 0.8 metres by 2100 furphy refuses to die in politically mandated assumptions, even when it is admitted that it was from another millennium and should be treated as a minimum • More interesting is 0.2 metres by 2040, maybe not enough to scare the cats unless they see where it must go from there • No end of details of both historic rates and current risk areas continue to be identified by those not buying denialist line • The deep problem that political determinations can’t cope with is that no matter what the date and what the depth, sea level will still be rising and most likely still accelerating because of components that are already locked into the system, so there is no point planing for just those mandated levels
  7. 7. Need to challenge romantic delusion about pristine Port Phillip, natural fixations Variety of bird species exploit permanent high flow litter trap on Moonee Ponds Creek below Racecourse Road
  8. 8. • Port Phillip refilled only 1,000 years ago and so is still young in ecological terms and anything but a pristine environment • Viewed in the light of historic records of the marine invasion of Zuiderzee and charts from early British explorers, shallow erosion of Nepean Bay Bar has likely been a gradual process • Since the unauthorised invasion by Post Phillip Association from Tasmania in 1835, the bay floor has been trashed 3 ways • dredging oyster and mussel reefs to make lime for concrete • dredging shipping channels • dredging for scallops • together leaving a trashed bottom unseen by surface admirers
  9. 9. • Similarly, the most committed of environmentalists can form attachments to their images of pristine conditions somehow immune from the passage of time • The reality is that most life forms adapt to change so long as there continues to be somewhere and somehow for them to, but on a different timetable to news, politics and profit reports • Werribee Sewage Treatment Farm is the state’s most significant bird site. Trin Warren Tam-boore wetland tops species counts. Both are in areas which have historically been bird habitat, but both are much modified, yet still found • Many species seem comfortable in areas that offend human aesthetics, maybe because humans mostly keep away
  10. 10. Increasing evidence it was and is not smart to aspire to be THE Freight State Circuitous Webb Dock freight line adjacent Lorimer Street, opened 1986, ceased operation 1992, closed 1996
  11. 11. • The 2008 round of channel deepening remains contested by those who opposed it. Is it that, the to date minor sea level rise or a combination that is accelerating bayside erosion? • Containers are transported “around the equator” on very deep draft vessels then transferred, in Australia’s case, in Singapore to more moderate draft vessels which typically visit all five mainland capitals’ ports, so the depths have needed to be consistent between the five with no incentive to go deeper • Victoria remains a battleground between standard gauge and broad gauge rail with ports often using dual gauge at the end • Current locations of logistics hubs, container storage and ports are mostly poor candidates for freight rail separation
  12. 12. • It may not be very wise to make projections extrapolating business/growth as usual deep into the future • As even WWII fades from living memory it may be useful to reflect on the recency of many underpinnings of modern life • While blatant vested interests obstruct recognition of resource constraints and unintended consequences of technologies, “finite planet” is more than a truism • Concurrent knowledge explosion shows interconnectedness of living systems, encouraging attempts at moderation • Before the globalised world starts to spiral out of control, should Australia reduce its dependence and become an ark?
  13. 13. Continuing updates to projections for climate change and sea level, reality at high end Last day of November heat draws late afternoon crowd to Port Noarlunga Jetty
  14. 14. • Despite the noise of the anti-science crowd on their scientific devices and the desperation of declining media to boost any hint of controversy, climate science still tackles hard questions • Taking the planetary temperature is not like taking the local temperature, but we are identifying variations in circulation patterns which have predictable impacts on best estimates • If we could account for all sinks and sources, any composite measure of global thermal energy would be rising year on year • Challenge to find measure to quickly detect going off curve • Various feedback loops have triggered or are threatening to, but as yet we are mostly seeing signs, not inescapable signals
  15. 15. • Scientists are ever more accurately identifying signals from geological records of sea level and associated causal factors • Other scientists are identifying destabilisation risks for all three major ice sheets: Greenland, East and West Antarctica • Never enough scientists are studying the interacting roles of fresh water, soils, forests, agriculture, urbanisation, life itself • In the process they are finding that aridity from Australia to the Sahara may follow early blossomings of human agriculture • Measures of recent sea level rise are still too small and multi factorial to give a lot of confidence as to where we are on the curve, but once we do, we know turning back won’t get easier
  16. 16. Challenges for transport network evolution to service barrier from both ends Six tracks at Geelong Station are pointed into single track 1876 tunnel too low to take full height container freight
  17. 17. GeelongEasternBypass Indicative Nepean Bay Bar ApproachFormer Drysdale Queenscliff Railway Skyrail Breakwater-Drysdale avoids level crossings and Moolap Lowland inundation Geelong Eastern Bypass via Point Henry will distribute Melbourne metropolitan traffic Most of route Drysdale-St Leonards is above 20 metre contour so should be less hurried Identifying route across Nepean Bay Bar ahead of significant sea level rise is critical Construction of foundations to most of that route may reduce tides and erosion in north Locks should enable operation of Webb and Swanston Docks while project completed
  18. 18. Mornington Peninsula Freeway ReservationDundasStreet CanteburyJettyRoad Bay South Floating Port Drawing acceptable line in the sand hills will be a big challenge for local community Need an impervious wall as foundation for at least 20 metre elevated transport routes Can’t try to be prescriptive at this stage, just set out constraints and essential components Route from beyond Boneo Road to Baxter has been thoroughly canvassed by Rob Whitehill His Peninsula Rail Plan is primarily passenger so East-West-Port freight needs to be added Assume Baxter-Dandenong and more will be needed to distribute metropolitan traffic
  19. 19. Sorrento • Zone: 4 • Platforms: 2 • Staff level: Staffed full-time • Melway Ref: 156 K7 Although it was once thought impossible to run rail beyond Rye station, the recent controversy over the Skyrail project between Caulfield and Dandenong stations has revealed the possibility of running elevated rail beyond Rye, to Sorrento. The line would run along the reserve for the Mornington Peninsula Freeway extension, and then alongside Melbourne Road, elevated for its entire length except for parts of the freeway extension reserve where the line would run along the ground, and when it crosses Melbourne Road opposite Tarakan Street, where it would go under the road in order to maintain level track. Sorrento station itself would be located above Ocean Beach Road, just a short walk away from existing carparks, which would be connected to the station by a ramp. 19 October 7, 2016
  20. 20. Closer look at particularly vulnerable locations from Macaulay to Westernport Accessible sea level monitoring where Moonee Ponds Creek flows into tidal Railway Canal outside Macaulay Station
  21. 21. Areas within Land Subject to Inundation Overlay are prime development targets Focus remains on floods coming downstream but adjacent tidal streams sea level the issue Concerned about vulnerability of major infrastructure proposed for Arden-Macaulay, City of Melbourne enlisted Melbourne Water Expert witness to West Gate Tunnel Inquiry and Assessment Committee showed much wider vulnerability across the flood plains Healthy Waterways Catchment Collaborations for Moonee Ponds Creek and Maribyrnong West Melbourne Lagoon abused by industry but can strike back hard with sea level rise
  22. 22. Wider closure of Westernport not practical but large area at risk from north arm alone Significant tidal channel wraps northwest corner of French Island with smaller one between northeast corner and mainland If these channels are closed an impervious foundation could link highlands via Island Try to preserve Island’s ecological isolation Port Phillip and Westernport catchments are separated with a low point above 25 metres elevation near Pound Road, Clyde North Establishing impervious foundations that can be raised to 20 metre elevation offers medium term confidence in greater Melbourne region
  23. 23. • Making progress will require slaughtering sacred cows • Marine and Coastal Act submission October 2016 • Email today re 2nd reading yesterday; but not others • Mud Islands tour operator shut up shop December 9 • Adding 2 slides used in Kororoit Institute presentation re West Gate Tunnel Environmental Effects Statement Questions?
  24. 24. Holdgate et al 2011
  25. 25. St. Leonards East Sorrento