Friday, May 22, 2015

Point Henry needs a clean-up

from w
Here's a story from the Geelong Advertiser about an assessment of Alcoa at Point Henry.

EPA orders Alcoa to start cleaning up the toxic cocktail at Point Henry

·         GREG DUNDAS
·         APRIL 02, 2015 11:11AM

Alcoa has been ordered to clean up its Point Henry site.
A TOXIC cocktail of contam­inants has polluted Alcoa’s Point Henry site, spoiling the water and leaving the company with an enormous clean-up job. The Environment Protection Authority issued the company with a clean-up notice yesterday, detailing the toll of 54 years of aluminium production on the site. The potential contaminants it identified included aluminium, aluminium fluoride, cyanide, carbon, polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons, spent pot-liner, salt dross, sewage and industrial waste.
The EPA found the company had breached its act because water at Point Henry, including groundwater, was so polluted it was “detrimental to any beneficial use”.It said the groundwater was tainted by iron and nitrate and was contaminated by non-aqueous phase hydrocarbon and chlorinated hydrocarbon.
To start remedying the situation, Alcoa has been given 21 months to complete an envir­onmental site assessment that determines the extent of contamination in soil and groundwater at Point Henry.It also must plan and manage the clean-up of any contamination it finds in that time that is judged to pose “an unacceptable risk to the environment”, and support the EPA in an audit of the 700ha site.
That audit will form the basis of a more detailed plan to clean up Point Henry. While Alcoa could be fined up to $350,000 if it breached the order, company spokesman Brian Doy said the resources giant was “comfortable” with the EPA’s requirements. “It’s part of the process (of decommissioning the plant), and we’ll continue to work through that,” he said. “We understand there is still lots of work to be done.”
The EPA began formal talks with Alcoa about remediation plans for Point Henry midway through last year after the company closed its smelter and prepared for the December closure of the rolling mill. EPA chief Nial Finegan said Alcoa would be required to provide quarterly updates on the progress of the clean-up.“The clean-up process will take time and needs to be ­thorough and well planned so the site can provide important environmental and community benefits for the region into the future,” Mr Finegan said.“EPA will work with Alcoa, through the use of its regulatory tools, to ensure Alcoa is held to account and that the clean-up is completed in a timely manner.”
State Environment Minister and Bellarine MP Lisa ­Neville welcomed the release of the clean-up order.
“The EPA has developed a strong relationship with Alcoa and together will make sure the site is rehabilitated appropriately,” she said.

Geelong Environment Council president Joan ­Lindross, a community adviser to Alcoa on the clean-up, said it was unknown how much damage had been done at Point Henry since Alcoa’s arrival in 1960.“The Geelong Environment Council is really keen to look at all the details because there are certainly concerns within the community about Point Henry,” she said. “There is a lot of buried waste on that site, and there is a concern that pollution has been and will continue to go into Corio Bay.”

Landscape Architecture Student Prize

26 March 2015

The Landscape Student Prize is an exciting new award program offered by Landscape Architecture Australia and the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects to recognize outstanding student work. Every student graduating from an AILA-accredited Australian landscape architecture program in 2014 was considered for the prize, and one winner from each of the schools was selected by their program during end-of-year presentations.
Congratulations to Tang Bryan Shen Siong who is the 2014 Deakin School of Architecture and Built Environment prize winner for his project The Metamorphosis of Point Henry, Jillong.
The Metamorphosis of Point Henry, Jillong seeks to transform an abandoned and polluted site into a healthy and recreational environment, conserving this spectacular site's historic and cultural meaning to reflect its layers, but also Geelong's cultural evolution to prompt future thinking.
Point Henry is a Geelong landmark embodying both Wathaurong country and colonial settlement, and epitomizes a landscape transformation from maritime and economic to post-industrial, while hosting vibrant recreational and bird watching activities. Recently redundant as the site of an aluminium smelter, Point Henry needs a radical juxtaposition of design ideas for a new vision.
This design draws inspiration from the flight of Bunjil – an Aboriginal mythological creator deity – over Corio Bay. Bunjil's wings "hugging" and "protecting" the landscape are seen in a wing-cell structure offering a "respiratree" (respiratory + vegetation) framework to both heal and enable flight.
·         DANNY LANNEN
·         JANUARY 25, 2015 10:32AM

Critical decisions need to be made over the long-term use of the former Alcoa site.
A CRUISE ship port, a Deakin Univeristy campus or a new residential estate are just some of the possibilities for Alcoa’s prime Point Henry site, according to Environment Minister Lisa Nev­ille.The Member for Bellarine stressed this week Geelong faced critical decisions determining long-term use of the land once rehabilitation is complete.“It’s going to be a really critical decision for the community to get this right,” Ms Neville said.“This massive site, north facing bay, near the beach, something that is in line of sight as you come into Geel­ong, what is it that’s the right thing to do there? We know it‘s a deep water port there, it’s got a pier, should we utilise that or should we be looking at residential. What I’m encouraging in government at the moment and having discussions on at the moment is to look at doing a whole-of-government process over that whole area of that land, working with the community about what’s going to deliver the best outcomes for our region because we’ve got to get this right.”
Alcoa and the Environment Protection Authority are continuing negotiations on requirements for clean-up of the site after the closure of the smelter and rolling mill last year.
A timeline for work has not yet been established but EPA chief executive Nial Finegan said the authority was reviewing Alcoa’s draft clean-up plan.“The plan is required to detail the various actions to clean up waste and contam­inated soil, sediment, surface water and groundwater from the premises,” Mr Finegan said. “Alcoa has now submitted comments on the draft notice issued to it by EPA, as is standard practice. EPA will now review these and clarify the final notice requirements. It is anticipated the final notice will be issued in late February.”
He stressed the clean-up needed to be thorough, staged and well-planned. “The EPA will work with Alcoa through the use of its regulatory tools, requiring the clean-up to be completed in a timely and thorough manner,” he said.
Alcoa asset planning and management director John Osborne said a project team would work closely with the EPA in accord with environment protection laws.

“While some minor activities have been undertaken to date, detailed planning is now underway for the full-scale decomm­issioning process which is expected to commence in the near future,” Mr Osborne said. “This will include recovering and selling scrap mater­ials from inside the smelter and rolling mill and removing and recycling equipment.” Mr Osborne said that given the complexity of the project, “we are still developing timelines”.

Monday, May 18, 2015

At Point Henry

from w
I can imagine how this Point would look if Alcoa was totally removed and the landscape was filled with fine houses and parks. The sea is beautiful but never became a popular seaside picnic place apart from a good place to give a dog a run or to go fishing. Now Alcoa aluminium plant has closed down I wonder what will happen next. We wanted some sunshine and Vitamin D so drove there yesterday for half an hour and made some sketches and took a few photos. Apart from Eastern Beach, Point Henry is our nearest beach. The Youyangs is visible in the distance of course.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Sketches of Mt Buninyong

from w
Here are some variations of sketches I made of Mt Buninyong, which is just east of the town of Buninyong. I used pen, felt-pen, paint in the original, and then made others using  Epsom Scanner and Picasa.

Trip to Buninyong

from w
Yesterday the weather forecast was for storms, hail, thunder, even snow in the mountains, but we were optimistic and set off to attend a funeral of a former colleague of Peceli,  the Rev Alex Hodgson. The sun shone nearly all the way. Buninyong is an hour away, before reaching Ballarat and the beautiful countryside included a mountain. It was the first inland town proclaimed in Victoria and where gold was first discovered in the area leading to the huge Gold Rush in the 1850s. Then they expected the town to boom so large buildings were constructed, the Town Hall, and fine churches. However prosperity ended and the town reverted to a pastoral settlement with about 3000 people.

Rev Alex Hodgson was at St Andrews Uniting Church in the 80s, the time when Ormond Rd (where Peceli was the minister) and St Andrews were a joint parish, so we came to know, love and respect Alex and his wife Bernice and used to meet them every Friday morning, and also the ministers swapped pulpits at times. The funeral was a fine tribute to a gentle man with a large heart and even a radical sense of compassion for all kinds of people. The music was a celebration - with a group of musicians leading the loudest congregational singing I have ever heard at a funeral. Drums, keyboard, guitar and singers with microphones. No 'Abide with me'.  No 'Amazing Grace', but 'Let us sing to the God of salvation', 'I the Lord of Sea and Sky' ;and 'Because He lives'. The music used with the photographs of the life of Alex included a song by the Seekers and 'Wonderful world.'

Also it was good to see a very old style church full of people and the garden included a Labyrinth which is a beautiful way to use their land.

Monday, May 04, 2015

Geelong to Colac road

from w
We drove from Geelong to Colac and further recently and what a mess it is in Winchelsea - even before the bridges all the way to the outskirts of the town - dug up. And also there are still areas before Winchelsea that are in the process of widening. It will take years.  Even two years ago they were widening the road. Is it really so necessary!
Today's Addie:

Work begins on Princes Highway duplication between Colac and Winchelsea

Highway duplication delays
The duplication of the Princess Highway at Winchelsea. PIC: Kris Reichl
CONSTRUCTION has started on the next stage of the Princes Highway duplication between Winchelsea and Colac.
The project will see the highway upgraded to a four-lane divided road to improve safety and travel times.
Corangamite MP Sarah Henderson was in Colac to mark the start of construction on Monday.
“This route serves many important industries in southwest Victoria, including agriculture, logging, grain growing, dairy and tourism,” Ms Henderson said.
“The Princes Highway West is a major link to tourist attractions, such as the Great Ocean Road, and is a vital link for regional Victorians to commercial centres such as the port of Melbourne, Geelong and Portland.”
Ms Henderson said the upgrade would increase efficiency and improve safety for motorists and heavy vehicles.
Labor’s candidate for Corangamite Libby Coker welcomed the start of construction.
“It is going to help Colac to grow and prosper,” Ms Coker said.
“From Waurn Ponds to Winchelsea there was over a year delay and I know for many local businesses it has been a real struggle. I hope the next stage is well managed and I look forward to the benefits that come from it.”
Construction is expected to be completed in mid-2019.
The Australian and Victorian governments have each committed $185.5 million to complete the duplication between Winchelsea and Colac.

Saturday, May 02, 2015

Tower Hill

from w
I only did two drawings at the volcanic crater they name as Tower Hill as we didn't do the walking tracks. It is a very beautiful place - like a big bowl with a lake at the bottom, with numerous species of trees and plants, koalas and kangaroos (who hid from us) emus - four of them posed for us. There's a shop there with Aboriginal arts and crafts very similar to Narana and tours by the busloads visit this site and many go into groups with Aboriginal leaders showing them the value of plants and trees. Tower Hill is absolutely huge as it goes all the way to Koroit town.

Port Fairy

from w
Boats are moored along the river at Port Fairy, a quiet safe haven without the wild wind and storms that might occur on the edge of the ocean. Another image is of the barbecue shed at the Gum Tree Caravan Park. Then I added Peceli's drawing of the barbecue shed at Tower Hill which is fifteen minutes drive from Port Fairy towards Warrnambool. More later.

The Crags near Port Fairy

from w
From our holiday at Port Fairy.
It was a damp morning Wednesday but we started by visiting the Information Centre, then decided, rain or shine we would drive to the Crags, and then the rain stopped.The Crags is a wild section of coastline 12 kilometres west of Port Fairy accessed from the road to Portland. Turn left at the sign and drive over rolling hills of grassland with occasional squat pine trees, not the triangular healthy looking trees of Port Fairy town to reach the coastline.I imagined Heathcliffe riding over the hill! 

The rock formations jutting from the seabed are spectacular. The area is an important archaeological site, part of the traditional homelands of the indigenous Peek Wurrung speakers and has spiritual connections with Deen Maar. Over many thousands of years the coastal reserve was used as a place of gathering, ceremony and feasting for indigenous people. We saw the rocky cliffs from a viewing platform, certainly not from the small beaches below. Divers found the remains of a missing plane nearby so there is a memorial at the site.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Lazarus at the Geelong Gaol

from w
Though I can't download this story it's a great idea unfolding - to use part of the old Geelong Gaol for homeless men and women. Three churches in the city - Yarra Street Uniting (formerly known as Wesley), St Mary's Basilica, and Christ Church Anglican and Uniting Care have worked together with this great idea. Go to  for the story.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Renovated church in Curlewis

from w
They have been recycling churches in our region for years and St Francis in the Curlewis area was sold ten years ago and renovated to become a beautiful home with landscaped garden. It's up for sale once again. We called in to have a look - but we are not investors. According to the Age Real Estate advertisement, the going price is about $2.5 million dollars. The elderly gentleman there told us the story. It wasn't that the congregation had dwindled, but that it had doubled and they all go now to a church in Drysdale. I'd love to live in a renovated church - it should have good vibes - or perhaps not! Then amidst the grass in the front I spied about fifty toadstools. I wonder about the symbolism of that!
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