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Tuesday, 2 April 2019
Page: 14444

Mr TIM WILSON (Goldstein) (13:59): Our community is blessed with amazing beaches on Port Phillip. This summer there was good and bad news for beachgoers from the EPA about water quality. Black Rock ranked fifth of the beaches in Melbourne. Hampton was sixth. Sadly, Brighton ranked lower than we all would have liked. Beach pollution takes many forms, including litter, such as cigarette butts and microplastics, and also stormwater, which carries pollutants, including oil, into our precious waters. I saw it first-hand with Hampton beach patrol on Clean Up Australia Day this year. It took less than an hour to pick up a whole bag of rubbish. Rubbish has become so problematic that Bayside council recently announced plans to ban single-use plastics in its venues.

The health of our beaches is paramount. Port Phillip is our greatest natural asset. One of the challenges facing Port Phillip is legal ambiguity about ownership and responsibility. My plan for our community is to bring together the Marine and Coastal Council and state and federal governments so that we can work together. We face broader challenges around sea level changes, sand movements and coastal erosion that need to be confronted as a united team. As I said when I first entered this place our environmental approach must prioritise reason, technological advancement and scientific endeavour to drive and care for our environment, and that's the plan I will work towards.