top of page
8006_Rothwell Bridge in Little River.jpg-2.jpeg

THIS IS LITTLE RIVER...NICE EH?
PACIFIC NATIONAL DON'T THINK SO

 --- Date of this post: November 2023 ---

Pacific National's map of Little River
(don't worry PN, we fixed it for you! Scroll across)

Pacific National, a foreign owned company that pretends to care about Australians - announced plans to concrete over 350 hectares of GREEN WEDGE environmentally sensitive area in order to build a 24/7 operating rail intermodal within 500 metres of homes in a peaceful rural township.

Their reason? Profit for their foreign owners. 

Yep, they're prepared to wreck a whole town, destroy forever remnant grasslands set aside as green wedge zone to be the 'lungs of Victoria', push endangered species to extinction, kill endangered native grasses and trees and cover residents and the nearby RAMSAR Wetlands in 24/7 cancer-causing diesel particulate, silica dust and god knows what else.

Our town will not allow this to happen.

 

Pacific National's 'Little River Terminal' plan is grotesque...and completely unnecessary given Pacific National have options other than Little River. This company - who claim to CARE about the communities they operate in - has conducted a bullying secretive and underhanded campaign to push ahead with this environmentally destructive plan while keeping Little River residents - who's lives will never be the same - in the dark.

The first image is the map they suddenly dumped on us, using a third party PR firm Capire (who also claim to 'give communities a voice'!! Hahahaha! We've never heard a more disingenuous tagline for a company that is just chasing profit!). The seance is what we think Pacific National should do...

 --- Date of this post: early December 2023 ---

Pacific National's first 'community consultation' on destroying Little River...a phone robot calling people who don't actually live here

When you're working on a project to destroy a town you need a lot of cash behind you. About $3-6 billion to be exact.

And for a project that size, you wanna show off about it on your website, in the media & tell your mates about it at the pub. So when some of us locals saw an article way back in December 2021, saying Pacific National had big plans for Little River, we got a bit worried & sent a few emails to CEO Paul Scurrah, our local MP & Councillors.

The general response was 'don't worry', 'nothing's decided yet' & 'we'll let you know what's going on'.

Problem is, Pacific National didn't. 

Well, slight correction. They organised Redbridge Consulting (tagline: Influence with Integrity - pfft, yeah right) to organise an automated robot phone survey to ask biased questions & gain support for a proposal that hadn't even been released yet.

 

As in, the people doing the survey didn't know where the Little River Intermodal was gunna go. Not a clue.

By the way, you can listen below to that highly biased piece of greenwashing audio that Redbridge-with-integrity couldn't be bothered hiring real people for. For the record, it surveyed 1300 residents of the 'south west suburbs & Geelong'; so people who don't even LIVE around here.

Even then, it only got a measly 65% approval rate. So, all that tells us is that NO ONE wants Pacific National's community & environment wrecking rail intermodal around here.

Us locals, increasingly frustrated at the contractors & consultants sneaking around town, measuring things & under strict non-disclosure agreements, emailed a few more times.

Same response. Don't worry. Nothing doing (yet).

 

Which was kind of a tense place to be until they finally sent us a notification they'd lodged a proposal with the state government to concrete over 350 hectares of open farm & grassland, only 1.5 kilometres from the centre of town. So that sucks big time.

But it's OK. They've also produced a nice glossy brochure with a diversity hire on the front cover to outline exactly HOW they intend to run roughshod over our town. Oh & a PR firm called Capire who have experienced in "facilitating community participation in planning approval processes" & a "culture of social responsibility". We're not sure how Capire are planning on helping us participate in our own destruction, but hey, could be good for laugh to hear them out.

After the glossy brochure got realised, some of us called the special hotline Pacific National set up to take 'enquiries' about the proposal, but that just sends you to an answering machine message saying they may call you back within 48 hours. 

So, Pacific National are so contemptuous of our town that they've done everything in secret, have conducted 'tick the box' community consultation, won't answer emails, hired an expensive PR firm to hide behind & now THEY WON'T EVEN ANSWER THE PHONE NUMBER THEY SET UP?!

Good to know were we stand Pacific National. Way to go! A Plus on the corporate responsibility team!

Redbridge's greenwashing phone survey. Maybe it helps if you get a soft-sounding chick to ask biased questions without providing a complete set of information. Mate, how's the integrity?

 --- Date of this post: February 2024 ---

Pacific National's second 'community consultation'...via Zoom, with the chat disabled...

The 'second' of a series of 'we're really nice people...honestly' community consultation...shame it's only 18 months too late

So, after 18 MONTHS of ignoring our concerns, calls, emails & approaches, Pacific National held a farcical Zoom call on 22nd February where they 'faced up to the community', by...not letting us speak.

The chat was disabled, no one could see what others had written in the Q&A, & the questions were cherry picked to be the easiest ones possible. The hired facilitator used lots of lovely words like 'rail has a lot of beauty to it', 'heartfelt consultation' & (excuse us while we throw up in our mouths at bit) 'community is the lifeblood of Pacific National'.

In fact, the whole thing was so stage managed, we probably preferred it when you were ignoring us Pacific National with your 'Little River Logistics Precinct'.

But don't worry! Community consultation will be held IN PERSON (gasp!) in March where they would 'love to see us and shake our hands so we can meet the team'.

It's like Pacific National are completely unaware of the complete destruction of our lives, homes, native wildlife, natural surrounds & overall enjoyment their logistics precinct will create.

 --- Date of this post: early March 2024 ---

Want to shake hands with the people from Pacific National who are going to destroy Little River?

Coming to the Little River Mechanics Hall...which will be soon hidden under a layer of diesel particulate if Pacific National get their way

Yeah, we don't either. But they're coming to town finally, so let's get out in force & tell Pacific National to GF!

Thursday 21st March 2024, 4.30 to 7pm

Saturday 24rd March 2024, 10am to 12.30pm

No registration required. And bet Pacific National don't even buy us a coffee before as they casually destroy our community & mental health, before exposing us all to cancer causing 24/7 diesel particulate.

Meet Paul Scurrah, he's the boss of this disaster
 

He's also really shy.

It's impossible to find an email address for him or any of his executive team, & the multiple attempts some of us have made to connect with this guy have been useless.

He's been described as a good leader, but we reckon someone like that would have the common decency to reach out to a community under great distress by his company's land wrecking plans & see what middle ground might be possible.

And we don't like picking on individuals like this, but hey, you did it first Paul.

PNGF-5.png

 --- Date of this post: February 2024 ---

Pacific National...why destroy Little River when there's Dynon Road, Somerton, or the WIFT...?

There is simply no good reason for Pacific National to destroy Little River...other than their share price

For all their bleating about carbon emissions, jobs for people, great mental health for their workers (shame about ours!), trucks off the road etc etc etc, what Pacific National have failed to mention is that there is SIMPLY NO NEED for a loud, destructive, expensive, community-destroying intermodal at Little River.

Yep! As far as we can tell, the Little River Intermodal plan is really about executive egos at being able to say 'we own this site' (but had to destroy natural areas, peoples lives and a whole community to build it...oh well *shrug*).

 

Fun fact: All PNs shareholders are overseas companies. Every. Single One. Which means, even if they do get clearance to build a smelly, disgusting concrete covered wasteland in Little River, Australians are NOT going to see any financial benefit. 

But it also explains why they're planning to destroy our little town; to shore up their share price. Going to another - already planned, purpose built and under construction - intermodal site that is owned by government or the private sector, isn't as appealing to shareholders as wrecking 350ha of natural grasslands. Apparently.

 

Of course, it doesn't help that PNs major shareholder is looking to sell up and PN still needs multiple billions to even consider building a dual bridged, planet-wrecking intermodal on the fragile western plains of Victoria.

But never fear PN! Just because your executive team have apparently completely overlooked the more appropriate fit-for-purpose alternatives (it's OK, we understand planet wrecking can be a confusing business), we've listed them here for you:

Dynon Road:

PNs current site, which they have to be out of by 2031, with remediation works to start in 2029. Nothing wrong with it, except for the unacceptably high number of heavy truck movements through Melbourne's CBD (which they think will be fine for Little River, Wyndham and Geelong). The state government wants them out, which has led to the rather dumb decision to attack Little River.

Solution: PN, why not negotiate a longer settlement with the state government to stay on until the WIFT is ready? Speaking of which...

Western Intermodal Rail Terminal (WIFT):

Currently under development in Truganina, just up the road from Little River, but on an existing industrial site with clear access to roads, workers and infrastructure. The Council, community and state government WANT Pacific National to move operations there, and even have skills training ready. Unfortunately, the WIFT won't be ready in time for the 2031 deadline at Dynon Road.

Solution: See above. Duh.

Somerton Intermodal Terminal:

A private sector project that's ALREADY UNDER CONSTRUCTION and can comfortably house Pacific National. It's backed by EVERYONE, including the Prime Minister. As the State Member for Broadmeadows Kathleen Matthews-Ward, put it: This investment in Melbourne’s north is great news for our community – supporting jobs on the ground, while also supporting our state’s busy freight industry.

Solution: Stop being so destructive and go make a deal with the Intermodal Terminal Company.

From the WIFT's website...it literally has it all for Pacific National, so why are they insisting on destroying Little River?

Why the WIFT Pacific National destroying Little River.png
Why are Pacific National destroying Little River WIFT.png

 --- Date of this post: April 2024 ---

Pacific National's destructive plan for Little River has to complete an Environmental Effects Statement

Even our state and federal governments don't want this community-wrecking, nature-destroying plan to go ahead...

After sneakily launching their rail intermodal plan in 2023 (all while lying to the people of Little River that there 'was nothing to be concerned about') PN have now been told to complete an Environmental Effects Statement by the Victorian State Planning Minister, Hon Sonya Kilkenny.

She outlines multiple reasons Pacific National's Little River Intermodal is the dumbest idea for our fragile natural environment, including:

The project has the potential for a range of SIGNIFICANT effects that require rigorous assessment. In particular the project as proposed could have significant effects on:

  • threatened species and communities

  • native vegetation and ecology of the area's terrestrial environments and freshwater environments; including ephemeral wetlands and creeks

  • aboriginal cultural heritage

  • landscape and visual amenity

  • social values and amenity impacts

Just so we're clear, those last two bullet points related directly to the fact Little River locals will have their lifestyles DESTROYED by 24/7 truck and train movements, noise and light pollution, and expose us all to high levels of cancer-causing pollutants that will cover our homes, the primary school, fire station, maternal health centre, heritage buildings, the pub and surrounding paddocks CONSTANTLY.

It goes on to say:

There is uncertainty about the extent and magnitude of potential effects related to Port Phillip Bay (Western Shoreline) and Bellarine Peninsula Ramsar Site, traffic soils, land-use / planning and historic heritage that also require further assessment.

The project has the potential for cumulative adverse effects on local and regional environmental values in combination with nearby existing and potential infrastructure.

An EES is warranted to enable an integrated assessment of the environmental effects of the project and associated uncertainties, to inform decision-making for required approvals. The EES will evaluate feasible, relevant alternatives, the effectiveness of proposed mitigation and offsetting measures, including opportunities to avoid or minimise significant adverse effects through alternative design layouts, designs and other mitigation measures.

Tell you what, here's an idea for 'mitigation measures'...why don't you move to the Somerton Intermodal that is ALREADY under construction and would be a perfect location for you, Pacific National, and leave Little River alone?

You can read the whole statement here.

Little River native grasses under threat

 --- Date of this post: May 2024 ---

URGENT: Objection writing session for VCAT on SUNDAY 5TH from 10am to 4pm at the Mechanics Hall & we'll give you a hand to write and submit your objection!

A MASSIVE 374 objections lodged! Well done all!

PN are going to VCAT soon to have a whinge that Wyndham Council (rightly) rejected their planning application to start destroying native vegetation for '...the purposes of archaeological excavation as part of a Cultural Heritage Management Plan'.

Pacific National have given no good reason for this destruction, other than they're trying to get an unfair head start on the Environmental Effects Statement the Victorian Government will require them to complete. 

Objections need to be lodged by 4PM ON TUESDAY 7TH MAY! We don't have long!

IMG_7643 2.JPG
bottom of page