A penguincolony living in St Kilda could get increased protection from vandals and dogs, but not from the contaminants that will be disturbed this week by the controversial channel deepening project.
With dredging in the contaminated parts of the Yarra River to begin in earnest tomorrow, environment group Earthcare St Kilda has stepped-up calls for the Port of Melbourne and the Brumby Government to increase monitoring of the penguins.
The specialist dredger Goomai moved into the Yarra near Newport yesterday, where it will remove the riverbed above key infrastructure, including an underground sewer owned by Melbourne Water.
Earthcare spokeswoman Tiana Preston said the group, which has campaigned for greater penguin protection for months, was alarmed that sediments containing lead, mercury and DDT were about to be disturbed, yet no extra protection had been provided for the penguins.
Planning Minister Justin Madden recommended the St Kilda penguins be given extra protection in a report on the channel deepening project released in October last year.