Environment and Westernport-based community groups say AGL’s proposed massive gas import plant at Crib Point near Hastings requires a full Environmental Effects Statement (EES) and calls on the Andrews government to guarantee it will not fast-track this enormous and polluting development.
“AGL has just submitted their referral documentation to the relevant minister for their proposed gas import terminal. We urgently need Planning Minister Richard Wynne to require a full Environmental Effects Statement to ensure Westernport is not sacrificed for AGL’s gain” said Mark Wakeham, CEO of Environment Victoria.
“Minister Wynne has rightly required an EES for other large projects including wind farms and railway level crossing removals. It’s ridiculous to think that AGL may not be required to prepare an EES for a project that could have long-term implications for Westernport’s future and the state’s greenhouse pollution.
“This project could double the amount of gas burnt in Victoria and greatly increase Victoria’s climate pollution. The emissions associated with producing Liquid Natural Gas for import have not been accounted for in AGL’s referral.
“Victorians won’t be hoodwinked. Gas expansion is not necessary to secure Victoria’s energy supply and this project will lock in high gas prices. A recent Macquarie Bank Report found the import terminal development could even increase prices paid by families and businesses. AGL and other large energy corporations will be the only winners if this damaging project goes ahead.
“Let’s be clear. Domestic gas prices are rising because big energy companies like AGL have sold off our domestic gas supplies overseas for a higher profit.”
Save Westernport spokesperson Louise Page said:
“AGL is showing utter contempt for community concerns.
“This development will be 300 metres long and have untold impact on local marine life in our bay, in a UNESCO designated biosphere reserve. AGL wants this project waved through without proper approvals despite it threatening the feeding and breeding grounds of local species.
“Locals are concerned about the day to day operational impacts on communities as well as marine and birdlife such as continual noise and intrusive artificial light.
The future of Westernport depends on a healthy bay for the economic benefits of fishing and tourism as well as residents’ enjoyment and wellbeing.
“The project delivers no benefit to the community, and AGL has clearly underestimated the social impact if it thinks it will get away with avoiding an Environmental Effects Statement.”
Shannon Hurley, nature campaigner at the Victorian National Parks Association says:
“Westernport’s immense natural and social values both locally and internationally are too great to risk. We urge the Andrews government to ensure proper environmental approvals, for what otherwise could be a disaster for our precious Bay.”
Jessica Kendall, Essential Media
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