Media Releases | 2nd May, 2019

Exposed: New information unmasks AGL’s brazen attempt to weaken Victorian environment laws

Explosive new information released by Environment Victoria today shows AGL Energy actively lobbied the Victorian Environment Protection Authority (EPA) to weaken wastewater management guidelines protecting internationally recognised Ramsar wetlands.

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AGL, Australia’s biggest carbon polluter, attempted to weaken Victoria’s State Environment Protection Policy for Water in a brazen attempt to clear regulatory hurdles that threaten to block its proposed gas import terminal in Westernport Bay.

Legal advice obtained by Environment Victoria suggests AGL’s proposed Westernport Bay gas import terminal project continues to breach Victoria’s guidelines, and should not be approved by the EPA.

“AGL tried but failed to influence the EPA to weaken Victorian environmental protections in an effort to push this polluting project through,” said Jono La Nauze, CEO of Environment Victoria.

“Big energy corporations are not above the law. AGL has tried every trick in the book to try and get the go ahead for its dirty gas terminal, including trying to twist the regulator’s arm at the expense of local communities and businesses who do not want the polluting gas import terminal.

“If approved, the import terminal will dump four hundred and fifty million litres of toxic chlorinated water into the internationally recognised Ramsar wetlands around Westernport each day.

“AGL knows this polluting gas import terminal risks doing irreversible damage to Westerport’s fragile ecosystems, pushing the 65 threatened species that call the region home closer to extinction.

“Despite AGL’s cynical attempts to weaken existing protections, AGL’s proposed project remains inconsistent with the EPA’s current wastewater guidelines and must not be approved.

“Gas is expensive and is almost as polluting as coal. It is yesterday’s technology and will be phased out rapidly. If this project goes ahead we could damage these internationally recognised wetlands just to be left with stranded fossil fuel assets.

“The EPA needs to stick to its guns, abide by its own regulations and protect the community and environment of Westernport from AGL’s short-term profiteering,” said Mr La Nauze.

Background

Briefing paper on AGL's Crib Point gas import terminal

Environment Victoria

This briefer details the significant issues with this dirty project as well as the solutions and alternatives.

For interview and further comment

Jono La Nauze, Environment Victoria CEO

Mobile: 0402 904 251
Email: j.lanauze@environmentvictoria.org.au

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