Media Releases | 10th Mar, 2021

Westernport wetsuits deliver message to Parliament as gas terminal decision looms

Westernport Bay residents concerned about AGL’s plan to build a gas import terminal at Crib Point will deliver a final message to the Victorian Parliament today as the Planning Minister weighs up his decision.

Over the weekend, more than 3000 people wrote postcard messages addressed to Minister Richard Wynne. The postcards were collected by community volunteers at 14 beachside locations and will be handed over by locals wearing wetsuits and beach attire on the Steps of Parliament at 11am today.

The controversial project was recently subject to a public inquiry and the Minister’s final decision is expected in March.

Damien Cole, Surfrider Foundation National Campaign Director said:

“This irresponsible and reckless proposal by AGL for a floating gas terminal will have a devastating impact on our local economy, environment and social wellbeing.”

“To tell people that their livelihood and entire way of life is under threat to ensure domestic gas security when Australia is actually the world’s largest gas exporter is bewildering and disgraceful.”

“We need our Victorian government to stand up and be a voice for future generations who haven’t had the chance to experience the wonders that Westernport Bay has to offer.”

Victorian National Parks Association nature campaigner Shannon Hurley said:

“We want Westernport to remain full of wildlife, not full of gas. We already know that AGL’s risky gas project has not properly assessed the impacts on marine wildlife from chlorine discharge and associated toxic chemicals, light, underwater noise, and fuel spills. Our wildlife is far too great to risk.”

Environment Victoria CEO Jono La Nauze said:

“This gas import terminal is a big, dirty, polluting project that Victoria does not need. It would lock our state into burning more dirty fuels and increasing climate pollution when we should be shifting to clean energy instead.”

“Gas is a polluting, leaky fuel and a major cause of the climate crisis. AGL has failed to justify the need for this project when there are better alternatives like switching households from gas to electric appliances.”

Save Westernport spokesperson Julia Stockigt said:

“For three years now residents of the Mornington Peninsula and beyond have been fighting AGL’s attempt to use Westernport Bay as their gas factory.”

“The Andrews government knows that no social licence exists for AGL to degrade and exploit our beloved marine environment to install new fossil fuel infrastructure in the iconic wetlands of Westernport Bay.”
“Our communities have rejected AGL’s needless proposal, and we’ll continue to fight it at every stage.”

Phillip Island Conservation Society president Jeff Nottle said:

“AGL is seeking to impose costs of this project on the Phillip Island marine environment and economy including impacting eco-tourism income and local jobs. But AGL won’t bear or even recognise these costs.”

Westernport & Peninsula Protection Council Secretary Karri Giles said:

“The research is clear – the project’s pipeline poses an unacceptable risk to asparagus farms and high quality bushland by spreading cinnamon fungus. It also poses an unacceptable risk to threatened amphibian species by spreading chytrid fungus.”

“The pipeline easement provides feral animals with a predator highway directly to Westernport’s vulnerable fauna. There are no adequate mitigation measures for these risks.”

French Island Community Association Secretary Linda Bowden said:

“The French Island community continues to oppose the AGL Crib Point development due to its potential impacts to Westernport’s unique ecological values and our community. The Environment Effects Statement provided no confidence that AGL either fully understands nor can mitigate the impacts of the project.”

Media contacts

Greg Foyster, Environment Victoria Media and Content Manager, 0410879031