Safe Climate

Stop AGL’s dirty gas plan for our Bay

AGL have a dirty plan to turn Westernport Bay into a massive gas import terminal!

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AGL have a dirty plan to turn Westernport Bay into a massive gas import terminal. This would spell disaster for the animals, birds and marine life that call it home, and increase climate pollution from more dirty fossil fuels we don’t need.

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UPDATE — 9 October, 2018

WIN: Vic Planning Minister requires AGL to submit a full impact assessment

Environment Victoria and the Victorian National Parks Association have welcomed today’s decision by Planning Minister Richard Wynne to require a full Environment Effects Statement (EES) for AGL’s controversial proposed gas import terminal at Westernport.

Concerns over the proposal have been raised time and again by the local community, scientists, and environmentalists, and the decision on the EES comes as Reachtel polling released by Environment Victoria shows there is little community support for the project.

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Westernport Bay, a wetland sanctuary

Right now, Westernport Bay is a wetland sanctuary for some of Victoria’s most loved species.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Australian Fur Seal: Credit Lisa Schonberg

It’s home to Weedy Sea Dragons, Australian fur seals and a wide range of migratory birds. Humpback and Southern Right Whales visit each winter, surfacing to slap their tails against the sheltered waters of this shallow bay.

Weedy Sea Dragon: Credit Sascha Schultz. Humpback Whale: Credit Lisa Schonberg

AGL’s dirty gas plan

If dirty energy giant AGL gets their way, Westernport Bay will change from a wetland sanctuary to one of Australia’s biggest gas import terminals, located at Crib Point.

Up to 40 massive Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) tanker ships would pass through the narrow entrance to the Bay each year.

At nearly 300 metres in length, these hulking ships are the size of 20 adult Humpback whales lined up head to tailfin.

Once they chug through the shallow waters, these huge ships would dock at AGL’s new Floating Storage and Regasification Unit (FSRU), a 290-metre long gas plant permanently moored at Crib Point across from Phillip Island.

Tell AGL no WAY to a gas tank in our Bay

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Example of an LNG tanker ship next to a Floating Storage and Regasification Unit (FSRU). Both are approximately 300 metres long.

Local destruction

Ruining the view is just the beginning of this project’s disastrous impact on the unique and diverse local environment.

During transport the LNG is stored as a liquid at minus 161 degrees. Turning it back into a gas involves warming it up by sucking in seawater. After processing, this water – which now contains chlorides – is discharged back into the bay about 7 degrees cooler than it went in.

We don’t yet fully know how that will damage local marine life.

Other impacts could include the clearing of wetlands, dredging of the Bay floor, chemical and petroleum leaks and spills, local noise and light pollution, disruption to marine life and the introduction of damaging marine pests.

Once it is processed, the gas needs to get to Melbourne. So AGL proposes ploughing through 60 kilometres of Victoria’s most fertile farmland and market gardens to run a pipeline all the way to Pakenham.

Climate disaster

On top of the risks to our Victorian environment and farmland, AGL’s plan is a total climate disaster.

To start with, the project could almost double Victoria’s gas consumption.

The gas would be as dirty as it gets. It could come from fracking – the most polluting form of gas extraction – in Queensland or overseas. Fracking is a process which poisons land and water, damages human health and destroys cultural heritage.

It would then be transported long distances to an export terminal, refrigerated and compressed into a liquid, shipped to Victoria, then turned back into a gas at Crib Point, and finally pushed through a pipeline to Pakenham.

Each point in this process involves burning more fossil fuels. There’s also likely to be methane leaking out into the atmosphere, where it has a 20-year warming effect 56 times greater than carbon dioxide.

All this, when Victoria needs to phase out polluting energy and move to renewables, not lock in more decades of dirty gas.

AGL, dirty hypocrites

To top it off, AGL’s dirty project is inconsistent with their own Greenhouse Gas Policy. They’ve even made recent commitments to lead in the transition to a clean energy future, and called for more national and international action to limit global warming to less than 2 degrees.

The fact is, Australia already produces more than enough gas for its own use. But since 2015 the big energy companies have been exporting it overseas through a huge terminal at Gladstone in Queensland.

The gas market is so stuffed up that AGL now wants to import gas from overseas to Victoria where they can get a higher price for it. The way the market works, they could even be selling us back our own gas (from the Bass Strait) that’s been piped to Queensland, converted to LNG, and shipped overseas, then imported back to Westernport Bay. It’s ridiculous.

We don’t want their dirty gas terminal, and we’re sick of big power companies like AGL destroying our climate, manipulating the energy market and ripping us off.

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Let’s stop this dirty plan

We need to draw the line in the sands of Westernport Bay and tell AGL not to build a dirty, hulking gas terminal here.

Thanks to people like you, we’ve already managed to catch AGL out on their first dirty trick. They were pretending the gas terminal and pipeline were two separate, smaller projects in order to avoid a rigorous environmental assessment.

But because thousands of you spoke up AGL has now agreed to refer them as one proposal. And in September we went to AGL’s AGM to drive home the level of community opposition to this dirty plan. We joined inspiring locals who talked about why Westernport Bay is unique and precious, and the damage that this project will cause.

Shortly after we had our second win, with Victorian Planning Minister Richard Wynn forcing AGL to submit a full Environmental Impact Assessment.

Now let’s keep up the pressure against this unnecessary and polluting project!

The live broadcast of the rally outside AGL's AGM in September.

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How we can stop AGL’s dirty gas plan

1
Work with local groups

Work with local groups like Save Westernport and Westernport Peninsula Protection Council to defend the unique and precious local ecosystems.

2
Pressure the state government

Pressure the state government to ensure the project goes through the most comprehensive environmental assessments possible, make detailed submissions to the processes, and ultimately work to stop the project receiving its licence to pollute.

3
Demonstrate public opposition

Demonstrate public opposition to AGL’s destructive and polluting plan with local organising, media stories, public meetings, advertising campaigns and a community presence at AGL’s upcoming Annual General Meeting.

4
Pressure AGL

Pressure AGL to scrap their polluting project and develop a plan to transition from dirty coal and gas to clean, renewable energy.