Community unites to save Western Port Bay
Published on 26 February 2021
An unprecedented coalition of businesses and community organisations representing tens of thousands of people have banded together to fight for the future of Western Port Bay.
Within the next four weeks, Planning Minister Richard Wynne will make a decision on plans by AGL to locate an industrial gas plant at Crib Point and build a 55km pipeline through the heart of prime natural habitat and farmland.
Today, the Mornington Peninsula Shire Council, together with a coalition of 28 community organisations and local businesses, delivered an open letter (see below) and video to Minister Wynne, expressing their fervent opposition and urging him to reject the plan.
Signatories to the letter include:
- Crib Point Action Group Inc
- Crib Point Stony Point Foreshore Committee of Management Inc
- Doctors for the Environment Australia
- Environment Victoria
- Flinders Community Association
- The Friends of the Glenfern Green Wedge
- Green Wedges Coalition
- Merricks General Wine Store
- Elgee Park
- Baillieu Mornington Peninsula
- Mornington Peninsula Climate Action Network
- Mornington Peninsula Wine
- Peninsula Preservation Group Inc
- Phillip Island Conservation Society
- Save Westernport
- Snorkelling Melbourne Victoria
- Somers Residents Association Inc
- Sunbutter Skincare
- Victorian National Parks Association
- Lighter Footprints
- Miller’s Bread
- Devilbend-Hastings Landcare
- Surfrider Foundation Australia
- Westernport & Peninsula Protection Council Inc
- Western Port Biosphere
An open letter was also delivered to the board of AGL, detailing a raft of concerns about the threats posed by the gas plant to the iconic marine and coastal environment and to the amenity of nearby townships.
This is the first time such a broad and diverse group has come together for a common cause on the Mornington Peninsula.
Mornington Peninsula Mayor Councillor Despi O’Connor said: “The clock is ticking; the future of our beloved Western Port Bay hangs in the balance. In less than four weeks the Victorian Government will make a decision that could seriously risk this internationally recognised ecosystem.”
“Mornington Peninsula residents will soon learn the fate of our beloved Western Port Bay. The community is demanding to be heard. We do not want this gas plant.”
An open letter to the Victorian Government
26 February 2021
The Hon. Richard Wynne MP
Minister for Planning
Tenancy 2, Ground Floor
188-196 Gertrude Street
FITZROY VIC 3065
Mornington Peninsula Shire Council opposition - Proposed AGL and APA Gas Import Jetty and Pipeline Project, Crib Point
On behalf of the Mornington Peninsula Shire, our community and the many community groups and businesses who have countersigned this letter, I am expressing our opposition to the proposed AGL and APA Gas Import Jetty and Pipeline Project at Crib Point. I invite you to watch a video that captures our community’s passionate opposition to the proposed AGL project.
Our collective position has always been that the project poses a significant risk to the environment, economy and local amenity of Crib Point. The project threatens to over industrialise the area, all for unproven economic and resource gains.
In August 2020, the Council voted to oppose the project in its submission to the Victorian Government, to inform the Environmental Effects Statement. In September 2020, a Shire poll asked our residents if they supported the proposed AGL and APA Gas Import Jetty and Pipeline project. 93 per cent of respondents said no. Council’s key areas of concern relate to:
- Climate change and unsatisfactory accounting of gas emissions and offsets
- Marine ecology and biodiversity including impacts on the unique, world-renowned Western Port Bay Ramsar wetlands and UNESCO biosphere, critical habitats for endangered migratory birds, iconic native marine and terrestrial wildlife including: Humpback and Southern Right Whales, Australian fur seals, Little Penguins and the Southern Brown Bandicoot
- Terrestrial ecology and biodiversity – potentially losing more than 15 hectares of native vegetation, including globally endangered native flora and fauna and groundwater, with potential impacts on dependent ecosystems and aquifers
- Negative impacts on our unique local and regional tourism economy.
Strong community sentiment expressed to us over last year, supported by those countersigning this letter – and the tens of thousands of people they represent, sends an unequivocal message. We do not want the AGL and APA Gas Import Jetty and Pipeline project at Crib Point.
We trust these considerations will inform your project deliberations.
Councillor Despi O’Connor, Mayor