We welcome Australian Senate opposition to AGL Crib Point gas project
Published on 17 March 2021
Mornington Peninsula Shire Council welcomes yesterday’s successful Greens motion in the Australian Senate condemning plans by AGL to build a gas import jetty and pipeline at Crib Point.
This follows an announcement in February by the Victorian Liberal Nationals opposing the project and last week’s large protest by members of the Western Port community on the steps of Parliament House.
With State Planning Minister Richard Wynne due to make a final decision by the end of March on whether to approve the proposal, Council has welcomed the mounting opposition calling for the project to be rejected.
Council’s key areas of concern relate to:
- Greenhouse gas emissions and climate change, including unsatisfactory accounting of emissions from the project and a lack of offsets for those emissions that are identified
- Marine ecology and biodiversity, including impacts on the world-renowned Western Port Bay Ramsar wetlands and UNESCO biosphere
- Terrestrial ecology and biodiversity, including the loss of over 15 hectares of native vegetation and potential impacts on endangered flora and fauna, including globally threatened species
- Groundwater, including potential impacts on aquifers and groundwater dependent ecosystems
- Amenity, particularly noise impacts on nearby residents during construction and operation
- Transport and traffic impacts to the local road network
- Negative impacts on local and regional tourism
Council found the Environmental Effects Statement (EES) prepared by the proponent last year lacked a credible risk analysis and did not demonstrate best practice environmental management.
Council’s submission to the State Government regarding the EES can be viewed here: www.mornpen.vic.gov.au/AGLgasimportjetty
Quotes attributable to Mayor Councillor Despi O’Connor:
“We now have all tiers of government expressing strong opposition to this project, backed up by overwhelming opposition from Mornington Peninsula residents.”
“The message to the Minister is unequivocal, reject this dangerous proposal.”
Quotes attributable to Cr Lisa Dixon:
“The future of our truly special and unique Western Port Bay is at risk here.”
“We despair at the possibility of this project, which will contribute to the climate crisis and endanger our internationally-significant wetland and aquatic ecosystems, getting the green light.”
The Crib Point Gas Import Jetty and Pipeline Project is proposed by AGL and APA Group to increase the supply of natural gas to south-eastern Australia.
The proposal includes:
- Mooring a floating storage and regasification unit at Crib Point Jetty, which will convert imported liquid natural gas (LNG) to a gaseous state
- Constructing a new above ground receiving facility on land next to the Crib Point Jetty to receive the gas from the floating storage and regasification unit
- Constructing a 57-kilometre high-pressure gas pipeline from the receiving facility at Crib Point to Pakenham, to enable the gas to be distributed throughout Victoria and south-east Australia.
At the direction of the Victorian Minister for Planning, AGL and APA Group prepared an Environment Effects Statement (EES) for the project. The EES detailed the range of potential impacts during construction and operation, and how the proponents intended to avoid, mitigate or manage these impacts.
The State Government put the EES and associated documentation on public exhibition in August last year. An independent Inquiry and Advisory Committee was subsequently appointed to hear submissions and delivered its final report to the State Government in late February. Planning Minister Richard Wynne must deliver his assessment of the project within 25 business days of receiving the report.
It is important to note that Mornington Peninsula Shire Council does not have any decision-making powers with respect to this project. The decision on whether to approve the proposal rests with the State and Federal Governments.