In preparing the Environental Effects Statement into the AGL proposal to import and process the fossil fuel LNG at Crib Point in the protected wetlands of Westernport Bay, the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) can, and must consider the Environmental “Track Record” of AGL.
As well as being the proponents of this project, in contrast to the public image they are at pains to present, this corporation is the BIGGEST polluter and producer of carbon emmissions in Australia.
During community consultation sessions, representatives of AGL explained to local residents that when proposing major projects in the midst of established communities, big corporations like AGL require the “SOCIAL LICENSE” to operate amongst us.
”You have no reason to trust us” they explained, “we need to prove ourselves worthy of being your neighbours”, and in addition to simply taking their word for it, how else are we to discover whether they are worthy of the community’s trust other than to look at the environmental and industrial history of that corporation?
But little information about AGL and their past projects has been forthcoming, other than some shiny brochures produced by slick P.R. firms.The environmental and social impact reports that were issued have either been inadequate “desktop” assessments, or highly technical accounts that that are far-from-independent attempts to obfuscate and dismiss the public’s concerns about the proposed facility with such far reaching consequences.
In an effort to know more about our prospective new “neighbours”, members of Save Westernport have looked into the reputation of this company, and were alarmed to see that they have been charged with “deceptive and misleading conduct” on more than one occasion. We were not overly surprised to discover then that they had been doing what amounted to purchasing the consent and complicity of locals, and dividing the community with offers of cash to the local football team and other groups. These offers of cash have been confirmed by AGL.
In the interest of transparency we have prepared the following list of concerning and repeated infractions and fines awarded against AGL in recent years. It should be noted that in September 2018, the State Essential Services Commission ordered AGL “to get their house in order or face the cancellation of their license to operate in Victoria” for repeatedly failing to provide basic information required of every company doing business in this state.
Apparently AGL does not think these regulations apply to them, and requested an extension to the deadline. As far as we know, they still had not complied in mid December when that time also expired. The ESC had not responded to our requests for further information at close of business on 24/12/18.
We ask that you review the following information, which is not based on opinion but is all on public record, and consider whether YOU would accept them as tenants in your property, or give them a job. Essentially that is what the AGL corporation is asking of us all, and much more. The implications of an environmental or safety accident at Crib Point are too disastrous to ignore, particularly when there are so many alternatives available to the proposal to import gas. Why don’t AGL do what they like to appear to be doing, and INVEST IN RENEWABLES?