At the conclusion of last year’s EES hearing, this summary was prepared by Environment Victoria and Save Westernport. It reveals key evidence heard by the Inquiry Advisory Committee Panel during the 10 week hearing into AGL’s Environment Effects Statement.
As predicted, AGL used the hearing to attempt to downplay and dismiss deeply concerning safety issues and environmental impacts that emerged in their EES reports.
The panel heard evidence of the countless risks of the industrial proposal that were omitted from the EES, and evidence presented by AGL failed to explain the wisdom or necessity of constructing a pipeline and using the using the waters of Westernport Bay to import and to process the fossil fuel LNG for the next 20 years
The Precautionary Principle that underpins Victoria’s environmental protection laws is intended to prevent ill-advised industrial proposals for gaining approval. On the basis of this principle, and the project’s countless unacceptable risks, this project must be refused.
The IAC planning panel commenced deliberations in January and is expected present their report to Planning Minister Richard Wynne on 22 February 2021.
When considering whether or not this project should be approved, Mr Wynne is allowed a remarkable degree of discretion. The Minister may or may not allow his decision-making to be influenced by the panel’s recommendations and findings.
We ask the Minister to base his decision on the evidence of the unacceptable risks and environmental impacts presented at the hearing.
It was expert opinion of dozens of witnesses that the project must not be allowed to proceed.
Expert witnesses appearing on behalf of the Bunurong Land Council, the Mornington Peninsula Shire and three other local shire councils presented evidence of flawed methodology and inadequate attention to detail that characterised AGL’s EES reports.
Evidence presented by the proponent AGL that attempted underestimate and obfuscate the insurmountable environmental impacts of their gas import proposal was of particular concern to expert witnesses across a number of fields.
You can read more about that here
The panel heard from dozens of community groups from the Westernport area and across Victoria and Australia, including Sea Shepherd, the Australasian College of Surgeons, Australian Doctors for the Environment, the Westernport Biosphere and numerous Climate Action groups.
For the YouTube recordings of the hearings, and the vocal submissions of of community groups and individuals see week 9 here.
In November 2018 the AGL proposal was ruled A Controlled Action under the federal Environment Protection Biodiversity Conservation Act.
This means that following Minister Wynne’s decision in March, the AGL project will need to be assessed by Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley.
What decisions can the minister make?
Following the assessment of your proposed action, the minister will decide whether to:
- approve the action
- approve the action subject to constraints (that is, place conditions on the action), or
- not approve the action.
You can contact Planning Minister Richard Wynne, and our federal environment Minister, Sussan Ley to let them know that the community expects them each to reject AGL’s plans to import gas in Westernport, in accordance with the Precautionary Principle that was intended to enforce the protection of areas of such high conservation value.
AGL’s proposal is inconsistent with state and federal biodiversity protections and Australia’s Indigenous heritage laws, and disregards the unambiguous findings of the world’s most respected climate scientists.
To email Victorian Planning Minister Richard Wynne firstname.lastname@example.org
or Phone (03) 8683 0964
Write to federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley using this contact form https://sussanley.com/contact/
Or Contact Sussan Ley via Facebook
Or leave a message at one, or at all of her offices
Canberra (02) 6277 7920
Albury Electorate Office: Ph: (02) 6021 3264
517 Kiewa St (PO Box 672)
ALBURY NSW 2640
Griffith Electorate Office Ph: (02) 6964 1212
100 Yambil St (PO Box 1093)
GRIFFITH NSW 2680
Parliament House, Canberra:
M1-40 Parliament House (PO Box 2600)
CANBERRA ACT 2600
Ph: (02) 6277 7920
Make sure they know that AGL’s new fossil fuels proposal in a Ramsar listed wetland is completely unacceptable. The plan is an outrage, and must be rejected.
Environment Victoria’s summary here.