It is unbelievable to think that AGL has not even made their application to Government for the proposed Crib Point LNG import facility and pipeline to Pakenham, though remediation works on the Crib Point jetty and the roads surrounding it have been going on now for months. How this is even possible is yet to be determined.
Tenders for all such works are normally a matter of public record available online, but in this case they are still noticeably absent. It is not known why Port of Hastings have not made tenders for these remediation works available to the public. Premier Andrews has not followed through with an undertaking he made on ABC radio at the end of May to ensure that this information was made available.
The State Government, which faces an election in just a few months, must decide whether an Environmental Effects Study is necessary. Given the environmental sensitivity and significance of Westernport, and the appalling history of AGL concerning environmental accidents and degradation, it is clear that an EES is required as an absolute priority.
It was so disappointing to read our State Environment Minister Lily d’Ambrosio’s insensitive and out of touch comments in the Cranbourne Leader on July 11. In an article describing the anguish and frustration felt by the operators of a large market garden that will be ripped apart if the pipeline from Crib Point to Pakenham goes through, Ms d’Ambrosio expressed the view that the pipeline will be “a real game changer”, driving down energy costs and creating jobs.
But AGL themselves admit that the project will create few jobs, and it’s clear that many jobs in the affected agricultural and eco-tourism industries will be lost in the Westernport area. As for decreased energy costs, when was the last time that any energy company dropped their rates? It just doesn’t happen.
When the degree of public opposition to this project became clear, AGL decided to offer a “sweetener” to the deal. They recently announced that discounted energy prices will be offered to local businesses. Wow! Shake your body line Señora! But this offer, which would only apply once businesses sign up with AGL, will only serve to further fracture the community along the lines of those for and against this unnecessary gas import facility.
AGL’s glib indifference to the inevitable harm to the community only confirms the absence of any genuine concern for the well-being of the people they claim to serve.
Victoria’s Minister for the Environment Lily d’Ambrosio promotes herself as being “a leader in action on climate change, renewable energy and energy efficiency in Australia”. I don’t know how this claim can be reconciled with Minister d’Ambrosio’s support of this inappropriate fossil fuel dependent project. It is completely inexplicable.
How could someone with such an important Ministerial role, involved in updating “the Environmental Protection Act 1970 to focus on the prevention of harm to human and environmental health” be so unconcerned and uninformed about the unfortunate human and environmental costs of this proposal?
These claims of environmental awareness and action could not be more at odds with her recent comments, or the disastrous proposal in terms of how unnecessary, inefficient, and ecologically and socially detrimental it is.
At a federal level, Westernport’s important Ramsar listing requires action under EPBC Laws (The Environmental Protection Biodiversity Conservation Act ) “to determine whether an action is likely to have a significant impact on an area of national environmental sigificance”.
The risks associated with this LNG regasification plant and pipeline should make the project inadmissible according to the definitions included in the Act.
Other than the unavoidable Environmental and Safety hazards, an undeniable reason for objecting to the AGL proposal is that we DON’T NEED TO IMPORT GAS in the first place.
AGL’s bogus misinformation campaign that claimed the project to be essential to “secure our energy future” was only designed to inflame and exploit public anxiety over energy security and prices. It’s no surprise that this has now been PROVEN FALSE.
The Premier admitted it on ABC radio, and more importantly the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) report released at the end of June has confirmed it, stating: “No supply gaps are forecast before 2030 under expected market conditions. The risk of shortfalls previously projected for 2019 has been reduced due to changes in the energy markets..”
This proves that any information still supporting this proposal is deliberately deceptive and misleading, and is grounded in an implicit and inappropriate prior agreement between Government and Corporate powers.
Public Safety and the future of our priceless Environment and protected wetlands does not belong to the government or any corporation, and is NOT FOR SALE