On 12 June 2019, Save Westernport supporters travelled from Hastings to Melbourne to meet AGL CEO Brett Redman in person.
Brett Redman was a guest presenter at the 2019 Australian Energy Week Conference 11-14 June at the Melbourne Conference and Exhibition Centre.
It seemed an opportune time to remind Mr Redman about AGL’s lack of social licence for their proposed floating gas import and processing terminal and associated pipeline from Crib Point to Pakenham.
Environment Victoria and Save Westernport decided it was a perfect time to present the 17,000+ signature strong “NO AGL GAS” petition and organised a bus from Hastings to the CBD.
An invitation was sent to the energy giant’s CEO asking him to meet Westernport residents outside the conference to receive the petition after his “Helping customers and community through energy transition” speech.
This request was declined. However, subsequent discussions between AGL and Save Westernport secured a private meeting with Brett the same day at 8am with Save Westernport’s Louise Page.
AGL also provided a day pass to the conference so Louise could attend the conference presentation.
So, armed with letters to Mr Redman from 10 year old Dashi Roller and another from Federal Member for Flinders, Greg Hunt MP, Jono La Nauze (CEO Environment Victoria) and Louise met Kelly Parkinson (Senior Manager Project Engagement ) and joined the AGL CEO to articulate your concerns face to face.
Our message of overwhelming opposition and disappointment that AGL is continuing on this path of damage and detriment for Westernport and in full knowledge of our climate emergency was delivered succinctly.
A reminder about the recent stand by all the Federal election candidates for Flinders served to confirm everything we had to say.
Mr Redman responded by letting us know that he is well aware of our concerns, is not in “a vacuum” and receives regular updates about the opposition to the project.
He also said that there is a supply issue and that AGL would not be undertaking capital expenditure of this magnitude without the need.
(Could that need be continued profit not just in the gas sector but also their electricity income stream? Ergo the two new gas fired electricity generators in SA and NSW?)
Mr Redman also said that Greg Hunt MP has made his views known to him on several occasions.
Thank you, Greg.
Lastly, we let him know that we are not going away and that the community’s opposition grows daily!
URGENT! URGENT! URGENT!
Catch the bus we’ve organised (free) or meet us in Melbourne!
Save Westernport are heading to Australian Energy Week 2019 on Wednesday 12 June – see here.
We are joining Environment Victoria at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre from 10:00am until 11:00am – see map here.
AGL CEO Brett Redman will deliver a speech at 9:30am “Helping customers and communities through the energy transition”.
We have over 15,000 signed petitions to present to Mr Redman and call on him to drop plans for AGL’s gas import terminal in Westernport Bay.
Our bus will be leaving Hastings at 8:00am at Westernport Marina carpark. Book your bus tickets before they are all gone here.
If you are already in Melbourne, join us at the Clarendon Street entrance near the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre at 10:00am.
AGL do not have a ‘social licence’ to import and process gas in Westernport Bay!
Join us on Wednesday morning and tell Mr Redman “NO AGL GAS!”
Wow – what a crowd!
Balnarring Community Hall was filled with local residents at the latest Save Westernport public meeting.
Around 450 – 500 people attended “SOS Mayday Westernport” on 1st May 2019 to hear the latest on AGL’s proposed gas project.
See the ABC News Victoria news report here.
In attendance were a number of Federal Election candidates who expressed their support for Save Westernport and opposition to AGL.
Susie Beveridge (IND), Julia Banks (IND), Joshua Sinclair (ALP), Nathan Lesslie (Greens) and Reade Smith (Sustainable Australia) all voiced their opposition to AGL’s gas plans for Westernport Bay and signed a commitment to stop AGL’s Gas Terminal.
Current Federal Member for Flinders Hon Greg Hunt MP could not attend but a personal statement of support was delivered by local Member for Hastings Neale Burgess.
Other speakers included local mussel farmer Michael “Harry” Harris, Western Port Biosphere Executive Officer Greg Hunt (no relation) and Environment Victoria Campaigns Manager Dr. Nick Aberle. The speeches and presentations were both informative and concerning on the potential impacts that AGL’s proposed gas import terminal would have on Westernport Bay.
Many thanks to all of the Environment Victoria team for helping organise the “SOS Mayday Westernport” event in such a short time frame.
Thank you to the local residents of the Mornington Peninsula who attended for being so patient and supportive on a very memorable night in Balnarring!
The Motion that was presented and supported by the local residents is shown below:
SAVE WESTERNPORT PUBLIC MEETING MOTION
1 MAY 2019
Westernport is a rich wonderland of diverse ecosystems and home to species found nowhere else in the world. Because of its outstanding natural values, the United Nations proclaimed the Westernport region a UNESCO biosphere reserve in 2002 (one of only nine in Australia). It is also listed under the Ramsar convention as a wetland of international significance and as a major site for migratory and rare birds. 
Given the extraordinary ecological values of Westernport, this meeting of concerned citizens in the Electorate of Flinders calls on the next Federal Government to comply with its international and national environmental obligations and use its legislative powers to stop AGL’s proposal for a Floating Storage and Regasification Unit (a gas factory) at Crib Point and accompanying pipeline through public reserves and prime agricultural land to Pakenham.
We also call on the Victorian State Government to safeguard this precious region for the economic and environmental benefit of future generations and reject the planning application by AGL.
Approval of this project will unnecessarily sacrifice the Westernport region for AGL’s profit. It will not provide a secure domestic gas supply at affordable prices.
The AGL Board knows they do not have a social licence for this proposal and we ask them to respect the widespread and vehement opposition and withdraw their proposal, forthwith. AGL’s strategy to “manage community outrage” shows a disregard for our genuine concerns and together, we vow to maintain and intensify our outrage and our campaign until the proposal is abandoned.
 Based on City of Casey, ‘A description of Westernport’, https://www.casey.vic.gov.au/facilities-hire/western-port-bay
A new online petition has been submitted to the Parliament of Australia opposing the proposed AGL Gas Import Jetty project on Westernport Bay.
The petition has been submitted to the Honourable Speaker of the House of Representatives and Members of the House of Representatives.
You can sign the online petition here.
The new petition requests the Australian Government “… to stop this development and to protect the Western Port Ramsar Site consistent with our obligations under the Ramsar convention.“
The petition will be open for four weeks until 3 May 2019.
The final petition will be referred to the Minister for the Environment Hon Melissa Price for her response.
Save Westernport encourages all supporters to sign this new petition and share on social media.
AGL and APA have a new survey available for local residents to raise their concerns and and ask questions about the Gas Import Jetty and Pipeline project.
The survey may be found here.
The closing date for this survey is Sunday 31st March 2019.
Under the Environment Effects Act 1978, all public comment from the community must be formally collected, recorded and considered by AGL and APA during the consultation period.
Issues raised by the community will also be presented to the Technical Reference Group (TRG) – a group of local councils and state government agencies (e..g EPA, WorkSafe, Parks Victoria).
The TRG will review all AGL/APA technical studies and provide advice for the Environment Effects Statement (EES) to ensure potential impacts to the environment and human health are properly addressed.
Save Westernport strongly encourages all local residents to submit questions to AGL and APA about any aspect of the project that concerns them.
The environmental concerns about AGL’s gas project for Crib Point were broadcast on ABC News Victoria (Sunday 24th February 2019).
Watch the full report until 27 February 2019 on ABC iview at 19:50 minutes here
Read the full story “Australia is the biggest exporter of liquid natural gas so why is Victoria facing a future shortage?” on the ABC News website here
ABC News reporter Jessica Longbottom delivered a summary of the issues around AGL’s proposal to import liquified natural gas (LNG) via Westernport Bay despite Australia being the world’s biggest gas exporter.
This special report included interviews with Westernport Bay mussel farmer Michael Harris, local landowners Sue and John Allnut, Louise Page from Save Westernport, Tony Wood of the Grattan Institute and Phaedra Deckart from AGL (GM of Energy Supply).
Ms Deckart stated “…People aren’t going to be able to turn on their heaters or we’re not going to be able to run gas-fired power generators because there just won’t be enough gas.”
“We know [the community] are … taking one for the team, I suppose, in helping Australia and particularly the southern states meet their energy supply needs,” Ms Deckart said.
This is despite the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) believing it will be another decade before gas demand outstrips supply.
Landowner Mr Allnut said “People, businesses, manufacturers, they need energy. I understand that, but I just wonder whether it’s more about making dollars than supplying us with energy.”
Mr and Mrs Allnut’s land backs onto the Ramsar wetlands and a new APA gas pipeline would create a 30-metre wide corridor through their property in Pearcedale.
Mussel producer Mr Harris is worried about the impact of chlorinated water on his mussel farm near Flinders.
“Mussels filter [and eat] algae from the water, and if anything is going to potentially harm those algae levels in Western Port Bay, then I’m concerned,” he said.
“They’re like the canaries of the sea.”
Louise Page from Save Westernport said, “We have no studies of the long-term effects that will have on the immediate environment and further afield.”
“There could be cold water plumes that could disturb the very sensitive marine life there … [the organisms in the seawater] are going to be dead when the water’s disgorged,” Ms Page said.
Despite fierce opposition to the project by Mornington Peninsula residents and local community groups, AGL is 100% committed to the project and is currently working on the Environment Effects Statement (EES) for State and Federal Government approval by the end of 2019.
Time to start reading!
The Planning Minister Richard Wynne MP and DELWP (Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning) have released the Final Scoping Requirements for the Gas Import Jetty and Pipeline Project.
These are the “terms of reference” that determine which matters need to be investigated as part of the EES (Environment Effects Statement).
DELWP has a Crib Point: AGL/APA project website with more information here
A new 40 page EES Consultation Plan has also been prepared by AGL and APA to seek feedback from the community and stakeholders on the Project.
This Plan details the EES process, describes the Gas Import Jetty and Pipeline Project and provides information on the community feedback received to date.
The EES Consultation Plan may be found here
AGL and APA will jointly deliver an EES report that assesses the potential impacts of the gas project as well as conduct a series of technical studies that form the basis of the EES report.
The EES will investigate matters such as effects on native flora, fauna and their habitats, water quality, greenhouse gas emissions, adverse effects on the Western Port Ramsar site, etc.
The 28 page Scoping Requirements document can be found here
The Scoping Requirements FAQs may be found here
Save Westernport recommends that all residents take the time to read through the Plan and documents to learn about how the EES process works.
AGL and APA will also be holding new Community Drop-In Sessions from Saturday 23 February until 2 March 2019.
Local residents and stakeholders can meet AGL and APA employees (again), learn about technical studies and speak with specialists in key study areas (e.g. marine biodiversity).
See dates and locations below:
When: Saturday 23 February, 12pm – 2pm
Where: Cowes Cultural Centre
91-97 Thompson Avenue, Cowes 3922
When: Tuesday 26 February, 7pm – 9pm
Where: Crib Point Community House
7 Park Road, Crib Point 3919
When: Wednesday 27 February, 7pm – 9pm
Where: Officer Public Hall
16-18 Tivendale Road, Officer 3809
When: Thursday 28 February, 7pm – 9pm
Where: Pearcedale Community Centre
710 Baxter-Tooradin Rd, Pearcedale 3912
When: Saturday 2 March, 12pm – 2pm
Where: Hastings Community Hub
1973 Frankston – Flinders Road, Hastings 3915
Westernport and Peninsula Protection Council (WPPC) are hosting a fundraising screening of the award winning Australian doco film “The Bentley Effect” on Saturday 23 Feb at Rosebud (Peninsula Cinemas) at 6:00pm.
When the coal seam gas industry staked a claim on the Northern Rivers shire in NSW, alarm bells rang out. A critical mass of people from all walks of life organised themselves to rally against the unconventional gas invasion. Despite the enormous public opposition, the gas industry and the State Government were determined to see their gas plan through….
All proceeds to the No AGL Gas campaign. Get your tickets here and please tell your friends!
The 50th anniversary of the Westernport Festival in Hastings is on this weekend 22-24 Feb with the annual Hastings Day Parade on Saturday 23 Feb.
Where: High Street, Hastings – between Queen Street and Marine Parade.
Time: 12:15pm to 1:30pm (Hastings Day Parade)
Visit website here.
Save Westernport will also be having an info stall at the Womindjeka Balnarring Festival, on Saturday 23 March.
The festival celebrates Indigenous Culture, Sustainability and our own special community. FREE and family friendly, 10am-9pm.
Western Port Festival invites YOU to help celebrate its 50th anniversary!
The 50th Western Port Festival is coming to Hastings Foreshore from Friday 22 February – Sunday 24 February 2019.
Festival organisers decided to refuse sponsorship from gas corporation AGL as AGL wants to build a huge, dirty gas import factory at Crib Point.
The organisers made a gutsy decision and we could not be more proud of them.
Everybody is invited to the Festival, so come and show your support and let them know we’re on their side!
You can join the parade at 12:00pm on Saturday 23 Feb and enjoy all the attractions, live music and great food.
Save Westernport and our supporters will be marching in the parade and the Big Green Chair will feature too!
We’re on board to celebrate our wonderful bay and the festival that brings us together.
Join in, have fun and spread the word!