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.