AGL’s Annual General Meeting October 7

AGL’s Annual General Meeting October 7

 

 

Did you know the AGL corporation is holding their Annual General Meeting, on October 7 2020 ?

Over the past few years, members and supporters of Save Westernport have attended the AGM to protest against  AGL and ask how the Board can allow AGL to embark on a new fossil fuels project in the face of the climate emergency and unmistakable community backlash.
The extent of community opposition confirms that the Crib Point proposal is at odds with every guiding policy that the AGL corporation claims to prioritise. We can draw media attention to this disparity by
asking confronting questions about this of the AGL Board in the presence of their shareholders.

The AGM is as an important opportunity to raise these concerns with shareholders and board members, to question their commitment to ‘Social License’ and emphasise the absence of community approval for the Crib Point proposal.

AGL’s hypocrisy in the misrepresentation of the public image they present as a responsible, innovative company is confirmed in their 2019 Sustainability report

AGL claims this policy “can be summarised in terms of leaving a positive legacy; AGL will strive to make a net positive social, economic and environmental contribution to the communities in which we operate. AGL’s community engagement commitments that operate under this framework are that AGL will:

● Be proactive: we will engage with communities early and often, so that we understand and respond to their interests and concerns.
● Be “exible and inclusive: we will offer a range of engagement opportunities that are tailored to the variety of needs and preferences of the communities in which we seek to operate.
● Be transparent: we will act honestly and ethically in all our dealings with the communities in which we operate, to ensure that our activities address community needs and expectations.”

Despite misrepresenting their commitment to sustainability and innovation, the actions of Australia’s biggest carbon polluter confirm a shocking lack of preparedness to confront the climate emergency or to support their customers in the inevitable transition from gas and other fossil fuels.

AGL’s past convictions for deceptive and misleading conduct highlight the need to challenge AGL and their Boardmembers whenever we can. As members of the public we are entitled to expect AGL to live up to the standards they have identified.

AGL has been determined to prolong the country’s hopeless dependence on gas, which has provided the AGL corporation with such sustained inflated profits, not even the destruction of our climate has proven enough of an incentive to ensure responsible action or the fulfillment if their stated aims. them with such enormous profits.

There’s little doubt that sustainable energy solutions would far more advanced, and would likely be ready to roll out now if AGL had not been allowed to spend several years and hundreds of millions of dollars exaggerating gas demand and the possibility of shortages in order to gain approval for their dangerous, inappropriate, irresponsible and out dated gas projects like Crib Point.

When they announced plans at Crib Point, AGL claimed their urgently need for gas to pimminent shortfalls for Victorian families and business. Since then we discovered AGL’s plans for two new gas fired power stations in SA and NSW, plus a third one to be built by pipeline company APA. under construction.

They have never said where they plan to get the gas from. 

And yet companies like AGL are under increasing pressure from their own shareholders and insurers to get with the times and do what is required to tackle climbing temperatures before 2050.

The emphasis they put on renewables in their own advertising demonstrates the unmistakable awareness from within these corporations that comes from the highest levels of their strategic planning departments.

They know their shareholders are waking up to the fact that gas is no transition fuel . People expect more— they’re demanding responsible action on climate, and meaningful investment in sustainable projects, rather than just a symbolic commitment that, to AGL means little more than the tokenistic ‘greenwashing’ seen in their advertising.

This year the AGL AGM will be streamed online, due to current COVID restrictions.

Only shareholders are eligible to attend their AGM.
However if you or someone you know holds AGL shares, and would consider providing your shareholder privilege to  a member of Save Westernport to ask a question at the AGM to someone at Save Westernport, please contact us to let us know. It is your right as a shareholder to allow a proxy to attend the AGM on your behalf.

This is a legitimate and effective way to exert pressure and encourage change within the corporate realm, used by groups like Sea Shepard, Market Forces and Friends of the Earth with great results.

If you’re an AGL shareholder and you’d like help framing an effective question for you to ask at the AGM on October 7, or for more information, please contact Save Westernport at  secretary@savewesternport.org or 59830094.

Save  Westernport and Environment Victoria are planning an Action  to protest online and send our message to Boardmembers, shareholders and the media, that this community will NEVER accept AGL’s plans to import fossil fuels in Westernport. 

We know we have the support of our local Mornington Peninsula Shire Council , and Bass Coast Council, who have each declared a Climate Emergency, and have voted to oppose AGL in Westernport.

In February 2020, the Bass Coast Shire Council Announced:

1. Council declares its strong opposition to the development of fossil fuel assets on Western Port and in particular, opposition to the AGL’s proposed Gas Import Jetty project for Crib Point.

2. That Council will write to the Premier advising him that:

2.1 Council has declared a climate emergency and is currently developing a comprehensive Climate Emergency Action Plan pursuing a community target of zero net emissions

Despite paying lipservice to policies of energy sustainability and innovation, AGL’s actions continue to contradict this position. We aim to challenge them about this whenever we can.

The emphasis placed on renewable energy in their own advertising demonstrates an unmistakable awareness from within the highest levels of their strategic planning departments of how highly this is prioritised by Australians.

They know their shareholders are waking up to the fact that gas is no transition fuel . People expect more— they’re demanding responsible action on climate, and meaningful investment in sustainable projects, rather than just a symbolic commitment that, to AGL means little more than the tokenistic ‘greenwashing’ seen in their advertising.

This year the AGL AGM will be streamed online, due to current COVID restrictions.

Only shareholders are eligible to attend their AGM.
However if you or someone you know holds AGL shares, and would consider providing your shareholder privilege to ask a question at the AGM to someone at Save Westernport, it is your right to allow a proxy shareholder to attend the AGM on your behalf.

This is a legitimate and effective way to exert pressure and encourage change within the corporate realm, used by groups like Sea Shepard, Market Forces and Friends of the Earth with great results.

Or if you’re an AGL shareholder and you’d like help submitting a challenging question that you could ask at the AGM on October 7, or for more information, please contact Save Westernport at  secretary@savewesternport.org or 59830094.

Join Save Westernport and Environment Victoria at our online Action as we protest AGL and send an unmistakable message to Boardmembers, shareholders and the media, that this community will NEVER accept AGL’s plans to import fossil fuels in Westernport. 

Email us at secretary@savewesternport.org  or watch this space for details of our AGM plans. 

#savewesternport stands with #schoolstrike4climate

#savewesternport stands with #schoolstrike4climate

https://www.schoolstrike4climate.com/buildourfuture

Save Westernport supports everyone doing at-home protests against gas development on this Global Day of Action against Gas.
Many people on the Mornington Peninsula are running online or private events, joining Hundreds of Thousands of people protesting about the gas threat here in Australia.

Check out the local events for this global day of action here
https://www.schoolstrike4climate.com/buildourfuture

Today the @schoolstrikeforclimate are calling us to flood the PM @scottmorrisonmp on social media —twitter, Facebook, Instagram, tiktok, and with phonecalls (02)6277 7700 to tell him we demand a safe, clean funded future, not a gas lead recovery.

Let’s call the PM to tell him that gas is no ‘transition fuel’. It’s just as dangerous and inefficient to burn as coal, and every dollar spent on it is a dollar taken from the Renewable Energy solutions needed to power our future.

Our demands are no public funds for gas and other damaging fossil fuel projects. Instead, recovery funds should be spent on.

1. Resourcing aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-led solutions that guarantee land rights and care for country.

2. The creation of jobs that fast-track solutions to the climate crisis and help communities recover.

3. Projects that transition our economy and communities to 100% renewable energy by 2030x through expanded public ownership”.

Thank you @sachaguggenheimer #fundourfuturenotgas @schoolstrikeforclimate rallies are being held around Australia . @scottmorrisonmp

Sacha: ecosystem collapse will destroy far more than just our economy. We’ll look back on Coronavirus and think, what a walk in the park compared to the devastation brought on us by #climatechange

Link in my bio to the online @schoolstrikeforclimate wrap up rally at 6pm EST. We’re in a pandemic, so this Day of Action won’t have us gathering in huge numbers, but each of us will be taking action, however and wherever we can.


💪🌎 @savewesternport

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/sep/17/scott-morrisons-gas-led-recovery-what-is-it-and-will-it-really-make-energy-cheaper

EES Directions Hearing Begins

EES Directions Hearing Begins

The Directions Hearing for the Environment Effects Statement on AGL’s gas import proposal was held on September 17.

For the first time an EES Hearing will be live-streamed via video link due to COVID restrictions.

The Hearings will be chaired by Kathy Mitchell, Chief member of the five-member Inquiry Advisory Committee Panel. The Panel was appointed by the Victorian Minister for Planning, Richard Wynne to oversee the EES Hearings and advise him of their findings at its conclusion.

Ms Mitchell was clear and direct as she explained the purpose of the Directions Hearing, and laid out the schedule. The Panel Hearings will review the Environment Effects Statement that AGL prepared, and the thousands of submissions that the public has written in response. 

The IAC Hearings will begin October 12continuing every day except Fridays and weekends until mid December. The Panel will break for Christmas and return their finding sometime in mid-February 

The Hearings will be live streamed, and recordings made available the following day along with other information on the EngageVic IAC website here

At the Directions Hearing on September 17, each of the Panel members introduced themselves, followed by the legal teams for the represented parties. These were:

– The local Mornington Peninsula Shire Council

– Cardinia Shire Council 

– Key community and environmental groups Save Westernport, Environment Victoria and Victoria National Parks Association, (VNPA) represented by Environmental Justice Australia (EJA)

– the EPA 

– the Proponents AGL, and pipeline company APA

– the Port of Hastings Development Authority

An article about the Directions Hearing appeared in the Australian Financial Review the following day. 

The two most important aspects of the Directions Hearing were. 

1. Legal Counsel for Mornington Peninsula Shire Council (MPSC) requested the Hearings to be adjourned on the grounds that expert witnesses have not been able to conduct necessary site inspections due to current Stage 4 Lockdown restrictions.

They argued that it would be procedurally unfair to require expert witnesses for the Council and other groups to give evidence on subjects including visual amenity, marine impacts, coastal flora and fauna, traffic and more, without the benefit of visiting the various locations that would be affected by AGL’s project.

The IAC Panel seemed reluctant to allow any change to the Hearing schedule, but gave no reason for the rushed agenda.

In May this year AGL CEO Brett Redman claimed in The AGE that the EES process should be ‘fast-tracked’.

This led to concerns that the AGL CEO’s comments might have unduly influenced Minister Wynne’s decision that led him to announce that the EES would proceed without due regard for the difficulties of COVID-19, the State of Disaster, or the escalating restrictions of Stage 4 lockdown that as predicted, have been making participation in the EES process so difficult for the public. 

The Minister for Planning refused to be swayed by appeals from Save Westernport, from the Mornington Peninsula Mayor, local Member for Flinders Greg Hunt MP, and hundreds of members of the community, requesting that he consider how greatly the limitations of the pandemic would compromise people’s ability to write submissions and participate in the Public Hearings if the EES were allowed to proceed with COVID restrictions still in effect.

This will be the first time an EES Hearing has ever had to be remotely operated. DELWP representatives have confirmed that it is also the most complex EES ever held in Victoria.

Just as COVID restrictions limited the ability of the public to collaborate on reviewing thousands of pages of AGL’s EES reports to make a submission, AGL will also benefit from the inevitable advantage they’ll receive due to the considerable challenges of COVID-19 and the ways that will impact the EES Hearing. 

For the last two years, Witnesses for AGL have been able to visit the area without restriction. In contrast, our expert witnesses may not ever have the chance to see the proposed locations before being required to give evidence at the Hearing. 
Groups including Save Westernport will have difficulty  advising our legal teams in real time when neither of us can be present during the Hearings.  

In response to the request for an adjournment, the IAC Chair asked whether the local Council could simply issue permits to allow expert witnesses to visit the proposed locations. Panel members we’re issued with permits to visit the area last week.

In his response the Shire’s legal Counsel referred to the State government’s list of exemptions to COVID restrictions, pointing out that it does not allow for witnesses.

The Panel Chair stated that twice during their recent visit to the area, the Members’ vehicle was stopped by local police patrols to check their permits and ask where the group was going.

According to Ms Mitchell, unless permits for site visits can be arranged, we may have to accept that our expert witnesses will have to give evidence without the benefit of ever viewing the areas they’re required to report on.

Nevertheless, expert witnesses will play an important role, challenging AGL and the information they provided in their EES reports during the Hearings.

You can help us meet to costs of providing expert witnesses by DONATING to Save Westernport’s Fundraising campaign here. Expert witnesses will test AGL’s claims, and present detailed evidence on key subjects at the Hearings.

 

2. The second point of interest resulting from the Directions Hearing was Panel Chair Kathy Mitchell’s announcement that the IAC overseeing the Hearings and the Mornington Peninsula Shire Council have each issued AGL and APA with requests for further information that was not available in their EES reports.

Among the many tabled documents on the IAC website, are the extensive lists of further information that the proponents must supply.

These requests confirm what we discovered when AGL’s EES reports became available: they lack important detail and rely on flawed modelling, questionable data and incorrect assumptions.

The lists of extra information required by the IAC Panel and Mornington Peninsula Shite Council  are extensive and include requests for details of tidal and weather conditions that should’ve been provided with the original field work in the original EES reports and pipeline application.

Data on greenhouse gas emissions, on the handling of chlorine and formaldehyde, management of contamination by potential acid sulphate soil (PASS), management of increased truck traffic, the inadequacy of mitigation strategies and disposal of the oily sludge produced during regasification are further examples of the kind of extra information that is sought.

Other examples were listed in an article in the Financial Review this week.

AGL needed two years to prepare their EES reports. They now have until September 25 to outline how they plan to provide all that requested information to the Panel.

Counsel for the proponent AGL, Mr Townsend attempted to make light of the requests, claiming that additional information is routinely requested at this stage. However, if these details were available to AGL, surely they would have included it in their original EES it was released.

A recording of the Directions Hearing, and thousands of submissions from the public have been made available on the IAC Planning Panels website here

https://engage.vic.gov.au/crib-point-IAC

Panel Chair, Ms Mitchell provided this list of the main themes emerging in the public submissions so far. 

Members of the public who made submissions on the EES will be able to address the Panel at the Public Hearings. Whether people initially requested to speak for one hour or one minute, the large numbers of people wanting to address the Panel has made it necessary for spoken submissions from the public to be limited to just 8 minutes each.

This stage of the Hearings probably won’t commence until about mid November, and everyone who applied to speak will address the Panel via Zoom video link.

Suggested sites for the IAC Panel to visit, and numerous witness statements are available in the Tabled Documents for the Hearing. This list is constantly being updated.

For more information on the EES Hearings contact Andrea Harwood or Georgia Thomas of Planning Panels Victoria (03) 8392 5116

cribpoint.IAC@delwp.vic.gov.au.

The Mornington Peninsula Shire Council has suggested that the Panel should visit sites on French Island, Woolleys Beach and Warringine Park. It’s hoped that Panel members will appreciate the extent of environmental degradation the AGL proposal would bring unless it is rejected.

Warringine Park, between Crib Point and Hastings lies within the Westernport Ramsar site. The Park is considered significant to the survival of critically endangered migratory bird species, including the Far Eastern Curlew and the Fairy Tern. 

If the project ever went ahead, Warringine Park would be severely impacted by the construction of a new gas pipeline that would bisect its fragile wetlands.

A Virtual Tour of Warringine Park is available here

Bass Coast Council has also suggested several a locations on Phillip Island.

A virtual tour of Ryhll on Phillip Island is available here

If AGL proceeded with their deeply unpopular plans, upper estimates of 40 LNG tankers per year would increase commercial shipping traffic in Westernport by as much as 40% for the next twenty years.

The ever-present spectre of AGL’s proposed floating gas factory at Crib Point, the visiting LNG tankers, dredging (‘levelling’) and diesel-belching tug boats, would permanently change the character of Westernport, altering its vista across the Bay from nearly every lookout and vantage point.

This and other disastrous impacts and safety concerns are detailed Save Westernport’s submission against the AGL proposal and EES. Read it here.

Despite the limitations and difficulties of COVID, we should congratulate ourselves that a total of 6,059 submissions have officially been received by the EES Panel in opposition to the AGL proposal.

These public submissions can be viewed here on the IAC website ( Inquiry Advisory Committee).
The Panel Chair confirmed at the Hearings that a controversial decision by Planning Panels Victoria has resulted in thousands of submissions being excluded from the official tally. Save Westernport raised this matter through our legal representative at the Directions Hearing. This resulted in the official tally being revised upwards from 3083 to 6059.

Even though this total smashed all previous records for EES submissions received in Victoria, the Panel’s decision not to count as many as half the submissions received has angered and disappointed many people.

This outcome was attributed to “incorrect advice” that meant thousands of submissions were lodged through an alternative government email address.

Understandably, the decision has been confusing, because the department acknowledges receiving some, but not all of the submissions through the alternate, (incorrect) website, and all submissions in question were received before Planning Panel’s deadline on August 26.

While submissions in this group will not be counted as individual submissions, Planning Panels Victoria states that they WILL be still be reviewed, and the information they contain taken into account. 

The enormous number of submissions against the AGL proposal is still many times greater than the numbers usually received for EES projects in Victoria, which confirms the extent of community interest, concern and overwhelming opposition to AGL’s plans.

Remember, Save Westernport is still raising urgently needed funds to take on AGL at the Panel Hearings on October 12.

 

Save Westernport will be represented during the EES Hearings by Environmental Justice Australia. However, we are still short of our target to provide legal Counsel throughout the two months of Hearings, and to engage expert witnesses to challenge the inadequate technical and ecological information contained in AGL’s EES reports. 

The average cost of an expert witness to provide a report and undergo cross examination by AGL’s barristers is over $5,000 each.

You can help by donating to help us meet the costs of expert witnesses and legal representation to take on AGL at the EES Hearings. Our barristers will be required to attend up to ten weeks of Hearings, and will be appearing at a greatly reduced rate. 

If you’re able to help us challenge AGL, you’ll also be helping us make sure the community’s interests are represented at the EES Hearings, 

PLEASE MAKE A DONATION TODAY.

We are determined to demonstrate how inappropriate and unnecessary AGL’s Gas import plans in Westernport really are.

 

 

 

 

 

Emphatic NO! to Gas Plan

Emphatic NO! to Gas Plan

 

Last week the Mornington Peninsula Shire Council ran a poll on their website that asked—

“Do you support AGL’s proposal for a gas import jetty and pipeline in Westernport Bay?”

More than two thousand people responded, with an overwhelming 93.6% answering NO –  a clear sign of the community’s emphatic rejection of controversial plans by gas giant AGL to import and process LNG near Crib Point for the next twenty years.
Read about it in this week’s Mornington Peninsula News

The decisive result was no surprise. Ever since AGL named the coastal village of Crib Point as their ‘preferred location’ to process gas, members of Save Westernport have been expressing the extent of local opposition to the company’s CEO and Boardmembers.

AGL seriously misrepresented the suitability of the proposed site, telling the government they could “make use of existing infrastructure”, when the project would require the construction of a 60km pipeline.

It’s now widely recognised that Westernport’s internationally recognised wetlands and unique marine ecology are entirely incompatible with the heavy industry of its past. 

What’s more— Westernport’s mangroves and Coastal Saltmarsh ecosystems are directly threatened by our dependence on fossil gas.
AGL must not be permitted to profit from perpetuating the misguided practices of a bygone era.

Save Westernport believes the company’s shareholders expect a great deal more from AGL, and we plan to make this clear to the members of the Board at their AGM later this month.

Forcing a project that has been overwhelmingly rejected by this community and its Shire Council would imperil the company, exposing AGL to the enormous risk of further degrading its tenuous reputation.

Read the recent article in the Mornington Peninsula News

Here.

Remember :

Save Westernport is urgently raising funds to engage expert witnesses to represent Westernport and challenge AGL at the Environment Effects Statement Panel Hearings next month.

We will be taking on the vested interests and limitless resources of the AGL corporation. The cost of providing marine and other experts, and legal representation—even by the good people at Environmental Justice Australia—are enormous.

But this is our one chance to make it clear to the Planning Panel: we want to see Westernport protected and valued as the priceless treasure that it is.

Please make a donation and help us make sure AGL’s irresponsible plans in Westernport are NOT APPROVED ! However big or small, if we pool the resources of our wonderful community, we can do this.

Contact secretary@savewesternport.org

 

‘Emphatic no’ to gas plan

Save Westernport’s EES Submission

Save Westernport’s EES Submission

:

Save Westernport’s  Submission against AGL’s Environment Effects Statement has been lodged with Planning Panels Victoria, who will now oversee the Public Hearings for the EES.

Our submission can now be viewed here

Many Thanks to everyone who collaborated to produce this wonderful work, and to Chris and Jane from Save Westernport for bringing together the many contributions.

Thanks also to Victor and all Save Westernport’s campaign partners at Environment Victoria- EV, Westernport Peninsula Protection Council- WPPC, Phillip Island Conservation Council- PICS, and Victorian National Parks Association- VNPA, and to all our wonderful friends.

I am so encouraged by what we were able to achieve in just 40 days, under extremely difficult lockdown conditions. 

The next stage of the EES will be the Panel Hearings beginning on October 12.

You can DONATE to support us at the EES Hearings against AGL 

Those of you who indicated in their submissions that they’d like to address the Panel directly will have the opportunity to do this via video link at the Hearings. 
Planning for the Panel Hearings will begin on October 12.

Remember, these Hearings will require us to go up against Energy giant AGL—to take on the limitless resources of a corporation with past convictions for “deceptive and misleading conduct” 

But we still have to reach our fundraising target.
Funds are urgently needed to secure the best legal support and expert witnesses to ensure 
the interests of our community are represented at the Hearings.
This will be essential to challenge AGL’s exploitative plans.

To contribute to this monumental effort, please consider…‘What Does Westernport Mean to Me..?.’

and PLEASE Donate Here.

By pooling our resources, however large or small, we can make sure those without a voice  are heard.

Donate Now to the No AGL Campaign

And let’s do this!!

Julia Stöckigt,

Secretary Save Westernport 

 

 

Still Time to Make a Submission

Still Time to Make a Submission

Making a Submission before September 1 is the best way to STOP AGL.
It’s our chance to have a say and stop the exploitation of our precious natural world.

You can write you own submission on the EngageVic website here 

OR

Write a ‘fast and furious’ submission  using Environment Victoria’s   Survey-to-Submission tool 

 

1.) To write your ‘fast and furious’ Environment Victoria submission follow the steps below:

Yesterday the Department of Environment Land Water and Planning (DELWP) decided that each submission must go through their site, so they have put another step in place:

1. Go to this link: https://environmentvictoria.org.au/build-submission

2.Fill out the survey and amend if necessary, then submit
Due to DELWP’s new requirement that all submissions must go through their EngageVic website, Environment Victoria will then email your submission back to you.

3. Once you have received your submission from EV go to the DEWLP site:
engage.vic.gov.au/crib-point-IAC  click on: Make your submission.

4. Answer their questions then copy and paste your submission into to the “Add your submission” box

Job done. (Thanks Rod Knowles)

2) If you can write your own, more detailed submission and/or would like to attend the Panel Hearings in person to have your voice heard, make sure you tick the box when submitting here:

3) Check out Environment Victoria’s tips on How to Make a Deadly Submission against AGL  here 

4) Last week Mornington Peninsula Shire Council voted unanimously to oppose AGL’s dangerous, unnecessary plans.
Council’s Submission against AGL is now online here.
You might find it helpful when writing your own submission.


They suggest writing about whatever point/s  you decide to make, whether that’s Marine Life, Safety, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Birds, etc using the words of the ‘Evaluation Objectives’.

The EVALUATION OBJECTIVES  are in the blue box at the start of each section of the Council’s submission..
Please feel free to copy and paste text from their online Submission, but to give it more value, they advise adding some of your own perspective and words.
MPSCouncil’s submission starts on page 4  here.

We’ve heard the number of Submissions AGAINST AGL that Minister Wynne and the Department of Environment Land Water and Planning (DELWP) have already received has Blown the previous record right out of the water !

Let’s keep going, and really send the message home—
There’ll be NO AGL IN WESTERNPORT !

Crib Point Township Plan – Have Your Say

Crib Point Township Plan – Have Your Say

https://www.mornpen.vic.gov.au/About-Us/Have-your-say/Have-Your-Say-Crib-Point-Township-Plan-2020-Update

HAVE YOUR SAY, Please Comment Today on the future of Crib Point.
Mornington Peninsula Shire is breathing new life into the Crib Point Township Plan 2009-2011. The plan sets the strategic vision and direction for the township’s development and aims to protect Crib Point’s unique character of tree lined streets and a mix of old and new houses.

The original Plan established a long-term vision and guidance for the future development of Crib Point and was prepared in consultation with the town’s residents.

Please log on TODAY and tell them yo DO NOT support the Port of Hastings or AGL’s industrial vision of it’s past for Crib Points future.
Crib Point’s Coastal wetlands location makes it almost unique in Westernport, and therefore in Victoria . The 320 Ha of wasted, disused Port land that separates the village of Crib Point from the foreshore needs to be unrently be rezoned, to make room for recreation and enjoyment of open spaces, for people to enjoy Westernport and value its uniqueness and ecological significance

The AGL Threat —Fast Facts

The AGL Threat —Fast Facts

AGL Gas Fact Sheet

What is the FSRU?

AGL’s proposal is to operate a Floating Storage and Regasification Unit (FSRU) – a giant gas tanker permanently moored at the end of a jetty, which would receive liquefied natural gas (LNG) shipments from interstate or overseas, store it, and then convert it into gas for distribution via a new pipeline that runs through high value agricultural land.

 

How polluting is the project?

AGL’s dirty gas plan will increase Victoria’s climate pollution. It will:

  • Pump 130-160 petajoules of gas per year into Victoria, almost doubling the amount of gas flowing into the state, likely reversing the shift of industry and households away from gas and weakening the move to renewable energy;
  • Involve importing gas produced by fracking, which has much higher local environmental impacts in the places where the fracking occurs; and
  • Increase the carbon pollution of gas consumption, because the gas being brought into Victoria will have been liquefied, transported long distances, re-gasified and then stored, with each step consuming energy and adding to fugitive emissions. Meaning this gas is 20 percent more polluting than gas sourced from Victoria.

What about gas prices?

The project will likely lead to higher, not lower gas prices for Victorians. This view is supported by Macquarie Bank’s thorough analysis of the price impacts of gas import terminals.. In short Macquarie Bank concludes: “We believe that any import terminal will not lower prices on the East Coast of Australia, and could potentially set a higher floor price.”1

What About a Gas Shortage ?

There is not a gas shortage in Australia, there is a problem with the gas market. The East coast of Australia currently consumes 700 petajoules of gas a year while the 1500 petajoules is exported overseas from a massive terminal in Gladstone, Queensland. There are far better policy solutions to this issue such as controls on exports or a reservation policy. Moreover gas is still a polluting and dangerous fuel that Australia needs to transition away from. There is already a transition underway in Victoria, our gas use has declined by 20% in the last 7 years. Governments should invest in supporting households and businesses to continue to switch away from gas and towards electricity powered by clean, renewable energy and storage.

What about threatened species in Westernport

Westernport Bay is an internationally listed ecosystem, recognised under the Ramsar Convention as a unique tidal bay and wetland with important ecological values.

 It is home to a number of threatened species listed under the ​Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act​ (Vic) 1988 and the ​Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act​ (Cth) 1999 such as Southern Right Whale; Humpback Whale; Far Eastern Curlew; Curlew Sandpiper; Fairy Tern; Orange-bellied Parrot; Swift Parrot; Great White Shark; Mangrove Goby; Australian Grayling; Two species Ghost Shrimp, southern brown bandicoot and coastal saltmarsh.

We have deep concerns over the threats to the habitat and welfare of these species caused by the construction and operation of the FSRU and pipeline.

What about marine impacts?

There are concerning marine impact associated with this project. These include:

  • The discharge of up to 450,000,000 litres per day of cold sea water into Westernport Bay;
  • The discharge of up to 450,000,000 litres per day of chlorinated water into Westernport Bay;
  • The risk to the ecosystem and small marine life from becoming sucked into the heat exchanger;
  • The possibility of the introduction of marine pests;
  • The impact on two species of Ghost Shrimp, both of which are considered likely to be present in low numbers in suitable habitat, about which there is extremely limited knowledge;
  • The significant increase in shipping through Western Port Bay, increasing the incidences of vessel strikes with marine mammals and marine noise.
  • The potential for fuel spills and the impact this may have on marine life. VNPA has undertaken extensive​ ​shipping oil spill modelling​ which shows the complexities and trends in movement in the Bay in addition to the impacts on​ ​birds​,​ ​mangroves, and seagrass.

What does the local community think?

There is strong local community opposition to the project. A local campaign to defend the bay from AGL’s project is entering its third year. Save Westernport (https://www.savewesternport.org/​ and the community in Westernport Bay are determined to protect the Bay’s spectacular natural values and threatened species. They have been fighting fossil fuel and port development projects in the area for many years. There are a number of different groups involved including; Westernport & Peninsula Protection Council, Blue Wedges, ​Phillip Island Conservation Society and Preserve Western Port Action Group as well as farmers along the route of the pipeline.

Tourism job numbers:

Mornington Peninsula Jobs: 9000 

GRP: $849 million Phillip Island

Jobs: 4,400

GRP: $407 m – this is 40% of local economy. Highest of any other region in Vic. These two regions together are Victoria’s biggest tourism employers.

What’s the timeframe?

AGL has presented their Environment Effects Statement to Minister Wynne. You can read it here.

Public Comments are open until August 26 2020, then there will be a public Hearing. The Minister will make a decision soon. 

 

Now is our chance to comment on the project by making a submission. AGL is Australia’s biggest climate polluter.

They are the largest polluter by more than twice the second largest who is another energy company called EnergyAustralia.

We cannot let this project go ahead! 

 

 

What can I do?

– > Make A Submission !You can make a submission about the AGL Crib Point proposal using the online form on the EngageVic website here.

– > Are you a shareholder? Come to their AGM

– > Sign up to attend the rally at their AGM

– > Donate!

 More Concerns about AGL gas terminal & APA pipeline:

If approved , the AGL proposal would have a multitude of risks and potentially disastrous impacts that should prove it to be entirely unjustifiable.

These include:

  • The construction of the 60 km pipeline to Pakenham, with its 30m wide easement that would rip through wilderness areas including Warrangine Park within the protected Ramsar wetlands, and up to 100 private properties in Melbourne’s productive food growing areas.
  • The constant risk of leak, explosion, spill, or accident from human error or equipment failure.
  • Threat of bushfire providing a potential ignition source.
  • Disturbance to nocturnal wildlife from permanent Industrial lighting at the facility.
  • Noise from the FSRU which AGL’s own reports say would be in excess of safe levels determined by the EPA.
  • Dust, vibration, and particularly air emissions from the FSRU, which AGL’s reports also say would be in excess of EPA safe levels.
  • Decrease to local property values, or difficulty insuring properties near the facility.
  • Damage to the growing economy and reputation of the Peninsula as “clean, green” food producing area and destination, compromise local wineries and businesses like the Flinders Aquaculture Reserve.
  • The disturbance and release into the water column of contaminated soils from previous industry at the jetty site, including dangerous PFAS chemicals and Potential Acid sulphite soils, described in AGL reports.
  • Danger of moorings breaking in heavy weather, causing collision with United Petrol tanker the Marie Boyle, which regularly docks at Crib Point jetty, or with LNG tankers supplying the FSRU. Westernport has notoriously shallow waters and fast moving tides.
  • Cold water, chlorination and wash from increased wash of shipping could slow or stop the recent regeneration of seagrasses and mangrove beds, without which, sediments would increasingly scour the bay, further undermining and destabilising mangrove beds. 
  • The benefit of Mangroves as an essential Carbon sink can be evaluated in direct monetary  terms, known as BLUE CARBON. As a carbon sink, Mangroves are unsurpassed and are even more effective at safely storing carbon than even rainforests. We should be doing EVERYTHING we can to protect and encourage mangroves in Westernport Bay. Nowhere on Earth are they able to grow this far south. They are a tropical species that can only grow in Westernport due to its shallow waters and warmer temperatures .
  • Mangroves are an essential species in the bay, providing roosting and foraging opportunities for several species of endangered migratory birds that should be protected by the bay’sasdf Ramsar status. Mangroves prevent erosion and coastal inundation, and are our best defence against rising sea levels and resulting coastal inundation and erosion. They also filter toxic run-off from agricultural chemicals and improve water quality and clarity.
  • Dumping of 450 million litres of chilled, chlorinated wastewater 7 degrees colder into Westernport Bay every day the Floating Storage Regasification Unit processes gas
  • Perpetuating gas use and discouraging urgently needed investment and uptake of renewable energy alternatives
  • Increased fugitive methane and other polluting air emissions, carbondioxide and particulate pollution
  • Disruption of Boon Wurrung cultural heritage sites, registered and unlisted, Indigenous artifacts and shell middens
  • New gas pipeline and 30m wide easement disrupting the region’s market gardens that contribute to Melbourne’s food bowl and enable lower ‘food miles’ for the city
  • Disruption to access of private properties along the proposed route and negatively impacting property prices
  • Industrial light spill, noise and vibration, above the water and below. Noise of visiting tankers and tugs combined with constant operation of FSRU would exceed EPA safe levels
  • Transport, storage, use, handling, disposal of gas, dangerous goods and toxic, flammable odorising gas additive called Mercaptan near a residential community and bushfire zone
  • Negative Economic, Social, Psychological and Health Impacts to community, and to the region’s reputation
  • Hazard to Life from flammable LNG, and associated risk of BLEVE- Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapour Explosion
  • Change in Visual Appearance and inevitable loss of Amenity due to large imposing new industrial facilities, visible from Phillip Island and all across Westernport Bay
  •  Estimated 40% rise in commercial shipping traffic, with unknown impacts of associated noise on all marine life.
  • Increased collision risk with migratory humpback & resident populations of marine mammals incl. burrunan Dolphin pods
  • Turbidity and silt from shipping wake, causing dieback & loss of seagrass, a species critical to healthy marine ecosystems  
  • Introduction of invasive marine pests from international LNG carriers, threat to marine life & Flinders Aquaculture Reserve
  • Increased industrial development restricting economic and tourism opportunities in Westernport & Mornington Peninsula
  • Dredging (called ‘levelling’) disrupting water movements & seabed, potential for sediment plume & coastal inundation
  • Disposal of contaminated PFAS, toxic heavy metal and acid sulfate soils from previous industry in Dredge Spoil materials 
  • Protected species of Westernport’s marine life, flora and fauna: Ghost Shrimp, Humpback Whales, Silverheaded Flying Fox, Little Penguins, Brown face Bandicoot, Migratory birds: Fairy Tern, Far Eastern Curlew, and rare Spider Orchid
  • Cumulative Impacts over time include loss of stabilising terrestrial ecology, risk of erosion, coastal inundation, loss of onshore fauna and flora habitats, critically endangered Coastal Saltmarsh communities, ecosystems & vegetation.
  • Loss of Silver Mangroves due to cold water in FSRU heat exchange, a tropical species with limitless potential for carbon biosequestration, stores more carbon than rainforest
  • FSRU would be constant an Ignition source of Bushfire in a known hazardous zone, with nearby Primary School, residential communities and Cerberus Naval Base

 

STOP AGL —

NO GAS FACTORY IN WESTERNPORT BAY!

 

 

  • 1 Macquarie Wealth Management, East Coast Gas and Infrastructure 6 July 2018

 

The AGE, Anger as Wynne Rejects Community’s Call

The AGE, Anger as Wynne Rejects Community’s Call

Federal Health Minister and local MP Greg Hunt is “deeply disappointed” the Victorian government has refused to delay assessing the environmental impact of AGL’s proposed gas-import terminal at Western Port until coronavirus restrictions are lifted.

Resident groups, lawyers and environmentalists had urged Planning Minister Richard Wynne to pause the process because community members could not effectively participate – including reviewing the 11,000-page impact document and having independent experts assess the project site – during stage four lockdown.

Read On… 

 

https://www.theage.com.au/environment/climate-change/anger-as-state-rejects-calls-to-pause-controversial-gas-project-20200811-p55kn5.html

Morn Pen Council Information Session on AGL’s EES

Morn Pen Council Information Session on AGL’s EES

Concerned about AGL’s LNG proposal ?                 

 Have Your Say – Make a Submission

You can have your say on this project by making a written submission to State Government. Details on how to make a submission are here.

You can make a submission as part of a Residents Group or Community Organisation, however petitions don’t count as a submission.

Community Information Session

The Mornington Peninsula Shire Council held a community information session about the AGL project on Thursday 16 July.  Due to Coronavirus restrictions, the session was held as an online webinar. You can watch it here

Members of the public joined the webinar on the night, where Council officers provided an outline of:

  • the project proposal,
  • approvals process,
  • Council’s planned response,
  • key dates and events,
  • answers to frequently asked questions.

Members of the public had the opportunity to ask their own questions via the online chat function.

Please note: For those who could not attend the webinar, a recording of the session and copy of the PowerPoint have been uploaded to the Council’s website.

Save Westernport has made the Council’s presentation available here
https://youtu.be/LnLM1KIDmyk

 

  • Questions during the webinar were submitted by typing into the Q&A chat function on the screen.
  • The webinar did not have the capability to host verbal questions from guests.

    The EES is our chance to have our say on the AGL proposal.

    Save Westernport encourages you to make a submission and attend our information session with Environment Victoria to find out how.

    We’ll let you know the details soon.