Media Background for Crib Point terminal inquiry hearings, by Greg Foyster

The briefer includes essential info on the hearings, appearance dates, access links and contact details for spokespeople.

THE PROJECT

AGL is proposing to build a 290-metre floating gas import terminal at Crib Point in Westernport Bay, south-east of Melbourne. Westernport Bay is recognised as a wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention.

It is home to vulnerable, endangered and critically endangered whales, turtles, fish and waterbirds. The terminal, known as a Floating Storage and Regasification Unit (FSRU), would receive liquefied natural gas (LNG) via shipments from interstate or overseas, then convert this LNG back into gas for distribution via a new pipeline (to be built by APA) running 60 kilometres from Crib Point to Pakenham. AGL’s description of the project is at www.gasimportprojectvictoria.com.au

THE HEARINGS

Two energy companies, AGL and APA, have proposed the project. In October 2018, the Victorian Minister for Planning required the companies to submit an environment effects statement (EES).

AGL took two years to create the 11,000 page EES, and the community was given 40 days to respond during a public exhibition phase from 2 July to 26 August. This coincided with stage four lockdown restrictions.

A joint Inquiry and Advisory Committee (IAC) was appointed to consider the EES and submissions and give advice to ministers and government agencies on the project. All documents relating to the hearings, including public submissions, are at: https://engage.vic.gov.au/crib-point-IAC The hearings will be held online from Monday 12 October to 17 December.

The timetable is here.

Zoom details for the hearings:
Meeting ID: 810 4993 0543
Passcode: 771844 

link >


THE SUBMISSIONS

The environmental assessment for this project has generated an unprecedented number of public submissions.

More than 4345 submissions are publicly available on the IAC website, and more than 9,000 additional individual submissions were attached to Environment Victoria’s submission.

The previous record for most submissions to a Victorian EES was the Mornington Safe Harbour project with 2018 submissions.

 

WHAT ARE THE CONCERNS?

Submissions opposing include federal MP Greg Hunt, several shire councils (Bass Coast, Mornington, Cardinia), recreational fishing peak bodies, tourism operators, local business owners, environment and climate groups.

All submissions can searched at https://engage.vic.gov.au/crib-point-IAC/submissions

Links to submissions from conservation and community groups: Environment Victoria Victorian National Parks Association

Save Westernport Westernport & Peninsula Protection Council (submission 3149)
Friends of French Island (submission 1140)
For a summary of concerns related to tourism, fishing and local businesses, contact Environment Victoria Media and Content Manager Greg Foyster on 0410879031 or g.foyster@environmentvictoria.org.au

 

WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THE HEARINGS?

The committee has 30 days to send a report to the Victorian Planning Minister Richard Wynne.

The Minister has 30 days to respond and make his decision. The committee’s report is not public until after the Minister has decided, and the Minister has discretion to ignore the committee’s recommendations.
In the recent North-East Link EES, the Minister approved the project and dismissed key findings of the panel.

MEDIA CONTACTS

Greg Foyster, Environment Victoria, 0410879031, g.foyster@environmentvictoria.org.au

Julia Stockigt, Save Westernport, 0425 306 830,
juliastockigt@gmail.com

Candy van Rood, Save Westernport, 0412494985, candy@candyspender.com.au

Shannon Hurley, Victorian National Parks Association, 0433 481 346, shannon@vnpa.org.au

Jeff Nottle, Phillip Island Conservation Society Inc, 0419 158 232, nottle@bigpond.net.au

Karri Giles, Westernport & Peninsula Protection Council, 0425707448, carolinejean4@optusnet.com.au

Livia Cullen,Environmental Justice Australia, 0411108239, livia.cullen@envirojustice.org.au

Bron Gwyther, Friends of French Island, 0422032527, bron_gwyther@hotmail.com

Key Hearing Dates

Date Group or expert appearing 12 Oct Opening submission from AGL and APA 13 Oct

Opening submissions from Minister for Planning, Minister for Environment, EPA, councils, Bunurong Land Council Aboriginal Corporation, Environment Victoria, Save Westernport and Victorian National Parks Association, instructed by Environmental Justice Australia 14 Oct – 6 Nov

Expert witness statements from AGL and APA covering economics, environment impacts, pipeline etc 9 Nov – 16 Nov

Mornington Shire and Bass Coast Shire with expert witnesses on greenhouse gas emissions, groundwater, marine ecology, water birds, traffic etc 17 Nov

Cardinia Council expert witness on groundwater 18 Nov
City of Casey, EPA Victoria,
Bunurong Land Council Aboriginal Corporation 19 Nov

Westernport and Peninsula Protection Council with expert witness Mary Cole on Phytophthera cinnamon, Amphiboulus Chytrid Fungus G & K O’Connor Pty Ltd with expert witness Peter Ramsey in Engineering 23 Nov Environment Victoria,

Save Westernport Inc and Victorian National Parks Association with expert witness Bruce Robertson on energy finance and Perran Cook of Monash University on environmental chemistry 24 Nov

As above with expert witness Matt Edmunds on marine ecology and ecological assessments 25 Nov As above with expert witness John Wardrop on environmental science (oil spills) and Tom Baldock of the University of Queensland on hydrodynamics 26 Nov

As above with expert witness Bonnie Rosen on social impacts and Vanessa Wong of Monash University on soil science 30 Nov

Environment Victoria, Save Westernport Inc and Victorian National Parks Association continued 1 Dec – 2 Dec

Save Westernport and Environment Victoria continued 3 Dec Expert witnesses on animal wildlife rescue, green retrofits and climate/energy French Island Community Association 7 Dec – 15 Dec

Approximately 340 individual submissions, each allotted 5 to 8 minutes 15 Dec Discussion on Mitigation Measures/Environment Performance Requirements 16 Dec

Closing submissions from Minister for Planning, Minister for Environment, EPA, Councils, Bunurong Land Council Aboriginal Corporation and Environment Victoria, Save Westernport and Victorian National Parks Association, instructed by Environmental Justice Australia 1

7 Dec Closing submissions from AGL and APA

~the people sign~rally for Westernport ~POSTPONED

~the people sign~rally for Westernport ~POSTPONED

Like everyone else, Save Westernport and Environment Victoria have been closely following the developments around COVID-19 and public health advice.

To reduce the risk to all of us of being exposed to the virus and ensure that our events are safe for everybody, we have made the decision to postpone the People Sign Beach Rally that was planned for Sunday March 29 on Somers Beach.

Instead, we will be meeting online on March 29 at 7:30pm to discuss our visions for protecting Westernport permanently from heavy industrialisation and pollution. You can RSVP here.

We believe this is the most responsible thing to do to ensure that we are not contributing to the spread of the virus, and to protect our collective health and all those that we have contact with in our daily lives. 

We are disappointed that these circumstances mean we can’t all gather together on March 29th but we are still excited about getting together online to talk about our visions for protecting our Bay permanently from heavy industrialisation and pollution.

You can RSVP here. Here is a how-to guide demonstrating how to use zoom for online meetings. If you would like a call beforehand to discuss how to use zoom, let us know by responding to this email. 

Even though COVID-19 has put a temporary break on our in-person protests and actions we are not giving up the fight. We will simply find new ways to express our outrage together and tell AGL to drop their plans for a gas import terminal in our Bay.

We will confirm new dates for the People Sign so that it can proceed at a later date that is safe for everyone.

Key things for your action now:

  1. RSVP to the zoom call.
  2. Let us know if you need a call from us to help you use zoom.

Can’t make this time? We will host a second webinar. Click here to let us know which time works for you.

If you have any questions, please contact me by responding to this email.

In solidarity, 
Victor Komarovsky
And the teams at Environment Victoria and Save Westernport

Celebrate World Wetlands Day

Celebrate World Wetlands Day

Celebrate World Wetlands Day on a beautiful twilight cruise with Save Westernport.

Come and join us for an evening celebrating our bay with great company, fascinating commentary and magical sights.

Relax and enjoy a drink* and complimentary canapes while cruising around our own precious Ramsar Westernport Bay.

Thanks to a generous supporter tickets are only $30.00 per person (normally $48.50)

Wildlife Coast Cruises has kindly offered to pick us up and drop off at Stony Point Pier.

Details:

Please be at Stony Point Pier at 6.45pm.

Boarding commences at 7.00pm with a 7.15pm departure. Returning at 8.45pm.

More information: 0412 860 606

bring binoculars!

*drinks available for purchase from licensed bar

book tickets

Save Westernport Wins Environment Award

[MELBOURNE, Victoria, Australia.  November 1st, 2018] – For their relentless hard work and environmental activism, Save Westernport was awarded the annual Community Environment Recognition Award by Environment Victoria at their Annual General Meeting last night in Melbourne.  The award, according to Environment Victoria’s website, “recognises the achievements of remarkable community groups and individuals who have led innovative and persistent grassroots campaigns to protect places they love, often with very limited resources.”

The Save Westernport group was formed spontaneously in May 2018 by a group of passionate locals who had grave concerns about AGL’s plans for a gas import terminal in the protected Ramsar wetlands area of Crib Point, on the Mornington Peninsula.  Many group members had never been involved in a community campaign before, but their frustration and anger caused them to organise quickly and accomplish what many consider some remarkable achievements in just a few short months.  As a result of their efforts (and the efforts of many of their supporters), Hon. Richard Wynne, Planning Minister for Victoria, put the AGL project on hold by requiring an extensive environmental investigation under Australia’s Environmental Effects Act (1979).   

Louise Page, a Save Westernport spokesperson, said: “We were truly honored to receive this award from Environment Victoria.  It’s been an extraordinary team effort, with enormous support from the community.  I feel we have played a critical role in holding back AGLs plans and we’ll keep going as long as threats to the bay arise”.   Her sentiments are shared by many, including AGL, who attributed the environmental assessment requirements as the direct result of community activism in the region.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Contact: savewesternport@gmail.com
Website: https://savewesternport.org