Time to Deliver the Message to AGL

Time to Deliver the Message to AGL

IMPORTANT 

We are getting ready to deliver our postcard petitions to the CEO of AGL Brett Redman, to show him that this community will not accept their dirty gas plant in Westernport Bay.

Mr Redman will be in Melbourne on June 12 and Save Westernport and Environment Victoria are planning a special delivery for him. Watch this space for details of the June 12 event.

If you have any postcards still to be returned, please mail them TODAY to the address on the back, or drop them off at Crib Point PO. 
We need to receive all postcards BEFORE the end of next week, June 6.

If you’d like to add your voice and sign one but haven’t had the chance yet,  please email us at savewesternport@gmail.com, or call 59830094. We can arrange to get some postcards to you, and collect any you already have.

THANKYOU

Election Candidates Support Save Westernport 1st May 2019

Election Candidates Support Save Westernport 1st May 2019

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. [1]

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.

[1] Based on City of Casey, ‘A description of Westernport’, https://www.casey.vic.gov.au/facilities-hire/western-port-bay

 

 

Sign New Online Petition To Save Westernport!

Sign New Online Petition To Save Westernport!

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.

Send Your Questions to AGL and APA by 31 March 2019!

Send Your Questions to AGL and APA by 31 March 2019!

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.

 

Special Report – ABC News On AGL Gas Import Terminal

Special Report – ABC News On AGL Gas Import Terminal

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.

 

Latest AGL News – EES Consultation Plan For Crib Point Project Now Available

Latest AGL News – EES Consultation Plan For Crib Point Project Now Available

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:

Cowes

 

When: Saturday 23 February, 12pm – 2pm 

Where: Cowes Cultural Centre

91-97 Thompson Avenue, Cowes 3922

Crib Point

 

When: Tuesday 26 February, 7pm – 9pm 

Where: Crib Point Community House

7 Park Road, Crib Point 3919

Officer

 

When: Wednesday 27 February, 7pm – 9pm

Where: Officer Public Hall

16-18 Tivendale Road, Officer 3809

Pearcedale

 

When: Thursday 28 February, 7pm – 9pm

Where: Pearcedale Community Centre

710 Baxter-Tooradin Rd, Pearcedale 3912

Hastings

 

When: Saturday 2 March, 12pm – 2pm

Where: Hastings Community Hub

1973 Frankston – Flinders Road, Hastings 3915

Full of Gas! Presented by Environment Victoria at Sustainable Living Festival This Saturday

Full of Gas! Presented by Environment Victoria at Sustainable Living Festival This Saturday

Environment Victoria presents Full of Gas! at the National Sustainable Living Festival this Saturday at Federation Square. 

From the EV website:  The climate crisis is here – the last thing Victoria needs is a massive, new fossil fuel development in our own backyard. Energy giant AGL plans to turn Westernport Bay, a wetland sanctuary south-east of Melbourne, into a massive gas import terminal.

The project would lock in decades of dirty gas, which could come from fracked sources.

And it would leave behind a legacy of local environmental destruction. Hear from community leaders and campaigners, and find out how you can help stop this. 

Save Westernport campaigner Louise Page will be speaking about AGL’s plans for Crib Point!

photo courtesy of Sustainable Living Festival website

 
WHEN: Saturday 9 February, 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
WHERE: Off the Grid tent at Sustainable Living Festival, Birrarung Marr, Fed Square
Speakers:

  • Bruce Robertson, a gas analyst at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, will explain why the idea of importing gas to Australia won’t solve anything.
  • Local campaigners from Save Westernport  will talk about the environmental damage this project could do in the sensitive Westernport ecosystem.
  • Nick Aberle, Campaigns Manager at Environment Victoria, will explain what we can do to stop this project, and what it means for Victoria’s transition to clean energy. 
 

AGL’s Alarming Track Record

In preparing the Environental Effects Statement into the AGL proposal to import and process the fossil fuel LNG at Crib Point in the protected wetlands of Westernport Bay, the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) can, and must consider the Environmental “Track Record” of AGL.

As well as being the proponents of this project, in contrast to the public image they are at pains to present, this corporation is the BIGGEST polluter and producer of carbon emmissions in Australia.

During community consultation sessions, representatives of AGL explained to local residents that when proposing major projects in the midst of established communities, big corporations like AGL require the “SOCIAL LICENSE” to operate amongst us.

”You have no reason to trust us” they explained, “we need to prove ourselves worthy of being your neighbours”, and in addition to simply taking their word for it, how else are we to discover whether they are worthy of the community’s trust other than to look at the environmental and industrial history of that corporation?

But little information about AGL and their past projects has been forthcoming, other than some shiny brochures produced by slick P.R. firms.The environmental and social impact reports that were issued have either been inadequate “desktop” assessments, or highly technical accounts that that are far-from-independent attempts to obfuscate and dismiss the public’s concerns about the proposed facility with such far reaching consequences.

In an effort to know more about our prospective new “neighbours”, members of Save Westernport have looked into the reputation of this company, and were alarmed to see that they have been charged with “deceptive and misleading conduct” on more than one occasion. We were not overly surprised to discover then that they had been doing what amounted to purchasing the consent and complicity of locals, and dividing the community with offers of cash to the local football team and other groups. These offers of cash have been confirmed by AGL. 

In the interest of transparency we have prepared the following list of concerning and repeated infractions and fines awarded against AGL in recent years. It should be noted that in September 2018, the State Essential Services Commission ordered AGL “to get their house in order or face the cancellation of their license to operate in Victoria” for repeatedly failing to provide basic information required of every company doing business in this state.

Apparently AGL does not think these regulations apply to them, and requested an extension to the deadline. As far as we know, they still had not complied in mid December when that time also expired. The ESC had not responded to our requests for further information at close of business on 24/12/18.

We ask that you review the following information, which is not based on opinion but is all on public record, and consider whether YOU would accept them as tenants in your property, or give them a job. Essentially that is what the AGL corporation is asking of us all, and much more. The implications of an environmental or safety accident at Crib Point are too disastrous to ignore, particularly when there are so many alternatives available to the proposal to import gas. Why don’t AGL do what they like to appear to be doing, and INVEST IN RENEWABLES?

Election Guide 2018

Election Guide 2018

As the election is coming up, we’ve tried to assemble the best information we can to help you make a decision.   We’ll update this guide as election day approaches, so it may be a good idea to bookmark it.   Save Westernport does not favor any particular party, but feel it is good to ask candidates what they think about issues that matter, and report back.

We’ll start with the Environment Victoria Election Scorecard, which is a great party-by-party overview of their environmental position, then include information from our own candidate surveys.  We asked the same questions of everybody.  Unlike the others, the Greens provided an extensive reply to our questions.  Publishing it here is not an endorsement, as all parties had a similar chance to respond.  If we get additional responses, we’ll update this article. Continue reading “Election Guide 2018”

Harry Shares His Concerns About AGL’s Project

Harry Shares His Concerns About AGL’s Project

Westernport’s agribusinesses, and the contribution they make to Victoria’s food production are under threat from AGL’s polluting gas import facility.  Local seafood producer Harry shares his concerns about the AGL proposal at Crib Point, and the threats currently facing Westernport from the gas processing plant.

Continue reading “Harry Shares His Concerns About AGL’s Project”