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