EES Scoping Requirements – Want to make a Comment?

Christmas Eve was the extended deadline for public comments on the Draft Scoping Requirements for the EES. But don’t let that deter you. After all, Minister Wynne initially said he expected the EES process to begin in early 2019, UNTIL…AGL very undiplomatically managed the period for public comments to coincide with the lead up to the Holiday period, when we’re all crazy busy. Only now do many of us have the time available to read the draft report and submit our comments. Just explain this when you make your submission and remember: even though we have included an example letter below, Jack Krohn from DELWP told us that comments expressing individual’s concerns will be far more useful to them than 100 letters all saying the same thing! Please read our original article, which follows, and take the time to submit.

Why Is This Urgent?

Under the Environment Effects Act 1978, the general public has 15 business days (now extended) to comment on the “draft scoping requirements” of the Gas Import Jetty and Pipeline project. Any person or community group can make a written submission on any matters that they believe need to be investigated and documented in the Environment Effects Statement (EES).

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) is managing the EES process on behalf of the Planning Minister and will collate public submissions for a report to the Minister in 2019.

The original deadline for public comments was 19 December 2018 but DELWP has granted an extension to 24 December 2018.

Who Can Help?

You can! The draft scoping requirements is an invitation for public comment.

The EES Act ensures that the public has a voice, and the government assures us that all public comments will be considered.

How Do I Submit?

The quickest way to submit an objection is to email it to environment.assessment@delwp.vic.gov.au.  However, the way you prepare your submissions is important:

  1. Make sure you read the following section “What Do I Say In My Submission?” first.
  2. Have a look at the “Draft Scoping Requirements” document available for download here on the Victoria Planning site.
  3. For the best results, take the time (thank you) to read our template as a guide to prepare your written submission.  You can download our Word Document Template for the “draft scoping requirements” submission. 
  4. Save your Word Document and then email it to environment.assessment@delwp.vic.gov.au
  5. Your email must be sent on or before 24 December 2018.

Template Letters

The more personal and detailed your letter is, the better but we have prepared a template letter for you to give you a start. Be sure to insert your name and address and replace any other parts of the letter with information and concerns of your own. We don’t want to deluge the department with form letters.

What do I Say In My Submission?

We need as many people to prepare a submission as possible, especially if you have some knowledge of the bay, the marine environment, environmental impacts, etc. But, you don’t have to be an expert.

Some of the important topics relevant to the AGL Crib Point project are:

  • Any significant impact to the Westernport wetlands
  • Any significant impact to migratory species which live in and around the bay.
  • Any significant impact to local species and ecological communities.
  • Effects from the pipeline construction and operation.
  • Concerns about health and safety of local residents.
  • Concerns about the track record either AGL or APA (the proposal proponents).  The term “Track Record” is the specific phrase used in the scoping draft in relation to the reputation of the proponents.