[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.
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