Warren Cooke’s Heart Story for Westernport

Warren Cooke’s Heart Story for Westernport

I don’t ‘use’ Westernport, it actually gives to me. I find a sense of wholeness when I connect to the natural beauty of this place through art making, swimming, surfing, sailing and beach walks with family and friends. I also do my best to give back to it, by collecting rubbish, protesting as needed and by honouring this place in my art practice.

Westernport is a place of great beauty to admire and marvel at throughout the seasons; grand coastal banksias and mangroves, undulating waters, dolphins, shore birds and migratory birds as they feast along the waterline. It is a sanctuary. It is home to an internationally recognised RAMSAR wetland and for many creatures, both land-based and marine, it is their nursery and home.

AGL is being dishonest with Australians, claiming that we need a gas terminal for their imported gas. This is blatantly not true. With climate change upon us, any proposed energy plans must be both clean and renewable. Gas is neither of these.

During their proposed regassification process, AGL’s gas terminal will pump millions of litres of chlorinated sea water into Westernport – dead water, on a daily basis. The loss of microscopic life is like the tip of a spear which would harm all of the fauna and flora that live here. We cannot think that we are separate to that damage, it will affect humans too.

My heart is heavy at the prospect that AGL could go ahead with this proposal. The loss is not only for the close community who reside around Westernport but to all the living things. We must continue to stand as a community, loud and strong against projects such as these.

With climate change upon us, it is more important now than ever.

Warren Cooke
@artbycooke

STOP PRESS ~ The EES is out now!

STOP PRESS ~ The EES is out now!

In 2018 Victorian Minister for Planning Richard Wynne called for an Environment Effects Statement on AGL’s giant gas import proposal in response to community concerns about countless safety and environmental risks.

The EES has now been released and the documents are available online.

Q: Why does AGL continue to publish lovely photos of Westernport on their reports?
We know how beautiful the Bay is. What we need to know is WHAT the spectre of the proposed FSRU ship, 17 storeys tall, would really look like at our beach. The pictures provided by AGL are misleading; they have been cropped and the schematics shown in their EES reports are not to scale.

The Public Comments period for the EES on AGL’s proposal on the Mornington Peninsula commenced on July 2 and will run until August 26 2020.

That’s just 40 business days for submissions, under and a declared Stage 4 State of Disaster. But we must prevent fossil fuels companies like AGL and APA the pipeline corp, from taking advantage of the global pandemic. From the threat to marine life and Endangered Species, to Social and Climate Impacts, there are countless reasons why this project must not be approved.

We encourage you all to make a submission during this time. You can focus on just single area or areas of concern to tell the Minister why you object to AGL’s dangerous and unnecessary plans. 

Or sign up here for support and advice from Save Westernport and Environment Victoria on how to make your submission. 

Minister Wynne needs to hear from this community, and from all Victorians why AGL’s plans to import and process gas, and to construct a 60 km gas pipeline are entirely incompatible with the proposed location in Westernport Bay.

There is nothing that AGL could do to tweak this project to make it acceptable. The government and Victorians have been misled with tales of gas shortages and cheaper prices, with AGL only now admitting that the price of imported gas would be set by international markets.

Rather than helping us transition from fossil fuels as they claim, AGL’s project would keep us burning gas for the next 20 years or more.

This project is the last thing we need. AGL have shown they are not worthy of our trust, and they’ve admitted it will not result in cheaper gas. Why would we risk degrading our precious marine life, when there is NOTHING in it for Victorians? 
This is our chance to tell the Minister why AGL’s project MUST NOT BE APPROVED.

The EES reports are now available online
This includes  AGL’s Summary Report and a document called How to Navigate the EES

There’s an Executive Summary, three volumes of reports, and several attachments including Environmental Risk and Climate Change Risk Assessments and Maps. 
The EES also contains the following technical reports:

Technical Report A: Marine Biodiversity 
Technical Report C: Surface water
Technical Report D: Groundwater
Technical Report F: Greenhouse gas
Technical Report G: Air quality
Technical Report H: Noise and vibration
Technical Report I: Landscape and visual
Technical Report J: Transport
Technical Report K: Safety, hazard and risk
Technical Report L: Land use
Technical Report M: Social
Technical Report N: Business
Technical Report O: Agriculture
Technical Report P: Aboriginal cultural heritage
Technical Report Q: Historic heritage


Watch this space for more information about how to write your submission —and make sure your voice is heard.

This is our opportunity to tell Minister Wynne that we unequivocally object to the AGL corporation and their brazen and foolhardy attempt to take-over Woolleys Beach and exploit Westernport Bay to promote and prolong the burning of LNG, a fossil fuel just as dangerous as coal.

There are numerous reasons why we have no intention of allowing this irresponsible corporation’s plans to harm our precious environment and endanger the health and safety of local communities.

Make a submission or Donate now towards our fighting fund. Your donations will help pay for our own experts to refute the various technical reports and to take on AGL with their limitless resources at the public Hearings for the EES.

An overview of environmental impact assessment under the Environment Effects Act 1978

An overview of environmental impact assessment under the Environment Effects Act 1978

Courtesy of Environmental Justice Australia

To read this important ‘Having your say’ paper, please go to this link
Please note that although these fact sheets focus on mines and quarries, the Environment Effects Statement (EES)
process will be the same for the AGL gas import project.

~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

Stop AGL Westernport Summer Action Launch

Stop AGL Westernport Summer Action Launch

Come to our
Stop AGL
Westernport Summer
Action Launch!

Join us at Somers Hall for afternoon tea
with others who care about
our precious and unique Westernport environment. 

Westernport needs you! 

Find out about our campaign to protect
the Bay’s Internationally recognized wetlands,
its spectacular creatures and ecosystems
from the threat of AGL’s heavy industry.

Sunday December 1st, 2019

2-4pm 

afternoon tea

Somers Hall, RW Stone Pavilion,
68 Camp Hill Road
Somers

                                        *Please Note the 2pm start time, not Midday as reported elsewhere*

Save Westernport Congratulates Mornington Peninsula Shire Council

Save Westernport Congratulates Mornington Peninsula Shire Council

 

Members of Save Westernport were encouraged by the strong leadership shown by our local Mornington Peninsula Shire Council recently when it followed the lead of Melbourne City Council and other Councils world-wide and voted to implement urgent Climate Emergency measures.

The specter of vast areas of the world’s forests ablaze, and enormous amounts of safely stored carbon being suddenly released into Earth’s atmosphere seems to have made us acutely aware of the decisive action that is so desperately overdue.

Save Westernport welcomes the announcement, and we look forward to seeing Council translate good intentions into meaningful changes in the everyday actions of the Shire and its residents. We want to see real change that will make a difference. 

It’s clear that the Shire’s goals are entirely incompatible with any new investment in fossil-fuels, yet AGL is still trying to force its inappropriate industrial proposal on to this community. AGL’s plan to import and process LNG in Westernport Bay is hopelessly out-of-date. The plan requires construction of a 56km gas pipeline that would quickly become another rusting example of poorly planned abandoned industry in the area. This is the last thing that Westernport needs right now that the bay is showing good signs of regeneration since the local oil industry was phased out in the 1980s.

AGL admits that shipping gas from overseas and processing it at the proposed Crib Point factory would produce at least 20% more carbon and methane pollution than regular gas, which is a fossil fuel already dangerously high in greenhouse gases.

In order to align with the aims of the Shire, future industrial proposals will need to be founded on energy from the renewable energy resources that are now available. 

It’s been a whole year since Mornington Peninsula Shire Council stated its opposition to the AGL gas proposal and 56km pipeline, yet this inappropriate and deeply unpopular fossil-fuels project is still being forced upon the Westernport community.

There can be no doubt that by its actions AGL is causing irreversible damage to its reputation and brand. It’s widely acknowledged that AGL has failed to show that its plan to import gas is even necessary. They have also failed to achieve the social license needed to operate in this community.

AGL CEO Brett Redman has claimed that social license is among his top strategic goals for the year, yet AGL continues to disregard the widely expressed local opposition by stubbornly pushing ahead with the project.

AGL claims to take its environmental responsibility very seriously. Save Westernport would like to see AGL take advantage of its unique opportunity and demonstrate real corporate integrity by withdrawing from the Crib Point project. We will continue to urge the AGL Board to cooperate with this community and heed its wishes by putting their Crib Point plans in the bin.

Next Friday September 20, Save Westernport will participate in the Schools Strike for Climate in Melbourne. For the first time, school kids  have invited adults to join the Strike and support their demands for a better world and immediate action against Climate Change. We invite you to march with Save Westernport. Look out for our SAVE WESTERNPORT – No AGL -banner at 2pm next Friday in the Treasury Gardens.

You can also visit our stall at Balnarring’s Sustainability Fair on Saturday October 12 from 4pm. Come and say hello and pick up our new brochure and some of our new stickers for your wheelie bins. The stickers tell AGL to put their plans for their Crib Point gas factory In The Bin! where they belong.

Remember—You can now hit the TAKE ACTION button on our Home Page and scroll down to Become a Member of Save Westernport for the value price of $10.
Fill in our Online Form or download it, and you’ll receive our regular Save Westernport Newsletter that details our activities and what’s going on locally around Westernport and the Peninsula. 
You can also very simply make an online donation.

One more thing— you may receive our regular Save Westernport Newsletters and email updates, but that does not necessarily mean you’re a Member of Save Westernport. Perhaps you signed our petition or filled out a card, or you might’ve given your contact details to go on our mailing list once, but this is different—To become a Member you’ll need to fill out our Membership Form.

Becoming a Member of Save Westernport is a great way for you to make a difference. By taking action you can show your support and help our important work furthering the protection and appreciation of our precious, unique wetland location in beautiful Westernport Bay.

Right now, more than ever we need to keep up the pressure on AGL and the government, and make sure they know that this community rejects inappropriate industry in the Bay, PARTICULARLY the AGL gas import plans at Crib Point. 

Save Westernport is a dedicated group of local volunteers, and your support keeps us going! Make an online donation

Or if you’d like to get involved and become a Volunteer we’d love to meet you!

With summer coming up, there will be lots going on, and you can get involved. From helping with market stalls to providing transport, there’s always lots to do. And if you’re a photographer of local landscapes or wildlife, we want to hear from you.

We appreciate your support to Save Westernport!

Mornington Peninsula Shire Concerned About AGL’s Plans

Help deliver the No AGL postcard petitions to Brett Redman

Help deliver the No AGL postcard petitions to Brett Redman

AGL CEO Brett Redman is in Melbourne on 12 June to speak at the Energy Week Conference so Environment Victoria and Save Westernport have taken the opportunity to ask him to meet us and receive our petition of approximately 15,000 signatures. Brett says one of his top three strategic goals for this year is social licence. He’s busy talking about it all around the country so get on the bus with us to let him know that he absolutely has not got social licence for this damaging proposal. Make sure he gets a strong message that Westernport communities remain defiant and strong in our opposition.

It’s just a few hours of your day and you might be that one extra person that makes all the difference. Don’t think one voice doesn’t count. The only way to change things is to turn up. (besides we’ll have a good time on the bus to and from Melbourne meeting each other and sharing experiences and knowledge.)

Look forward to seeing you.

Book your bus tickets here

PS. If you haven’t already signed the petition, do it now!

Oh, and if you’d prefer to meet us there, meet at main entrance to MCEC on Clarendon Street at 10am. We’ll finish at about 11am.

Where:
Mullet Street, Hastings, VIC 3915, Australia

When:
Wed 12/06/2019 at 8:00 am

Are you coming to our Public Meeting?

Are you coming to our Public Meeting?

This is a rare moment in the
NO AGL gas campaign

It’s been a year and we need you!

We have the attention of the candidates and the media.

Come to the meeting to find out what’s happening
Get your action kit to send a message to AGL
that the community do not want our Westernport
treated like an industrial wasteland.

Be informed. Be heard. Make your presence felt.

Things won’t change if you don’t turn up.

________________________________________________________

 

Have you seen our latest media articles?

You are able to register online for MayDay SOS Westernport, or simply turn up on the night, but we recommend you arrive early as it will be first-in-best-dressed.

No AGL Public Meeting

No AGL Public Meeting

Public meeting May Day SOS Westernport No AGL

Wednesday May 1st, 7pm Balnarring Community Hall

Tickets are free and available here , and although registration is preferred and will insure you have a place, there will be places available on the night if you decide at the last minute.