THE THREAT

There is growing local concern about the lack of effort and inadequate means available to protect the environment on the Peninsula, and the precious ecosystems of Westernport Bay from inappropriate industrial activity and development.

It took an enormous commitment of funds, and unprecedented collaboration between the local community, prominent Environmental groups and the Mornington Peninsula Shire Council to defeat AGL’s gas plans in 2021. But this will not always be possible.

Time and time again, big industry has shown it cannot be trusted to regulate itself, or to manage critical risk and safety concerns with thoroughness and accountability. Protecting the environment is not just the responsibility of community groups, with limited resources and an inevitable dependence on voluntary skills and labour. It is, and must be the job of decision makers in government, and of the commercial interests that benefit from an assumed state of entitlement to shared resources.

As we, and the planet, lurch from one environmental catastrophe to the next, rather than trying to figure out how much damage unique places like Westernport Bay can handle, it’s time to stop threatening them at all.

Current threats to Westernport in 2022

  1. Environmental damage from poor planning, inappropriate industrialisation and coastal developments.
  2. Inadequate bio-security measures by commercial users of the Port of Hastings.
  3. Expansion of the extractive sand mining industry within Westernport’s catchments. More information about that here: www.savewesternportwoodlands.org
  4. Biodiversity and habitat loss on land and within the marine environment.
  5. Insufficient statutory protections in place to conserve the Ramsar values, ecosystem services and unique endangered indigenous, flora and fauna.
  6. The risk from dredging and other impacts of commercial shipping, particularly decreased air and water quality from shipping emissions and increased turbidity.

Here is what we managed to prevent!

  • AGL’s Floating Storage Regasification Unit measuring 300m long x 45m wide

  • Permanently moored at Crib Point

  • Foreign LNG ships of the same size deliver to the FSRU

  • The construction of new gas infrastructure including a 56 km pipeline to Pakenham.

Environmental Damage

The industrialization of Westernport is based upon an archaic plan dating back to the 1960s. It is time to cease senseless damage to a precious resource so it remains viable for tourism and small businesses. This will sustain future generations and maintain recreation and healthy lifestyle for residents and visitors.

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Safety Concerns

Whether it be introduction of marine pests posing a threat to the natural environment, the discharge of cold and chlorinated water back into the ocean or the potential threat of gas explosions at Crib Point Jetty. The FSRU will not only present safety risks to the local whom live in the area but also the environment of which they will be destroying.

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Economical Impact

The FSRU will be built overseas, the training is overseas and the ships transporting the FSRU will be foreign owned and staffed. This operation undertaken by AGL will only provide 40 jobs to the local area and damage the local economy rather than enhancing it. An abundance of local businesses rely on healthy and attractive bay for fishing and tourism activities. Not to mention the value of real estate will decline and lead to less local investments affecting sporting events, tradespeople and shops.

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AGL’s Blemished Record

Many factors are involved in planning and deploying such projects, as well as ongoing maintenance to assure that accidents and mishaps do not occur. AGL’s overconfidence in assuring the community there will be no problems are in stark contrast to their many errors and mishaps resulting from poor planning and mismanagement.

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AGL’s Irresponsible Environmental History

AGL has an extremely unsatisfactory history of irresponsible environmental management and non-compliance with environmental laws. In fact, they have shown in recent times to have a blatant disregard for rules, regulations and the law.

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Frequently Asked Questions…

A Floating Storage and Regasification Unit. FSRU is a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) storage ship that has an onboard regasification plant capable of returning LNG back into a gaseous state and then supplying it directly into the gas network.

It is 300m long x 45m wide and 56m tall from water level.

Just like planes, but things do go wrong.

Corporations ALWAYS say best practice. For example:

NASA spaceshuttle Colombia disaster 2003 killed 7 people:

“never did we talk about the RCC (reinforced carbon carbon) panels because we all thought that it was impenetrable … I spent fourteen years in the space program flying, thinking it was incredibly strong but it wasn’t .. the best minds that I know of, in and outside of NASA, never envisioned that as a failure mode.”

Another fatal NASA incident was due to an eroding O-ring.

More recently in West Virginia TransCanada pipeline exploded it was only opened in January of this year:

The CEO of this company stated “This is truly a best-in-class pipeline and we look forward to many years of safe, reliable, and efficient operation on behalf of our customers.”

No.  There isn’t any indication that gas prices will go down. In fact, AGL will be subject to global gas prices because they will be importing. Analysts predict that the demand for gas in Asia might go up which will put pressure on the international market. It has also been reported that the introduction of an FSRU could actually push prices up.

The FSRU has the capability of receiving 40 gas tankers per year.  AGL says it will be contracting 12 per year for the first 5 years. There isn’t anything to stop them changing that number.

Yes.  But why increase risks and problems?   Current incoming vesseles are smaller, only 186m long (a bit over half the size) and are not moored permanently.

We also don’t know what an increase in shipping will do to the visiting and resident marine mammals increases likelihood of striking whale, and believe that AGL has done insufficient planning to address environmental impact properly.

Do we really want to take the chance?

The FSRU is being built overseas. There will be a few jobs extending the jetty and clearing 50m of habitat onshore (either side of the jetty).

The pipeline will initially employ many but not necessarily locals as they will be APA personnel who may come from interstate.

Yes, there are regulations that mean ships must empty their ballast at sea, but they have to be observed.  It only takes one marine pest to not be discharged and arrive in our healthy, almost pest free environment.   The vessel operator will merely get a fine, but we inherit the permanent damage.

IT’S NOT TOO LATE

SAVE WESTERNPORT BAY

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