THANK you, AGL and APA, for galvanising the people to send 6058 submissions to the inquiry into the proposed Crib Point gas import jetty and the gas pipeline to Pakenham.
The submissions came from community organisations, environmental groups, local councils and thousands of individual citizens associated with Western Port, its islands and surrounding lands.
In reviewing over a thousand randomly selected submissions, it was overwhelmingly evident that the proposed gas import terminal was not wanted.
If you go to the Engage Victoria website and check Submissions, you’ll soon see what I mean. I think the following extracts sum up the mood of the people:
“Bringing an additional environmentally compromised industry into the pristine waters of Westernport reflects a lack of leadership at the same time the world is clamouring for a reduced carbon footprint and climate action. This proposal is purely about money and brings zero long term benefits to anyone living or visiting Westernport. Enough is enough, don't be remembered for being part of the problem and say no to AGL in Westernport.”
Michael Thomas Pickford
“The AGL gas storage and processing plant will pour 450 ML of heavily processed water into the bay each day creating huge environmental impacts. The linked pipeline will devastate precious wetlands, natural waterways & indigenous sites, and hugely impact fragile mangroves and many species of marine life, migratory birds, and land based flora and fauna. The plant will be an unacceptable risk to a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve for proposed but unsubstantiated economic gains.”
Western Port: 80 years
of industrial threats
“I am writing to alert you to my concern over the proposed works in Westernport. This place is so special to me and has been for many years. From what I can see the work that is potentially going to happen will impact not only the beautiful beaches and water I adore but also the vast array of endemic species and special habitats that make up Westernport Bay. Please reconsider messing with this fragile ecosystem that is adored by so many of us around the state and world.”
“Personally, I oppose this project for two key reasons amongst many. Not only do I feel sickened at the potential impacts this project could have just 4km away from place I’ve called home for most of my life, but as a young person living on this earth I feel so incredibly frustrated by governments and corporations ignoring the sheer importance of reducing the impacts of climate change.”
“Wetlands combine land and water, they are home to an incredible array of plants and animals and are among the most biodiverse ecosystems on earth. Studies have shown that they have the potential to capture and store large amounts of carbon for hundreds of years. Wetlands should be protected and enhanced for their role in the fight against climate change, not being subject to potentially damaging projects like AGL’s proposal. Unfortunately, in Victoria we have already bulldozed or drained most of our freshwater wetlands, contributing to the loss of approximately 35% of the world’s wetlands between 1970-2015. It is totally inappropriate to build and operate a gas import terminal in the middle of one of Victoria’s most precious environments and an internationally significant wetland.”
“The Westernport coastline is a wetland of internationally significant value which must be protected under the Ramsar convention. The proposed AGL gas import jetty and pipeline would put at serious risk, not only marine life and ecosystems, but also local tourism and fishing industries. The proposed project is an environmental disaster as the gas liquefaction process emits more greenhouse gases than piping it conventionally. It also makes no sense economically as Australia already exports more natural gas than it consumes.”
“I am concerned the development will have a detrimental effect on the environment, the wildlife and coastline. I enjoy visiting the beaches here and want my grandchildren to grow up with the same beauty & wildlife such as penguins, seals and birds.”
No matter what happens, none of the 6058 submitters should walk away from the issue of wanting to preserve Western Port. Now is the time to demand that the State Government, the Opposition and the minor parties, prior to the next State government election, set down their plans and a timetable for introducing a Western Port Strategic Management Plan.
If this plan does not eventuate soon, the shambolic situation presided over by successive governments will probably continue and ultimately the majority of 6058 submissions may come to nothing.