A CONCERTED community campaign to protect Western Port has won the day with Planning Minister Ricard Wynne announcing this morning that a gas import terminal at Crib Point will not proceed.
Power company AGL and pipeline business APA had proposed the floating gas import terminal and a gas pipeline to Pakenham.
“This has been an exhaustive, open and transparent process and this is the right outcome for the local community, the environment and Victoria as a whole,” he said.
“It’s very clear to me that this project would cause unacceptable impacts on the Western Port environment and the Ramsar wetlands – it’s important that these areas are protected.”
Bass Coast Mayor Brett Tessari said it was difficult for the State Government to ignore the groundswell of opinion against a gas terminal in Western Port.
“I’m absolutely rapt for our community. So many people have fought so hard for this. It just shows what can be achieved if you organise properly.
“This really is a victory for the little people.”
Former state environment minister Kay Setches, who now lives on Phillip Island, echoed the jubilation. “I’m just over the moon. I could open the champagne now!”
Ms Setches rejected a marina on the bay during her term as minister during the Kirner Labor Government of the 1980s.
“History tells us we have to keep protecting the bay. It is such a huge resource so close to such a huge population.
More than 6000 people, groups, councils and organisations made submissions during the environmental effect statement process.
The three councils adjoining Western Port, Bass Coast Shire, Morning Peninsula Shire and Cardina Shire, all opposed the proposal, along with local groups including the Phillip Island Conservation Society.
An independent inquiry and advisory committee (IAC) report was submitted to Mr Wynne in February.