Last weekend over 3,000 people have written to Victorian Minister for Planning, Richard Wynne, sharing their concerns over a proposed gas import terminal at Crib Point. Postcards were collected by community volunteers at 14 beachside locations and were handed over by locals wearing wetsuits and beach attire on the Steps of Parliament on the morning of Wednesday 10 March.
AGL is proposing to develop the AGL Gas Import Jetty Project, which would supply imported natural gas into the south-eastern Australian states for industrial, commercial and residential gas customers. AGL states that the project would help to meet a projected domestic gas supply shortfall and improve gas supply certainty from 2024 or earlier.
The gas would be transported as liquified natural gas (LNG), most likely from overseas, transferred to another ship and converted from liquid form back into gas on that ship and then piped into the Victorian Transmission System (VTS).
The ship, known as a floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) would be continuously moored at Berth 2 of Crib Point Jetty. Depending on demand, between 12 to 40 LNG ships per year would moor alongside the FSRU at Crib Point to resupply the FSRU with LNG.
The proposed gas import jetty would be connected by a new gas pipeline approximately 57 kilometres long, into the VTS, east of Pakenham. The pipeline would be developed and constructed by APA Group.
The project was recently subject to a public inquiry and the Planning Minister’s final decision is expected this month.
Damien Cole, Surfrider Foundation National Campaign Director said the proposed floating gas terminal will have a ‘devastating impact’ on their local economy, environment and social wellbeing.
“To tell people that their livelihood and entire way of life is under threat to ensure domestic gas security when Australia is actually the world’s largest gas exporter is bewildering and disgraceful,” Cole said.
Victorian National Parks Association nature campaigner, Shannon Hurley, said: “We want Westernport to remain full of wildlife, not full of gas.”
“We already know that AGL’s risky gas project has not properly assessed the impacts on marine wildlife from chlorine discharge and associated toxic chemicals, light, underwater noise, and fuel spills. Our wildlife is far too great to risk.”
Environment Victoria CEO, Jono La Nauze, commented that the gas import terminal would increase climate pollution when the shift to clean energy should be made instead.
“AGL has failed to justify the need for this project when there are better alternatives like switching households from gas to electric appliances.”
Westernport and Peninsula Protection Council Secretary, Karri Giles, further commented: “The research is clear – the project’s pipeline poses an unacceptable risk to asparagus farms and high quality bushland by spreading cinnamon fungus. It also poses an unacceptable risk to threatened amphibian species by spreading chytrid fungus.”
“The pipeline easement provides feral animals with a predator highway directly to Westernport’s vulnerable fauna. There are no adequate mitigation measures for these risks.”