As an AGL customer I’m extremely disappointed by AGL’s plans to build a massive gas import terminal in Westernport Bay (which will damage precious wetlands recognised internationally by Ramsar and UNESCO). AGL cannot ignore the massive risks this project poses to the local environment.
You need to listen to the ongoing community opposition and abandon this destructive plan. AGL constantly talks about “social license”, it’s time to live up to those commitments.
With this project still on the table, I’m not sure I can stay on as a customer in the long term.
Thanks for sharing your feedback @VivienneS. I've moved this discussion to the group we have set up specifically to hear community concerns around this project.
Thank you for your post.
We fully recognise your concerns, particularly the strongly held views about the unique environmental significance of Western Port Bay. We agree it is an environmentally sensitive area and are committed to undergoing all the reviews necessary to ensure the proposed project will be safe and environmentally responsible.
We are very sorry to hear you are unsure whether you can remain a customer at AGL. Meeting the expectations of the community is a priority for us to ensure our social licence. However, AGL has many communities to satisfy and we also need to meet the expectations of our other existing customers. We have an obligation to provide energy to our 1.4 million gas customers who are facing significant gas shortages from 2024 or possibly sooner. As an energy company, the Australian community rely on us to ensure a reliable and affordable supply of gas to their homes and businesses.
We consider climate change a critical issue facing the global community. AGL is committed to helping shape a sustainable energy future for Australia. AGL operate the country’s largest renewable electricity generation portfolio. However, we also operate the largest coal portfolio in Australia. We are therefore integral to any move towards decarbonisation.
While we are investing extensively in renewable energy, to ensure stability in the transition we will require more flexible energy sources such as quick start gas generation. These will be able to be turned on whenever renewables are not available or do not meet demand.
This mix of renewable and gas technologies can replace AGL’s Liddell coal plant when it closes, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 7.5 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent per annum. Many of our customers want to be assured that they will have stable and reliable energy supply and gas is needed for this transition to occur without power supply shortages.
We recognise for many in the community the proposed project has more downside than upside and there is committed opposition. It's rare for any community to want more industrial development, even if it is proposed at an existing industrial site that currently imports petroleum products.
The community have made their concerns known to the government and have been successful in making sure the proposed project is assessed independently through an Environment Effect Statement (EES) process. The EES is Victoria’s most rigorous and transparent planning process and we are willing to be held accountable to this process. Once we have completed the full environment assessment required by the government, we will have a better understanding of these impacts. The EES will investigate a variety of matters, including the impact the proposed project may have on the marine environment, local environment and greenhouse gas emissions.
We will follow all assessment requirements that are asked of us by the Victorian Government and all regulatory bodies. We are willing to be held to these standards. A final EES assessment is made by the Minister for Planning, not AGL. The project is still in the feasibility study stage, AGL’s Board has yet to decide if the proposed project will go ahead.
We are also sorry to hear you do not feel like we are effectively listening to the community. We have been consulting with key stakeholders including people living and working near the site, community groups and the Victorian and Australian governments since July 2017. There have been over 30 public community consultations, held in locations including Crib Point, Hastings, Balnarring, Blind Bight, Cowes, Cardinia, and Nar Nar Goon with both supporters and those who oppose the project.
We will continue to provide opportunities to engage and involve any stakeholders in the assessment process – it will be an ongoing activity. Throughout the EES process there are many opportunities for the community to provide feedback that will be considered in the ongoing refinement of the project design, including construction and operational stages.
If you would like to sign up to our mailing list, we can keep you up to date with all community consultation efforts. Send us an email at AGLCommunity@agl.com.au.