Westernport Bay is recognised under the Ramsar Convention as it is an internationally listed ecosystem, with a unique tidal bay and fragile wetland. Whales call near there on their journeys. Swift parrots are also threatened species and take sanctuary at Westernport wetlands. The coastal saltmarshes and migratory birds are indeed spectacular, so why ruin it for species and the environment? Visitors sometimes see dolphins, seals, echidnas, little penguins, brown bandicoots, black swans, far large eastern curlews, whisling kites and if on their flyway the yellow tailed black cockatoos. To think that locals have spent decades restoring the wetlands and AGL come along and claim their pristine environment for a massive, floating gas terminal must be heart breaking for them and they have been actively fighting against AGL going ahead.
AGL SHOULD NOT HAD HONED INTO WESTERNPORT BAY AT ALL, AS MOREOVER GAS IS STILL A POLLUTING AND DANGEROUS FUEL THAT AUSTRALIA MUST TRANSITION AWAY FROM, NOT GO INTO REVERSE. WHY DONT AGL LISTEN TO WESTERNPORT FESTIVAL THEIR FLAT REFUSAL FOR AGL'S SPONSORSHIP WHICH MEANS IT IS A "NO" FROM THE LOCAL COMMUNITY. FIND ANOTHER PLACE, BESIDES TOO MANY LOSSES TO THE ENVIRONMENT SUCH AS THE WEEDY DRAGONS, THEIR LARVAE WOULD BE SUCKED INTO THE MACHINES. THE SHIPPING NIGHT LIGHTS AND NOISE AFFECTING THE BIRDS, NO LONGER A SANCTUARY FOR MIGRATORY BIRDS TAKING REST. LOSS OF MANGROVE FORESTS WHICH IS THE HIGHEST CARBON STORAGE, COINED 'BLUE SINK' MANGROVE CARBON STORAGE LASTS UP TO 1,000 YEARS. TOO MANY NEGATIVE EFFECTS AND AGL MUST EXPLAIN WHY THEY WOULD POLLUTE THIS UNIQUE ENVIRONMENT AS THE ONLY ONE TO BENEFIT WOULD BE AGL.
Considering that Victoria is already a net exporter of gas, can AGL explain why they have chosen a Ramsar-listed wetland site as the preferred location for this project? Can your project demonstrate no net loss of native vegetation or damage to the values of the Ramsar-listed wetlands of Westernport Bay? Australia is a signatory to the International Ramsar Convention wherein the Australian Government is legally obligated to 'protect' migratory bird habitat in Westernport Bay. This proposal will pose a significant risks to these values and will trigger the Federal Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.
Will the marine literature review incorporate case studies on the impacts of FSRUs already in operation in similar environments, including the impacts of entrainment, discharge, marine noise and accidents/pollution? This Gas terminal proposal will have far reaching impacts on the marine environment of Westernport Bay and should NOT proceed.
Does AGL accept the Australian Energy Market's projection in its June 2018 Gas Statement of Opportunities that there are no supply gaps forecast before 2030? Has AGL considered alternatives to their destructive gas import terminal? For example, have you looked at how to reduce the need for gas through efficiency upgrades and switching to electricity where possible? Or using existing pipeline capacity for bringing gas into Victoria?
Just moving this one across to the Gas Import Jetty discussion group.
This was posted in the AGL General forum, we have moved your question thread to a dedicated forum for questions related to Gas Import Jetty and Pipeline Project.
I am just letting you know that we have received your questions and we are working on a response. We hope to get back to you as soon as possible.
We understand your concerns around the selection of Crib Point, particularly with its environmental significance. We are very aware that Western Port is an environmentally sensitive area and many areas within it are covered by the Ramsar international convention on the protection of wetlands.
We understand the community is very concerned about seals, penguins and whales in Crib Point and the wider bay area. This is frequently mentioned in conversations we have with others in the community.
The community has been successful in communicating their concerns to government with the Minister for Planning requiring AGL (with APA) to undertake an Environment Effects Statement. These concerns will be addressed in greater detail as part of the biodiversity report.
In particular, direct loss of, or degradation to, habitat for flora and fauna species listed as threatened or migratory under the EPBC Act, FFG Act and/or DELWP advisory lists.
This includes whales (in particular the Southern Right Whale, Humpback Whale), the Southern Brown Bandicoot and migratory birds.
If you are interested, we have a specific discussion forum topic discussing the Southern Brown Bandicoot surveys we have undertaken here.
The impact on mangroves is being discussed here.
We are discussing light spill from the FSRU and jetty here.
A final EES assessment is made by the Minister for Planning, not AGL. If these potential environment effects cannot be acceptably addressed the project would not go ahead.
We are very aware that Western Port is an environmentally sensitive area and many areas within it are covered by the Ramsar international convention on the protection of wetlands.
Although we have been consulting with community members and governments since 2017, some community members are still understandably concerned about the proposed project and the impact it might have on the unique environment of Western Port.
In addition to the Environment Effects Statement process the project is subject to at the state level, it is also subject to the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC Act) which you’ve mentioned.
In 2018, AGL and APA separately submitted documentation to the Australian Government Minister for the Environment to decide whether assessment and approval is required under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).
The Minister determined that AGL’s proposed Gas Import Jetty Project and the APA Crib Point Pakenham Pipeline are both controlled actions and will require assessment and approval under the EPBC Act.
These assessment and approval processes are set up to carefully consider the potential environmental impacts of the project and investigate ways to reduce these potential impacts to as low as possible.
If these potential environment effects cannot be acceptably addressed the project would not go ahead.
Other members of the community have begun discussions on the same questions you’ve asked. I encourage you to join these conversations. Below are the links for you to do this.
Our discussion about site selection is located here.
The impact and our assessments on native vegetation such as mangroves is being discussed here.
We are discussing the marine literature review here.
The 2018 and 2019 AEMO Gas Statement of Opportunities is being discussed on the thread here.
Please let me know whether these discussions go some way to answer your concerns.