Re: agl crib point project
Hi Arron W
We fully recognise there is significant community concern around the potential impact our project will have on the Ramsar site and acknowledge these are of environmental significance. The combination of the mangroves, seagrass and wildlife in Western Port make it a very valuable marine ecosystem both in Australia and internationally. We agree that Western Port is an important environmental asset that must be cared for.
While the studies completed to date in the preliminary assessments demonstrate that the impacts to the environment associated with this project will have minimal impact on the environment, an in-depth investigation is being undertaken as part of the Environment Effects Statement (EES). This was a requirement from the Victorian Government, predominantly because of community concerns around the environmental impact.
The EES will assess the potential effects of the project on the environment and proposed measures to avoid, minimise or manage adverse environmental effects. The Minister for Planning Richard Wynne said “The EES will investigate the proposal’s effects on native vegetation, wildlife and marine life as well as Aboriginal cultural heritage areas.”
As you pointed out, it is impossible to guarantee something won't happen, and we realise for many in the community, this is not good enough. There are serious and legitimate concerns with a project like this, such as damage to the wetlands, safety any risk of accidental spills. The EES will need to demonstrate whether these can be addressed and mitigated effectively.
The Minister for Planning will decide on the suitability of the project. Because the EES process is the most rigorous avenue for obtaining government approvals, without the Minister for Planning’s assessment that the project would have an acceptable level of environmental effects, AGL would not be able to pursue the project.