AGL’s “Community Update” Announcing Delays At Crib Point
Q: Can you please confirm whether the new FSRU, ‘Esperanza’ has closed loop capabilities that were NOT available on the previously contracted “HOEGH”?
Is this what is meant by AGL’s media release that claims: “the Esperanza better fits timing and operational requirements arising from the Environment Effects Statement (EES)”?
In the recent media release (attached) and newspaper articles reporting the welcome announcement that the Crib Point proposal has been delayed, AGL claimed they “are working closely with residents of the Mornington Peninsula, particularly (local environmental group) Save Westernport, who have vocally and vigorously worked to protect the environment and we have listened to them.” (See attachment)
If this were true, AGL would have withdrawn their plans to import and process LNG in Westernport Bay based on the widespread opposition to the proposal expressed at a public meeting held by Save Westernport and Environment Victoria in May 2019. Every candidate in the local electorate of Flinders in the recent federal election strongly opposed AGL’s controversial plans, and vowed to fight it if elected.
For AGL to be barreling ahead with their plans in the face of such overwhelming local opposition demonstrates that AGL IS NOT LISTENING to local concerns.
The claim is a cynical attempt on AGL’s part to demonstrate a rapore with the community that frankly does not exist.
The current EES process requires the proponent AGL to demonstrate that they have “social license” to operate within this community. Nothing could be more certain in this case than the absence of AGL’s social license. Every detail that has emerged has confirmed the inappropriateness of AGL’s proposed location within a protected wetland, and AGL has not been able to demonstrate that the project is necessary or will benefit anyone but AGL and their shareholders. There are numerous reasons why the project is so completely UNWELCOME, not least of which is the expectation, encouraged by AGL, that they are leaders in the inevitable uptake of renewables. The backwards step this project represents would do nothing for AGL’s reputation but confirm their hypocrisy.
The most recent delay caused by the rigorous requirements of the EES (Environmental Effects Statement) has forced AGL to renegotiate its prospective contract for the FSRU, (Floating Storage Regasification Unit).
AGL’s attempt to dress up this recent announcement as some kind of concession to local concerns is dishonest in the extreme. Unfortunately this what we have come to expect from the routine operations of this corporation, which has been fined for “deceptive and misleading conduct” in the past, and in this community has attempted to buy local support with divisive cash donations that AGL has confirmed making to local footy clubs etc.
As a member of Save Westernport who travelled to Melbourne last week in an unsuccessful attempt to meet with AGL CEO Brett Redman while he was in town for the 2019 Australian Energy Week to discuss our concerns and deliver a petition against the project that contains over 17,000 signatures, I resent the misleading statement that AGL is “working closely with Save Westernport”.
It is important to state that Save Westernport has no intention of working with AGL other than to repeat our vehement opposition to the Crib Point proposal. We will continue to oppose it at every opportunity until it is withdrawn.
AGL now has a rare opportunity to confirm its commitment to responsible community engagement and a sustainable energy future for its customers by withdrawing its plans at Crib Point.
Please publish this comment.