Re: AGL’s “Community Update” Announcing Delays At Crib Point

Switched-on

Australians have become far more aware of the dire state of the Australian energy market since AGL first announced the Crib Point proposal in 2017. It has become a constant feature in daily news, and last week Premier Andrews repeated his opinion in The AGE that there IS NO GAS SHORTAGE in Victoria.

 

Clearly, this is unfortunate for AGL, who have relied on disinformation about imminent gas shortfalls to justify the ridiculous plan to import and process gas in the protected wetlands of Westernport Bay. Predictably, the same disinformation, that “Australia is facing a gas shortage” was repeated in the response to my comment above.

 

With so much at stake, it is incredibly frustrating to be given this story again. It seems to be a deliberate distortion of current circumstances in Australia, where we have just surpassed Qatar to become the WORLD’S LARGEST PRODUCER OF LNG.

 

Australia does not have a gas shortage.....AGL has a gas shortage.

 

PLEASE ANSWER THIS QUESTION: How can we be facing a gas shortage when AGL managed to post record-breaking profits last year of over $1.6 BILLION DOLLARS ?? That money had to come from somewhere, and that place was the pockets of those Australian families who “depend on” companies like AGL (to squeeze them for their gas supply.)

 

It’s clear that far too much of Australia’s supply has been sold off overseas, and AGL’s desperate plans to get its sweaty grip on new supplies by IMPORTING LNG at Crib Point are evidence of this mismanagement.

AGL’s repeated use of this pathetic image of Australian families unable to warm either themselves or their supper is a shameless and blatent attempt to manipulate the facts. It is the reason that energy companies like AGL are now routinely referred to by industry analysts as CARTELS. Australian families (and industries) that “depend on you” are being hit with ever-increasing prices. The inevitable result is that Australians now pay among the world’s HIGHEST GAS PRICES for gas.

 

You claim in your response that you have “a responsibility to provide your customers with gas”, but it’s clear from AGL’s behavior that the company considers its only responsibility to be providing AGL shareholders with profits, whatever it takes. It’s probably in your interest to be more upfront when it comes to discussing that inescapable truth. The resulting mismanagement of this country’s energy resources is demonstrated by this cynical attempt by AGL to exploit this situation and profit from the IMPORT of gas.

 

Your response is another example of AGL’s continuing attempt to downplay and dismiss our deeply held concerns, by asking us not to have a care for the irreversible damage that this project would cause. In addition to the numerous threatened and endangered species in Westernport bay, the 56km route of their proposed gas pipeline would also cut through threatened habitat and protected Ramsar wetands.

The continuing investment in fossil fuels is entirely inappropriate in this location within the Mornington Peninsula Shire, whose Council recently voted in favour of measures to respond to the Climate Emergency we now face. These measures are URGENT and cannot be delayed, yet AGL is hoping to unfreeze gas that, after being shipped around the world, would be even more carbon intensive.

 

There are many reasons this wasteful plan is ill-advised and environmentally unsound, and why it represents a complete contradiction to the clean, green image that AGL likes to project. AGL management has chosen to focus on supplying ever more gas, rather than responsibly encouraging consumers to conserve their use, or to seek readily available electrical alternatives. Yet they know that clean, green energy is what people want and expect, and so they continue to project LNG, the out-dated fossil fuel, to be some kind of meaningful “alternative” or “transition fuel”. AGL stands to profit enormously from the Crib Point project, and its approval depends on acceptance of the myth that Australia is facing an inevitable shortfall in supply; a myth that a growing number of industry analysts have repeatedly debunked.

 

AGL has COMPLETELY FAILED— and has barely attempted— to demonstrate that this facility is even necessary, yet they are cruelly and selfishly attempting to barrel ahead with their plans. When AGL executive Phaedra Deckert suggested that those affected should (just shut up and) “TAKE ONE FOR THE TEAM”, it was an important acknowledgement of just how devastating the AGL facility would be to Westernport’s precious ecosystems. It also demonstrated a thorough awareness at AGL’s highest levels surrounding the degrading social impact it would have on affected communities on the Mornington Peninsula and beyond. This disastrous impact, like the proposed facility itself, would last for decades to come.

 

AGL does not have the social license necessary to proceed with plans to import LNG at Crib Point