Full Environmental Effect Statement required for AGL’s gas facility in Westernport Bay.

LNG_ship.jpgFriends of the Earth has welcomed the decision by Planning Minister Richard Wynne to require a full Environmental Effects Statement (EES) for AGL’s gas import facility planned for Crib Point in Westernport Bay. It will also consider the high-pressure pipeline proposed by APA which will connect the gas plant to the state’s gas supply.

“This is a welcome move” said Friends of the Earth campaigns co-ordinator Cam Walker. “Given the likely environmental impacts, it is essential that there be a full assessment of the impacts of AGL’s planned gas facility and the associated pipeline.”

We are pleased to see that the EES will investigate the ‘potential environmental, community and cultural impacts of the project including impacts on native vegetation, wildlife, marine life and Aboriginal cultural heritage’.

“Given the large carbon footprint of the gas plant, it is essential that the approvals process also consider the climate implications of importing gas into Victoria. This would be consistent with the aims of the Victorian Climate Change Act”.

As has been noted time after time, the problems with gas pricing and supply is largely due to the development of the LNG export industry, which forces local domestic and commercial users to, in effect, compete for gas on the international market. A gas import plant will not help local consumers through reducing prices.”

“A much smarter option would be to invest in assisting Victorian households and businesses to transition away from gas and onto renewable electricity. The small number of commercial and manufacturing processes which have, as yet, no alternative to using gas would benefit from an overall reduction in gas use across the state.”

“AGL claims that the gas plant will be needed because of short term supply issues in coming winters. Yet the expense of building a high pressure pipeline and the port facility to allow the floating gas plant to operate in Westernport can be expected to lead to both companies seeking to maximise return on investment by putting gas into the Victorian market for as long as possible.”

“In the week when the IPCC has released its report which outlines how hard it will be to hold warming to an overall increase of 1.5oC, it is essential that our state not lock in further carbon intensive projects like a gas plant. We do not support this project and cannot see how it should be allowed to proceed given the obvious environmental and climate impacts of this proposal.”

 

Further comment

Cam Walker 0419 338 047