Letter to ministers and parliamentary representatives re the proposed AGL-APA Crib Point gas import jetty and pipeline project.
The Phillip Island Conservation Society (PICS) strongly opposes the AGL and APA proposal to construct and operate a gas import jetty at Crib Point on Western Port and associated gas pipeline to Pakenham.
We oppose this project – which is currently undergoing Victorian and Commonwealth environmental assessments – on environmental, economic, and social grounds. We urge you to reject this project.
PICS considers that the project does not fit with the widely held community vision for biodiversity conservation and sustainable development in the Western Port region, including a rapid transition to a carbon-neutral economy. PICS also considers that the project’s Environment Effects Statement (EES) is an unsatisfactory basis on which to adopt private sector energy strategies that have state and national implications.
PICS disputes AGL’s argument that the project is necessary to fill a forecast shortfall in gas supply and to support essential energy supply. Independent analysis this year by Northmore Gordon found that Victoria can reduce gas consumption by more than half (98 to 113 PJ each year) by 2030, through energy efficiency measures and fuel-switching, rendering the Crib Point project unnecessary.
Compared with the Crib Point project, this demand-side alternative offers the environmental benefits of a more rapid transition to a low-carbon economy without negative impacts on the Western Port region.
We provide further explanation in our submission on the project’s EES, which is seriously deficient and an unsatisfactory basis on which to proceed with the project. The concerns raised in this submission are strongly held within our community, as demonstrated by a total of over 10,000 submissions on the EES.
PICS seeks your urgent support in calling for this project to be rejected, and for all levels of government to work together to rapidly pursue safe energy alternatives that will lead to long-term reductions in the cost of energy without threatening the environment or exacerbating climate change.
Jeff Nottle, president, Phillip Island Conservation Society.