Doctors welcome the Victorian Government’s decision to reject AGL’s proposal to build a 300-metre floating gas import terminal at Westernport Bay, describing it as a major win for public health.
Minister for Planning Richard Wynne said the proposed Crib Point gas terminal would result in “unacceptable environmental effects” to the internationally significant Westernport Bay.
However, DEA is concerned that the construction of several other gas import terminals are under consideration – at least two are in environmentally sensitive areas.
Doctors for the Environment Australia spokesperson, Dr Liz Bashford, says, “It is absurd to import liquefied natural gas (LNG) from overseas when Australia is the world’s biggest exporter of LNG”.
“New gas infrastructure will ‘lock in’ gas use for decades- just when there is an urgent imperative to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels to ensure an effective and rapid response to global warming.
“We should be using renewables not gas for our future energy needs.”
DEA’s submission to the Environmental Effects Statement for the proposed AGL/APA Gas Import Jetty and Pipeline Project at Western Port rejected the proposal for the following reasons:
- Climate change is a public health emergency which requires immediate and effective action.
- There are finite health risks associated with the project.
- There is no social licence for the project.
- The Interim Report on the review of the current EPBC Act outlines a ‘near complete failure of the government to implement the Act to protect Australia’s environments’, yet it is to this flawed Act that the EES has made its report.
- If the project is approved, there will be unacceptable risks to the sensitive Western Port environment which includes Ramsar wetlands, endangered species of flora and fauna, and marine mammals.
- There is inadequate information about the management of climate change risks to the project such as bushfires, severe storms and storm surges.
- The EES fails to address the implications and management of high-impact large-scale accidents that could have devastating consequences to the area.
- The EES does not adequately address the entire carbon emissions associated with the project.
- The EES uses the climate forcing activity of methane over 100-year time frame rather than the more appropriate 20-year time frame, given the already measurable health impacts of rapid global warming.
- The stated objectives of the project are flawed, as neither projected shortfalls of gas or lower prices may eventuate, and both can be resolved by other means.
- The project is a 20-year fossil fuel development, which is incompatible with the Victorian RET of 40% renewables by 2025, 50% by 2030 and net zero by 2050.
- The project is contrary to AGL’s own policy of a shift away from fossil fuel energy and a focus on ecologically sustainable development.
Media and Communications Coordinator Carmela Ferraro, 0410 703 074
Image credit: Beyond Coal and Gas