Having a naturally deep port in a Ramsar site, it is almost inevitable that challenges will loom. It seems that Western Port is regularly in the sights of ship-based proposals, whether container ports, asphalt plants or brown coal terminals. Hey, French Island was once mooted to host a nuclear plant.
When AGL first proposed a gas import terminal in Western Port without an Environmental Effects Statement, the Biosphere Foundation bridled. An EES just had to be conducted, the Biosphere and many other groups demanded. Some thousands of pages later as summary reports and technical reports were released, we were given a short time to respond, to consider its adequacy and to see if there were not undue risks to the Western Port environment.
Staff, Board and Board Committee members burnt the midnight oil (bio-derived naturally) to examine the documents. A comprehensive response to the proposal was duly sent to the Planning department for their consideration. While it was clear that AGL did a lot of work to show that they thought it could be done, the Foundation’s assessment, for many reasons set out in the response, is that it shouldn’t.
These are just some of the issues on which the Foundation found the EES to be deficient:
The Biosphere has asked to be represented at the hearings at which objections can be explained. Our full response can be read at www.biosphere.org.au/hot-topics/our-response-to-the-agl-ees