AGL Crib Point Gas Terminal Adjournement

The SPEAKER: Order! I just ask the member for Hastings to pause. A couple of quick matters—

Mr BURGESS: The adjournment is to the Minister for Planning.

The SPEAKER: And I ask the member to use correct titles.

Mr BURGESS: Crib Point residents and indeed residents from around the Mornington Peninsula and across the state have been clear and unified about this project: they do not want it. The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning has received in excess of 6000 submissions regarding this proposal, the overwhelming majority against it. Further, the local Mornington Peninsula Shire Council has been vocal in its opposition, stating that AGL’s proposal is deeply unpopular and has no social licence from the local community. In fact locally three levels of government are opposed to this badly flawed project. While AGL and the Andrews government initially claimed this project would create 300 jobs, it was later revealed that few if any jobs would be created and that the two or three that may eventuate would require specific skills that would be filled from the existing AGL workforce, again proving that this proposal offers absolutely no benefit to the local community. This project is so inappropriate that the town’s own consultant admitted to a public meeting of local residents that he would not want it beside his place. It is extraordinary to sit in this place and listen to the Premier pretend he cares about people and climate change while at the same time forcing a natural gas plant onto the residents of Crib Point. The Labor Party continues to demonstrate that it sees Crib Point as a toxic dumping ground and completely ignores the views of the people who actually live there.

I made a commitment to my community 15 years ago to fight against any reindustrialisation of Crib Point. I stand by that commitment as strongly today as I did then, when the Brumby Labor government Minister for Planning, Justin Madden, gave the go-ahead to a bitumen plant in exactly the same location, again against all opposition and in direct contradiction to a written promise from Labor to Crib Point residents that they would not let this happen. You just cannot trust these people. Together with the community we fought off the Brumby Labor government’s attempt to force bitumen and urea plants on Crib Point a decade ago, and we will fight this one off too.

Each subsequent attempt to locate inappropriate and toxic developments at Crib Point only serves to emphasise one of the central and enduring objections to Labor’s plan, and that is that if a toxic project is allowed to be set up at Crib Point, the community will lose its ability to argue that other toxic projects would be out of character. That is what is known as the classic slippery slope of industrialisation. As the bitumen and urea plants’ subsequent development would bring 24/7 B-double trucks through local community townships, you can see that any industrial development would lead to the same outcome. On behalf of my community I ask the minister to do the right thing by the people that live in this area and reject it.