Crib Point gas import jetty and gas pipeline project

The proposal includes two components:

  • Gas Import Jetty Works comprising a floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) at Crib Point Jetty, jetty infrastructure including marine loading arms and gas piping on the jetty, and the Crib Point Receiving Facility on land adjacent to the jetty.
  • Pipeline Works consisting of an underground gas transmission pipeline approximately 57 kilometres long to transport gas from the Crib Point Receiving Facility to the Victorian Transmission System east of Pakenham, and associated infrastructure such as the Pakenham Delivery Facility to monitor and regulate the gas, two above-ground mainline valves to enable isolation of the pipeline in an emergency and a facility to enable in-line inspections of the pipeline.

The Terms of Reference require written submissions to be prepared in response to the Environment Effects Statement.

All submissions will be progressively published on the Engage Victoria website, unless a submitter has specifically requested it not be published.

Here is a copy of the Environment Effects Statement Submitted by Neale Burgess:

 

AGL Gas import jetty and pipeline project
(Crib Point to Pakenham)

EES Submission by Neale Burgess, State Member for Hastings

____________________________________________________________________________

Historically, Crib Point was an industrial area, however, that has not been the case for several decades and the Crib Point community has made it abundantly clear, it wants it to remain that way.

There have been a number of challenges to Crib Point remaining non industrial, with the Bracks and Brumby Labor governments trying to force bitumen and urea plants onto this beautiful bayside township between 2004 and 2006. After a 6 year fight, the community prevailed through a change of government.

The current situation, with the Andrews state government and AGL trying to impose an FSRU on Crib Point is not dissimilar to those earlier battles.

Our community has worked long and hard alongside its local council, the Mornington Peninsula Shire Council (MPSC), to establish local areas for industry and to ensure good separation from residential and commercial zones.

The Port of Hastings, Bluescope, Esso and a range of other heavy industry businesses are located in the industrial zone north of Hastings and these provide employment to surrounding townships. There is industrial land available in this area.

Historically there were two areas of significant industrial development, one to the north of Hastings and the other around Crib Point. The negative effects of an industrial zone are magnified many times over, when townships such as Hastings, Tyabb, Bittern and Crib Point, have industrial developments to both their north and south. These problems are magnified yet again when there is effectively only one, already inadequate road linking the areas.

What results from the combination of these circumstances is a far greater diminution of quality of life for a wider area of population, than would usually be the case from other industrial developments.

As has been recognised by local council, reindustrialising Crib Point will effectively reindustrialise the whole Western Port area.

Anyone that takes a few minutes to watch the numbers of trucks and other industrial vehicles travelling to and from the industrial area north of Hastings, will understand the wisdom of their location north of Hastings and to its east. This location allows industrial vehicles to travel to and from the industrial zone and other locations without going through any of the local townships.

The dangers of allowing Crib Point to reindustrialise are immediately apparent and while there is no expectation that AGL would change its plans on that basis, the state government should know better.

The very high volume of industrial traffic, in non Covid 19 times, has a discreet path to and from the industrial zone If AGL is allowed to force its way into Crib Point, it will literally become the thin edge of the wedge, reopening that community to unmanageable levels of industrial traffic.

Between 2004 and 2010, I fought beside the Crib Point community to stop the Bracks and Brumby governments and Boral imposing a bitumen plant on Crib Point and in the end, together we were able to stop it. However, we may not have won that fight, if the people of Bittern, Hastings and Tyabb, understanding the implications for our wider community, had not joined that fight to support us.

The argument put forward by AGL that the majority of product movement to and from its plant, will be by pipeline, is now in great doubt with recent information suggesting more than 900 trucks per year could visit the site.

Regardless of the numbers of trucks the AGL proposal brings to local roads on its own, its effect will be to open the flood gates on industrial development in the Crib Point. To date residents have been able to argue that industrial development in Crib Point was inappropriate, however, that argument will disappear with the arrival of AGL.

If AGL’s forecast traffic volumes could be believed, they would still completely ignore the other real problem its presence at Crib Point creates and that is the lack of ability to say no to the next industrial company that chooses Crib Point as the location for its 24/7 trucks.

The Mornington Peninsula Shire Council has shown its understanding of what is on the line for all who live in our local area, by coming out recently and strongly opposing AGL and the state government’s push to locate AGL at Crib Point.

Our council has recognised that if AGL is successful in forcing its way into Crib Point, it will effectively be inviting any number of other industrial operations to join it.

The fact that Crib Point does not currently have any heavy industry, has established a protective wall for its community, providing a strong planning argument to prevent industrial concerns locating there. However, if AGL is successful in forcing its way into Crib Point, that barrier will be broken down, making it very difficult to say no to other toxic and inappropriate industry setting up in Crib there.

Another major concern for the whole Western Port community, is the mooted future need for the state government to relocate Coode Island chemical and petro-chemical storage facility.

In 2016, the Andrews government created the body Infrastructure Victoria (IV) to advise on future port capacity. IV released its report in May 2017, unsurprisingly bringing down recommendations in lock step with the Andrews government’s existing policies. What was surprising was that the majority of the report’s findings, were stated to be on the assumption that the Port of Melbourne would no longer exist. This assumption was apparently based on the very large amount of money to be raised from the sale of the port land, the need for increased inner city living opportunities, which could be located there and the need to ease traffic congestion.

While such a policy will mean different things to different people, including optimism for aspiring inner city dwellers, it would sound a very loud warning bell for the residents of Crib Point and the wider Western Port area.

Repurposing of the land on which the Port of Melbourne sits, would create the need to relocate a large number of facilities and businesses that are currently in or adjacent to, the Port. One such facility that will certainly require relocation away from planned residential areas, will be Coode Island.

While implementation of this plan will no doubt be some time off, it is a direction requiring very thorough and open consultation with the Victorian community.

Given the views of successive state Labor governments, that Crib Point is the preferred location for industrial development, it is incumbent on the state government to make its plans clear and public.

As the elected state member for Hastings, it is my job to listen to and understand the hopes and aspirations of local residents and then do my best to represent those values. It is very clear to me that the vast majority of Crib Point residents do not want AGL to locate its FSRU in their township and of the small number of people undecided or in favour of the proposal, those I’ve spoken to have indicated that they had believed the large number of jobs AGL initially said would be created. It is now a matter of record that following construction there would be no more than 40 ongoing jobs and the majority of those will require specific expertise and are likely to come from within the organisation.

More than a decade ago local Federal Member, Greg Hunt and I made the commitment that we would fight to stop any reindustrialisation of Crib Point and we intend to keep that promise.

After waiting 60 long years, it is time the community of Crib Point was allowed to develop the way its residents want and not be used by billion dollar companies to avoid having to build their own jetties.

 

NEALE BURGESS MP

State member for Hastings

6 Eramosa Road West

SOMERVILLE VIC 3912

 

Telephone: 5977 5600

Email: neale.burgess@parliament.vic.gov.au