State Minister for Planning, Richard Wynne must reverse his decision not to suspend the current public exhibition period of the Environment Effects Statement (EES), for AGL’s Crib Point Gas Import facility.
On 10 July I wrote to the Minister Wynne requesting that he suspend the current 40 business
day exhibition period until at least the end of COVID-19 lockdowns as it would not be possible
for residents to properly scrutinize the complex EES documentation, during a COVID-19 lockdown.
On 9 August Mr Wynne replied to my letter stating:
“Pausing the exhibition process until public health emergency restrictions are eased would introduce severe procedural uncertainty.
This would add to both the logistical challenges of planning for and managing the remainder of the assessment process and the stresses for all parties resulting from an open-ended timeframe.
On balance, while I appreciate the benefits of a pause that you and others have presented. I am not satisfied that they would outweigh the disadvantages.”
Comments attributed to Member for Hastings, Neale Burgess:
I am very disappointed with the Minister’s response not to suspend the current EES consultation process as it appears the Minister is either not listening to or is ignoring the community’s wishes for a halt to the current process.
AGL has had two years to compile an extensive EES case and then a community placed in strict lockdown conditions has only been given 40 business days to respond. It is simply not a fair and proper process.
Both Stage 3 and Stage 4 lockdowns have made it impossible for residents to meet face to face, hold working groups or public meetings to discuss this enormous and complex EES.
I call on Minister Wynne to reverse this incorrect decision. I am not sure how the Minister received his advice or from whom to continue with the current process; however, after listening to my communities’ objections on this matter I ask him to change it.
When I wrote to the Minister in early July stage 3 restrictions were in force. Now that harsher Stage 4 restrictions are here it presents an even more compelling argument to delay the 40-day business case until the current restrictions are lifted on September 13.
I once again ask the Minister to abide by his early commitment stated in his media release of 9 October 2018 - Full Environmental Assessment For Crib Point Proposal stated:
“We owe it to the community and the environment to get this right and ensure this proposal is rigorously analysed by the most thorough environmental and cultural assessment tool available in the State.”
Media Contact: Neale Burgess: 5977 5600