Today, AGL have formally withdrawn their referral for a proposed gas import facility at Crib Point.
In accordance with section 170C of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act); AGL have formally withdrawn their project from consideration.
Federal Member for Flinders, the Hon. Greg Hunt MP thanked the Mornington Peninsula community for their tireless, combined work in stopping this project.
“Throughout this fight I have been clearly, absolutely and unequivocally opposed to this proposed gas plant in Westernport,” Minister Hunt said.
“This project was always a solution to a problem of the Andrews Government’s own making thanks to their now cancelled moratorium on local conventional gas exploration. Now with this formal withdrawal, I’m pleased that the Mornington Peninsula community’s strong objection to this project has been heard.”
“I acknowledge the advocacy of local groups such as Save Westernport, the Mornington Peninsula Shire, Neale Burgess MP and others in our community.
“Together, we protected Point Nepean, cleaned up Gunnamatta Beach, stopped the proposed Boral plant in Crib Point and this withdrawal is another win for the local community.”
“This has been a long, valiant fight, but a worthwhile fight to protect our local Ramsar wetlands. Thank you to all involved.”
The project was referred in 2018 for assessment under the EPBC Act and determined to be a “controlled action” likely to have significant impacts on matters of national environmental significance. As a result, approval under the EPBC Act was required before the project could commence.
The project was assessed under the bilateral agreement with Victoria. On 30 March 2021, the Victorian Minister for Planning released his assessment which concluded that the gas import facility would have unacceptable environmental impacts on a Ramsar wetland.
As the referral has been withdrawn, neither an approval nor refusal decision will be made under the EPBC Act.