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Reject gas terminal at Corio Bay

Victorian Greens

Reject gas terminal at Corio Bay

Ellen Sandell asks for an independent emissions assesment of VIVA’s gas terminal proposal in Corio Bay.


My adjournment tonight is the Minister for Planning.

The action I seek from the Minister is to Commission an independent assessment of the emissions that would result from VIVA’s energy’s plan to build a gas import terminal in Corio Bay.

As the Minister would be aware, VIVA energy wants to build a new gas import terminal in the Bay near Geelong, and the environmental assessment process for this project is currently underway.

Over the past year, many members of the local community have contacted my office to raise concerns about this project. They’re worried about impacts of a new fossil fuel project for the climate, the local environment, and the safety risk it poses to the community.

And now that the EES process is underway, locals have contacted us with concerning analysis that VIVA is deliberately misleading the EES process by undercounting the climate emissions from their project by up to 12 times! Viva is doing this by failing to count the emissions that would be created by the gas being transported to the terminal.

That is why today I’m seeking that as part of the environment assessment process for this project, the Government gets an independent assessment of all the emissions from VIVA’s planned project.

The accounting trick VIVA is trying to pull is an example of how much work the community groups and environment organisations have to do just to ensure projects don’t get green lighted based on incomplete or inaccurate information.

Another key concern for the community is the risk that this gas terminal would pose to community safety. It would be located just 250m from homes and close to critical port infrastructure. Analysis shows that over 30,000 Geelong people live within range of harm should an accident occur. Yet on this front, Viva has also downplayed the impacts. Viva has presented only the impact of a very minor leak. Yet elsewhere in the world, quite destructive accidents have happened at similar gas terminals.

But if we take a step back, really, it’s disastrous to even be considering a new fossil fuel project at all in 2022 as the evidence of the escalating climate crisis is all around us.
In fact, the UN just this week has said that countries that are expanding fossil fuels are the worst villains when it comes to climate change and countries like Australia simply cannot start any new fossil fuel projects if we have any hope of avoiding catastrophic climate collapse.

It is just over a year since the Minister made the welcome decision to reject AGL energy’s plan to build a gas import terminal in Westernport Bay on Bunurong country.
It was the right decision and the community was very pleased by it.

Any more investment in fossil fuels is a backward step that our climate cannot afford and communities should not be having to fight off project after project, one by one.

I implore the Planning Minister to reject this project and to focus his Government’s efforts on getting our state off gas and creating the thousands of new jobs that will come with renewable energy and electrification.

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