Author: Keith Platt

THE judgement of some Mornington Peninsula Shire councillors has been questioned over their different attitudes to the slaughter of kangaroos and spider crabs. In February, Cr David Gill failed to get any support for his call on the state government to kangaroos being shot on the peninsula until scientific evidence could justify the killing. However, last month Cr Sarah Race was able to get every councillor to agree to sign a letter calling on the government to stop spider crabs being harvested from May to July, during their annual aggregation (“Spider crabs stay on the menu” The Times 31/5/21). Two…

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POWER company AGL says it lost about $108 million because of its failed bid for a gas import terminal at Crib Point. In a statement released to the Australian Stock Exchange last week AGL said it had estimated it would spend $130 million on the project, with $22 million being “expensed” so far. “As a result, AGL expects to recognise a pre-tax loss of up to $108 million as a significant item in its FY21 financial statements,” the statement said. “Engagement with the community and relevant parties has been integral to this process and AGL thanks those involved for their…

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THE federal government has been spared the need to make a formal decision on power company AGL’s plans to import liquified natural gas through a floating terminal at Crib Point. Flinders MP Greg Hunt last week said that “neither an approval nor refusal” would need to be made as AGL had withdrawn its proposal from consideration under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. The withdrawal at the federal level by AGL comes one month after the state government knocked its plan back on environmental grounds (“State terminates AGL’s gas import plan” The Times 31/3/21). In the following weeks…

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THE community is being urged to see the state government’s rejection of AGL’s gas import terminal at Crib Point as “the start and not the end” of action to protect Western Port. The Mornington Peninsula and Western Port Biosphere Foundation chair, Jo McCoy, said AGL’s plan had created a “focal point and motivation” for municipal councils, traditional owners and the community “to frame conversations around population growth and development projects in a way sympathetic to our sensitive environment”. The biosphere foundation includes the five “member councils” whose boundaries fall wholly or partly within the biosphere: Mornington Peninsula, Frankston, Casey, Bass…

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WHILE celebrations continue over state Planning Minister Richard Wynne’s rejection of AGL’s proposed import gas terminal at Crib Point, those opposed to the plan will feel more secure once the decision is also backed by the federal government. Mr Wynne’s decision was based on environmental grounds and to be set in motion must now be endorsed by several state departments and the federal Environment Minister, Sussan Ley. “Minister Wynne’s assessment reflects the overwhelming and sustained opposition from a broad alliance of groups including scientists, residents, tourism and fishing businesses, and our clients,” Environmental Justice Australia lawyer Virginia Trescowthick said. “We…

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