The Greens and Western Port residents are disappointed that Planning Minister Richard Wynne has refused the community’s plea to delay the assessment of a gas import terminal at Western Port in a RAMSAR-listed wetland.
Given the disruption caused by COVID-19 and Stage 3 and 4 restrictions, the community has called for more time to contribute to the lengthy Environmental Effects Statement process.
The Government has used COVID-19 as an excuse to delay:
- Setting emissions reductions targets for Victoria
- Responding to the VEAC report recommending new National Parks in the central west of Victoria, despite timelines being set in legislation
- Responding to the 2018 State of the Environment report for Victoria, despite timelines being set in legislation
Yet despite granting delays for themselves, the Government has not granted the same leeway to the local community who will be affected by a huge new gas import ship at Western Port.
As stated by Acting Leader of the Victorian Greens, Ellen Sandell MP:
“Locals are feeling really let down by this decision by the Victorian Labor Government, to go ahead with a huge gas terminal on a sensitive wetland.
“The Government is happy to delay setting an emissions reduction target and delay creating new national parks due to COVID – but when it comes to something that destroys the environment and local community, they’re more than happy to move ahead quickly.”