THE Planning Minister Richard Wynne says the exhibition of power company AGL’s environmental effects statement on its proposed gas import terminal at Crib Point will last 40 days, 10 days longer than usual.
He says the extra time will ensure the exhibition and inquiry is conducted fairly during the coronavirus pandemic. Mr Wynne’s directive was dated 1 June.
After the exhibition, a public inquiry will be held to consider the project and its environmental effects. If required, the inquiry’s proceedings may take place by videoconference.
Community group Save Westernport said Mr Wynne’s decision was “inconsistent with state government extensions of at least three months granted to numerous other projects”.
The group’s call to ensure the process did not “advantage” AGL has been echoed by Mornington Peninsula Shire mayor Cr Sam Hearn, Environment Victoria and Hastings MP Neale Burgess.
Save Westernport says the EES process “already lacks an even playing field” and will support “the local community to make the strongest possible submissions against the AGL proposal”.
“Save Westernport … is determined to see this absurd project rejected by the government. We will be making powerful submissions to achieve this outcome and stop this dirty, dangerous proposal that offers no economic or social benefits to anyone but AGL,” secretary Julia Stockigt said.