Western Port - Earthquakes and Fault Lines

Did anyone feel the earth tremor in Western Port this weekend? Did you know that Western Port and its islands have seven seismically active fault lines, and tremors are common? Seismic activity can damage gas infrastructure, so there's a question for when the EES process gets underway for the AGL gas import terminal and APA gas pipleline

.Details are here:  https://www.planning.vic.gov.au/…/brows…/projects/crib-point

Joint Letter to Government from Local Environmental Groups regarding the Crib Point AGL L.N.G. Proposal #phillipisland #morningtonpeninsula #cribpoint #AGL

We write to you collectively from Save Westernport, the Victorian National Parks Association,

Environment Victoria, Friends of the Earth, Westernport & Peninsula Protection Council, Blue Wedges, Phillip Island Conservation Society and Preserve Western Port Action Group regarding AGL’s proposal for a gas import facility at Crib Point and connecting pipeline to Pakenham

This project has raised significant concern both locally and throughout Victoria due to its likelihood of threatening Westernport Bay’s high natural values and increasing Victoria’s greenhouse gas emissions.

We believe the plan is inconsistent with Victoria’s legislated net zero emissions target and could stall efforts to transition towards renewable energy. Moreover, we believe that the project will likely lead to higher, not lower gas prices for Victorians. This view is supported by Macquarie Bank’s thorough analysis of the price impacts of gas import terminals which we have attached to this letter. In short Macquarie Bank concludes: “We believe that any import terminal will not lower prices on the East Coast of Australia, and could potentially set a higher floor price.”

In light of the above, we have been concerned by statements of support for AGL’s project by senior Government Ministers, particularly ahead of any formal environmental assessment of the project, and urge you to reconsider this premature support.

AGL has indicated that submission of their referral is imminent. Given the scale of this project and the sensitive environment it is located in, we would expect you to require a full EES for the Floating Storage and Regasification Unit and pipeline as has been required of much less damaging projects in recent times, for instance level crossing removals.

Further to the letter that Environment Victoria sent on 18 July, AGL has confirmed that the two aspects of its project will be submitted together for referral. It has been pleasing to see your “expectation of a combined EES referral” as reported in The Age on 26 July.2 In light of community expectations, we respectfully ask that you uphold this commitment.

The risk to Westernport’s unique tidal bay and Ramsar wetland is significant and any damage to this valuable ecosystem will affect many local businesses who rely on the health of the bay. It is essential that this project is assessed to the highest environment standard. We therefore urge you to require a full EES.

The potential impacts of the project are of such concern that they require a determination in favour of a full EES. We outline our areas of concern below:

Climate impacts:

AGL’s proposal will increase Victoria’s climate pollution. The carbon intensity of Victoria’s gas consumption will be greater because the gas being brought into Victoria will have been liquefied, transported long distances, re-gasified and then stored, with each step consuming energy and adding to fugitive emissions. AGL has confirmed that this gas is likely to be 20 percent more emissions-intensive than gas currently sourced from Victoria.

The project could import as much as 130-160 petajoules of gas per year into Victoria, almost doubling the amount of gas flowing into the state, likely reversing the shift of industry and households away from gas and weakening the move to renewable energy. This increase in emissions associated with the higher lifecycle emissions associated with imported LNG is not calculated in the documents available on AGL’s website, but is likely to increase global greenhouse emissions by more than 200,000 tonnes which is the threshold outlined in the Ministerial guidelines. The emissions that are considered in AGL’s Jacobs Greenhouse Gas Assessment dated 23 March 2018 models 4 scenarios, of which Scenario D also comes very close the 200,000 tonnes threshold for assessment (190,925 tonnes), taking into account only the local emissions from the project and not the emissions associated with the LNG’s production and transport, nor the emissions associated with the construction of the pipeline.

Furthermore, the project could also involve importing gas produced from fracking, a dangerous and destructive practice that has been proudly banned in Victoria. It would therefore be inconsistent with Victoria’s leadership in banning fracking to encourage fracking in other parts of the country or world by starting a new import market in fracked gas.

Impacts on nature in Westernport Bay:

Westernport Bay is an internationally listed ecosystem, recognised under the Ramsar Convention as a unique tidal bay and wetland with important ecological values. It also has a UNESCO biosphere reserve designation.

It is home to a number of threatened species listed under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act (Vic) 1988 and the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (Cth) 1999 such as Southern Right Whale; Humpback Whale; Far Eastern Curlew; Curlew Sandpiper; Fairy Tern; Orange-bellied Parrot; Swift Parrot; Great White Shark; Mangrove Goby; Australian Grayling; two species of Ghost Shrimp; Southern Brown Bandicoot and coastal saltmarsh. There are deep concerns over the threats to the habitat and welfare of these species caused by the construction and operation of the FSRU and pipeline.

Marine ecosystem impacts:

There are extremely concerning marine impacts associated with this project. These include:

  1. The discharge of up to 450,000,000 litres per day of cold sea water into Westernport Bay;

  2. The discharge of up to 450,000,000 litres per day of chlorinated water into Westernport Bay;

  3. The risk to the ecosystem and small marine life from becoming sucked into the heat exchanger;

  4. The possibility of the introduction of marine pests;

  5. The impact on two species of Ghost Shrimp, both of which are considered likely to be present in low numbers in suitable habitat, about which there is extremely limited knowledge;

  6. The significant increase in shipping through Westernport Bay, increasing the incidence of vessel strikes with marine mammals and marine noise;

  7. The potential for fuel spills and the impact this may have on marine life.

VNPA has undertaken extensive shipping oil spill modelling which shows the complexities and trends in movement in the Bay in addition to the impacts on birds, mangroves, and seagrass.

It is noted that cumulatively these impacts are likely to trigger the referral criteria of ‘potential extensive or major effects on the health or biodiversity of aquatic, estuarine or marine ecosystems over the long term’.

Our groups believe the triggers for individual and combined referral criteria demonstrate the need for an in depth assessment process of the FSRU and pipeline such as can only be provided by an Environment Effects Statement. Until such an approvals process is complete we think it is inappropriate for the government to be voicing support for the project. We would also urge you to read the Macquarie Bank research which argues that this project would likely lead to higher gas prices for Victorians - a poor public policy outcome.

We are not satisfied that a Works Approval or a Licence under the Pipelines Act 2005 would be sufficient to properly investigate and assess all these concerns, so we urge you to use your discretion to determine in favour of requiring an EES.

We will also write to the federal Environment Minister to request a full assessment under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

Representatives from the organisations listed below would like the opportunity to meet with

you to discuss the matter in person at your earliest convenience.


1 Macquarie Wealth Management, East Coast Gas and Infrastructure 6 July 2018

2 https://www.theage.com.au/politics/victoria/call-to-put-agl-gas-plant-proposal-under- environmental-microscope-20180726-p4ztt8.html

3 Email from Jasmine Doak to Environment Victoria on August 8 2018.


Urgent - Save Westernport - No AGL Gas at Crib Point

In these photos taken last week YOU CAN SEE the storm water RUN-OFF straight into the Bay from the current works at the contaminated jetty site.

4.1 Soil samples collected during previous investigation at the study area identified concentrations of 
• heavy metals (arsenic, lead, chromium, zinc and vanadium)
• polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) 
• polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and
• perfluoroctanesulfonic acid (PFOS)

4.2 Disturbance of contaminated soil via excavation...could result in mobilisation of contaminants into more sensitive environments outside the Project Site UNLESS APPROPRIATELY MANAGED.

We KNOW from their deplorable record of regrettable environmental incidents just how incapable AGL appears to be at ensuring their projects are "appropriately managed".

The Ministers charged with deciding whether or not the AGL APA proposal is suitable MUST NOT allow themselves to be influenced by AGL or their reports that repeatedly make the glib claim:
"No referral under the Environment Effects Act is required for the potential impacts on ecological values based on the criteria for referral under the Ministerial Guidelines for assessment under the E.E. Act 1978."

ADD YOUR VOICE to the groundswell of opposition to this proposal. Visit our website SaveWesternport.org to find out how you can TAKE ACTION
• Sign our petitions, there is more than one:
• Contact the Ministers, the Media, 774 and 3AW talkback radio, write letters to the editor 
The Age- letters@theage.com.au
The Australian- https://www.theaustralian.com.au/…/62d28082bfcc8a252414cd52…
The Herald Sun- https://www.heraldsun.com.au/…/opinion/letter-to-the-editor…

• READ some of the AGL and APA reports, and let us know your responses- about Social Impact, Safety and Environmental Concerns...etc
We have JUST DAYS to make our response to their application. 
Or respond yourselves and let government and these corporations know why this project makes NO SENSE and will never be acceptable.

The APA Reports into the Pipeline and its impacts are here:

The AGL Reports for their application to government have been added to their Crib Point website, under DOCUMENTS here: https://www.agl.com.au/…/how-we-source-e…/crib-point-project

Photos by Celeste Maree

Photo of Earthworks at Crib Point Showing Toxic Run off into Westernport

Photo of Earthworks at Crib Point Showing Toxic Run off into Westernport

Toxic Earthworks at Crib Point

Toxic Earthworks at Crib Point

Unwelcome - Brown Coal based Hydrogen project - Hastings

Unwelcome - Brown Coal based Hydrogen project - Hastings

The Federal and State Government’s announcement that hydrogen would be shipped from the Port of Hastings to Japan is unwelcome. Four industrial processes, two journeys and the wrecking of Westernport Bay by dredging and marine pests, makes this hydrogen power source for Japan definitely not clean or green. The full-blown project is unconscionable and the therefore the trial is redundant.

Kawasaki, J Power and Iwatani have proposed to export hydrogen gas from Hastings made from Loy Yang’s brown coal. This involves: partially burning brown coal at Loy Yang, using water to scrub the CO2, CO, SO2, SO3, and CH4 produced out of the emissions and pumping it underground after finding a location and method of sequestrating first, trucking of hydrogen gas to Hastings, converting it to liquid in a new plant by freezing to below -250 degrees, building a new port to export it including massive dredging of 23 million cubic metres, shipping it to Japan and converting it back to gas in Japan.

Cowes - Stony Point Car Ferry - Letter to State Government /Media Release

The Phillip Island Conservation Society (PICS) submitted to the Bass Coast Shire Council that it considers a car ferry is not appropriate for Phillip Island.

PICS supports the marketing of the existing Victorian coastal touring route, enhancing existing transport infrastructure including the passenger ferry, the Cowes Jetty and supporting local tourism businesses to supply experiences and transport to passenger ferry visitors.

PICS consider the business case for a car ferry to Phillip Island is fundamentally flawed.

The Bass Coast Shire Council voted on 18 April 2018 to defer their consideration of the Stony Point Cowes car ferry business case until consideration has been given to investigating the Cowes Jetty site.

PICS has sent an open letter to the Premier The Hon Daniel Andrews, Minister for Regional Development The Hon Jaala Pulford and Minister for Tourism and Major events The Hon John Eren.

PICS urges the Government to reject Council request for funds to investigate the Cowes jetty location

“A car ferry terminal at the Cowes jetty will reduce visitor amenity by reintroducing cars to the northfacing Cowes foreshore just as the Council has sought to remove them with the jetty triangle redevelopment. “ stated Anne Davie
PICS considers further reliance on the car ferry business case is “throwing good money after bad.”
“PICS has serious concerns with the business case including unlikely viability, very poor time savings, unrealistic demand modelling, overstatement of economic and social benefits, understatement of social costs and omission of key environmental risks stated Anne Davie. These problems remain for the car ferry at any location on Phillip Island”. Anne added

Media Contact: Jeff Nottle PICS Vice President 0419 158 232- Anne Davie PICS President 0439 559 172


Car Ferry Business Case seriously Flawed #phillipisland #Cowes #carferry

Car Ferry Business Case seriously Flawed #phillipisland #Cowes #carferry

THE Phillip Island Conservation Society has offered a scathing assessment of the business case for the Cowes to Stony Point car ferry, describing it as deeply flawed, while the environmental impacts of the ferry are “simply too great”. 

PICS this week publicly released its submission to the draft business case, which will be voted on at the April 18 Bass Coast Shire meeting at the Phillip Island golf club. 

The submission offers a detailed analysis of the environmental, economic and social impacts of the proposed car ferry, concluding the proposal fails on all counts. 

“The proposed car ferry is unlikely to be viable or offer significant benefits, and the potential environmental impacts are unacceptable,” the submission states. 

“The proposed car ferry amounts to an expensive and risky use of public funds—funds that could be better spent on alternatives that embody the (Phillip Island and San Remo) Visitor Economy Strategy vision of sustainable growth, genuinely tackle social disadvantage, and preserve our most valuable tourism asset, our natural environment.” In the submission, PICS urges Bass Coast Shire councillors to reject any final Cowes to Stony Point car ferry business case. 

Economically flawed Using the draft business case’s figures, the PICS submission offers detailed economic analysis, concluding “the benefits are questionable and over-stated, and the costs and risks are understated”. 

The submission states the draft business case fails to provide answers on a raft of eco nomic measures, including jetty maintenance cost, vessel cost or depreciation, government subsidy necessary to cover the operating shortfall and provide the ferry operator with a reasonable return on capital, while “there is no attempt to place an economic cost on environmental impacts”. 

“The draft business case says the ferry will run at an operating loss for nine years, while the adjacent text says three years. Which is correct?” the submission asks. 

“There is no allowance on downtime due to adverse conditions, maintenance needs or breakdown - the total economic benefit and operating outcome calculations appear to be based only on projected passenger demand and ignore operational capacity to meet this demand. ” The PICS submission says the draft business case offers no evidence to support its claim a car ferry would bring visitors in the off?peak season, with the submission citing international research that finds weather and public holidays are the main factors affecting peaks and troughs in tourism on a global scale: “The proposed car ferry will not change these factors”. 

The submission states the travel time savings outlined in draft business case are misleading because they don’t account for the pro posed two -hourly service frequency. 

“The Cowes Stony Point car ferry is the only service that will, on average, cost users both time and money. 

“When travel time was raised during the community consultation period, (business case authors) EarthCheck acknowledged the lack of time savings and began to suggest the Cowes Stony Point car ferry would attract patrons be cause it offered a maritime experience. 

“This is an extraordinarily fragile foundation for a business case, particularly when there are superior maritime experiences, such as wildlife cruises, already available on Phillip Island. 

“The bottom line: the benefit cost ratio is too low to justify the car ferry business case and the ferry service is likely to run at a loss over 30 years, requiring a government subsidy to ensure continued operation. ” FEBRUARY Environmentally flawed PICS states the draft business case assessment of environmental impacts is “inadequate”, “simply listing the approval processes that are likely to be required, and concluding the environmental impact is minimal and there is no reason why these approvals would not be granted”. 

“It states that an environmental effects statement referral is unlikely to be required. 

“This simplistic desktop analysis understates potential environmental impacts and risks.” The submission says these risks include:

• Erosion and sand movement that may occur when a new marine structure is constructed, potentially leading to coastal damage and a requirement for maintenance dredging; 

• Impacts on water quality and increased turbidity, leading to adverse impacts on seagrass; 

• Impacts on marine life, including endangered southern right whales, protected under federal environment laws, as well as impacts on the threatened hooded at the IS terminal site; and

• Implications of climate change, such as sea level rise and extreme weather events. 

“A car ferry is inappropriate anywhere on Phillip Island because the potential impacts on natural assets, including beaches, foreshore, the marine environment and wildlife are simply too great.” Socially flawed The PICS submission undermines the draft business case’s argument that a car ferry would open access to employment, recreational and other opportunities for residents. 

“The proposed car ferry would be prohibitive to use for a regular commute, especially for the socially disadvantaged.” Equally, PICS says the business case’s assertion that a car ferry would offer an alternative evacuation point was flawed. 

“A car ferry will not enhance safety on Phillip Island because it is so limited in the number of vehicles that it can move per hour, and it can only move them from one point. 

“It will never be a credible substitute for appropriate road planning and maintenance or aerial evacuation of critically ill or injured patients.” The draft business case states that the proposed car ferry will have no significant social impacts on recreational facilities or community amenity. 

“To the contrary, construction of a car ferry terminal and jetty is an inappropriate industrialisation of an important north?facing beach 300 metres from the centre of Cowes. 

“This is an important beach for safe swimming and sailing, and the only place on the island offering sailing training. The surrounding area is a residential zone.” The submission says PICS welcomes visitors to Phillip Island and supports the Visitor Economy Strategy’s long-term vision of sustainable growth. 

“The key to its delivery is acknowledging that the economy is the environment of Phillip Island and that its natural assets must be protected.” PICS was formed in 1968 to lobby against a proposal that would have negatively impacted Rhyll Inlet. 

The Phillip Island Car Ferry - Ferry Facts & Fantasies #phillipisland #cowes #CarFerry #Environment #Businesscase #BassCoast #FactversusFiction

On a hot evening in Cowes last Saturday night around 120 people jammed into the Parish Hall in Thompson Avenue to hear speakers discuss the Stony Point to Cowes business case. Speakers were Anne Davie - President Phillip Island Conservation Society, Kate McKenzie from Save Our Beach (SOB),  Jeff Nottle - Preserve Westernport Action Group, Cr Michael Whelan - Bass Coast Shire and John Pandazopolous - Chair of Destination Phillip Island.

Destination Phillip Island Chair  Hon John Pandazopoulos tried to convince the audience that a car ferry was a good idea. Cr Michael Whelan spoke about the engagement process and the need to lodge a submission.

John Pandazopolous - Chair Destination Phillip Island - Photo - Lisa Shonberg

John Pandazopolous - Chair Destination Phillip Island - Photo - Lisa Shonberg

Kate McKenzie of Save our Beaches spoke first about the potential loss of beaches on the north shore of Phillip Island and the impact that would have on residents and visitors.

Kate McKenzie - Save Our Beach (SOB) - photo Lisa Shonberg

Kate McKenzie - Save Our Beach (SOB) - photo Lisa Shonberg

Phillip Island Conservation Society spoke about alternatives to a car ferry including supporting a southern coastal touring route using existing roads and arterials whilst enhancing some current coastal towns to attract visitors. The route would be from Mornington Pennisula via Stony Point, Hastings, Tooradin, Grantville, Corinella, San Remo and a loop around Phillip Island if desired and continuing to Inverloch and Wilsons Prom. The Conservation Society also supports further improvements to the passenger ferries where local Phillip Island business can engage with visitors and enhance their visit using mini buses or other means. 

The omission of environmental impacts and costs from the business case is outrageous.  The recommendation that the Planning Approval be handled by a Ministerial Intervention is also a huge problem as the community engagement will be able to be avoided.

Photos; Lisa Shonberg (C)

To send a Submission with regard to the Business Case by April 6th. Online go to: http://www.basscoast.vic.gov.au/Business/Cowes_to_Stony_Point_Car_Ferry Or fill in the survey at www.surveymonkey.com/r/ZGJX768 or by phoning EarthCheck on (07) 3238 1901 or emailing consulting@earthcheck.org Or you can post your thoughts to Bass Coast Shire Council, PO Box 118 WONTHAGGI, 3995. 

The History Of the Preserve Westernport Action Group Campaign - Launch

We were very fortunate to have such lovely weather for the launch of our history written by the talented Phyllis Papps.  The Launch was attended by Bass Coast Shire Mayor - Pamela Rothfield, along with Chairman Jeff Nottle and President of Phillip Island Conservation Society - Anne Davie. The view of our beautiful Westernport Bay was the perfect way to celebrate and thank all the volunteer members of our Action Group and the many community members who contributed to the very successful campaign. Many of the key members of the Campaign were present today for the launch. We now have a dedicated page on our website for our History which you can visit here if you contributed anything to our campaign we thank you as does your community.  All documents and submissions to Government are available on our publications page.

The wonderfully written history of the campaign will also be housed in the State Library for future campaign guidance. 

Please take a moment to read it...you may even have a mention or credit within the pages.

Politics Planning Passion & Perseverance - Launch 20/2/18 - Cowes

Anne Davie - President - Phillip Island Conservation Society, Jeff Nottle - Chairman - Preserve Westernport Action Group, Phyllis Papps - Author, Pamela Rothfield - Bass Coast Shire Mayor 

Phillip Island Car Ferry - Business Case - Public Information Sessions

The draft business case for the Cowes to Stony Point car ferry has finally been released.

Draft Business Case Document (Link)

It recommends a 205 metre jetty be located on the beachfront between Mussel Rocks and the Cowes Yacht Club (between Walpole Street and Osbourne Avenue).

Project cost is $80.3 million.

The Cowes Yacht Club will not need relocation.

A terminal building (ticketing/service/admin) to be located on the foreshore will be single storey.

No parking has been provided, with all vehicles expected to queue on the jetty.

Environmental impacts are not known and will need to be investigated.

Community consultation on the draft business case will run until April 6.

Information sessions will be held at the Mussel Rocks BBQ area on March 11, 12 and 13 from 10am-4pm and again on 19th and 20th March from 10am-4pm, with a new public survey (testing levels of support and opposition) online at the shire’s website.

A separate, independent public meeting will be run by the Phillip Island Conservation Society at the Parish Hall in Cowes on Saturday March 10 at 7.30pm.

A protest rally is also being organised by the Save Our Beach Group over the Labour Day long weekend.

The final business case will go before the Bass Coast Shire on April 18, then to the State Government on April 27.

Screen Shot 2018-02-19 at 1.18.13 pm.png
Screen Shot 2018-02-19 at 1.18.02 pm.png

Cowes Yacht Club 'Save Cowes Beach' Petition - Car Ferry Development

One of our few beautiful North facing Victorian beaches is going to be destroyed by the addition of the Stony Point to Phillip Island car ferry! The council is currently in discussions to locate the terminal at or near the Cowes Yacht Club destroying the beach, having a huge impact upon both locals and tourists who use this beach - swimmers, power boaters, sailors, kayakers and all water users!

This pristine Cowes beach will be cut in half by the proposed ferry terminal which comes with a 400m exclusion zone (200m either side of jetty) making a large area of this family friendly, safe swimming beach unusable! The proposed terminal is right in the middle of a quiet residential area adding traffic to an area where children ride bikes and walk.

Please sign this petition to help us save our beautiful safe family swimming beach!


Here is the petitions against use of the Cowes Beach for the car Ferry Petition 

DISCUSSIONS between Phillip Island residents and the consultants behind a business case for a car ferry from Cowes to Stony Point have reached breaking point.
And it’s a sticky situation for the consultants, EarthCheck, after a protest was organised over the weekend to stop the Anderson Road boat ramp from being turned into a car ferry terminal.
Some residents are against any terminal on Phillip Island’s pristine beaches because it’s likely to require substantial dredging and could speed up erosion on the beach. 

Save Cowes West Beach Association,’ which doesn’t have a view on the car ferry itself, but is against the terminal being at the Anderson Road boat ramp. Read the news article from South Gippsland Sentinal Times

Here is further information from Bass Coast Shire Regarding the Business Case for the Car Ferry Link

Around 300 people attended a protest against the terminal being at the Anderson Road boat ramp - Photo; SGST

Around 300 people attended a protest against the terminal being at the Anderson Road boat ramp - Photo; SGST

Cowes Yacht Club - Osbourne Avenue, Cowes

Cowes Yacht Club - Osbourne Avenue, Cowes





Western Port hit with a New Development Proposal

Western Port Bay could become home to a $250 million gas terminal, according to plans released by one of Australia major Energy Providers AGL.

The news is a blow to campaigners, coming just 3 months after they celebrated the Victorian Governments announcement that the Port of Hastings would not be expanded and industrialized.

AGL issued a press release last week announcing that Crib Point in Westernport was the preferred site for a gas import jetty and pipeline to increase energy security and supply for customers in South Eastern Australia.

"Crib Point is best placed to serve Victoria, Australias biggest Gas market, as well as take advantage of the existing pipeline network, industrial port facility and associated infrastructure' said Richard Wrightson, AGL executive general manager of wholesale markets.

He said AGL would commence construction in 2019 and bring the terminal into operation by 2020/21."

'The irony for Phillip Island is that we do not have gas connection on the island.'  says Jeff Nottle Chairman of Westernport Action Group. "The gas hub proposal is a clear sign our energy policies have failed our community. Energy prices are going up yet Phillip Island still has no commitment for gas connection for residents or business".

'The other concern we have is with the associated pollution. With the increase in maritime traffic, it will have an effect on the environment boating and tourism. Whale striking is a real issue. It will have an impact on eco-tourism, the Whale Festival and Penguin and other shore bird feeding areas.'

  • The release of oil and chemicals through accidental spills and operational discharges,
  • The transfer of alien species through ballast water and on ship hulls
  • Dumping of sewage and garbage
  • Air Pollutants, through Sulphur Dioxide, nitrogen oxide and carbon dioxides
  • Physical and other damage through dropping of anchors, noise and wave disturbance along with striking of whales and marine mammals.

We are seeking further information from AGL and will keep our local stakeholders informed of further developments.

Gas Ship
Whale Striking




Infrastructure Victoria - Port Recommendation Paper

It was fantastic news to read that Infrastructure Victoria has recommended that Bay West become the Main port for Victoria. It makes far more sense to make use of the Highways along the East coast and freight facilities around Bay West. 

We have worked hard to represent Western Port as the amazing Natural wonder it is. We met many experts and spoke with many residents and visitors to our region. What has become apparent is that there is a bright future in celebrating and sharing the abundant beauty of Westernport Bay and protecting it for generations to come. 

We hope that the government of 'the day' listen to the recommendations of the 'umpire' and take note that we may have one this battle but will continue the fight to protect Westernport today.For Tomorrow.

Here is the Report from Infrastructure Victoria recommending Bay West;

We Won! ...Infrastructure Victoria recommends against Container Port at Hastings #phillipisland #Hastings #springst #celebrate #environment #hooray #Auspol

This afternoon we got the fantastic news that all the hard work from our researchers, lobbyists volunteers and supporters have been worth the fight - We Won! Infrastructure Victoria has recommended Bay West instead of Port Hastings. The decision is based on the lack of suitable rail infrastructure and the risk to the ecologically sensitive Port of Hastings. Congratulations to Mr Jeff Nottle Chairman of Preserve Westernport Action Group, Phillip Island Conservation Society and the entire dedicated team. We will be Celebrating Officially very soon. We want to say thanks to everyone who signed petitions, wore the T-Shirts, picked up the phone to Politicians and supported our cause.


Celebration Event Coming soon - Stay tuned for details! WoooHoooo!!!!

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."

Margaret Mead

Response to Infrastructure Victoria #Hastings #phillipisland #Springst #tourism #environment

Phillip Island tourist operators. businesses, conservationists and our elected representatives have all shown significant support for PWP and the Response Paper we lodged today with Infrastructure Victoria.

Following reviews of our Response Paper all key stakeholders have supported the PWP response to the recently released Infrastructure Victoria Discussion Paper on the possible location of a second container port.

The Response Paper has been endorsed by the following:

Destination Phillip Island - Regional Tourist Board;

Phillip Island Conservation Society;

Phillip Island Tourism & Business Association

Bass Coast Shire Council - Island Ward Councillor & Mayor -Cr Pamela Rothfield,Island Ward Councillor-Cr Michael Whelan,Westernport Ward Councillor-Cr Clare Le Serve and Westernport Ward Councillor-Cr Geoff Ellis

Many of those formally supporting our position are also lodging their own submission using many of the issues we have been raising over the years.

All submission to IV including ours will be available on the IV site:


Well done and thanks to all those involved in the process and we should all be pleased that we have led the engagement on this issue for the last 3 years and have delivered a comprehensive well supported final position.

Bass Coast Shire & Infrastructure Victoria Meet to discuss Proposed Port Impact #phillipisland #basscoast #springst #basscoast #hastings

Cr Michael Wheland of the Phillip Island ward organised a presentation from Jonathan Spear and Andrew Varga from Infrastructure Victoria to selected community groups and tourism bodies. Attendees were stunned that the potential impact on tourism to Phillip Island of 6,000 container ships movements PA anchoring and steaming past Cowes and Phillip Island have been omitted from the IV Discussion Paper. IV indicated that they have no evidence of past complaints when bulk ships have entered Western Port so what's the difference?

Businesses and community have until 3 April to make submissions to: yoursay.infrastructurevictoria.com.au

L to R shows Cr Geoff Ellis, Cr Michael Whelan, Anne Davey, Jonathan Spear, Leigh Phillips, Andrew Varga, Jeff Nottle & Cr Clare LeServe.

L to R shows Cr Geoff Ellis, Cr Michael Whelan, Anne Davey, Jonathan Spear, Leigh Phillips, Andrew Varga, Jeff Nottle & Cr Clare LeServe.

Map showing the proposed dredging area and shipping channel.

Map showing the proposed dredging area and shipping channel.

Infrastructure Victoria - Second Container Port Advice

Infrastructure Victoria - Second Container Port Advice

Joint Letter to Victorian Government - Impact of Hastings Container Port #hastings #phillipisland #basscoast #environment

This morning a letter was sent the Victorian Government which is a joint submission from several local Bass Coast Stakeholders;

Westernport & Peninsula Protection Council Inc, Southern Peninsula Indigenous Flora & Fauna Association,Blue Wedges, Environment Victoria, Friends of the Earth, Surfrider Foundation Australia, Victorian National Parks Association, French Island Port Stoppers  and Preserve Westernport Action Group.

The groups represented by their logos on this letter endorse the following:

Bass Coast Shire Council's Agreed Principles on the Impact of a Hastings Container Port:


1. We are opposed to any form of capital dredging, widening or deepening of channels in Westernport bay.

2. Any change in, or continuation of, the Port of Hastings operations must result in no net loss for the economy, environment and amenity.

3. The Victorian Government and Infrastructure Victoria must demonstrate and justify the need and timing for a second major container port in Victoria through comprehensive, evidence based assessment, including consideration of the current port capacity in Victoria, and via a national approach.

4. Independently verified, scientific research must form the basis of any recommendation for a second container port location in Victoria to ensure that the environmental impact is known, understood and shared with the community. Of equal importance are economic and social impacts. Specifically independent research must be undertaken on the impact on:

a) Coastline including increased erosion and inundation

b)Tourism and the impact on visitation

c)Fishing and the impact on the recreational fishing industry

d)Marine life impact including penguins and whales that enter Western Port

5. All previous research undertaken in relation to the expansion of the Port of Hastings, as well as to project and research scoping material and documents, must be made publically available with full access.

6. The recommendation of Infrastructure Victoria to the Victorian Government on the timing and location of a second container port requires a strategic government approach to fully consider the implications on:

a)Tourism impact on domestic and international visitations


c)Economic development including impact on aquifers that service food production areas

d)Fisheries including recreational fishing and the industry it supports


Here is a copy of the letter;




Port Decision Imminent - Letter to Bass Coast Shire - Infrastructure Victoria Submission #phillipisland #springst #environment #basscoastshire

Dear Cr Pamela Rothfield

Mayor - Bass Coast Shire Council

As you are no doubt aware Infrastructure Victoria are in the process of preparing recommendations to State Government on the timing and location of a second container port for Victoria. Their final report to Government is due in May 2017.

Based on 3 years of research and engagement with our community we lodged a comprehensive submission to Infrastructure Victoria in January 2017. The submission outlined the potential economic and environmental impacts of industrialising Western Port with the construction of a container port. These impacts include risks to tourism, recreational fishing and boating, increased coastal erosion particularly on the north Shore of Phillip Island, salt water entering and poisoning farming aquifers following dredging, carbon sink release and loss of the natural environment for residents and visitors.

Our submission also included and supported the Bass Coast Shire Council Port of Hastings Guiding Principles developed with key stakeholders in April 2016. We have attached a copy of our report to Infrastructure Victoria for your reference.

We are aware that a recognised risk to the Phillip Island and San Remo Visitor Economy Strategy 2035 is the industrialisation of Western Port and the construction of a container port.

We are somewhat disappointed that key stakeholder Phillip Island Nature Parks did not lodge a submission to the independent agency Infrastructure Victoria given the risks imposed of having 6,000 container ships passing through our marine life’s feeding and breeding grounds.

We are also aware that Infrastructure Victoria intends to release a report on evidence it has received in the very near future. We understand that this report will then lead to a final phase of engagement and opportunity for further submissions.

We urge Council to be ready to initiate the appropriate processes and, if necessary, the formation of a committee or advisory group to respond to the anticipated Infrastructure Victoria report and subsequent engagement.

Given the imminent Infrastructure Victoria report, engagement and submission timeline to Government we request a meeting with all Councillors to further discuss the responses.We believe our proposed discussions should occur as soon as possible and preferably sometime this month.

Our Submission to Infrastructure Victoria #springst #auspol #environment #Westernport #phillipisland

As you may be aware the State Government will take advice from Infrastructure Victoria on the future location of a second Port for Victoria. We have attached our submission on key issues associated with the possible construction of a container port in Western Port. Our group of volunteers have extensively researched the Western Port option and engaged with our regional community and key stakeholders. We firmly believe that locating a container port in Western Port could have a devastating impact on the region’s economy and environment. Such an outcome would impact on Victoria’s reputation as a tourist destination and the regions ability to continue to operate as an environment based sustainable and effective service economy that currently supports thousands of regional jobs.

The battle to save Westernport is not over! We will continue to fight to preserve Western Port Today. For Tomorrow.
Pelican - Photo - Lisa Shonberg

The Future of Port of Hastings - Community & Stakeholders

In April this year a roundtable was held at the Nobbies Conference Centre.  At the roundtable were representatives from Phillip Island Nature Parks, South Gippsland Conservation Society, Preserve Westernport Action Group, Phillip Island Conservation Society, RMIT - Sustainable productivity, Innovation & Climate Change, Westernport Biosphere Council, Westernport Water, Westernport & Peninsula Protection Council Inc, Bass Coast Shire, Bass Coast Landcare, Clean Ocean, Boonwurrung Foundation, PPWCMA, Parks Victoria, Central Coastal Board,Melbourne University, Southern Rural Water, Western Port Seagrass Partnership, Energy Innovation Co-op, Melbourne Water, Phillip Island Tourism Association, Groundswell, Nature Conservancy and Bass Coast Shire.

The discussion was based on the Bass Coast Shire current position. The Infrastructure Victoria Process and it was an opportunity to provide input and views on any future Port of Hastings expansion; 

  • Share expertise and local knowledge

  • Form part of the Bass Coast Shire submission

  • Request Infrastructure Victoria to visit Bass Coast to hear from the community first hand.

With Local Elections coming up in October it is important to inform those who wish to represent the Bass Coast Community on the latest information and community & stakeholder issues.

Attached are the notes from the roundtable: Click the button to read the paper.

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Port Report to probe need for second port #springst #hastings #phillipisland

THE Preserve Western Port Action Group welcomes the recently released Infrastructure Victoria (IV) discussion paper on the future capacity of ports in Victoria.

The proposed approach, transparency and engagement model adopted by IV to these important issues embraces what we have been calling for since the State Government announced its intention to establish the new entity before the 2014 state election.

Significantly it marks an end to the political rhetoric, vested interests approach adopted by the former Liberal State Government which sought to justify industrialising Western Port with a container port using slogans and a scare campaign. Gone are the incorrect “natural deep water port” and “blasting of the Port Phillip Heads” slogans and the highly criticised “build it and they will come” economic analysis.

The Special Minister of State has formally requested IV to provide advice by May 2017 on if and when we need to build a second container port; and whether a second port should be located at Bay West (in Port Phillip Bay, between Werribee and Geelong) or at Hastings.

IV will consider environmental, economic and social impacts in preparing their advice and recommend a range of years in which they think extra capacity may be required. The paper recognises that there is considerable debate around future growth rates of container trade, capacity of existing ports and the size of container ships that are likely to visit Victorian ports. Changing consumption patterns and new technology like 3D printing will influence future demand for containers and ports capacity. As a result different demand and capacity scenarios will be developed.

IV has also recognised that maximising the capacity of existing ports will ensure that a second port is built only when it is needed and that increasing capacity before it is required would be financially imprudent.

It assumes that once government has decided to invest in a second container port it is likely to be somewhere between 10-15 years from the time of the decision to an operational port at either the Hastings or Bay West sites. The long lead time is why the issue is being considered now and why we as a community need to be engaged in the process now.

In relation to the location question, IV will examine existing reports and carry out some targeted technical studies to fill in the knowledge gaps. We believe the studies should include the impact on erosion and inundation following the required dredging on the Western Port coastlines and in particular the impact of further erosion on the north shore of Phillip Island. Impacts on tourism, penguins, employment, recreational fishing and boating as well as amenity of Westernport also need to be considered.

The Preserve Western Port Action Group will continue to research and prepare submissions to IV and to be further engaged in the consultation phase. In this initial phase of engagement, stakeholders and residents can visit Infrastructure Victoria to:

  • Complete the feedback form to comment on the key factors for deciding when a second port will be needed, and where it should be located;
  • Provide existing evidence to develop our evidence base and assist in informing Infrastructure Victoria’s advice; and
  • Register your interest in upcoming engagement opportunities for the port advice in 2016.

Information gathered in 2016 will be incorporated into a report presenting Infrastructure Victoria’s evidence base, which will be released for another phase of engagement in early 2017.

Jeff Nottle is chairman of the Preserve Western Port Action Group.