A proposal for a 300-metre-long floating gas terminal off the Mornington Peninsula has been rejected by the Victorian government.
Planning Minister Richard Wynne said the Crib Point terminal would have had unacceptable environmental effects in Western Port.
The terminal would have discharged up to 180 Olympic swimming pools of chlorinated water into Western Port every day.
“This has been an exhaustive, open and transparent process and this is the right outcome for the local community, the environment and Victoria as a whole,” Mr Wynne said.
“It’s very clear to me that this project would cause unacceptable impacts on the Western Port environment and the Ramsar wetlands – it’s important that these areas are protected.”
The plant would have been adjacent to an internationally-recognised wetland and 12 kilometres from the closest marine park.
It was to be connected to Victoria’s gas network via a new 55-kilometre pipeline between Crib Point and Pakenham, which would have cut through wetlands, farm land and private properties.
The proponent, AGL, argued it was necessary because of a looming gas shortage facing Victoria as gas reserves in Bass Strait are depleted. AGL said it would also keep prices low for east coast gas consumers.
However, locals argued it would impact the local environment, destroy tourism businesses, cause harm to marine wildlife and add to greenhouse gas emissions.
In a statement, AGL said it was reviewing and considering its position in relation to the determination.
The company said it had spent about $130 million on the project to date.
More to come.