Students protest Viva Energy LNG terminal in Geelong

Liquefied natural gas (LNG) tanker in the ocean (woodside europe)
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More than 2,000 submissions have been made against Viva Energy’s proposed LNG terminal for Corio Bay in the City of Geelong.

Geelong Grammar student Millie Forwood is one of more than 2,000 people and organisations to make submissions to the proposal after Viva released its environmental effects statement, according to ABC News.

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The $250 million project would see LNG transported to Corio Bay by sea and transferred to a floating storage unit permanently docked at the refinery that would turn it back into a gas. It would involve extending the existing refinery pier by 570 metres, building a 7km pipeline and dredging part of the bay, which is located just over a kilometre from internationally recognised Ramsar wetlands.

A Viva Energy spokesperson said moving towards a low-carbon economy was “a transition, not a switch” and the LNG terminal was essential to ensuring energy security for Australia’s south-east coast—particularly for Victorians who are the largest consumers of gas in Australia.

But it’s a solution many students from the Geelong area see as unacceptable.

“They are saying to us this is a temporary gas terminal, it’s temporary, temporary, temporary. A million temporary things become one, long-term permanent thing,” Forwood said.

“If we’re constantly just saying ‘it’s just for now, it’s just for now’, when will we stop saying that?

“You get to a point when the limit has been reached and we need to turn around and say it’s time to start going renewable because this is what the future relies on.”

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Viva’s spokesman said LNG had a long track record of being safely transported around the world and the company was working alongside regulators to ensure all requirements, including for WorkSafe, Energy Safe Victoria, and Ports Victoria, were met.

In its environmental effects statement, Viva said the Ramsar wetlands site “would not be directly impacted by the project” because no infrastructure would be located in or near the wetland and noise and light were “found to have no adverse impacts on Ramsar values”.

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