Frequently asked questions about presenting to the Inquiry and Advisory Committee
We have run a webinar to discuss these points below in more detail and taken questions from the audience. If you'd like to listen you can find the recording below or just download the slides.
What will the Inquiry and Advisory Committee (IAC) be most interested in?
- What motivated you to write a submission and present at the hearing?
- What are your concerns about the proposal?
- What do you want the IAC to consider when they are preparing their recommendation to the Planning Minister
Do I have to be an expert?
No, the IAC is interested in hearing from community members and how the proposal affects you, your life, profession, hobbies, family and friends.
Will my presentation be questioned or cross-examined by any other party.
No, you are not an expert, and as such you will not be cross-examined. The Inquiry and Advisory Committee might ask you to explain further or clarify something if they find it particularly relevant or interesting, but this will not amount to a cross-examination.
What are the kinds of things I could say/do?
Anything that you think will influence the way that the Inquiry and Advisory Committee writes their recommendation. This could be:
- A personal statement about how the proposal affects you, your community and/or your family
- What concerns you most about the terminal. Our concerns around safety, climate change, environmental damage, public and personal health are detailed on our website, you can also refer to the letter you submitted to the IAC previously.
- A creative performance
- Telling a story of cultural, personal or historical importance that bears relevance to the terminal proposal
- The alternative net-zero economy that you’d like the government to consider instead
- The extent you feel Viva has communicated about the impacts, risks and benefits of the project
Do I have to stick to what I said in my written submission?
Nope, you can speak about anything you’d like. We believe that the recent energy crisis across the Eastern states demonstrates more than ever the danger of continuing investment in fossil fuels and of linking our energy system with international prices and imports.
What are the major points I should include?
Our website contains the major points of concern that we’ve raised throughout the campaign. In short, they include:
- The terminal and the shipping channel are too close to houses. Internationally recognised standards require 3.5km from a LNG terminal or LNG carrier to residential areas. Viva’s proposal brings LNG tankers within 250m of homes
- The risks to life include asphyxiation, incineration or burns.
- Corio Bay is unsuitable for the large LNG tankers that will be required due to the narrow and shallow channel. International guidelines for the movement of LNG tankers states that channels should be much wider and deeper than exist in Corio Bay. This increases the risk of a grounding or other incident.
- The adjacent major hazard facilities means that an incident could be amplified causing more loss of life or property and environmental damage. A recent explosion at an LNG plant at Freeport, Texas highlights the dangers associated with LNG for workers and nearby residents and businesses.
- The terminal will be visible from around the bay and from Limeburners Bay
- The transit of gas tankers through the bay might require rolling exclusion zones which will prevent recreational access to the bay for fishers, canoers and sailors.
- Climate change
- Importing LNG is emissions intensive. Viva has calculated that their terminal will emit 65,280 tCO2e annually just to process the imported gas. They are claiming that they do not need to consider the emissions generated in getting the gas from the gasfield to their terminal. Viva admits that these are much higher, between 165,500 and 553,400 tonnes of CO2e per year depending upon the source of the gas.
- “Natural gas” is almost purely methane, a potent greenhouse gas. The impacts from methane emissions are more damaging over certain time periods
- These floating gas terminals are a threat to marine life. The Victorian government has already rejected a gas terminal in Westernport Bay because of “unacceptable risks” to the marine environment.
- More ships entering the bay means increased turbidity which reduces sunlight to seagrasses and disturbs potentially toxic sediment.
- Increased shipping traffic increases the chances of a ship hitting a marine animal.
- Impacts on the habitat of the Burrunan Dolphin. Currently listed as ‘Critically endangered’ under Victoria’s Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act, there are only two known populations of Burrunan Dolphin in Victoria (Port Phillip Bay and the Gippsland Lakes). Due to the traffic and the ecological destruction of Port Phillip Bay the dolphins have been forced to take refuge in Corio Bay. Threats to this species include; chemical and heavy metal pollution, vessel disturbance, noise pollution and degraded water quality.
- The jobs created through the construction and operation of the terminal are limited and there are no guarantees that they will be local jobs.
- A study have shown that over 24,000 jobs could be created in Geelong in the next five years if we instead invested in jobs that supported a net-zero economy. This is consistent with the International Energy Agency's estimate that, for the globe, jobs in zero emission industries will offset the five million existing jobs lost during the energy transition three to one.
- Energy policy
- Gas is often said to be a transition fuel, and more ‘green’ than coal. However this claim is widely disputed. Gas, unlike coal, can leak into the atmosphere, and it has been suggested that this happens at far higher rates than the gas industry reports, these are called fugitive emissions. When you factor in higher fugitive emissions, any benefit over coal disappears. All this is moot however, because we have zero-emissions alternatives that are available right now - which is renewable energy and electric appliances, we don’t need a transition fuel. We will be using less gas into the future, so building more gas infrastructure has the potential to lock us into old energy systems rather than encouraging us to transition to cheap, clean renewable energy.
- We find claims of a gas shortage dubious. Over 70% of gas extracted along the eastern coast of Australia is exported, rather than retained for use by the community. Shipping in gas from a far-flung location, like Viva is proposing, is an example of the market gone mad. Australia is the biggest exporter of LNG in the world.
- The Victorian Government clearly believes that we should be transitioning away from gas as they are providing incentives to householders to replace their gas heaters with efficient electric heaters and are currently developing a Gas Substitution Roadmap which will reduce our use of gas and help to ensure that Victoria meets its legislated commitment of 50% less emissions by 2030.
Can I show a presentation / images / video to the hearing?
Yes, you will be able to share your screen. We don’t suggest that you use this time to present detailed graphs and figures - unless you feel like you have something that the experts have missed. As you are presenting as a community member and not an expert witness the expectations of the IAC are different.
How do I join the hearing?
The hearing will be conducted online via the video conferencing platform “Zoom”. We suggest that ahead of the meeting you download the Zoom app to the device that you intend to use. This could be a computer, tablet or phone. You’ll need a microphone and headphones so that you can hear and be heard by the hearing, a webcam is optional but recommended.
- The zoom link to join the meeting is: https://zoom.us/j/97956213637
- Make sure you enter your full name, so that the hearing staff can identify you easily when it’s time for you to present.
- Where possible, make sure the environment around you is quiet so that you can be heard easily.
- The Inquiry Panel has prepared a guide for using Zoom linked here.
- We suggest that you join at least 30 minutes prior to your allocated time.
I’d like to see other people do it before I do it!
The hearings are open, so you can join the hearings at any time and observe how it works. You can join the hearings by clicking the following link: https://zoom.us/j/97956213637
On the 8th of July we presented to the Inquiry Panel, you can listen to the recording of our presentation and look at our presentation.
We also conducted a webinar on preparing for the EES, which you can watch here. Or download the slides here.
The LNG import terminal proposal is damaging across many areas of our environment, community and climate.