State panel finalizes Viva hearings

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GEELONG Grammar School and GeelongPort will issue a challenge against a planned floating gas terminal in Corio Bay when public hearings on the proposal begin next month.

An Independent Advisory Committee (IAC) is finalizing details of the project’s final hearings, which will inform a recommendation it will make to Victorian Planning Minister Richard Wynne before a final approval decision.

GGS and GeelongPort said they intended to present extensive evidence against the plan and reached final conclusions, alongside the Environmental Protection Authority and developer Viva Energy.

The City of Greater Geelong is required to provide evidence such as its planning scheme and details of any projects or land use approvals which may be impacted by the terminal, although it has indicated it will not present no final submission.

Other parties calling for expert evidence include the impact assessment and pipeline units of the Department of Environment, Lands, Water and Planning, Ports Victoria and the Australian Conservation Foundation Community Geelong – who may also ask to make closing remarks.

Viva issued an Environmental Effects Statement (ESA) earlier this year as part of a state government investigation into the proposed terminal.

SEA attracted over 2,000 submissions during the period, the vast majority of which were in opposition.

Viva plans to build a floating storage unit near its Geelong refinery, which would take liquefied natural gas from around the world for conversion and storage to meet a projected shortfall in the resource in the coming years.

GGS’s Corio campus is about a kilometer north of the refinery, leading the school to take a strong stance against the proposal.

“The school is extremely concerned that approval of the project will exacerbate the existing safety risk posed by the refinery to its students, staff and residents and further interfere with its ability to provide a safe, healthy and productive environment. for education,” GGS said. original submission said.

The school also released a video, titled Save Our Bay, featuring students from its environmental action team outlining GGS’s stance against the terminal.

GeelongPort, which manages the land and infrastructure Viva would develop as part of its expansion, is also set to provide expert witnesses against the plan which it says was “materially flawed” and had the potential for “impacts unacceptable” on the port of Geelong. .

The parties will collect and release evidence and expert witnesses over the next month, ahead of a site inspection at the Viva Refinery in Geelong and surrounding areas on June 15 and 16, before hearings begin on June 20.

The IAC expects the hearings to last approximately six weeks, although a specific timeline is yet to be determined.

Hearings are also likely to take place as a mix of in-person meetings at the GHMBA Stadium and online.

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