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A full environmental effects statement (EES) will be required for Viva Energy’s proposed Gas Terminal Project at the Geelong Refinery Pier, in an effort to minimise the impacts on the Corio Bay marine environment.

The proposal will be closely examined and subject to community submissions under Victoria’s environmental assessment process.

Victorian Minister for Planning, Richard Wynne, said, “We owe it to the community and the environment to get this right and ensure this proposal is rigorously analysed by the most thorough environmental and cultural assessment tool available.

“The EES will investigate the proposal’s effects on native vegetation, wildlife and marine life, and ensure best possible standards of environmental protection are in place.”

The project would see construction of a new 300m floating storage and regasification unit berthed next to a 570m extension of the existing pier, as well as new nitrogen and odorant injection facilities and pipelines to connect the new terminal to the South West Pipeline at Lara.

The EES will investigate the potential environmental, community and cultural impacts of the project including impacts on marine water quality, which may in turn impact on seagrass and habitat for reliant fauna species including birds and marine fauna.

The Victorian Government will establish a technical reference group as part of the assessment process and establish draft scoping requirements for public comment.

While the EES will deliver an assessment of the project’s environmental effects, the final proposal will still need to comply with a range of regulatory approvals, including legislative requirements under the Environment Protection Act 1970, Pipeline Act 2005 and Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006.

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