Gas in one hand, carbon-neutral in the other

I had a bit of luck this morning on the ABC 774 in Geelong at about 10.00am. I rang the talkback, with Mary Gearin, and was able to ask a question of the Deputy Mayor of the Geelong City Council, Cr Trent Sullivan.

After pointing out to the Deputy Major we must reduce CO2 levels and that internationally we are told we cannot have any more new fossil fuel industries or developments.  My question to Trent: “Is the Council in favour or against the proposed VIVA gas hub in Corio Bay?”

When pushed by Mary, he replied, “The council has not yet decided”.

Please find attached our ADAC letter to be mailed tomorrow to all 11 City of Geelong Councillors. This letter is also being sent to the Geelong Advertiser.

Is the Geelong City Council helping and really pushing for real emission reductions or are they just going to sit on the fence and see the last opportunities slip away from us all by 2030?

As per the IPCC report 28th Feb 2022, this is our last chance.

A Different Approach Community – Climate Action in Australia

Date: 1st March, 2022

Attention: Acting Mayor, City of Greater Geelong, Cr Trent Sullivan and all Councillors

Dear Acting Mayor Trent Sullivan,

Following my question to you this morning, on 774 ABC, re the VIVA Gas Hub, I write in response to your answer, “the council has not yet decided”.

The Paris Climate Agreement calls for all nations to take action to keep global temperature rise to well below 2°C and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C.

Our concern, however, relates to the scale and speed of the decarbonisation required to meet the Paris Agreement, and, in particular, support for the use of gas as a so-called “transition fuel”.

There is no role for an expansion of the gas industry in Geelong, Victoria or Australia. There is much evidence to support this position on gas:

  • We are already committed to a temperature rise of 1.3°C or 1.4°C from past green-house gas emissions, primarily from the combustion of fossil fuels.
  • The combustion of natural gas is now the fastest growing source of carbon dioxide.
  • To meet the upper Paris goal (“well below 2°C”), we must achieve net zero emissions by 2040. This requires a rapid phase-out of existing fossil fuel infrastructure.

           (Quotes of evidence from:‘A letter from 25 scientists to the Chief Scientist, Alan Finkel’)

Windows to save ourselves from climate change are ‘rapidly closing’, warns the IPCC in its most recent report (6th Report, 28th Feb 2022).

ADAC support the important work and research by the Geelong Renewables Not Gas group.

ADAC acknowledge Geelong’s efforts in facilitating the expansion of renewable energy, as clearly demonstrated on the Ballan Road, Geelong, with an $84 million Victorian Big Battery. This is a major step forward but we must now make urgent progress in Victoria towards a net-zero emissions economy of at least 75% by 2030, as experts from Climate Council say is required.

Some say Australia will solve the climate problem our way. Australia is not on target. The Victorian government has committed to cutting the state’s greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030. Geelong is one of over 2,000 councils that have declared a climate emergency. City of Greater Geelong Council declared a climate emergency on 25th February 2020.

The VIVA Gas Hub for Geelong will rely on a new expansion of the Scarborough Gas Field in Western Australia, projected to release over a billion tonnes of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere over the next 25 years. With the state government committed to emission reductions, how can one councillor or the City of Greater Geelong possibly support or even consider an approval of a new gas hub? What is it about the danger we are in that has not been understood?

Yours Sincerely

Robert Patterson, Convenor of ADAC

Rally in Geelong on 2 April

‘Renewables Not Gas’ Rally on Saturday 2 April at 11am-1pm, Little Malop Street Mall.
Bring banners etc to show your support.

→ Sign up on the Facebook event page


Dodgy carbon accounting tricks in the gas industry

BUSTED! Viva Energy has pulled an accounting trick to hide the true climate impact of their proposed gas import terminal in Geelong 😡

In the 13,000 page environment statement for the project, Viva has tried to bury the emissions from transporting the LNG to Victoria in the appendix.

Why would they do this? Because transporting gas is the largest source of emissions!

In reality, the emissions will be between 4 and 12 times higher than what they’ve reported. If the gas is shipped from the Middle East, the annual emissions would be a massive 553,000 tonnes.

We can’t let Viva get away with hiding the true amount of damage their project would cause to our climate.

Right now we’re looking for people with expertise in greenhouse gas accounting, marine ecology, toxic sediments and dredging, safety, and a range of other issues to build the case against this project 🤓

If this sounds like you, please register your interest here

You can also help by sharing this post and shining a light on Viva’s dodgy trick 🔦

Excerpt of Viva Energy’s full page ad in Geelong Independent on 4 March 2022

Expert call-out: help stop Geelong gas terminal

Newsletter by Greg Foyster, Environment Victoria

“Viva Energy plans to build a massive, polluting gas terminal in Corio Bay, and the campaign to stop it is reaching the most crucial moment.

Any day now, the company could release an Environment Effects Statement (EES), and we need volunteers to mount a compelling response from the community – can you help?

There are two ways to get involved right now.

1. Volunteer as a researcher or technical expert. If you’ve got experience or knowledge in any of the relevant areas – including greenhouse gas emissions, marine ecology, dredging and toxic sediments, land use planning and others – then head to this page and sign up >>

2. Sign the local petition. The local group, Geelong Renewables Not Gas, is gathering signatures on a petition to Planning Minister Richard Wynne. Add your name and they’ll be in touch with ways to get involved later. Visit the GRNG website here >>

Many of you will remember the successful community campaign to stop AGL’s proposed gas import terminal in Westernport Bay. Now Viva Energy has similar plans for Corio Bay and it’s up to us to show the government that this gas terminal is unnecessary and unwanted.

Gas is a dirty and expensive fuel that’s already responsible for about 16 percent of Victoria’s climate pollution. A lot of that gas is burned in homes during winter to keep warm. Viva Energy argues their gas import terminal is needed because, without out, we could face a shortfall of gas during cold spells in winter in years to come.

But there’s a much smarter solution that’s also better for the climate. Instead of importing more dirty gas, we could upgrade our homes to burn less of it.

Through government programs, we can support hundreds of thousands of households to switch from old, expensive gas heaters to efficient electric ones running on renewable energy. This could massively reduce gas demand – and if it happens fast enough, then we can avoid the need for polluting new gas projects like Viva’s.

The government is already going down this path with rebates to buy new, efficient electric heaters (see here if you want to switch off gas yourself).

Last week, our new report Gas Free Suburbs for Geelong showed how ditching gas and switching to electric appliances could save families in new homes between $900 and $1900 on energy bills.

Our new report on ditching gas was covered in the The Geelong Advertiser.
But while the shift away from gas is underway, we’re concerned it’s not happening fast enough. Companies like Viva Energy are exploiting this delay to argue a gas import terminal is needed in the meantime.

Their strategy will be the same as AGL tried with the gas import terminal in Westernport. They will likely use their EES to downplay the environmental impacts of the project, and it’s up to the community to uncover the truth.

The EES document will be thousands of pages long, but we’ll only have 30 business days to respond. Can you sign up as a volunteer researcher to help?

Only by working side by side, using our unique talents and abilities, will we be able to stop polluting fossil fuel projects like Viva Energy’s gas import terminal for Geelong. We’ve done it once before, and we can do it again – please get involved.

Greg Foyster
and the team at Environment Victoria

Gas-free suburbs for Geelong

The briefing paper ‘Gas-free suburbs for Geelong’ recommends well-overdue changes to the Victorian Planning Provisions and Plumbing Regulations, which would open the way for Geelong’s first gas-free suburbs, supplying new homes with a cleaner and cheaper source of energy, and leaving households better off financially.

The Age – 15 February 2022:
‘Energy crossroads’: Gas proposal sparks protests as experts warn of shortfall
“Geelong residents are calling on the Victorian government to reject a plan to build a large gas-import facility in Corio Bay, but energy experts say the state is headed for a gas shortfall without quick intervention.”

Climate Council:

Renewables are kicking gas to the curb

Grassroots campaign for a gas-free Victoria

“The first of the state government’s two consultation sessions on the ‘Gas Substitution Roadmap’ was held in an online session. When complete, this government roadmap will outline either a fast or slow pathway to ending use of gas. With methane emissions from gas are already a key contributor to the climate crisis, it’s critical that communities continue to push for the urgent transition we need.

That’s why Friends of the Earth Melbourne is building a grassroots campaign for a Gas-Free Victoria. Working with grassroots groups and communities form across the state, together they are producing a ‘Community Roadmap’, a visionary alternative outlining a move away from gas to cheaper and cleaner options while maintaining affordable and reliable supplies of energy to businesses and households. Will you support this important campaign by making a donation to Friends of the Earth’s crowdfunder? All donations up to $15,000 will be matched, dollar for dollar, by a generous supporter until the 28th February. (All donations over $2 are tax deductible).  

“I loved my gas stove, but two years ago I had the chance to move to induction. I took it & never looked back – and never will. Why not? Because gas stoves aren’t just bad for climate change, they’re bad for YOU.”
~ Professor Katharine Hayhoe, climate scientist

“Homes with gas stoves have about 50 to 400 percent higher nitrogen dioxide levels, 30 times more carbon monoxide, and twice as much PM2.5 as homes without them.

Children in homes with gas stoves are 42 percent more likely to experience symptoms associated with asthma, and 24 percent more likely to be diagnosed with lifetime asthma.”

#GasFreeGeelong #GetOffGas #TurnOffGas #RenewablesNotGas


  1. Tell them to bugger off , they need to clean up Shell Refinery first …then they can think about this proposal.

  2. Ask the Geelong council, while you’re at it, What is their policy on coastal development. If they think they are turning down a motza by saying no to the gas hub hoiw much are they prepared to pay in litigation when people start losing their homes because of building approvals in areas prone to sea rise.

  3. Good work Robert!
    Unbelievable answer given council’s commitment to become zero carbon in the recently accepted Climate Change Response Plan. Sounds like some questions are in order such as :

    1) What is Council’s criteria for making this decision and

    2) How are the goals and strategies of Council’s Climate Change Response Plan, Sustainability Framework and The Environmental Management Plan informing Council’s position on the proposed Viva gas import terminal?

    3) Given the recent release of the findings of the IPP that half of humanity are in danger (whilst the climate change induced floods in NSW and Queensland are right now decimating communities), how can Council justify indecisiveness on the proposed burning of even more fossil fuels?

    Here’s how to lodge a question online for Council


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