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Thursday, 13 September 2007
Page: 121

Mr HUNT (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Foreign Affairs) (9:45 AM) —I want to raise the role of the public in two important environmental issues within my electorate of Flinders. The first is in relation to the Mornington Peninsula and in particular the proposal by the state government, which is supporting a bitumen plant at Crib Point. This is a proposal which has problems. Firstly, it would be a bitumen plant with all of the incumbent problems within a residential area. Technically, it is defined as port land; in reality, it would be surrounded by residential housing and a community who rely on that area as their home. Secondly, it would bring large, B-double trucks through the middle of Crib Point, through the middle of Hastings and potentially through Tyabb. It would have an impact on Bittern and all of those communities. So that proposal, as it stands, is unacceptable. There is a forthcoming public protest and I urge everybody who has strong views on this issue to oppose this plant. It would also destroy the proposal for the Otama submarine, which would be a wonderful outcome for Crib Point. My position is very clear: tourism, not a bitumen plant; tourism, not bitumen trucks at Crib Point, Hastings, Bittern and Tyabb. There should be a plebiscite if the state is determined to proceed with this process. I repeat: there should be a public plebiscite.

I want to take that same principle and apply it to the proposal that the state has for a desalination plant near the towns of Kilcunda and Dalyston—again within my electorate. Although technically the plant would be just outside the electorate, these two towns will be affected directly and absolutely. There is, of course, a need for secure water supplies. The first priority must be to clean up the Gunnamatta Outfall, recycle that water and end the practice of dumping 400 million litres a day, or 150 billion litres a year, of waste sewage just off our coast. If that is done, then that will provide an extraordinary leap forward, which may well take away the need for a desalination plant. No matter what, the community must have a say. I challenge the Victorian government to give the community a say through a binding community plebiscite for the desalination plant as well as for the Crib Point plant. We have already made that commitment, and that is the beauty of it, but there is no commitment from the state to allow for a binding plebiscite to stop the Crib Point plant and give the people of Dalyston, Kilcunda and Bass Coast an opportunity to determine their own future.

Ms Hall interjecting

Mr HUNT —That is the point. We have made the commitment, whereas you guys are not allowing the community a say. (Time expired)