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MELBOURNE, AAP – The Victorian government has rejected a proposal from energy giant AGL to build a gas import terminal at Crib point in Western Port.

The government said marine discharges from the gas hub would have had “unacceptable effects” on the local environment, including a nearby wetland listed in the Ramsar convention as having international significance.

The decision was based on the environmental effects statement from project backers AGL and APA Group, about 6,000 public submissions, and a report by an independent inquiry and advisory committee.

“This has been an exhaustive, open and transparent process and this is the right outcome for the local community, the environment and Victoria as a whole,” planning minister Richard Wynne said in a statement.

“It’s very clear to me that this project would cause unacceptable impacts on the Western Port environment and the Ramsar wetlands – it’s important that these areas are protected.”

The 300 metre long floating terminal was planned for a site 10km north of tourist hotspot Phillip Island, and would have been 12km from the nearest marine park.

The controversial plan has sparked a series of public protests, including earlier this month when people wore wetsuits to protest outside state parliament.

AGL had argued the project was necessary to keep the price of gas low and address a potential gas shortage in the state.