Archive for June, 2011
The West Australian
The proposed $30 billion gas processing precinct at James Price point is a step closer after traditional owners, the State Government and Woodside finalised a heads of agreement to secure access to land this morning.
Premier Colin Barnett said the signing formally concluded years of negotiations with the traditional owners, who would get more than $1.5 billion over the 30-year life of the project and more when additional proponents took up land.
The deal includes $256 million for housing, education, economic development and cultural heritage protection as well as the creation of conservation areas and land tenure reform.
Mr Barnett said benefits would be extended to the indigenous people of the Dampier Peninsula and the wider Kimberley region as well as direct claimants.
But protesters were defiant this morning, calling on Aboriginal people around the country to “fight to the death” to protect the land and pledging to blockade the site for as long as it took.
A crowd gathered at the Manari Road turnoff early this morning as news of the Premier’s announcement spread.
Albert Wiggan, who lives in Beagle Bay on the Dampier Peninsula, believed “people power” would stop the project in its tracks.
The West Australian
Woodside has finalised an agreement allowing it access to land at James Price Point near Broome after years of negotiations with the traditional owners.
The State Government announced this morning that an agreement had been made with the Goolarabooloo Jabirr Jabirr native title claimant group to establish a liquefied natural gas precinct to process gas from the Browse Basin Gas reserves.
The agreement comes after weeks of protests at the site against the proposed $30 billion gas processing plant.
Kimberley traditional owners sign gas deal
Traditional owners in the Kimberley have signed off on a major consent agreement with Woodside Petroleum and the West Australian government for a $30 billion gas hub north of Broome.
Paige Taylor, Nicolas Perpitch
WEST Australian Premier Colin Barnett says today’s Browse Basin deal between his government, Woodside and traditional owners is the most important by an Aboriginal group in Australian history and contrasts markedly with deals further south in which “huge amounts of money change hands” without long-term benefits.
The Kimberley Land Council, which brokered the contentious deal for a $30 billion gas hub at James Price Point, agrees with Mr Barnett the deal is the most significant in the nation’s history.
And they believe there could be room for two more projects on the 35,000sq km liquefied natural gas precinct, to be declared today.
Executives clash over gas hub
FLIP PRIOR and MICHELLE RIDLEY
The West Australian
Woodside chairman Michael Chaney has criticised opponents of the proposed $30 billion gas processing plant at James Price Point, accusing them of lying to win public support.
Speaking at the Vincent Fairfax Oration at the University of WA on Monday night, Mr Chaney attacked the activists’ Save the Kimberley slogan, saying facts had become the first casualty of their campaign.
Mr Chaney’s comments drew fire from former Optus Vision chief Geoffrey Cousins who is leading the campaign against the project in the Eastern States.
The Premier Colin Barnett has told protesters at the site of the proposed $30 billion gas hub in the Kimberley to ‘move on’.
The protesters have been blockading the road to James Price Point for 15 days, preventing Woodside vehicles from entering.
Mr Barnett has told the ABC that while he respects their right to protest, the project needs to get under way.
Barnett tells protesters to ‘move on’
West Australian Premier Colin Barnett says protesters blockading the site of a proposed $30 billion gas hub in the Kimberley should “move on” now they’ve made their point.
Western Australian Premier Colin Barnett has defended the rights of protesters taking part in a blockade over Woodside’s plans to build a $30 billion gas precinct near Broome.
The group has been blockading the road to James Price Point for 10 days in an attempt to stop Woodside from clearing 25 hectares of native vegetation.
Woodside is urging the protesters to respect the agreement that has been reached with the land’s traditional owners.
Mr Barnett says the government has no plans to intervene in the action.
“What this is about is preliminary work on the site and look people have got a right to protest, if they want to sit out on the road for a while they can do that,” he said.
Yesterday, high-profile supporter – musician John Butler – joined the protest, camping at the site overnight.
Mr Butler says he is supporting the protest because he does not think the area is an environmentally and culturally appropriate place for the gas plant.
He says he will do everything he can to protect the site.
“I think it’s all right to exploit gas in appropriate places, in culturally and environmentally appropriate places,” he said.
“James Price Point and the Kimberley in general, is not one of those places at all.
“It’s one of the most pristine places on the planet.”
In a statement, Woodside says the protesters are denying the traditional owners access to their own country where they are trying to assisting contractors with survey work.
The company said it was disappointed with the actions of the protesters who “clearly do not represent or respect the views of the Traditional Owners”.
The company says it has all the approvals in place to conduct geo-technical studies and intends to proceed with the work.
The West Australian
Environmentalists have given a mixed reaction to the Government’s launch of its promised $63 million conservation plan for the Kimberley.
The Conservation Council and the Wilderness Society of WA welcomed the arrival of the blueprint.
But Environs Kimberley warned the Government’s permission of “large scale industrialisation” in the region “would destroy the very values the strategy seeks to protect”.
Greens call Kimberley conservation plan ‘spin’
A State Government plan to protect the Kimberley region has been greeted with a mixed response from industry and conservation groups.
The West Australian
Musician John Butler has joined a group of protesters blockading the site of Woodside’s $30 billion gas plant at James Price Point north of Broome.
Butler spent the night at the group’s camp on the road to the site, gifting the crowd with an impromptu performance by campfire.
This morning more than 60 people from Broome joined the blockade with Butler leading the group in singing Paul Kelly and Kev Carmody’s ‘From little things big things grow’.
He said he had seen footage of the protester’s efforts over the last week on the internet and had decided to make the trip to Broome with his wife and children.
“I’ve been part of this family and part of this country for more than 10 years… I love this country,” he said.
Butler said it was madness and insanity that the State Government and Woodside wanted to build a gas plant in “Broome’s backyard”.
In response to comments from former Kimberley Land Council boss Wayne Bergmann, who said the protesters were using “hooligan tactics”, Butler said it was a citizen’s responsibility to question their government.
“It’s an absolutely pristine area and this development is the thin end of the wedge. It’s the start of the industrialisation of the Kimberley,” he said.
Butler called on Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke to protect the nature of the area when he made a decision on the environmental impacts of the project.
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The West Australian (13 June 2011)
More than 70 protesters are still blocking the main access road to the site of Woodside’s proposed LNG precinct at James Price Point, 60km north of Broome.
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Vanessa Mills, Robert Mailer and Ben Collins
ABC Online. 13 June 2011.
As the blockade of James Price Point reaches its seventh day, Aboriginal protesters are invoking the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to try and stop land clearing. Broome resident, Mitch Torres, says that land clearing at James Price Point is in contravention of articles ten and 25 which relate to the rights of Indigenous people and their land.