Archive for July, 2011
Twenty-three people have appeared in Broome Magistrates Court charged with obstructing police during violent scenes at a road blockade last month.
The charges were laid as police tried to break through protest lines on the road to James Price Point, where anti-gas hub protesters had been camping for a month.
Aboriginal leaders Pat Dodson and Peter Yu have attacked the behaviour of Woodside contractors and questioned whether the company is committed to being a good corporate citizen.
Mr Dodson and Mr Yu belong to the Yawuru people, who are the recognised native title holders of the Broome area in north-west Western Australia.
They say Woodside contractors drove their trucks across land held by the Yawuru in a bid to bypass protesters opposed to the building of a gas hub, north of the town.
Mr Yu says it was disrespectful for the company to drive across private land without permission.
NICOLE NORELLI, Broome Advertiser
Several thousand people attended a free concert held by the Pigram Brothers on Cable Beach on Sunday, as they rallied together to reject the proposed gas hub at James Price Point.
The Pigrams were joined by other local bands including Kuckles, Stephen “Baamba” Albert and the Naomi Pigram Band and surprise headline act, former Midnight Oil drummer Rob Hirst.
Sydney Morning Herald
Delays at Woodside gas projects have spooked investors.
A LANGUISHING share price will continue to plague Woodside Petroleum until new boss Peter Coleman can convince investors the company’s ambitious growth promises will be met, analysts warn.
Woodside’s strong revenue results for the June quarter were overshadowed yesterday by new doubts about scheduling of expansion at its Pluto LNG project.
RICK WALLACE, TOKYO CORRESPONDENT
AUSTRALIA could become the world’s largest exporter of LNG, the head of Woodside’s Browse Basin project told a major energy conference in Japan yesterday.
Woodside’s Michael Hession said Australia was poised to become the second-largest exporter behind Qatar, and was ideally placed to meet the soaring demand being driven by Asian growth and the shift away from nuclear power in the wake of Japan’s Fukushima disaster.
By Jenny Curtis
The fight to stop a gas hub being built in the Kimberley, Western Australia, continues in full force, despite repeated police intervention.
The protestors, many of whom are traditional owners of the land, say the $30-billion project will destroy ancient Aboriginal sacred sites.
However, their blockade is being continually broken as police remove protestors, allowing the contractors employed by Woodside the developer, to pass though.
This standoff has been in place for the past seven weeks. The protestors believe even if the contractors eventually get through, their disruptive presence is an effective delaying tactic.
Witnessing the bulldozers rolling in to clear the 25 hectare site is too much for some Jabbir Jabbir Golarabaloo traditional owners to bear.
FLIP PRIOR, The West Australian
Former Midnight Oil drummer Rob Hirst is one of the surprise headline acts at a free gig on Broome’s Cable Beach this afternoon to celebrate “Kimberley families and communities”.
With school holidays in full swing, several-thousand people have converged on the beach to hear popular Broome musicians The Pigram Brothers and a range of musical “friends” from around the nation.
Organisers Alan Pigram, film-maker Mitch Torres and academic Anne Poelina have taken a unique approach to cut through the usual shire red tape, with musicians set to perform on a catamaran moored off the coast.
The West Australian
The 130 million-year-old dinosaur footprints at James Price Point – the site of a proposed gas hub – are far more extensive than previously thought and destroying them would be an “international disgrace”, an expert claims.
University of Queensland palaeontologist Steve Salisbury trawled the site on the Dampier Peninsula last week and said he was blown away by the diversity and scope of prints he found.
He said he had concentrated his field work on the site of the proposed $30 billion gas processing precinct, 60km north of Broome. “I had read previously that there wasn’t really much if anything at James Price Point so I was quite surprised,” Dr Salisbury said.
An anti-gas hub group says federal Environment Minister Tony Burke has indicated he is open to visiting the site of Woodside’s proposed gas precinct, north of Broome.
A delegation travelled to Canberra to present Mr Burke with a 3,000-signature petition to reject the proposed gas hub at James Price Point.
THE Gillard government’s carbon tax threatens to neutralise Australian LNG exporters’ geographic advantage over competitors from the Middle East, analysts warn.
Woodside Petroleum’s earnings are forecast to slide as much as 2.4 per cent, but analysts warn that the tax would make remote, carbon-intensive and financially marginal projects like Browse more difficult to justify. Woodside’s partners in the Browse project are believed to want a cheaper solution than building a processing plant on James Price Point, and Macquarie analysts say the carbon tax ”may provide added ammunition to the more reluctant members of the joint venture to push for piping the gas back to the North-West Shelf”.