Archive for February, 2012
The Sydney Morning Herald
THE Woodside Petroleum chief executive, Peter Coleman, says ructions inside the $40 billion Browse joint venture are a thing of the past, with all partners accepting that the James Price Point site deserves unfettered consideration before alternatives are considered.
ENERGY giant Woodside Petroleum’s plans to build a $40 billion gas plant on the Kimberley coast are in further disarray after two indigenous groups voted to split their native title application and lodge rival claims over the land.
The move could force the Barnett government to negotiate with traditional owner Joseph Roe, a staunch opponent of the planned project at James Price Point, 60km north of Broome.
We’ve extended the closing date for applications for the West Kimberley Nature Project until 4.30pm March 1st. For details see here.
Some 60 people went to a planning policy meeting in Broome on Friday afternoon. Many of them walked out of the public gallery at the Broome Shire office midway through the meeting in a disgruntled mood.
It was a meeting about the James Price Point gas hub proposal.
When environmentalists and political commentators talk about the Kimberley it is usually to discuss the sensitivity of the precious eco system, the need to protect biodiversity, or the divisive issue of on shore gas processing at James Price Point.
Rarely does talk lead to solving the energy needs of regional and remote communities dotted across this wilderness.
The high energy cost of generation is masked by levelised state pricing and treated as just another cost of being remote. However, the future energy needs of Broome and the Kimberley region generally are anticipated to increase as population growth, and industrialisation put the current energy supply arrangements under pressure.
The Broome Shire Council refused to endorse recommendations to the State’s Development Assessment Panel for a decision on Thursday. The recommendations from Shire staff were to approve an application by Woodside for retrospective and new approvals for work at James Price Point, site of a proposed gas refinery.
The retrospective planning approval was for work undertaken illegally by Woodside in 2011.
A State appointed panel assessed the proposal on Friday and approved the application despite the Shire’s refusal to endorse it.
“The Shire of Broome refused to endorse a report on a Woodside development application to the State Government’s Development Assessment Panel and this decision was completely ignored. The Shire President Graeme Campbell as a member of the panel voted against assessing the application but lost due to the majority vote of three government appointed members.” said Environs Kimberley Director Martin Pritchard.
“This shows how the Development Assessment Panel’s set up by the Liberal National government have been set up to override community and Shire Council decisions, they are undemocratic and the decision makers, flown in from Perth, did not even visit the site of the proposed development site.” Mr Pritchard said.
“The community feels completely disempowered and understandably angry that the wishes of our democratic representatives in local government have been overridden.” said Mr Pritchard.
Fury as Woodside works approved
Update, 6.10pm Angry scenes erupted in Broome today as the Kimberley Joint Development Assessment Panel voted to give Woodside conditional planning approval for retrospective and future works at James Price Point until December 2013.
The matter was heard by the DAP panel even though Broome Shire councillors had refused to endorse the application at their meeting last night on the grounds there had been insufficient time for community consultation.
In response, several community members threw copies of the 150 page application at the panel as other stormed out of council chambers en masse shouting “shame” and “corruption of process”.
ENVIRONMENTAL activists central to the fight against Woodside’s proposed gas hub at James Price Point in the Kimberley have vowed to also oppose a plan for a $600 million port near the town of Derby.
FORMER ALP national president Warren Mundine and wealthy Perth dealmaker John Poynton are behind a plan to promote indigenous investment by building a $600 million port near the Kimberley town of Derby to service the massive offshore oil and gas industry.
The steady drone of commercial shipping lanes not only alters whale behaviour but can affect the giant sea mammals physically by causing chronic stress, a study has found.
The findings were made possible, researchers say, by an event that at first glance seems far removed from the plight of cetaceans: the attacks on New York’s Twin Towers on 11 September 2001.
CPC Corp., Taiwan’s state-owned oil refiner, said it is in talks withWoodside Petroleum Ltd. (WPL) to buy a stake of less than 10 percent of the proposed Browse liquefied natural gas project in Western Australia.
The company is negotiating details of a multi-year LNG supply agreement with Perth-based Woodside and wants to sign a contract this year, Chen Ming-huei, a CPC spokesman, said by telephone today. CPC said in 2010 it extended a preliminary accord to buy the fuel from the Browse venture to continue discussions aimed at completing a transaction.