Archive for March, 2012
The campaign to protect Western Australia’s Kimberly region from gas extraction will be the topic of an April 19 meeting in Sydney.
WA Greens Senator Rachel Siewert, the Wilderness Society national director Lyndon Schneiders and Beyond Zero Emissions’ Geoff Cameron will address the public forum, Saving the Kimberley: Our Land or Gasland?
Australia is in a race for gas and at James Price Point, 60 kilometres north of Broome. The Australian and WA governments are urging resource giant Woodside to build a $45 billion liquid natural gas (LNG) processing plant that will employ 6000 workers over six years.
Sydney Morning Herald
Turtle nest find at James Price casts doubt on government study
Researchers have found a large turtle nesting area at a proposed $30 billion gas hub site in the Kimberley, contradicting the results of a West Australian government study.
The state government has been locked in battle with conservationists, local Aborigines and other Kimberley residents over plans to compulsorily acquire the James Price Point site, about 60km north of Broome.
The West Australian
Broome Shire president Graeme Campbell has told a parliamentary inquiry that the town would struggle to cope with an expected influx of more than 6000 FIFO workers and they would have to be housed elsewhere.
“This town cannot accommodate them – I make that very clear,” he said.
“You are talking a major, major project with major imposts.
“If people were to come to town and buy houses or stay in a non camp environment, our rents would go up and our local people will not be able afford to live here.”
Protesters opposed to the proposed Kimberley gas hub are gathered outside the latest public hearing on the impact of fly-in,-fly-out workers.
The Federal Government’s inquiry into the impact of fly-in, fly-out employment has moved to Broome, where the work practice is relatively rare but set to boom in coming years.
The parliamentary committee is collecting feedback on the impact FIFO arrangements have on workers, families, communities and the economy.
Opponents of the gas hub in the Kimberley have kicked off their campaign for 2012 with more than 100 people gathering at the site where dozens were arrested last year.
Groups of locals and interstate activists maintained blockades on the road to James Price Point for much of last year in an effort to halt the $30-billion project.
Woodside Petroleum chief executive Peter Coleman was giving little away at an address in Perth on Friday on the sale of a stake in Browse LNG, but the rumour mill is grinding away as the Credit Suisse-run process nears an end.
One supposed contender more out of left field is Thailand’s PTTEP, owner of the troubled Montara oil project and an aspiring floating LNG producer.
In any case, any sale is thought likely to come after the government decision to allow a deferral of a final go-ahead for the project into the first half of 2013. Federal Resources Minister Martin Ferguson hinted on Friday that this is a couple of weeks away.
The WA Government is concerned that three abandoned Woodside gas wells off the Pilbara coast could leak, after the federal regulator overturned a directive that required Woodside to reseal them.
But WA Minister for Mines and Petroleum, Norman Moore, is disappointed with the regulator’s decision and says Woodside’s method of only capping the wells at the base hasn’t satisfied the State Government’s standards.
The West Australian
Premier Colin Barnett has denied he is “obsessed” with industrialising the Kimberley, following a new move by his government to compulsorily acquire land for a $30 billion gas hub there.
The government re-advertised notices of its intent to compulsorily acquire 3500ha of land at James Price Point this week, after the original notices were ruled invalid by the WA Supreme Court.
Premier Colin Barnett is continuing his push to compulsorily acquire 3414 hectares of land for a proposed gas processing precinct at James Price Point.
The government has issued new notices of intention to take 2489ha required for the precinct, port, related accommodation and light industrial areas, as well as reservations needed for pipelines and roads.
After more than five years of “looking for a needle in a haystack”, Buru Energy caused a flurry of excitement both on the stock market and within the Kimberley last week, announcing it had identified up to 20 million barrels of oil in wells on the Ungani oilfield near Broome.