Archive for May, 2012
THE Wilderness Society national director Lyndon Schneiders’s piece in these pages last week gave readers the impression that downtrodden environmentalists stand arm in arm with the vast majority of poor, local Aborigines in fighting Woodside over its planned $30 billion gas hub north of Broome.
San Francisco Chronicle
This has been one of the worst years ever for Chevron. From it’s ongoing massive legal losses in Ecuador, to offshore disasters in Brazil and Nigeria, to the tragic deaths of its employees in several locations, including right here in California.
Today’s statement is from Peter Robertson, who works with The Wilderness Society in Australia. Chevron is part of a joint venture that is seeking to exploit the natural gas fields off the Kimberley coast in northwest Australia. The project has so far met fierce opposition from the local Indigenous communities, as well as from environmentalists concerned that the environmental impact assessments so far performed have been grossly inadequate. As Peter explains below, the Kimberley coast is one of the world’s most pristine coastal ecosystems, and should not be sacrificed to fuel the profit drive of companies like Chevron.
WOODSIDE Energy has sought permission to drill on Aboriginal sacred sites at its proposed $40 billion James Price Point gas hub near Broome, setting the company and West Australian government on a collision course with traditional owners who remain camped at the site.
The company lodged a Section 18 notice with WA’s Registrar of Aboriginal Sites on May 18 for permission to damage sites and indigenous groups have been given until next Friday to respond.
Gas hub protesters in the Kimberley have hit back at suggestions they pose a security threat to ships at Broome Port.
Protests over the proposed $30 billion gas hub have subsided in recent days but the local port authority is now worried attention will turn to preventing live cattle exports.
The Sydney Morning Herald
On the face of it, a $35 billion gas plant, ancient rock art and pristine coastal waters that attract wildlife and tourists don’t go well together. No wonder sparks are flying in Broome.
ONCE it was paradise, an enchanted land of wild beauty, with endless beaches of dazzling white sand beneath magnificent red cliffs along the Kimberley coast. For more than a century people from all over the world were drawn there by the pearl-rich sea. In the old port of Broome, they settled and intermarried, creating a place of racial harmony unique in Australia, with its own language, cuisine and music. In more recent times tourists have flocked there to enjoy its idyllic charm.
Anti-gas hub protesters have allowed a Woodside Petroleum convoy to pass without incident in Western Australia’s remote Kimberley region, as about 30 police stood guard.
Organisers said up to 40 protesters held a silent vigil as the heavy-truck convoy moved along Cape Leveque Road on Monday, en-route to the proposed $30 billion James Price Point liquid natural gas (LNG) plant site, about 60km north of Broome.
The West Australian
Police have hit back at claims their response to protesters in Broome was a disproportionate waste of taxpayers money, pointing out they had prepared for the worst case scenario based on events at the same site last year.
Inspector Bill Munnee said last year, there were 52 arrests, 25 of which occurred on the first day of police moving in to break up the protest on Manari Road.
The Police Commissioner says it is costing $100,000 a day to station extra officers at the site of anti-gas hub protests near Broome.
About 140 officers have been sent to Broome to keep open the road to James Price Point as Woodside resumes work on the multi-billion dollar project.
The Commissioner Karl O’Callaghan says the final cost of the operation will depend on how long the officers are required to stay in the area.
DINOSAURS and mosquitoes were the only certainties yesterday in an escalating face-off between police, protesters and politicians over Woodside Petroleum’s planned $40 billion gas hub development near Broome.
Businessman Geoffrey Cousins took a swipe at federal Environment Minister Tony Burke for failing to act to protect prehistoric footprints from Woodside’s near-shore drilling.
The West Australian
Police Commissioner Karl O’Callaghan has revealed a major police operation to combat anti-gas hub protesters north of Broome will cost taxpayers $1 million over 10 days.
Mr O’Callaghan this morning defended sending more than 140 extra officers to Broome at the weekend to coincide with Woodside resuming work on its proposed gas precinct at James Price Point, 60km north of the tourist town.