Archive for September, 2012
The Sydney Morning Herald
West Australian premier Colin Barnett has moved to limit the Browse joint venture partners’ use of James Price Point to gas production only through draft legislation introduced into state parliament today.
The Bill would ratify an agreement between the WA Government and the Kimberley Land Council – acting for the Goolarabooloo Jabirr Jabirr joint native title claim group, the premier said in a statement today.
The Western Australian Government on Thursday introduced legislation that rules out alternatives to James Price Point as the site of its mooted Browse gas hub on the remote Kimberley coast.
It comes as the Browse LNG joint venture partners, led by Australia’s Woodside Petroleum Ltd. (WPL.AU), prepare for a final investment decision by the middle of next year on a 30 billion Australian dollar gas-export venture.
Photo: Ben Rushton
THE suit has been replaced by a slightly frayed cardigan but the newly retired senator Bob Brown is hurling himself into the latest environmental campaigns with the same determination that saw him take a week-long fast on top of a mountain 35 years ago in protest against nuclear weapons.
James Price Point, the proposed site of a vast gas processing factory in Western Australia’s remote Kimberley region, is now the focus of Brown’s energy.
The West Australian State Government and Woodside may now face criminal prosecution under the Aboriginal Heritage Act after it was revealed they conspired to withdraw critical expert advice that the James Price Point gas hub project could damage cultural sites.
WEST Australian Premier Colin Barnett has defended the process behind the Environmental Protection Authority’s (EPA) decision to recommend Woodside Petroleum’s proposed $30 billion Kimberley gas hub.
Mr Barnett agreed on Wednesday it was “coincidental” Environment Minister Bill Marmion had changed the law last year to allow one instead of three EPA members to make recommendations – which later happened in the Woodside case.
The West Australian
Retiring Labor MP Tom Stephens yesterday accused the Barnett Government of “corrupting the processes of government” during a spirited speech in Parliament on the $40 billion James Price Point gas hub near Broome.
The State Opposition has moved a motion in Parliament condemning the Government’s handling of the proposed Kimberley gas hub.
Labor has accused the government of having disregard for the Indigenous cultural sensitivities of the area at James Price Point.
The West Australian
Broome residents have forced the shutdown of two Woodside drilling rigs at the site of the proposed gas hub at James Price Point this morning.
A Broome Community No Gas Campaign spokesman said Evan Dowlings and Frances Myles from the Goolarabooloo community scaled the rigs about 5.30am after allegations that “Woodside had actively sought to silence information around the heritage values of the site and the government’s repeated failure to enforce the Aboriginal Heritage Act”.
DEALINGS between Woodside and the West Australian government over the $40 billion James Price Point gas hub should be investigated by a royal commission, businessman Geoffrey Cousins said yesterday.
Mr Cousins said, in his view, the relationship smacked of “corruption” similar to dealings between Gunns and the Tasmanian government for a pulp mill in that state.
TO understand the Aboriginal heritage concerns of Kimberley law man Joseph Roe, it is necessary to appreciate the cultural meaning of life and death. How ancestral essence flows below the surface of the ground and the worlds are bridged by songs that contain the codes of behaviour fundamental to sustaining the balance and wellbeing of the land and its people.
Roe and other Kimberly law bosses are responsible for keeping their culture alive in an area now targeted by West Australian Premier Colin Barnett and Woodside for a gas hub. So, when they say protection of the area is a matter of life and death, it is easy to dismiss their concerns as histrionic.
But for more than the past three years some of Australia’s most respected Aboriginal heritage lawyers have worked pro bono on Roe’s behalf.
From their Sydney offices, the lawyers have been shocked at what they say has been the contempt with which the West Australian government and Woodside have run roughshod over the state’s heritage laws.