A guide to appealing the EPA’s latest (2015) decision on James Price Point

James Price Point

Believe it or not, the WA EPA has recommended re-approval for the notorious gas hub at James Price Point.

The public now has until Monday, 9th November to formally appeal the EPA’s recommendation.

Following the appeals process, WA’s Environment Minister will make a final decision (again) on the gas hub.

This news comes two and half years after the Woodside Browse Joint Venture – the only corporate group interested in the project – walked away. And it comes just two years after the Wilderness Society and Traditional Owner Richard Hunter won a Supreme Court case, ruling the previous approval of the gas hub unlawful.

There is no proponent for this gas hub (other than Premier Barnett and his Department of State Development (DSD)) and no companies are interested in going there.

So, the community has until midnight (WA time) on Monday 9 November 2015 to make appeals to the Environment Minister to reject the EPA’s recommendation for re-approval of the Browse LNG Precinct at James Price Point.

Who can appeal?

Any member of the public can lodge an appeal against this decision.

How much does it cost?

It costs $10.

What’s the closing date?

Appeals must be submitted via post or email by 11.59pm, Monday 9th November 2015.

More information on writing an appeal

Fill out the Appeal form (or write your own separate appeal): make your argument with your own points or feel free to use some suggestions below, then email it to: admin@appealsconvenor.wa.gov.au

To pay the legally required $10 fee, either fill out your transaction details on the appeal form, or follow up your email with a call the Appeals Convenor (08) 6467 5190 to pay your fee over the phone.

What you might want to include in an appeal

Make sure you ask the Appeals Convenor to come to Broome to talk to the community.

Social impacts

The EPA can only look at ‘primary social impacts’ which means they can only assess social impacts that arise directly from environmental impacts e.g. they cannot assess the impact of 8,000 construction workers on the town of Broome.

An example of a ‘primary social impact’ could be that the development of the James Price Point area for gas refineries would lead to a loss of:

  • recreational and subsistence fishing;
  • a significant source of customary foods and other resources;
  • a highly popular recreational area for Broome residents and tourists;
  • camping areas;
  • bushwalking opportunities.

If you want to write an appeal on primary social impacts make sure you explain the social and cultural importance of the James Price Point area for yourself, family and friends and ask the Appeals Convenor how your concerns are going to be addressed.

The EPA report mentions that Cable Beach could be under threat from dredging. This would be a serious concern, particularly for tourism-related businesses but also for Broome residents who could lose the amenity, recreational and social value of the beach.

General concerns

  • Conflict of interest of the previous EPA Board and the fact the current report is based on decisions that the previous conflicted EPA members made
  • No peer review of the science despite a commitment that this would be done
  • Poor science
  • Reliance on post-approval research and management plans
  • Previous proposals to mine at JPP have been rejected by the EPA and Mining Wardens Court
  • Sites outside the Kimberley were not assessed adequately
  • Destruction of world-class dinosaur footprints

Environmental concerns

You may want to comment on concerns about:

  • Whales
  • Dugong and seagrass
  • Sawfish
  • Dolphins
  • Turtles
  • Monsoon vine thickets
  • Bilbies and fauna

For key points to include in your appeal see here JPP appeal points 2015

For more detailed information go to this previous report to the EPA by environment groups Updated Supplementary submission on the WA government’s Browse LNG Strategic Assessment