March 20th, 2015

Ranger groups and remote communities vital

Amid the questioning of government support for remote Aboriginal communities and what Prime Minister Tony Abbott called the “lifestyle choices” of those who live there, the growing role of Aboriginal management of large areas of remote Australia has been overlooked.

There are 1,200 small, discrete Indigenous communities in regional and remote Australia with various sources of income, including federal government “Working on Country” funding.

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March 15th, 2015

Gas boom running out of steam but consumer price shock intact

ABC

Neal Woolrich

As if the Federal Treasurer did not have enough to worry about, with an economy stuck in the slow lane and ballooning government debt.

Now, one of Australia’s few economic bright spots – the liquefied natural gas (LNG) boom – is coming off the boil as well, thanks to the plunge in oil prices over the past year.

By some estimates, Australia is set to become the world’s largest gas exporter by 2018.

But the LNG price is linked to the oil price, and with benchmark Brent Crude halving since June, that will blow a sizeable hole in Australia’s expected LNG bounty.

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March 4th, 2015

Northern Minerals’ Browns Range rare earth mine in Kimberley viable study confirms

ABC Kimberley

Samples from the Browns Range project

Samples from Northern Minerals’ Browns Range rare earth project near Halls Creek.

Northern Minerals: ABC Rural

A rare earth mine in the remote Kimberley region of Western Australia is a step closer to reality, after the release of Northern Minerals’ final feasibility study.

The company said the feasibility study had confirmed its Browns Range project, 160 kilometres south-east of Halls Creek, was viable and profitable.

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March 3rd, 2015

Weeding work at Kooljaman

Environs Kimberley and SKIPA volunteers have been working with the Bardi Jawi Oorany Rangers.

The weeding project at Kooljaman Resort in the northern part of the Dampier Peninsula is helping to protect the endangered Monsoon Vine Thicket ecosystem.

Read more HERE

 

February 16th, 2015

Frog Night

There has been a bit of rain around recently, so on the weekend a small group of interested people went out in the evening looking for frogs and other critters. This is part of a general program aiming to document the biological diversity of the Kimberley region.

We went to a lagoon where we heard two different species of burrowing frogs calling, the Mole Toadlet (Uperoleia talpa), and the West Kimberley Toadlet (Uperoleia mjobergii). These frogs spend the dry season underground. They only come out in the wet season, which is when they eat, call and breed.

We also saw numerous juveniles of the Giant Burrowing Frog (Cyclorana australis). These frogs breed early in the wet season, and so these juveniles have already grown from eggs that were laid earlier in the wet, that grew into tadpoles and then metamorphosed.

We also encountered a Stimson’s Python (Antaresia stimsoni), who may well have also been out looking for frogs..

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A Mole Toadlet sitting amongst grass.

IMG_1579 Cyclo in grass crop

A subadult Giant Burrowing Frog.

DSCN1877 tailed meta Caus cut lofi

A very small Giant Burrowing Frog that still has a tail.

IMG_1554 Stimsons crop lofi

Stimson’s Python.

January 7th, 2015

Investigation launched into fracking site damage after gas leak claims

ABC

Erin Parke

An investigation has been launched into how a valve at a fracking gas well in Western Australia’s north came to be damaged after activists claimed dangerous levels of gas were leaking at the site.

The ABC has obtained a video of a hand-held gas metre reading at the Yullerroo 2 site, about 70km east of Broome, showing what activists said was likely to be high levels of methane.

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December 15th, 2014

WA gas explorer creates death trap for native animals

WA Today

Steve Holland

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A rotting dingo found in a poisonous plastic-lined pond operated by a West Australian gas explorer has prompted concern from the Greens.

Buru Energy’s Yulleroo operation in the Kimberley has seen the creation of numerous plastic-lined ponds which trap water.

But Greens Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region Robin Chapple said when the ponds are dry they become death traps for animals.

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December 1st, 2014

New on-shore LNG projects ‘effectively dead’

ABC

Stephen Letts

Big gas producers have more to worry about than the immediate problem of tumbling energy prices.

Mr Burns believes Woodside’s still unsanctioned $40 billion Browse LNG project off Western Australia is also at risk in the current environment, with its final investment decision already being pushed back into late 2015.

“On-shore, greenfield LNG projects are effectively dead, however there still is potential for floating LNG offshore which removes the exposure to high Australian costs,” he argued.

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November 26th, 2014

EPA reassessing controversial James Price Point site for gas development

ABC

James Price Point in spotlight again

Environmental impact assessors are again at James Price Point on the Kimberley coast, as the State Government pushes ahead to get the site ready for use by industry.

The proposed gas hub, 60 kilometres north of Broome, saw mass protests from those opposed to its development.

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November 9th, 2014

Yawuru people camp out in opposition to Buru Energy’s fracking plans in Canning Basin

ABC

Erin Parke

Broome locals opposed to fracking by Buru Energy have set up a camp at the Jackeroo turn off 9 November 2014

Broome locals opposed to fracking by Buru Energy have set up a camp at the Jackeroo turn-off. ABC News: Erin Parke

Broome locals opposed to a fracking program planned in the Canning Basin are gearing up for a wet season camp-out to try to stop Buru Energy’s work in the area.

In recent weeks, the company has cleared more than 100 hectares of land to lay a grid of seismic testing lines in the area 70 kilometres from Broome.

The mining company is also due to start a series of so-called ‘mini-fracks’, where high-pressure guns are used to test rock strength, at two wells in coming weeks.

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