March 15th, 2015
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.
March 4th, 2015
Samples from Northern Minerals’ Browns Range rare earth project near Halls Creek.
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.
March 3rd, 2015
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.
February 16th, 2015
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..
A Mole Toadlet sitting amongst grass.
A subadult Giant Burrowing Frog.
A very small Giant Burrowing Frog that still has a tail.
January 7th, 2015
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.
December 15th, 2014
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.
December 1st, 2014
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.
November 26th, 2014
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.
November 9th, 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.
October 21st, 2014
About 10 people have occupied the Perth headquarters of Buru Energy over concerns about fracking, protestors say.
Police arrived this morning after the protestors refused to leave the company’s second-floor offices in the CBD.
Organiser Jaime Farrant said the group was protesting against fracking in Western Australia’s Kimberley region.