The Kimberley’s savannah, the most intact in the world, is under threat from the oil and gas industry again. Buru Energy has put forward plans to clear land in the Martuwarra Fitzroy River catchment. It’s ultimate aim is to develop oil and gas fields to supply a petrochemical factory and export fossil fuels through a pipeline to the Pilbara.
Can you imagine a petrochemical factory in the Kimberley?
They are hugely polluting, not just carbon dioxide but a whole range of nasty cancer-causing chemicals. This type of industry is not compatible with a clean and green Kimberley, which has a $500 million tourism industry based on intact landscapes and cultural experiences.
Buru Energy is wanting to undertake seismic testing. To do this they clear grids across the landscape to make way for machinery that sends shockwaves through the earth. From this they try to identify pockets of oil and gas.
Buru Energy landclearing for seismic testing near Lake Eda Photo Damian Kelly
They’ve already cleared the equivalent of a bulldozer going from Perth to London, and now they want to clear more. Buru Energy put forward plans to do this work hoping to avoid scrutiny through a public comment process via the Environment Protection Authority. Along with our campaign partners Lock the Gate, the proposal was referred to the EPA, who agreed to put it out for public comment.
It’s really important for lots of people to comment
The EPA decides on the level of assessment for a project on a number of factors, including ‘public interest’. This is why need to get as many submissions in as possible.
Here’s a few tips on putting in a submission –
- The project should be assessed at the highest level in view of the substantial public interest and concern regarding oil and gasfield development and fracking in the region. We recommend calling for a ‘Public Environmental Review’ level of assessment
- The project involves clearing 438 hectares of native vegetation across a total of 1,147 km of gridlines. Since 2009, Buru Energy alone has cleared over 15,000 km of seismic lines in the West Kimberley/Canning Basin, approved without independent assessment (Source: DMIRS data).
- The clearing would fragment habitat for native species, including the Rainbow Bee-eater, Spectacled Hare-wallaby, Gouldian Finch and Greater Bilby.
- Clearing makes it easier for feral animals like cats to move through the landscape and hunt native animals
- The project risks spreading weeds
- The activity is a precursor to gas production that will create Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions
- Cumulative impacts must be considered.
IMPORTANT STEPS: Tick the box 'Assess - Public Environmental Review' and make a short comment using the above details if you want to on why you want it assessed, and why it should be a public assessment.
Click continue and then click 'submit' on the next page.
Note: the ‘Do Not Assess’ option means you’re asking the EPA to approve the project without assessing it. We do not want this to happen.
The deadline to comment is midnight on Monday evening, 3rd October 2022.