See media release from Environs Kimberley below.
The Squid is also wondering what the shareholders of Woodside, BP, Shell and Chevron think about taking land subject to claims by indigenous people in this way? Surely these companies have ethical engagement policies? They can’t just hide behind the Government, the land is being acquired for them to use. Will be an interesting space to watch.
Some previous thoughts on the case for and against a gas hub at James Price Point here.
Environs Kimberley: Premier’s ‘rush to riches’ shows contempt
The WA Premier Colin Barnett’s rush to develop the Kimberley shows contempt for the local community and environment, according to Environs Kimberley.
“In his rush to riches the Premier has ignored community concerns about damage to the environment and to the local economy, which is largely based on tourism. The Premier’s Department of State Development has refused requests for a public meeting on the social impacts of the proposed oil and gas refinery on Broome’s doorstep,” Environs Kimberley Director Martin Pritchard said. “Every time we raise a concern about the proposed gas refinery the Premier dismisses it.”
A report by the Centre for Sustainable Tourism has shown that a gas refinery would have a serious impact on tourism in the Kimberley and Broome in particular, but the Premier is refuting the findings.
“Compulsory acquisition of the land shows how desperate the Premier is to industrialise this part of the Kimberley coast, regardless of the cost to Traditional Owners and the environment,” Mr Pritchard said.
Far from ‘unremarkable’ as the Premier once described it, the land in question had been earmarked by the government as a future National Park for the past 20 years, features a threatened ecological community and is adjacent to a whale calving area for the Kimberley coast’s famed humpback whales.
“The Premier has broken all agreements with the Commonwealth over the assessment of this project, including the agreement to have the free, prior and informed consent of Traditional Owners as well as to make a thorough assessment of processing sites outside the Kimberley”, said Mr Pritchard.
“The Premier has chosen a moment to announce compulsory acquisition when the Commonwealth government is in caretaker mode and cannot respond.” Mr Pritchard said.
“We are calling on Woodside and its Joint Venture partners Shell, BP, Chevron and BHP not to go ahead with the Premier’s oil and gas refinery near Broome, but to continue with their plans to pipe the gas south to the Pilbara.
“A JP Morgan report has stated that piping south is a more cost effective deal for the JV partners and the longer the decision is delayed, the more attractive the Pilbara option becomes,” Mr Pritchard said.