The long awaited strategic assessment report on the proposed LNG hub at James Price Point north of Broome in the Kimberley has been released. (click here)
Will have to wait for analysis from the Wilderness Society and Conservation Council to report more deeply on the content, although there are two obvious initial holes.
The first is it is called a strategic assessment, yet only considers one location for the hub. That isn’t a strategic assessment which should look at all available options in a strategic manner, which would include piping the gas to existing facilities in the Pilbara and any other valid options for a gas hub location.
Second, the front introduction page notes that “some studies in relation to Marine Waste Discharge Modelling, Oil Spill Modelling, Marine Benthic Primary Producer Habitat, and Coastal Processes are not yet complete.”
These are all critical to the community establishing a view on the acceptability of this development. How can people be expected to comment on the impacts of the construction of a massive (km’s long) breakwall and jetty, when they don’t know what is living in the ocean, and how the structure will affect coastal processes?
A development of this scale has the potential to seriously impact coastal water and sand movements right along the Dampier peninsula.
I think a lot of people will also be concerned about the potential for oil spills, and where they will go, given recent events at the Montara oil rig offshore from the Kimberley.
Fortunately, the EPA will hold all submissions open on the Strategic Assessment until 6 weeks after this information is released early next year.