Walmadany - James Price Point

Media: Premier Operating Behind a Veil of Secrecy

Greens Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region Robin Chapple MLC has accused the Premier of operating behind a veil of secrecy when it comes to ongoing development plans of the Browse Basin.

“In response to a series of questions in Parliament regarding the Government’s plans for the extraction and processing of Browse Basin gas and petroleum, the Premier has refused to tell the people of Western Australia which companies are currently considering the development of a processing facility at James Price Point,” Mr Chapple said.

“While some companies have clearly indicated that they would be using floating technology, the Premier insists that some are seriously considering establishing an LNG precinct and associated industries, such as fertilizer and explosives factories, at James Price Point, but he won’t say who they are,” Mr Chapple said.

Another Parliamentary question, citing the Supreme Court’s decision of 19 August 2013 that declared the environmental approval of the Browse LNG precinct invalid and asking if it was now time for the government to abandon its plans to develop James Price Point, drew a refusal to do so.

“Indeed, the Minister for the Environment was at pains to point out that ‘the State intends to continue with the necessary approvals to provide for future opportunities for LNG development’.

“With comments such as these, one could be forgiven for wondering who is looking after the environment,” Mr Chapple said.

“Secrecy also surrounds planning documents such as the Dampier Peninsula Planning Strategy. More than a year after its development, this document still hasn’t been released for public comment even though it has been endorsed by the Statutory Planning Committee. Yet it forms the basis of the Local Planning Scheme currently under preparation by the Shire of Broome.

“Members of the community are crying out to be part of this process, a cry that is being ignored by a Premier who thinks he knows best,” Mr Chapple said.

For more information please contact Robin Chapple on 0409 379 263 or 9486 8255



Greens WA Applaud Supreme Court Ruling but Kimberley Risks Remain

Monday 19 August 2013

Greens WA Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region, Robin Chapple MLC, today welcomed the decision by the Chief Justice to uphold the Wilderness Society case against the validity of the approvals process around the James Price Point (JPP) gas hub development.

“This very good decision removes the last vestige of cover from the shameful maneuverings and posturing of the Barnett/Grylls Liberal/National government in its attempts to railroad its preferred position through the environmental oversight process.

“There has been a litany of mistakes made by the government through this whole sorry affair.

“From the botched compulsory acquisition, to the use of the Development Assessment Panel (DAP) to override local wishes, to the Premier’s pressuring then-environment Minister Marmion into allowing the flawed Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) decision to stand – it has been a disaster from start to finish.

“And unfortunately this is not the finish – because the Premier continues to stick to his dogged personal campaign to open up the Kimberley to all sorts of inappropriate development.

“I just hope the decision today will go some way towards allowing Mr Barnett a way out – he can rule a line under this, and walk away with some dignity, and say ‘Well, the highest authority in the state has spoken – let’s move on and look at other options’.

“If not, then I fear the Traditional Owners, local residents, and their supporters around the country, will only be in for a brief respite of celebration, followed by a return to the all-too-familiar confrontation and imposed rule-from-afar that has characterized the Barnett/Grylls approach to the Kimberley.

“As we know from last year, Mr Barnett rushed into law a State Agreement Act allowing virtual open slather on activities at JPP –and this is now the real danger, because there is nothing stopping processing of onshore gas from fraccing, large port development, and any number of other large-scale industries – subject only to agreement between the parties to the Act, with little or no Parliamentary scrutiny.

“The land acquisition is still in the Premier’s sights; the development of port infrastructure is approved; we have seen how easily workers camps and the like can be rubber-stamped by the Government’s Kimberley DAP – so while we celebrate today’s decision, this is no time to let down our guard,” Mr Chapple warned.

For more information please contact Robin Chapple on 0409 379 263 or 9486 9965

Premier pushing ahead with JPP acquisition

James Price Point under Renewed Attack from State Government

20 June 2013

Greens WA member for the Mining and Pastoral Region, Robin Chapple MLC, today expressed alarm at the Premier’s latest move to acquire land for a gas hub at James Price Point.

"While not a surprise, today’s announcement by the Premier that he plans to push ahead with his plans for destructive industrial development in the Kimberley, is very disappointing.

“The recent decision by the Browse gas developers to abandon their planned onshore gas hub at James Price Point gave all parties some welcome breathing space to reconsider their positions.

“What an ideal time this was for the Premier to move on and look at the clear alternatives which have always been available in this issue.

“Throughout this process the Premier’s support for onshore processing at James Price Point has made no sense on environmental, social or scientific grounds.The State Government could use this pause in proceedings to seriously rethink its unfortunate enthusiasm for the industrialization of the Kimberley.

“The Greens continue to strongly hold the view that economic benefits of any resources extracted from the Browse basin should flow to the traditional owners of the area, but that significantly better options exist for processing gas that do not involve industrialization of James Price Point.

“This week’s passage of a state agreement over the Canning Basin has apparently given the Premier a renewed head of steam for his obsession with an onshore gas hub in the Kimberley.

“We can now see quite clearly that the need to get the James Price Point development going has become an end in itself – regardless of the relative merits of any associated project.

“There is now no chance of any Browse gas coming ashore at James Price Point – and the prospects of commercial quantities of Canning Basin gas being extracted are dubious at best, and in the distant future – and even its proponents don’t want to use James Price Point.

“The James Price Point gas hub is an obsolete concept – let’s now leave its heritage values intact, let’s leave its precious environment in pristine condition, let’s avoid any further community unrest and division - rescind the Browse (Land) Agreement Act and the Kimberley can be saved for sustainable development and for future generations to enjoy”, concluded Mr Chapple.

Justice reinvestment comeback

New Minister Sees the Light on Incarceration Rates?

6th May 2013

Greens WA Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region, and spokesperson on Aboriginal issues, Robin Chapple MLC, has welcomed yesterday’s reported statements from Corrective Services Minister Joe Francis which seem to herald a fresh approach to the problem of WA’s increasing prison population.

“I am very pleased to hear the Minister’s words on justice reinvestment as part of a new look at prevention programs which are so desperately needed in WA.

“The contrast with his predecessor could not be starker – or more welcome.

“I recently attended the declaration ceremony for the Birriliburu Indigenous Protected Area (IPA), which was a clear demonstration of the effectiveness of alternative strategies – the Martu people have shown a remarkable aptitude for remote area Ranger duties.

“Further north, in Fitzroy Crossing, the Yiriman Project has achieved outstanding success in diverting at-risk youngsters away from the justice system.

“All of us realize that there has to be a better way – not this incessant treadmill of finger-pointing and blame-shifting – where the inevitable outcome is our state’s scandalous reputation for shockingly high rates of incarceration among aboriginal people.

“I now await some action from the Minister, because words are just not enough in this important area which affects people’s lives at such a basic level”, concluded Mr Chapple.


The emperor needs to let go of James Price Point

Australian Greens senators for Western Australia Scott Ludlam and Rachel Siewert, Robin Chapple MLC.

Colin Barnett’s bitter obsession with James Price Point must end, the WA Greens said today.

Greens Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam said the State Government’s plan to acquire the land despite huge local opposition to its industrialisation and Woodside’s withdrawal was “vindictive and reckless”.

“Premier Barnett, please - it’s over.  This is a pristine part of the Kimberley’s coast; it was never appropriate for industrialisation and it never will be.  The Premier is now standing in the way of progress.  It’s time to move on,” said Senator Ludlam.

Fellow WA senator Rachel Siewert said “Woodside recognised there are better alternatives for processing any Browse LNG and the State Government needs to do the same”.

“Woodside and leading companies in the sector are moving towards offshore processing.  Even if Browse LNG is to be processed onshore, James Price Point is one of the worst possible sites for it in terms of environmental impact.  The Premier’s fixation with James Price Point effectively scuttled the chance for onshore processing, but he appears to have learned nothing.”

Greens Member for Mining and Pastoral Robin Chapple said “it is vital that the economic benefits from resource extraction in the region are fairly distributed amongst the Traditional Owners, and that doesn’t require the destruction of James Price Point”.

“It is unacceptable that Indigenous people are expected by governments and corporations to give up so much in order to access the same kinds of services and opportunities most Western Australians take for granted as citizens.  Wherever the LNG is processed - the Traditional Owners should benefit from the huge profits being extracted from their country,” said Mr Chapple.

For more information please contact Robin Chapple on 0409 379 263 or 9486 8255, Scott Ludlam media contact Giovanni Torre - 0417 174 302, Rachel Siewert media contact Chris Redman – 0433 384 567

Broome ratepayers left in lurch by JPP halt

Broome Ratepayers Slugged as Woodside Shareholders Pocket Millions

Tuesday 23 April 2013

Greens WA Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region Robin Chapple MLC is outraged at the latest turn of events in the James Price Point saga.

“The Broome Shire President today revealed the “considerable” losses suffered by the Shire in its work associated with the abandoned Browse LNG plant at James Price Point (JPP),” Mr Chapple said.

“There is no way this can just be dismissed as part of the normal running of a local government authority – Broome Shire has never had to handle anything on this scale, and was even at the point of hiring extra staff.

“The Premier, through his Department of State Development, has apparently rebuffed efforts by the Shire to recoup any of its losses.

“I am simply appalled that the proponent, Woodside, has delivered an even greater slap-in-the-face to their long-suffering Broome hosts. This very day, Woodside has announced a half-billion dollar handout to its shareholders, from spare cash the Chairman claims is sloshing around in the corporate coffers, as a result of its withdrawal from JPP.

“This so-called ‘Special Dividend’ contrasts starkly with the ‘Not so Special’ increase in rates the Broome people can probably expect later this year.

“I don’t know exactly how much Broome is out-of-pocket, but I’m sure it’s a very long way short of half a billion – what a scandal!,” concluded Mr Chapple.

Barnett to strip Woodside Browse lease

Browse Gas now up for Grabs and Local Aboriginals Sidelined?

Tuesday 16 April 2013

Greens WA Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region, Robin Chapple MLC, today expressed amazement at the inconsistency revealed in the Premier’s threat to strip Woodside of their Browse gas leases.

“Mr Barnett has repeatedly lectured his opponents about the dire effects of ‘moving the goalposts’.

“He has been harping on about the effect this sort of government interference has on investor confidence and perceptions of the risks of doing business in WA, compared with other places.

“Yet here he is doing just that - interfering in the commercial process – creating sovereign risk.

“The big losers here are the local Aboriginal people, as Mr Barnett and Mr Buswell back away from their financial commitments as fast as they possibly can.

“Hearts will surely be broken, but the Premier needs to look closer to home for laying the blame.

“Perhaps he and his government should follow the advice of his new Minister, Mike Nahan, and avoid trying to pick winners.

“Sovereign risk is a matter of perception about how certain are the ‘rules of the game’ for doing business in Australia. Mr Barnett is now clearly creating sovereign risk.



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