Walmadany - James Price Point

Premier’s Bullying Tactics over James Price Point Not The Answer

3rd September 2010 -  Greens Member for Mining and Pastoral Robin Chapple MLC has strongly criticised Premier Colin Barnett’s decision to compulsory acquire the land and sea at James Price Point, north of Broome, for the development of a gas processing hub.

“It is completely inappropriate for Mr Barnett to override the interests of the Indigenous people in the area when they do not agree with him, or fail to comply with his ultimatum,” Mr Chapple said.

“His actions will only put more pressure on an already disadvantaged sector of the community. Some would call that a bullying tactic.

“Likewise, it is unacceptable for the Premier to put at risk the environment and local tourism industry, thereby riding roughshod over the concerns of conservationists, local tourism operators and the Broome Shire Council.

“The Premier’s main concern should be to balance the interests of all sectors, and find a solution that is acceptable to all. This requires time and real leadership.

“Having witnessed the destruction of the heritage values on the Burrup Peninsula as a result of the North West Shelf and Pluto gas developments, I am firmly of the opinion that James Price Point is a wholly inappropriate location on which to build the Browse gas hub, not to mention the industrial precinct that will inevitably follow.

This project on the Kimberley coast is the thin edge of the wedge that will eventually lead to the industrialisation, destruction and social demise of the Kimberley. (see the extent of these proposals in Developing the West Kimberley’s Resources Report of 2005)

“We know that Woodside’s Joint Venture partners – Chevron, BHP-Billiton, BP and Shell – have differing views on the location for the Browse gas hub. They are being pushed into accepting James Price Point by Mr Barnett, or risk losing their tenements,” Mr Chapple said.

  • For more information please contact Robin Chapple on 0409 379 263

Barnett's Kimberley land grab threats illiberal: Greens

1 July 2010 - Colin Barnett’s ongoing threats to compulsorily acquire lands for the development of the Browse Basin Gas hub set a dangerous precedent for government land grabs, Greens MLC Robin Chapple said today.

“For the Premier to issue threats like this just because negotiations are not going his way, is disgraceful for the parliamentary leader of a political party founded on principles of individual rights, especially property rights,” Mr Chapple said.

“What we are seeing here is a Premier who is not amenable to negotiation unless it is guaranteed to turn out in his favour, and who is wilfully blind to the many alternatives on offer in the case of this gas hub”.

“Mr. Barnett has a history of acting like an autocrat when his agenda is stymied.   We saw it with the infamous canal proposal and we have seen him repeatedly go rogue on his own ministers when he wants his way.”

“This is not the type of behaviour the leader of a democratically elected government should be engaging in, as our most recent ex-Prime Minister discovered to his cost.”

Mr. Chapple said that the Government was demonstrating extremely bad faith in refusing to negotiate further with traditional landowners.

“The situation surrounding the traditional ownership of James Price Point is an extremely complex one and will take time to resolve,” Mr. Chapple said.

“Mr. Barnett is compounding the problem by refusing to allow traditional owners time to resolve the situation, in addition to demonstrating a disturbing disregard for due process over the negotiation of property rights.”

“The parliamentary leader of the Liberal Party is acting most illiberally.” 

  • Media Contact: Robin Chapple on 0409 379 263 or 9486 8255

Whale calves under threat: Greens take action and say Minister should go

31st May 2010 - Greens MLC Robin Chapple has savaged Woodside for undertaking unapproved seismic surveys in the immediate vicinity of a whale pod that includes many baby whales.   

Mr Chapple also said that the Minister for the Environment, Donna Faragher should resign over the affair because the EPA was apparently oblivious to the survey work taking place in the Browse Basin whale nursery and off James Price Point.   

 “It is unacceptable for Woodside to undertake this work without fulfilling the most basic requirements for environmental approval,” Mr. Chapple said.   

 “To operate seismic survey equipment in the immediate area of calving whales is unconscionable.”

 The first sighting of the annual northern migration of humpback whales, known as Breeding Group D, was confirmed in Kimberley waters on May 24.   Woodside commenced seismic blasting operations in the area on the same day.  

The booming noise from oil and gas seismic testing can hinder whale-to-whale communication and threaten the whale’s ability to navigate, kill prey and reproduce. 

“If this happens to adult humpback whales, the effect would be multiplied on the fetuses and newborns” said Mr. Chapple.

“It is obscene that this Government is allowing seismic blasting to occur amongst the returning pregnant whale cows and new born calves.”

Under questioning from Mr. Chapple last week, the Minister admitted that she and the EPA had no knowledge of Woodside’s intended seismic air blasting proposals.

The Greens MP immediately referred the matter to the Environmental Protection Authority but said that it was unbelievable that the Minister had no knowledge of the operations.

“It is utterly disgraceful that an Environment Minister should be so oblivious to such an important issue.  This again demonstrates that the current Minister has to go,” Mr. Chapple said.

“This affair makes Australia’s referral of the Japanese whaling in the Southern Ocean to the International Court of Justice in the Hague quite hypocritical. This whale pod is the same that were being harpooned in the southern ocean and are now going to be blasted with underwater geological testing off WA by Woodside.”

  •  Contact: Robin Chapple on 0409 379 263

  Woodside Data:



Activity Commences


Nearshore high resolution seismic refraction survey

Seismic refraction survey using a 5 cubic inch gun and two fifty metre streamers (towed half a metre below the sea surface). There will be no stabilization chains.


Activity occurs within state waters in the vicinity of James Price Point with the extent of this survey being the same as the nearshore geotechnical extent.

24 May 2010

~21 - 28 days

Nearshore geotechnical site investigation


This activity will utilise 1 to 2 jack-up barges to drill a number of boreholes within state waters in the vicinity of James Price Point.

Late June

~35-75 days (depending on number of jack-up barges utilized)

Koolama 2D seismic survey


A two dimensional (2D) seismic survey in Petroleum Permit Areas WA-415-P, WA-416-P and WA-417-P. This survey will be undertaken in waters approximately 40km from Broome. A seismic vessel towing a single 6km streamer will undertake 4km transects.

25 May 2010

~35 days (completed by 30 June)

Offshore pipeline route - geotechnical sampling site investigation survey


Drilling of bore holes and cone penetration tests on the sea bed along the approximate offshore pipeline route out to the Brecknock and Calliance fields (approximately 400km from Broome).

25 May 2010

~60 days



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