Walmadany - James Price Point

Woodside withdrawal from James Price Point could signal big win for WA

Woodside withdrawal from James Price Point could signal big win for Western Australia

11th April 2013

Reports that Woodside is shelving its planned Browse gas project at James Price Point could signal a big win for the Kimberley and the environment alike, the Greens said today.

"These are very encouraging reports and it is important that Woodside and the WA Government announce the decision, if it has been made," Senator Rachel Siewert said. 

“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 needs to seriously rethink its reckless 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. The Greens will carefully assess any alternative plans to ensure they do not pose the same risk of environmental, social and cultural harm as the Browse proposal for James Price Point,” said Senator Siewert.

Greens WA member for the Mining and Pastoral Region Robin Chapple MLC said “The State Government must rescind the Browse (Land) Agreement Act because if it doesn’t the sword of Damocles will hang over the Kimberley for the next ten years.

“If these reports are accurate it is a clear victory that Woodside and their partners have seen sense but the State Government continues to hold the Kimberley to ransom while this Act continues to operate,” said Mr Chapple.

Greens Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam camped at James Price Point earlier this week meeting with local people concerned about the future of the pristine site.

“In addition to destroying the site’s cultural heritage values, tearing up an untouched coast and wiping out a number of species, this development could strike a grave blow to the value of James Price Point to the local tourism sector.

“While gas industry leaders Shell and Exxon Mobil are pursuing floating LNG projects, Premier Barnett and Woodside have been holding on to an obsolete plan that would cause entirely unnecessary damage to a unique and precious part of Western Australia. Now Woodside has seen the light – but has the Premier?” asked Senator Ludlam.

“Gas may yield high short-term profits but it is a polluting and finite resource. The State Government should focus on developing the state’s vast renewable energy potential – which will deliver energy security and long-term jobs,” Senator Ludlam added.

Kimberley DAP approves JPP FIFO camp

Recently re-elected Greens WA Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region Robin Chapple MLC has expressed dismay at last night’s turn of events in the James Price Point saga.

“I am deeply saddened that yet again, the people of Broome have been pushed to breaking point by the heavy-handed tactics of the Barnett-Grylls government, as shown by the public disturbance reported at yesterday’s meeting of the Kimberley Joint Development Assessment Panel,” Mr Chapple said.

“It’s no wonder some people react bitterly, when they see their democratically elected Council sidelined by these unrepresentative bodies.

“The Government should take heed of yesterday’s fracas, because it is surely but a precursor to what will happen around the state, as more and more vital decisions affecting people’s day-to-day lives are taken out of their hands and given to so-called “experts”, with locally elected citizens in the minority.

“In this instance, we have the laughable proposition that it is somehow OK to drop a Fly-in Fly-out (FIFO) camp for nearly 1,000 workers into the middle of an “Agricultural” zoned area adjoining small rural properties where people are pursuing organic horticultural activities.

“Unfortunately, we shouldn’t be surprised, as the whole James Price Point venture has clearly been flawed from the outset and only continues today thanks to the blinkered, fanatical determination of the Premier,” Mr Chapple concluded.

Woodside given go-ahead to destroy Aboriginal sites at James Price Point

Greens Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region and Greens WA spokesperson on Aboriginal affairs Robin Chapple has lashed out in response to yesterday’s decision by State Aboriginal Affairs Minister Peter Collier to give Woodside the go-ahead to destroy Aboriginal sites at James Price Point.

“The Section 18 approval of ground disturbing works flies in the face of previous recommendations and Court decisions not to allow mining in the area due to its cultural and environmental significance,” Mr Chapple said.

“I am appalled at the Aboriginal Cultural Materials Committee’s recommendation to permit the works to go ahead; although I am prepared to accept that they may well have done so under duress.

“In 1991, the ACMC recommended that ‘no exploration activity should occur in the areas defined at the Song Cycle path’ and nothing has occurred to diminish its significance.

“At the same time the Environmental Protection Authority recommended no ground-disturbing works be permitted west of the Manari Road or east of the road without approval from the Minister for the Environment, as the area was part of the proposed Dampierland National Park and the WA Museum had plans to declare it a Protected Area under the Aboriginal Heritage Act.

“The ACMC is a toothless tiger that consistently fails to protect sites, and the Aboriginal Affairs Minister should be ashamed of himself for allowing the Minister for State Development, Colin Barnett, who is also the proponent in the Browse LNG project, to call the shots.

“Of course the Premier will always find in favour of Browse LNG project operator Woodside, in what is the cosiest arrangement since WA Inc.

“In this Barnett-Grylls government there is no-one standing up for Aboriginal Heritage Protection, just as there is no-one standing up for environmental protection.

“The Aboriginal Heritage Act provides just a thin veneer of protection, which has being weakened further since the John Avery review conducted last year,” Mr Chapple said.

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

WA government bungles Browse land seizure again: Grylls’ incompetence reaches new heights

Greens WA Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region Robin Chapple MLC has called for the Minister for Lands Brendon Grylls to resign after revelations that the Government has once again mishandled the compulsory acquisition of land at James Price Point.

“This is the second time the Government has botched the acquisition of land for the Browse LNG hub by failing to carry out what should be a procedural matter,” Mr Chapple said.

“Just a couple of weeks ago, on 19 November, the Premier Colin Barnett issued a statement saying the agreement reached with Traditional Owners had been in accordance with the Commonwealth Native Title process under the supervision of the Federal Court.

“Now we find this is not the case. This tops anything we have previously seen from this government and I don’t think it can be put down to incompetence alone.

“I can’t imagine Mr Grylls simply forgetting to notify Woodside or its Joint Venture Partners of key points in the process.

“This smacks of a government that has a complete disregard for the Native Title process and disrespect for the Native Title claimants.

“It demonstrates a government that is greedy and that will stop at nothing to push ahead with its own agenda, disregarding anything or anyone that gets in its way.

“Mr Grylls claims that no serious activity has taken place but this is a somewhat misleading statement when there has already been a good deal of land clearing, track building, the formation of a Turkey Nest dam and extensive drilling for water.

“Mr Grylls should resign from his ministerial role, or the Premier should sack him, and the Government should abandon its foolish insistence on building a gas processing plant at James Price point against the wishes and the advice of almost every other stakeholder.”

Woodside trying to wriggle out of responsibility for greenhouse gas emissions

Greens WA spokesperson for Climate Change, Robin Chapple MLC, once again called upon Western Australians to oppose the James Price Point gas hub.

The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) announced on their website on Wednesday 28 November that Woodside had sent them plans to build gas refineries, port and other infrastructure at James Price Point.

Woodside has requested these plans be considered a ‘derived proposal’ claiming that the work comes under the ‘Strategic Assessment’ that the State Minister for the Environment, Bill Marmion, has recently approved.

If the EPA agree that the work can be considered a ‘derived proposal’ then no more environmental assessment will be required. Only seven days is provided for public comment on this request.

Minister Marmion has removed the emissions requirements from the Browse development proposal, claiming that to include them would not be complementary to the Federal carbon pricing mechanism. However one of the requirements of a ‘derived proposal’ is to “demonstrate best contemporary practice (as defined in EPA Guidance Statement No. 55) for all construction and operational impacts (for example atmospheric emissions, marine emissions and noise)”.

“The Browse LNG precinct has the capacity to add up to 41 MTPA CO2-e to Australia’s emissions profile, as much as 52 percent of WA’s total emissions, with no abatement plan, which would deem it non-compliant with the requirements for a ‘derived proposal’ by the EPA’s own standards, Robin Chapple said today.

“I call upon the Western Australian people to make a submission to the EPA within the next week informing our government that they will not accept this development under these conditions.”

Greens MLC vows to continue opposition to Gas Hub Development at James Price Point

Greens WA Member of Parliament Robin Chapple MLC has vowed to continue his opposition to the establishment of a gas processing plant at James Price Point.

His comments are in response to the announcement today by State Environment Minister Bill Marmion that he has given approval for the project to go ahead.

“This project has been flawed from the outset,” Mr Chapple said.

“Minister Marmion’s so-called ‘strengthened conditions’ is little more than tinkering at the edges of a massive industrial development that will prove to be disastrous for the ecology, Aboriginal heritage and paleontological values of the area.

“No matter how the Minister dresses this up, the project will cut across the song line known as the Lurujarri Trail that has been celebrated for thousands of years and which is central to the wellbeing of the Goolarabooloo people.

“Thousands of words have been written about its significance, which was accepted at a warden’s court hearing in the 1980s, and no amount of rhetoric about ‘reducing the impact’ and ‘enhancing the protection’ will alter that fact.

“It is unacceptable that Minister Marmion is looking to the State EPA’s report, which was the work of one man, and the recommendations of another one-man phenomenon: the ‘Appeals Committee’ for guidance in this matter.

“We must now turn to the Federal Minister for the Environment to halt this foolishness and disallow the development.


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