State Government's Burrup desperation grows

September 11, 2002 - The State Government appears to be nearing the bottom of the barrel as it searches for ways to justify the impending ruination of the Burrup Peninsula, Greens (WA) MLC Robin Chapple said this morning.

'The plans for industrial expansion onto the Burrup have been condemned by the local community, by state and national expert bodies including the National Trust, and by international organisations such as ICOMOS. In response, the Minister can only drag out a couple of obscure awards from 1997 which nobody has ever heard of.'

The Burrup Peninsula Draft Land Use and Management Plan was the subject of a court case in 1994 precisely because the public consultation was so flawed. Mr Chapple took the EPA to court over its refusal to assess the Management Plan, which would have subjected the plan to full environmental review and given the public a statutory right to make comment.

The court action was defended by the then DRD (now Office of Major Projects), which fought to prevent the EPA from having any input into the draft plan. As a result, DRD was able to ignore public input from the Friends of the Burrup community group as well as wider concerns, leaving the Government in the mess it has found itself in today.

'In defending the monumentally flawed public consultation process it has inherited, the Government simply digs itself deeper into the mire,' Mr Chapple said.

'In June of this year the people of the region told the Minister at a public rally that they were fed up with their concerns being ignored. The Government must understand that we will not be impressed by reminders about forgotten in-house awards while evidence of the breakdown in consultation is piling up in front of us.'

'The Burrup region will be saved, and the sooner the Government gets used to this fact the better.'

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