Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Kimberley LNG hub at Quondong or James Price Point? What's the truth?

Redhand queries whether it is James Price Point that is the focus of the proposed location of the Kimberley LNG gas hub, or is it in fact Quondong Point?


The Northern Development Taskforce Site Evaluation Report October 2008 set aside Quondong Point and did not include it in the 4 sites to be further considered on heritage, cultural, social and environmental grounds

The Worley Parsons Resources and Energy Site visit Report 20 November, 2008 (for the Department of Industry and Resources) showed 3 locations at James Price Point, the third and south location indicated the hub inland from Quondong Point.

The Environmental Protection Authority’s report Kimberley LNG Precinct Review of potential sites for a proposed multi-user LNG processing precinct in the Kimberley Region December 2008 interestingly refers to the James Price Point Area which covers about 20 kilometres of the coastline and “considers that a site towards the northern end of this area (between James Price Point and Flat Rock) may have less impact on the main fishing and camping areas between Quondong Point and James Price Point”.

The $1.5billion Agreement (between Traditional Owners Jabirr Jabirr, Goolarabooloo and KLC, the State Government and Woodside) last week was reported as an agreement to locate the hub at James Price Point but no specific details have been released to the media by any of the parties. Nor was there clarity about the area covered by the Agreement.

During the recent negotiation for that Agreement, Redhand alerted to the maps showing Woodside’s operations area, the maps dated 17 March 2009 indicated Quondong Point as the hub location.

At that time the Premier Colin Barnett denied that Quondong Point was to be used and that the focus was on James Price Point. (ABC news and radio 27 to 30 March 2009) reports.

Woodside’s 2008 Full Year Results Briefing by Don Voelte Managing Director and CEO 18th February, 2009 on page 37 shows Google Earth Maps. Quondong Point has been incorrectly labelled as James Price Point. This is not an error. This is misleading information to the public and to Woodside’s shareholders and other stakeholders.

Quondong Point is at 17o 34’ 41.59” S and 122o 09’ 14.48” E and James Price Point is at 17o 29’ 01.63” S and 122o 08’ 30.20” E ?

Well you might say that a short distance of 12 kilometres makes little difference to the overall concept, the point is, are we being lied to? Where actually is the proposed location of the Kimberley LNG precinct? Quondong Point? Or James Price Point?

The Premier said it wasn’t Quondong on ABC Radio and Woodside’s CEO in his briefing to the market indicates it is despite incorrect place names on the maps, and publicity around last week’s Agreement doesn’t say. Who is telling the truth?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Don't Lose Heart

Like alot of people Red Hand has been very disappointed and somewhat dismayed by the news that the Traditional Owners have signed an Agreement in Principle in support of a gas precinct on the Dampier Peninsular. Red Hand believes that there are alot unanswered questions.

Given the fact that James Price Point currently has two over-lapping Native Title Claims Jabirr Jabirr and Goolarabooloo registered under the Native Title Act. How then did the Government, the spin doctors from Woodside or KLC understand who actually has the legal right to sign off on this country, if it is still pending in the courts for determination?

It was understood throughout the negotiation process that the decision making would be based on a consensus decision making model not a majority vote. This was preferred to ensure that process would not be railroaded, open to political manipulation or stacked by certain families. Why then was this meeting conducted on majority rules principles?

Is it true that one major claimant group walked from the meeting refusing to take part in the vote?

Is it true that during the voting process at this meeting certain people openly abused and intimidated other participants?

Is it true that many of the participants had no legitimate rights to be at this meeting as they are not on the existing Native Title Claims but are signatories to other Claim areas on the Peninsular?

Who are the signatories to this document?

Is it true that there was no Legal representative at this meeting to provide legal advice or over see the counting of votes?

Is it true that nothing has been actually signed?

Is it true that the Agreement document is still being drafted?

What is the actual location or area over which this purported Agreement necessitates?

How can KLC honestly represent the current Claimants in the Native Title Tribunal if they are actively working to sell the very same country?

Will the minutes, list of participants and the outcome of this meeting be available to the public or will it require application under Freedom of Information Legislation to access to this information?.

Red Hand has never wanted to get involved in the Indigenous politics of this issue because the focus has always been the protection of the environment and Standing Up for the Planet. However, Redhand believes that a lot of people have been greatly disheartened over the events of the past week and the misinformation and lack lustre media reports.

Don’t give up. It will be a long hard struggle to educate, inform and convince people that industrialisation of the Kimberley Coast is not an option. In ten years time, water will be far more valuable than gas. You can live without gas, but not water, just ask the people on the east coast!

Hands Off Country Stand Up for the Planet

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Agreement on Kimberley Coast LNG Project Edges Closer

Mathew Murphy
April 10, 2009

A DEAL believed to have been struck between key stakeholders may bring a multibillion-dollar liquefied natural gas hub for the West Australian coast a step closer to reality.

In a speech to the Melbourne Mining Club, federal Resources Minister Martin Ferguson flagged that an announcement regarding a deal in principle between Woodside, the Western Australian Government and the Kimberley Land Council was imminent.

A March 31 deadline, set by WA Premier Colin Barnett, passed without resolution with concerns at the time still surrounding key aspects of the benefits package to the traditional owners, including the timing of those benefits over a 30-year period.

A subcommittee of the Kimberley Land Council is due to report back to the wider group next Wednesday with many hoping the traditional owners will sign off on the deal the same day.

Mr Ferguson told the Melbourne Mining Club: "This is a project of vital importance for the future economic and social empowerment of indigenous communities in the Kimberley. Equally it is a project of national and state significance that would generate jobs, exports, revenue and economic growth for the benefit of all Australians."

Under the proposal, LNG from the Browse Basin would be processed at James Prince Point, 60 kilometres north of Broome. The basin contains more than a third of Australia's known offshore gas reserves. But environmentalists and some local Aborigines say the gas plant should not be built on the fragile Kimberley coastline.

Mr Barnett has pushed hard to strike a deal with the traditional owners after Japanese gas producer Inpex abandoned its $15 billion bid in September to build a gas plant amid uncertainty over a site. He has staked his political leadership on the Woodside deal, declaring he would not allow another big development to fall over "on his watch".