Friday, March 26, 2010

Albert Wiggan meets Colin Barnett Beagle Bay

Wiggan says Premier didn't listen
By Vanessa Mills

During the recent tour of the Dampier Peninsula, Premier Colin Barnett faced some opposition from several members of the Beagle Bay community. The Premier of Western Australia, Colin Barnett recently visited the Dampier Peninsula. ABC Kimberley Mornings spoke with him during the visit.

After this conversation, the Premier visited the Beagle Bay community.
A few days after, we spoke to prominent member of the community Albert Wiggan who says the meeting wasn't a satisfactory arrangement.
He says the residents felt they were not listened to and big issues for the community were avoided, including new funding arrangements and governance.

The following footage and text was provided by Eyes On Country.

Contrary to recently released media reports that Colin Barnett’s visit to Beagle Bay Community was a success, his fleeting visit may well have been a “feel good” sight seeing trip to him but the peoples of the Community, which also included those from outlying smaller communities that see Beagle Bay as their essential services hub, were left with the usual hollow feeling that accompanies a visit by government- no outcomes, no solutions and that once again their voices fell on deaf ears.
The general feeling after the gathering was that this was a trip for Colin to feel good about visiting those that he wishes to impose his Gas Hub Vision on, this was confirmed by his admission that in his eyes the Hub would go ahead regardless of how people felt and another subtle media relations campaign to claim that ”they cant say I haven’t talked with the people”. In plain speak-“ A way of covering your behind.”

The Community was made to wait over 2 hours from the scheduled start time in searing heat under the tin roof that is the Women’s Centre (which of course was made spick and span by the fabulous volunteers that run the group).The gathering was introduced by Neil Marshall (DIA) (although some mistakenly took him to be the Premiers Personal Body guard by the domineering manner in which he conducted himself). He apologised for the delayed start.

Nyul Nyul Elder Mr Steven Victor welcomed the Premier and guests to Country.

Approximately only 3 speakers were given time to ask questions and raise important issues before Mr Neil Marshall literally jumped from his chair and declared that question time was over, lunch was ready and people may only now mingle with the Premier. Everyone was completely surprised and many rushed to the Premier to continue raising issues, with Mr Marshall in close attendance.

The issues that were raised by the 3 speakers started with questioning the Premier on the major concerns of housing, health, education and employment. The next main issue was that despite previous meetings and decisions nothing had been done in ten years to address a Safe House for children, and the dilapidated Store and Women’s Centre. He was also questioned as to what he felt was a “real” job for Aboriginal people. The third issue raised was deep concern about the KLC process in relation to the proposed Gas Hub and how grass roots people still felt completely left out of the picture and that there did not seem to be any transparency to the process.

The main jist of Barnetts responses to these issues was that the Gas Hub would supply a flow of money to address these issues and he even elaborated on the design of the Hub saying that for example, that the beach at JPP would be left untouched as there was plans to build the pipes over the top of the beach.(maybe we wont need the sun umbrella anymore, the shade of the pipes should be great on a hot day at JPP).Really, the answers skirted around the real questions and led back to him doing his duty by meeting with people.

During mingle time Barnett, Gail Mc Gowan and Ken Baston (Member for Mining and Pastoral Region) were asked who scrutinises the KLC, such was the concern that things are not transparent yet they all were unable to answer this question. Mr Baston said he would find out and let people know. Stay tuned.

Not long after “mingle “ time and lunch(prepared by the wonderful Vanessa and staff from the Store and the wonderful Denise from the Bakery.) local man Albert Wiggan called for quiet and addressed the Premier and the gathering.Following is the passionate speech challenging the Premier on all levels to come to a new understanding of relationship on these issues.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Values People hold for their Broome Community

A few months ago there was the perception that community opinion was evenly divided over the proposed Kimberley LNG Precinct development at Walmadan (James Price Point). Now after some time on the streets in the CBD Chinatown and shopping centres there appears to have been an enormous shift of community opinion. A shift in attitude and support away from the development, this is after a gradual release of information into the public arena.

The Premier’s constant reference to James Price Point going ahead has only added to the community’s mistrust of the Government's process. Where is the integrity, probity, community engagement, community discourse and permission given? How can we trust that stakeholder meetings, potential forums, future reports and public review periods will be of any value, when he tells us it’s a done deal?

Redhand asks. ‘What are the three things that you value most about Broome?’

Overwhelmingly, the values of community, lifestyle, multiculturalism, beaches, fishing, fresh air and clean environment top the values reported. Now people are realising that these precious values are the very things that will be eroded away, even destroyed. There is a rising disquiet and call to action to tell the Government to include us in the process. Allow us to issue the social licence to operate this proposal which will dominate the landscape and destroy Broome’s lifestyle and community. The Broome community is committed to ensuring it’s not going to happen. The State Government's rhetoric isn’t working. People of Broome are realising that a handful of jobs is not worth the destruction of Broome’s community values and the total upheaval to their way of life. The Broome Community will not roll over on this.
YOUR VALUES welcomed in comments.
Hands off country.

Following is a social impact statement about life in the Industrial Pilbara of Western Australia

Submitted: Tuesday, Mar 03, 2009 at 01:17
Flywest replied:
Rents is a killer if you don't have your accoms provided.
The beachfront house we had in Pt samson used to rent out for $2K a week. Karratha prices aren't much better. Karratha has OK shopping and Hospitals etc.

Works easy to find - when we were there within the last 12 months, EVERY business in the LIA had "staff wanted" signs posted out front. Heres the problem

Even if you made sandwiches at the lunch shop in the LIA and they paid you 2K a week(which they won't/can't), your rent on a grass square in the Cvan park to put up a tent was about $600 a week. Add in fuel near 2 ucks a liter and food at 2 times the cost of Perth supermarkets and you couldn;t afford to live.

Same with a tradesman.Say he needs to make, $1K a week to provide / run his work ute and tools and maintenance etc, then he needs say $1500 a week for a SMALL 3drm house....thats $2.5 K a week before he gets any takehome pay - as an employer you HAVE to pay $4 or $5 a week to be able to get anyone to work and stay!

There’s heaps and heaps of work - its just that unless you have a parent that owns a house there and cheap rent - you can't make any cash there.... Some of the businesses have houses they bought 20 years ago that they use as part of the job package to be able to attract tradesmen at a wage they can afford. Anyone like refrigeration mechanics and diesel fitters etc - can find MORE work than you can poke a stick at - its just that unless you charge out at $1K a DAY - you can't survive up there, because things are so expensive. Which employers gonna pay you $5K a week (250K a year) to work up there?

That’s why EVERY business in the LIA has staff wanted signs and can't get or keep staff! That’s WHY all the mining companies prefer to fly their workers in out rather than accommodate them. Staff are so short, the mining companies are chartering jets from the airport to Brisbane and back once a week on Tuesdays to try and get workers outta Queensland - the sparky who rewired our fuse board, was from Brisbane I kid you not. 2 days work $5K

The mining companies charter jets to fly Port Headland to Karratha and back every day so their staff can get the few available accoms in Pt Headland and work in Karratha, its cheaper than building staff accoms in Karratha.

A plumbing job that cost me $270 in parts and took me 2 hours was quoted at $2.7K by the local plumbers. NOTHING in Karratha involving a tradesman costs under a grand - in fact unless you pay em a grand they won't even come and quote - thats what their time is worth to them. We waited over 3 months for a refrigeration guy to come back and finish a air con job - and he never showed, in the end I bought a part myself off the internet had it posted and fixed it myself.

There simply are very very few eligible young women in the Karratha area, compared to the numbers of randy young fly in fly out guys and permanent workers. Those that are there get hassled so much it’s a REAL problem in the community.

Sand flies are the killer in the heat & 44 is a good day, 48 is HOT! The heat takes it's toll - lots of the big supply wholesale businesses are in big warehouses (steel) with limited if any air con... In summer - the staff when you walk in for service have that dehydrated / disinterested / don't want to be here/ don't want to service you, look on their face and you can hardly blame them, it is oppressive humid heat in the monsoon season is the ONLY way to describe it. Quite simply if you don't have job on offer paying at least 300 - 350 K a year - then your wasting your time even thinking about going there.

Karratha is not all it is cracked up to be if you don't have high wage fly in fly out company accoms etc. Look at all the Shire of Roebourne (Karratha Offices) vacancies advertised in every Saturdays west! They offer salaries packages around 100K including state govt housing - and can't get or keep staff! That’s just my and my family’s opinion tho - we still have some close friends who live there, and have for years and love it.

It depends a LOT on what you expect and want outta the place.


Monday, March 15, 2010

Serious social and psychological ramifications are currently being experienced within our small community of Broome

“Conditions will help make sure the Gas Precinct does not have any bad effects on land, sea country, on the lives of people or on their cultural heritage. They will also make sure that Traditional Owners and other affected Indigenous people can obtain benefits from the development of the Precinct”. KLC Newsletter Jan-Feb 2010

Who is advising the Kimberley Land Council? Are they are just: outright lazy in their research, lack life experience or world exposure, or totally ignorant to the real world in which we all live or are they just fraudulent in the quality of information they translate to their membership. After all, sustainability (good business sense) means running with the global environment - Earth Inc. - like a corporation: with depreciation, amortization and maintenance accounts. In other words, keeping the asset whole, rather than undermining the natural capital.
Does KLC’s membership really appreciate the horrendous social and environmental ramifications of the LNG industries if the proposed precinct is built at James Price Point?

We are in a period of time, in human history, when communities are in search of new and sustaining relationships with the planet because the world’s environmental problems are currently threatening the very existence of all life-forms. This is the ideology that Indigenous people all over the world have been trying to inform Non-indigenous people since their first contacts. Now, just when Non-indigenous people are starting to fully appreciate what the first (original) people were warning us all about and the fact that their calamitous predictions are now coming to fruition. It seems so incongruous that their social and cultural values have been so corrupted and infiltrated with imposed values that they now accept that everything that is happening as unavoidable.

Serious social and psychological ramifications are currently being experienced within our small community of Broome even as the final decision on the proposal is months away.

The magnitude of destruction within the LNG industrial processes is so great that we must initiate a radical rethinking of the myth of progress and of humanity's role in the evolutionary process. Indeed, we should ask ourselves: Is community and its very essence of human participation and collectiveness also a vulnerable species on our endangered planet?

It’s not just about Country anymore, it’s about the planet and everyone’s human rights to live and work in a healthy environment and keep it that way for the future generations. We are lucky enough to live in a democracy; we all need to exercise our rights to speak for our home, community and the planet. In less democratic societies, people don’t get the right to object to multinational corporations bullying and if you do question, they just kill you, this is fact. So, we have the globalizational obligations to ensure that when we can question and speak for the countless of millions of people who suffer and live in the aftermaths and dregs of multinational corporation greed, all over the world. We have to challenge this mentality of profit before people, here and now because we can.

Corporations have to prove to us that they are good corporate citizens and the communities on the Dampier peninsular and the Broome Community have the legal and ethical entitlements to issue the Social Licence to Operate. It should not be up to the Broome community to convince the State government, Woodside or the joint ventures that our community is really worth saving from the socially destroying heavy industrialisation impacts. Broome does not have the capacity or the social will to service an industrial conglomerate for the next 99 years. The corporations should be convincing us as a community that they are and have been good corporate citizens and clearly illustrate to us how they achieved this. What really is their track record in mitigating their management plans, who, where, how and when have these plans been monitored or reported on?

The ecological and social crisis of the late 20th century displays a profound alienation from Country / nature and indeed from matter itself. Country had become largely identified as matter which can be manipulated and is seen as a resource to be exploited used rather than the source of life itself.

Maybe, it’s because we live on a island or are so spoiled because we live in one of three least human impacted places in world or maybe its because Kimberley people are almost completely alienated from the rest of the world that we really do not comprehend the facts that our planet is struggling against: unprecedented assaults that include environmental pollution, destruction of entire ecosystems, the aesthetic degradation of nature, human overpopulation, resource depletion, industrial growth, technological manipulation, and, now emerging as the most pressing and desperate of all problems, abrupt massive species extinction - and in cases of recently discovered ones.

Two thirds of the planet’s environments are totally compromised. We are killing country, community, culture and our world. Our feelings of alienation in the modern period have extended beyond the human community and its patterns of material exchanges to our interaction with country itself. Especially in technologically sophisticated urban societies, we have become removed from that recognition of our dependence on nature – when we no longer see the earth as sacred or understand our connection to it, we are really lost!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Pilbara people of Western Australia exposed to unacceptable levels of emissions & cocktails of Photochemicals.

When is the deadly truth going to be made public as to why Woodside, Joint Ventures (Use It or Lose It Excusers) and the WA government are pushing for a new LNG green-field site, at Walmadan, (James Price Point) for the processing of LNG.
Why don’t they pipe it to the Pilbara where heavy industries and the infrastructure already exist?” Over and over again, these questions have been asked and we have never received an honest answer.

We have been told that it's economic, it's political (State or Federal royalties argument) or it's technically impossible. The real reason is the Air quality (air shed) and air pollution that is currently being experienced in the Pilbara.
Source the emission of benzene in the Pilbara, Western Australia. ... to 50 ppm from 1 January 2006,

The truth of the matter is the Pilbara has far exceeded their National Pollutant Inventory with their many sea, land and air emissions. The additional processing activities associated with the Browse Basin would push the emission levels off the richter scale.

Source the emission of benzene in the Pilbara, Western Australia. ... to 50 ppm from 1 January 2006,

Woodside Energy Ltd ( Karratha Onshore Gas Treatment Plant, VIA KARRATHA WA ) n-Hexane High – 100 Ethylbenzene Toluene (methylbenzene) High - 100] Cyclohexane High – 100 Total Volatile Organic Compounds High – 100

Woodside Energy Ltd ( King Bay Supply Base, Dampier WA ) Total Volatile Organic Compounds [Low - 1] ?????? This website has limited access and their links very weak.

Benzene is a dangerous, poisonous substance, and research shows that it can be harmful to us as well as to animals, plants, and the environment. Oil and gas extraction is the largest industrial source of benzene in Australia. These industries all produce, use and handle benzene which quickly evaporate into the air and can be carried over long distances. If it is released into soil it can break down quickly and contaminate groundwater. No research has been undertaken on how these emissions would react to our beautiful mists that form over our coastal strip in the dry season. Emissions have a history of attaching themselves to water particles.

More information is available on the website or from the National Environment (National Pollutant Inventory) Protection Measure 1998 (as varied) (available from

Walmadan ( James Price Point) location is needed to spread the LNG industries’ land, sea and air based emissions around. The air quality at Walmadan is currently classified very high quality air. The prevailing winds through the six different seasons that we experience in the north would spread the emissions around the Dampier Peninsula, assisting the proponents to maintain conservative reported levels.

Why, does the government choose not to tell us these facts? Do the people living or working in the Pilbara really understand that they are being exposed to enormous levels of emissions that far exceed the national average and will cause real and serious health issues both for themselves and their children?
The truth will come out in a few years, and many Pilbara people will spend the rest of their short sick lives fighting for compensation. We see it happening all over the world, and usually when it is too late, when the precious resources have been exhausted or the victims start dying.