Friday, November 26, 2010

12000 Protest Postcards to the Prime Minister

Michael Caton of 'The Castle" fame, Neil McKenzie Jabirr Jabirr and Nik Wevers representing the Broome Community NO GAS campaign delivered the following postcards to Parliament House in Canberra.

Dear Prime Minister,

The Commonwealth Government is responsible for the final sign off on the LNG hub proposed for James Price Point on the coast just north of Broome.
It makes no sense to destroy the environmental and cultural values of Broome and the Kimberley coast when there are alternatives. Pipe the gas to the Pilbara or process it on a floating LNG hub.
Gough Whitlam understood the value of the Great Barrier Reef.
Bob Hawke understood the value of the Franklin River.
Prime Minister, you have an historic opportunity to protect the values of this unspoilt part of the world. Don’t let the Kimberley become an industrial wasteland.
Say NO to a gas hub on the Kimberley coast.

Yours sincerely,
12,000 Australians.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

No Gas at James Price Point Prime Minister

12,000 postcards to the Prime Minister have been signed by people primarily in Broome but also from right across the country. It is expected that the postcards will be handed over this week in Canberra. Video from Wyldeclan

Monday, November 15, 2010

Woodside drilling convoy turned back by babies and old ladies.

Despite an undertaking last Friday by Woodside to Goolarabooloo Senior Law Man Joseph Roe that no work would be carried out this week on the site of the proposed gas processing refinery at James Price Point, Woodside went ahead and dispatched a convoy from Broome at 4.30am this morning.

The Woodside/Hagstrom convoy included: a drill rig; a large truck with tank and pumping systems; a semi trailer carrying two tracked vehicles with water tanks; an ambulance; and numerous security personnel.

The convoy turned back at Quondong this morning by a small group of concerned citizens from the Broome Community ‘NO GAS’ who have sent out a strong message that Woodside will be opposed at every turn.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Hagstrom Drilling Doing Woodside's Dirty Work


November 11, 2010

Machinery rolls on to James Price Point site following Minister Burke’s visit

At the very same time as Federal Environment Minister Burke was visiting James Price Point for the first time in his new portfolio this morning, Woodside was loading machinery onto trucks at the Broome port in readiness to head out to the site for work to begin.

Broome-based environment group Environs Kimberley has called on the Environment Minister to clarify the role that the Australian government will play in assessing the proposal for gas refineries at James Price Point.

Preliminary survey ground-disturbing works have already begun on site, meanwhile a landclearing application is being challenged by Traditional Owners in the Federal Court.

“The Minister assured people in the Kimberley today that the final environmental approvals for this process are his responsibility alone – but if works are already beginning on one site, prior to the federal government formally selecting a site where this development should occur, the community could be forgiven for lacking confidence in this decision making process.

The Broome Shire Council has a confused position on this issue, the state government is doggedly pursuing James Price Point as the only site for this development, and the Australian Government apparently has yet to come to a view as to where this development should be located. How on earth is the community to make sense of this?

“We would like to know why these works are being conducted prior to any decision on the gas refinery by the Minister for the Environment.” said Environs Kimberley Director Martin Pritchard.

Media Contact:

Martin Pritchard 0427 548 075

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

No Gas – Yes Water!

Statue of Achilles thniskon (dying) at the Corfu Achilleion.

Do Broome residents and the communities on the Dampier Peninsula really understand how water is the Achilles' heel of the proposed world’s largest LNG refinery being landed at James Price Point?

Are the Broome and Dampier communities aware that currently, millions of litres of water, directly from the Broome Bore-fields are being barged by Mermaid Supply Base to Barrow Island for the Gorgon Project?

The Company, apparently purchased a barge in Singapore earlier this year for the purpose of carting our Broome water. Round trips from Broome to Barrow Island on a fortnightly basis are being undertaken in order to meet the shortfall of the Water Corporation in the Pilbara.

Broome’s water supply is being moved through the Broome Port Authority, which is supplied by the Water Corporation and monitored by the WA Department of Water. Recent correspondence with the Broome Port Authority clearly states that the Broome bore-fields are currently carrying the additional stress of providing the Water Corporation in the Pilbara with water because there is a major water shortage. There is no water available for one of the largest industrial zones in Australia. (Refer to sidebar opposite.)

Are the Broome's bore-fields going to have to bear the stress of providing additional water not only to the proposed world's largest LNG refinery to be located south of James Price Point, (This is expected to use up to 51,oooML when in production according to DSD’s Browse Liquefied Natural Gas Precinct Infrastructure Assessment Study, page 18.) but also the world’s second biggest refinery being built at Barrow Island for Gorgon?

Gorgon is still in its very early construction stages of infrastructure development and already there is a need to embezzle water from the Kimberley, surely this should be ringing alarm bells across our Nation, our State, our region and our local communities? It also raises very serious questions about the Federal Government’s Department for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities lack of capacity and professional foresight not to have identified that water (like everywhere else in Australia ) is going to be a major issue for these massive industrial projects.

“The complexity and scale of Gorgon are unprecedented — a long-term, technically challenging, complex energy development exemplifying a dramatic advancement of engineering know-how and environmental stewardship.” However, after all the fanfare and the adjective packed language, the fact of the matter is that major DOUBTS have emerged because the giant $50 billion Gorgon gas project has NO WATER.

“More than AUD$20 billion has been awarded in Gorgon contracts including the fabrication and assembly of the main LNG modules, construction of the 2.1km LNG jetty and marine structures, LNG tanks construction and offshore pipe lay. Other contracts awarded include the Construction Village, Initial accommodation, general utilities, telecommunications, site preparation and site development.” But they still have no water.

The Project’s foundation Joint Venture Participants – Chevron (approximately 47%) ExxonMobil (25 percent) Shell had (25%) and the three new participants: Osaka Gas (1.25%), Tokyo Gas (1%) and Chubu Electric Power (0.417%). But they still have no water. Are these joint venture participants’ bankers or their shareholders aware that there is no water for their investments?

Consider the Department of Water’s own report[1] Improved groundwater resource management through better groundwater monitoring. A review of groundwater monitoring, April 2009 Volume 1.

(Please note that direct quotes from the above mentioned report are highlighted in red) This report clearly states

"Demand for groundwater is increasing in Broome for irrigated horticulture and town water supply". The location of Broome on a peninsula requires careful, ongoing management of groundwater resources to prevent saltwater intrusion. [2]

4.6.2 Current monitoring
The level of groundwater monitoring by the Kimberley Region is not adequate for current needs. Given the sensitivity of the Broome groundwater area to potential saltwater intrusion, it is a concern that this groundwater resource is not being monitored.

4.6.3 Gaps
The level of groundwater monitoring by the Kimberley Region is not adequate for current needs. Given the sensitivity of the Broome groundwater area to potential saltwater intrusion, it is important this groundwater resource is better monitored. For the past year, there has been no groundwater monitoring of the 22 bores in the Broome groundwater area due to no dedicated funding for groundwater monitoring. In contrast, current monitoring of the Ord Irrigation Scheme is considered adequate for groundwater management purposes.

Outside of the main abstraction areas, there is no recommended groundwater monitoring program. It will be necessary for a comprehensive review of potential groundwater monitoring bores and assessing the need for any additional regional
groundwater monitoring.[3]

4.6.4 Recommended monitoring
It is highly recommended that groundwater monitoring of all regional monitoring bores at Broome is resumed as soon as possible.

Given these facts and recommendations from the Department of Water’s own report, how is it that the Broome Bore-fields (already affected by saltwater intrusions) are now being called upon to top up the Water Corporations’ short fall in the Pilbara?

What is this shortfall and how did this situation come about?

Why does the Kimberley Region’sl Department of Water have no understanding of these activities?

Why doesn’t the Water Corporation in Perth have any answers to questions like: how much water is being provided from the Broome Bore-fields to the Gorgon project?

How much water are the Broome Bore-fields providing to the thousands of drilling rigs and platforms operating out in the North West Shelf and the Browse Basin’s oil and gas fields?

When, how and who approved this carriage of Broome water to the Gorgon project ?

Why are we told to turn off our sprinklers and not wash our cars when millions and millions of water is shipped out of our bore-fields surreptitiously, and without question?

Why is there a shortfall of water in the Pilbara anyway? Research suggests to Redhand that given the current recorded saturation of benzene emissions in the Pilbara and given the facts that benzene can: quickly evaporate into the air, be carried over long distances, attach to water particles, be released into soil, break down quickly and contaminate groundwater it is obvious that the Pilbara groundwater would also be saturated with benzene BTEX, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene.

In 2008, there was no groundwater monitoring undertaken in the Pilbara. There are a large number of potential monitoring bores installed throughout the region; however, a lack of dedicated funding and a recommended program for groundwater monitoring has seen little to no groundwater measurement undertaken in the past five years.

There is no monitoring being carried out in the Pilbara on groundwater, Redhand suspects that there is no monitoring of toxins within these precious groundwater sources either.

It is totally incomprehensible. How could the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities sign off on the Gorgon project without any Water Management Plan being submitted or any real clear understanding of how this massive industrial refinery was going to access water ? Why didn’t the Federal Government comprehend WA’s Environmental Protection Authority’s opposition to the Gorgon project because they had identified major environmental flaws in the whole concept?

How convenient that Barrow Island is exempt from the Rights in Water and Irrigation Act 1914, which governs the regulation of water resources in Western Australia?

4.5.3 Gaps

There is no current groundwater monitoring by the North West (Pilbara) Region. This is not considered appropriate or suitable for groundwater management requirements. There is a need to fully assess the condition of monitoring bores and address access problems. The focus of this should initially be at Millstream and selected alluvial aquifers along the Pilbara Coast.

4.5.4 Recommended monitoring

In order to resume groundwater monitoring, it is recommended that 17 monitoring bores at Robe and Fortescue Rivers are initially monitored twice per year. This monitoring data will support existing Water Smart projects being undertaken to support the development of a future statutory management plan. There are another potential 84 bores (including 10 bore at Millstream and 32 bores in the West Canning Basin) that can be added to improve the network.

How much water has been provided to the Water Corporation in the Pilbara from the Broome Bore-fields, through the Port of Broome?

Where is this water unloaded?

Where is it being stored?

What is this water being used for?

How is this water being used or monitored?

How much water has been provided to the oil and gas industries through the Broome Port over the last three years?

How much more water is going to be provided to the Gorgon project? And for how long will this unacceptable and highly questionable situation continue?

Water is and will be the deadly weakness for the WA State Government and Woodside et al. In spite of their overall strength, the multinationals might flex their muscle with their dollars, their technical fabrication and their spin and the power that dictatorial governments think they have, it will be water or more importantly the lack of and quality of water which will lead to their inevitable downfall. Let’s hope that their madness will not be at the expense of our water, our environment and the future health of following generations.

While the mythological origin of Achilles' heel refers to a physical vulnerability, in this case water, it is people and their human attributes of survival that will eventually lead to the destruction of the energy intensive lunacy that continues to justify the notion of planting yet another CO2 intensive gas refinery on our planet.

No Gas – Yes Water!

Improved groundwater resource management through better groundwater monitoring. A review of groundwater monitoring, April 2009 Volume 1

Monday, November 8, 2010

Shire angry over delayed gas hub studies - ABC Kimberley WA - Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Shire angry over delayed gas hub studies - ABC Kimberley WA - Australian Broadcasting Corporation

It’s a bit late for the President of the Broome Shire, Graham Campbell to be jumping up and down about the delay of a couple of weeks of the Kimberley LNG Strategic Assessment document given the fact that the original Department of State Development’s timeline had the release schedule for late 2009.

But where was our shire president, Cr Campbell when the Broome Community was screaming out about the lack of community consultation, lack of information, and a process that effectively locked community input out during the entire the social assessment period.

Where, how and when has the Broome Shire president advocated on behalf of the Broome Community about his constituency concerns regarding this proposed project and the lack of correct information?

Where was the Shire president, Cr Campbell when the Broome Shire tried to palm off a half baked Town Planning Scheme to the State Government that accommodated an industrial zone for the landing of the largest LNG Refinery in the world without releasing it to the Broome community for consultation or comment?

Where was our Shire president, Cr Campbell when at the Shire’s organised forum on the proposed LNG Refinery at James Price Point, held at BRACS, in Broome last year, when he did not allow a question and answers time or open up the floor to public debate?

Where was the Shire president, Cr Campbell when the Shire approved a Woodside planning application that will cause lot of environmental devastation and increase the level of community anxiety even in early investigative stages well before the Strategic Assessment document was completed or any approval for the project has been ticked?

Where will our Shire president, Cr Campbell be when the groundwater will be removed to determine how quickly it will bleed?

Where was our Shire president, Cr Campbell while the reef system that has been under assault and is suffering greatly already from the drilling regime that has been operating for months now at James Price Point?

Where will our Shire president, Cr Campbell be when all the fragile and rare Remnant Rainforest ecosystem with all its living creatures are being greatly effected by the noise movement of traffic and the vibrations of danger reverberating through the ground itself?

(We all know where his deputy Cr Chris Mitchell will be, he will be using the grant money provided by Woodside to the Wildlife Carers Association. Mitchell will be out there, in Country on his hobby horse, playing the community hero, out there rescuing all remaining alive creators who habitats have been raked to the ground).

When will the Shire president, Cr Campbell or for that matter the Broome Shire Council

have some stated public stance on state government’s Compulsory Acquisition being

enforced within their Shire?

When will our president stand up for the our heritage and speak about the Lurujarri Trail,

a project that the Broome Shire has supported, encouraged and in some cases grant

moneys for the protection and management of, for over twenty years.

Woodside current investigatory studies are already cutting tracks across the Songline,

is causing social and community heighten emotional apprehension. Angst is being

experienced equally and is being paralleled across our community, This trend will

continue to grow and be widely felt long before the Strategic Assessment is

released and the final decision is made.

AFP: Oz to hold constitutional referendum on Aborigines

AFP: Oz to hold constitutional referendum on Aborigines

Country- Goolarabooloo and the Lurujarri Heritage Trail

The Goolarabooloo community look after and live on the land just north of Broome. Anybody who knows these people have been witness to a strong culture who have intimate ties with the land they live on. The Goolarabooloo people invite you to walk with them,where their ancestors walked.The Lurujarri Heritage Trail is an annual event run by traditional owners, to walk their dreaming trail which was made heritage by Paddy Roe 22years ago. The Lurujarri trail runs from Minyirr Park- Cable Beach along the beach to Bindingankun- Yellow River, traveling past magnificent Walmadany- James Prices Point where Woodside and the state government want to build the world largest LNG refinery right in the middle of this songline and the trail.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Hagstron Drilling James Price Point

Traditional owners and community activists confront Woodside Petroleum

Broome activists and Traditional Owners confronted Woodside Petroleum at the proposed gas refinery near James Price Point.

Woodside Petroleum is conducting seismic testing for their proposed industrial gas refinery site ahead of gaining Federal environmental approval for the project.

Community activists said that Woodside is riding roughshod over local communities and forcing their time lines without respect for the environment and community concern.

“It is obvious that Woodside doesn’t care about proper process, the feelings of the community or the environment and is hellbent on forcing the industrialisation of the Kimberley at any cost” said ….

“Our community is not going to allow neither Woodside nor any other oil and gas company to come in and wreck our country, the social fabric of our town nor are we going to allow the Kimberley to become a quarry for the rest of the world.

Community activists said that they will continue to delay the proposal for as long as it takes.

“Continuing delays will lead to share holder pressure pushing for more socially and environmentally acceptable sites in the Pilbara”, said....

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Appeal to stop clearing on James Price Point

The EDO has lodged an appeal with the Minister for Environment on behalf of traditional owner Joseph Roe to stop Woodside clearing native vegetation on James Price Point for environmental investigations in connection with the proposed Kimberley LNG Hub.

Apparently, the WA Minister for the Environment will not sign off on the proposed clearing until it is heard in the courts which could be anytime between the 25th Nov - 17th December.

The status of Federal Court action, under Section 66B challenge will be heard in Broome from the 29th Nov - 3rd Dec.

However, Woodside are still trying to push their luck by issuing this work order which is scheduled to start today, the 4thNov

Further information:for further information please contact Paul Ryan Woodside Energy Ltd Phone: 08 9348 4000 Email: Note: Timings are indicative only and may be subject to change

Work scope Woodside, as operator of the Browse LNG Development, is undertaking an onshore geotechnical survey to collect geotechnical data. This data will provide preliminary information on foundation conditions, geological hazards and slope stability as part of its environmental and engineering studies to support assessment and design of the Browse LNG Precinct.

Methodology Data will be collected using a cone penetrometer, which sends a probe toa depth of 50 m into the soil to measure soil density. The cone penetrometer is mounted on a track mounted vehicle. Eight cone penetrometer tests are expected to be completed.

Location The preliminary onshore geotechnical survey will collect data along an existing track known as the North East Access Track or Biota Track, about 5km north East of James Price Point.

Environment There is not expected to be any significantenvironmental impact from this activity. No vegetation will be cleared and anenvironment management plan is in place.

Heritage Woodside has conducted Aboriginal heritage surveys of the area and has a heritage management plan in place should the study uncover any heritage sites.

On location 4 November 2010

Duration 1-2 days

Joint Venture Participants BHP Billiton (North West Shelf) Pty Ltd, BP Developments Australia Pty Ltd, Chevron Australia Pty Ltd. Shell Development Australia Pty Ltd, Woodside Energy Ltd Woodside Energy 240 St Georges Terrace, Perth WA 6000 Australiat: +61 8 9348 4000 | f: +61 8 9214 2777 | e:

Meanwhile KLC have issued a Media Release

Without the consent of Traditional Owners, Woodside have today begun ground disturbing work near the site for the proposed gas hub.

The work is in breach of an existing Heritage Protection Agreement between the Kimberley Land Council and Woodside.

Jabirr Jabirr Traditional Owner Anthony Watson described the decision by Woodside to disrupt country as “a kick in the guts for Traditional Owners working hard to see this project done responsibly.”

“Woodside haven’t indicated to us how many sites they’re testing, the exact location of these sites or even how this kind of work affects the country,” he said.

“We have no idea about these key questions and it’s worrying us to consider Woodside is willing to progress this work on country regardless of the concerns of Traditional Owners.”

Jabirr Jabirr Traditional Owner Mary Tarran said “this kind of corporate behavior was commonplace many years ago, long before native title and the broader recognition of Aboriginal land rights.”

“What this boils down to is Woodside engaging in activity that they know could cause significant cultural harm, and could be in breach of the Aboriginal Heritage Act,” she said.

“Woodside’s proposed solution was to circumvent the land council and approach Traditional Owners individually, giving less than two days notice for them to complete a heritage clearance.”

“In light of today’s development and the disrespect for proper process, Traditional Owners will have to reconsider how we engage with Woodside.”

Extract from unconfirmed draft Minutes, Shire of Broome Special Electors Meeting

1 November 2010


The purpose of Council Meetings is to discuss, and where possible, make resolutions about items appearing on the agenda. Whilst Council has the power to resolve such items and may in fact, appear to have done so at the meeting, no person should rely on or act on the basis of such decision or on any advice or information provided by a Member or Officer, or on the content of any discussion occurring, during the course of the meeting.

Persons should be aware that the provisions of the Local Government Act 1995 (Section 5.25 (e)) establish procedures for revocation or recission of a Council decision. No person should rely on the decisions made by Council until formal advice of the Council decision is received by that person. The Shire of Broome expressly disclaims liability for any loss or damage suffered by any person as a result of relying on or acting on the basis of any resolution of Council, or any advice or information provided by a Member or Officer, or the content of any discussion occurring, during the course of the Council meeting.

These minutes are unconfirmed.


Moved: Mr Chris Maher Seconded: Ms Rae Price

That the Shire of Broome not submit the Draft Local Planning Strategy to the Western Australian Planning Commission for certification and rescind Motion 9.3.1 of the Broome Shire Council meeting of 30 September 2010 pending consultation with the community.


* * *


Moved: Ms Nik Wevers Seconded: Mr Leon D’Alton

1. That the Shire of Broome develops and implements a communication strategy about the proposed gas processing precinct which includes:

· Conducting a series of information sessions

· Consultation/design planning forums

· Developing scale models/displays of the proposed industrial development

· Other ideas from the community about delivery of information

· Forums on the Dampier Peninsula

2. That the Shire President receives a deputation to answer questions about the proposed Kimberley LNG Precinct to be located and James Price Point.


* * *


Moved: Ms Rebecca Seriago Seconded: Ms Helen Bailey

That the Broome Shire conduct environmental research within practical timeframes of worst case scenarios of natural disasters and that the Broome Community be consulted with the results, and that this be included in the Draft Local Planning Strategy to the Western Australian Planning Commission along with research into impact of category 5 cyclones, tsunamis and earthquakes, as we are located in the impact zone.


* * *

The Director Corporate and Community Services departed the Chambers at 5.46pm and did not return.


Moved: Mr Peter Mitchell Seconded: Ms Gaye Wotherspoon

That the Shire of Broome urges the State Government to hold its public forums/information sessions about the Strategic Assessment following its release for public comment and that where there are inconsistencies between Council’s position and the Strategic Assessment, Council advises the community as to its position in relation to the Strategic Assessment.


(Note: Request received for extension of public comment period)

* * *


Moved: Mr Michael Leake Seconded: Ms Nik Wevers

That the Shire of Broome develop a Charter of Values that outlines the key values that the Community wishes to be used in any decision making process, including developing Town Planning Schemes, Strategic Plans and day to day operations. The Charter of Values would not be limited to, but would reflect, why we as residents choose to live in Broome, what we value here today, and what we wish to preserve for the future.


* * *


Moved: Ms Robyn Well Seconded: Ms Louise Beames

That the Shire of Broome conduct a fair, open and inclusive Social Impact Assessment to make good the shortcomings of the Social Impact Assessment conducted by the Department of State Development and that Council allocates funds to appoint an independent consultant with strategic impact assessment experience to undertake this assessment which will include reviewing the Department of State Development’s Social Impact Assessment to determine the impacts on the Shire of Broome and that this report be made publicly available.


* * *


Moved: Ms Louise Middleton-Ullah Seconded: Ms Tan Fowler

That the Broome Shire Council withdraw the planning approval given to Woodside (item 9.3.8) at the 30 September 2010 Council meeting because Woodside failed to provide the Council with the complete intentions of their actions and did not provide the Shire with their Environmental Management Plan.