Sunday, October 30, 2011

Key strikes Canning deal with Empire - The West Australian

Key strikes Canning deal with Empire - The West Australian

Key chairman Dennis Wilkins said the Canning Basin move would "breathe fresh life into the company and provide immediate focus and activity in one of Australia's emerging hydrocarbon provinces".

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

What is Gladstone's LNG development really doing to the environment?

What is Gladstone's LNG development really doing to the environment?

The Queensland port city of Gladstone has been in the news for all the wrong reasons lately.

Fish and other marine life have been infected by a strange parasite that seemed to make the leap to humans. The outbreak led to a local fishing ban which was recently overturned, despite lingering concerns about water quality and the health of fish.

Some commentators have suggested liquified natural gas (LNG) developments on nearby Curtis Island could be responsible for the ill health of marine life and the flow-on effects.

So what sort of assessments were done to predict the environmental effects of LNG developments? Was enough done? And what will be the long-term effects for the local environment and the people of Gladstone?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Broome No Gas Community’s Third Quarter James Price Point Protectors Report: Summary

The Broome community run campaign opposing the proposed Browse LNG Precinct at James Price Point has had a productive and successful third quarter. We have had many major achievements that have led to thousands of hours of delays to Woodside’s Geotechnical investigative works.

Summary of achievements and outcomes of the No Gas Campaign:

- Number of SAR sections investigated by the community = 5
number shown to be inadequate = 5
(Paleontology, Marine Turtles, Whales, Dolphins, Bilbies/terrestrial fauna)

- Number of new nationally threatened species found on site= 1 (Greater Bilby)

- Significant dinosaur trackways revealed from James Price Point = over 500, minimum 7 new species, 1 new genus

- National Heritage listing for the Dinosaur Trackways of the Dampier coastline

- Illegal and prohibited activities committed by Woodside as revealed by ongoing surveillance by protestors on site:
a) 2 proven cases of illegal land clearing
b) 1 case of desecrating a listed site of cultural significance (under investigation by the West Australian Department of Indigenous Affairs)
Numerous alleged breachs of Broome council permits (under investigation)
c) Numerous alleged breachs to Woodside’s Environmental Management Plans

- Number of new council members elected to the Broome Council who oppose the Gas Hub = 3, including newly elected deputy Shire President, Anne Poelina

- Number of floats in the Broome Shinju Matsuri parade = 3, with hundreds of participants

- Number of International Solidarity events = Ireland 2

- Number of independent economic reports advising against the development of the Browse LNG Precinct at James Price Point = 2
(Citibank, Merrill Lynch)

- Number of racial slurs or racist letters connected to the campaign = 0

- Number of major events of cross cultural exchange between Traditional Owners and the protest community = 3
(Walmandan Corroborroree, Lurujarri Trail, Lurujarri Weekend)

- Number of rallies and benefit gigs held for the campaign around Australia = 20
(Byron, Melbourne, Bendigo, Perth, Fremantle, Broome, Denmark, Adelaide)

- Number of friends on Facebook:
Goolarabooloo = 3000, Save the Kimberley = 12,000

- Number of postcards signed in opposition to the gas hub = 13,000

- Number of votes on the online site Getup against the Gas Hub being built at James Price Point= 5,530

- Number of old families of Broome who signed against the Gas Hub = 5,000

- Estimated number of people who attended a free concert opposing the Gas Hub on Broome Beach = 7,000

- Number of ‘lock ons’ = 12
Number of ‘pole sites’ = 2

- Estimated percentage of completed works that were planned by Woodside for this dry season = 45%

- Number of hours of work delayed by protest campaign = 1033 hours of stopped work. With an average work force of 20 people = 20,330 personnel hours

We look forward to a very successful next quarter with many diverse and exciting ventures planned.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Protest Taken to New Heights At James Price Point

Media Release

October 21st, 2011
Community halts Kimberley land g

Woodside Petroleum’s Third Quarter Financial Report for 2011 has coincided with the occupation of a communications tower at James Price Point and a rally at Woodside’s Broome office by protesters opposed to what they see as a land grab by the Barnett Government.
At James Price Point a 30m communications tower that allegedly breachs shire approvals, has been scaled and occupied by a protester stopping all investigative ground works by Woodside. When asked how long he will stay there, he remarked ‘for as long as it takes for Woodside to leave’.
Simultaneously at Woodside’s Broome headquarters, community members opposed to the gas hub released their own Third Quarter Protestor Report. This report celebrates and documents the community’s major achievements which include thousands of hours of delays to Woodside’s geotechnical works.
“This is about compulsory acquisition – a land grab in the Kimberley, Woodside and its joint venture partners Shell, BP, BHP and Chevron don’t seem to care that Indigenous people’s land is being taken away by a Premier hell bent on industrialising our traditional lands.” said Traditional Owner and Senior Law Boss Joseph Roe on behalf of Goolarabooloo and Jabirr Jabirr Traditional Owners opposed to the gas.
“Woodside can try and paint this proposal in a positive light but they should tell investors the truth about the problems they have in the Kimberley – the thousands of hours of delays to work and it’s only going to get harder and harder.” Traditional Owner and Law Boss Joseph Roe.

Tower-top protest at Kimberley gas hub site - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Tower-top protest at Kimberley gas hub site - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

A protester who's scaled a 30-metre tower at the site of the proposed James Price Point gas hub, north of Broome, is refusing police demands to come down.

Manari Road Blockade Black Tuesday T Shirt | eBay

Manari Road Blockade Black Tuesday T Shirt | eBay

A No Gas on the Kimberley Coast t-shirt signed by all 26 people arrested on Black Tuesday has at last been framed and listed for auction on ebay:

This is your chance to own a unique connection to a very important part of the recent history of the Kimberley, at the same time helping with financial support for the campaign. Please bid strongly, and spread the word around your networks.

Supreme Court of Western Australia : Daily Court List

Supreme Court of Western Australia : Daily Court List

A supreme court case surrounding the threat of compulsory acquisition of land at James Price Point is being in the Supreme Court in Perth today. Phillip Roe left the Court this afternoon confidant with the proceedings. A decision will be handed down in two weeks.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Delay in $7bn Shell sale could hit Woodside raisings | The Australian

Delay in $7bn Shell sale could hit Woodside raisings | The Australian
EQUITY raisings by Woodside Petroleum to fund its growth projects could be complicated by a possible delay in Royal Dutch Shell's sale of its $7 billion stake in the Perth oil and gas giant because of weak markets.

As the year-long restriction on Shell selling its 24 per cent stake winds down, JPMorgan analyst Benjamin Wilson said the oil major was unlikely to sell into the market at present prices because it would get only about $30 a share -- a steep discount to the $42.23 achieved in its earlier selldown.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Walmadany Coroborree - YouTube

Walmadany Coroborree - YouTube

On October 12th, 2011, a very special event took place at Walmadany, James Price Point, on the pristine coastline of the remote Kimberley region of Western Australia. Aboriginal Elders came from all over the Kimberley, and 300 Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people gathered to sing and dance at the site of a proposed LNG Hub, which would open the door to the massive-scale industrialisation of this pristine region. This celebration was held to show respect to the local custodians, the country and the old people, and to promote the environmental and cultural values of the Kimberley, the songs, the stories, the dances, and cultures that make this place unique in the world. You can help protect the Kimberley by clicking "attend" on our Facebook Site, "Walking in the Ancestors' Tracks". Paddy Roe, Nyikina Elder, Custodian, and Law Keeper said in 1992: "we have to hold this land, together. For all of us". This is our future.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Gas hub protesters win seats | The Australian

Gas hub protesters win seats | The Australian
"One of the things the Premier has said is the development of James Price Point is not dependent on local government, that we are limited by our legislation.

"I think the Premier needs to stop the way he's doing business with the Broome community and see it as a key stakeholder group," Dr Poelina said.

"We're not about to be bullied by the Premier or anyone else on this matter."

How to Stop a Multinational - Activate - Al Jazeera English

WATER is the great moral challenge of our time.

Remarkable correlation with our campaign, people, just like us.

How to Stop a Multinational - Activate - Al Jazeera English

Filmmaker: Rodrigo Vazquez

Argentinians are used to hitting the streets to start revolutions, fight for their rights or overthrow governments. But now people are taking to the streets to protect the country's valuable water sources up in the Andean mountains from multinational mining companies.

This film is made from within the anti-mining activist movement and will follow three teachers that have defeated a Canadian mining company and are now mounting a campaign against a Chinese one.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Complusary Poisoning Acquired Country at James Price Point

Meanwhile, Woodside are acting as if they have already Compulsory Acquired Country.

Where the process is currently ‘at’

EPA is currently undertaking assessment of the SAR and will produce its report and recommendations to the WA Environment Minister probably in the 1st quarter of 2012.
The federal minister needs to have a high degree of confidence in a ‘Future Act’ under this strategic assessment process.

Meeting with Broome and Others
EPA has decided to take the whole Board up to Broome to view the site and meet with key people. EPA are thinking a day and a half in Broome and on-site. EPA do not want an ‘all-in’ public forum or meeting even when that is exactly what the Broome community has been requesting from the EPA. The community want an open Q/A forum and for all members of the community be afforded the respect to be able to understand the environmental ramifications of the proposed project and continue their participation in the strategic assessment process.

The only reason the EPA Board is coming to Broome at all is because members of the Broome Community and environmental groups appealed to them, to do so. It’s inconceivable that the EPA Board do not want to engage with the very people who submitted the original requests. The last thing the Broome Community needs is a modified stakeholders gathering of other Gov departments and selected NGOs representatives or more copies of ‘FAQ’ sheets, with their own questions and their own answers. The community has had enough FAQ sheets, from Woodside and the Department of State Development. The Broome Community simple just want an open community forum and the opportunity to be informed, consulted and engaged with.

Appeals process
Appeals on the EPA's report are lodged with the Appeals Convenor following the EPA’s report being presented to the WA Minister. The Appeals Convenor assesses appeals and will report to the Minister on (his) findings. The EPA then examines the Appeals Convenors report and findings and provides its “Section 106 advice” back to the Minister. That will be the end of the EPA’s involvement in the process.
Then, the WA Minister finally makes his big final decision (once he’s got the ‘OK’ from Premier and Cabinet), based on EPA’s and Appeals Convenor’s reports and cross-examinations. The Minister has the power to establish a different ‘independent’ appeals process to streamline the way the appeal is conducted. This has happened previously.

Then EVERYTHING goes off to Feds and Burke - who have supposedly been doing their own homework all this time....
Dinosaur Tracksites
EPA says that there are only about 3 people in Australia who have sufficient expertise in this area. DSD do not trust the Australian scientists because they want to protect their national and international heritage and advocacy against the industrial proposal that will not doubt see these tracksites/landscapes totally destroyed.

A peer-reviewed report will need to be provided by DSD’s foreign scientists, a Dr Martin Lockley, from the University of Colorado, and Mr Rich McCrae, who works with the University of Alberta. They were asked to do that survey however; their work would have been alot more effective if they had taken up the Goolarabooloo offer of showing them the sites. However, they were only working the areas where the proposed pipelines are planning to be laid and the precinct footprint. By the time they walked the beaches to access these areas, the tide usually beat them. Needless to say by the time they had followed their DSD driven brief, they had little too no time to actually see the dinosaur track sites. These scientists engaged by DSD are expected to provide their report to the EPA at the end of October.

Will the EPA Board be releasing the new work on the dinosaur tracksites to the public as a Supplement to the SAR with an opportunity for 28 days for public comment? How will the EPA be able to make a decision if they actually have not seen the new peer reviewed report? For that matter how will their report be peered reviewed by someone who has never been there?

Degree of detail for Strategic Assessment

EPA said it is demanding a high level of detail for the most important of the - 55 Environment Management Plans (EMPs) that DSD says will be created post-approval to actually manage all the precincts impacts.

Is the EPA aware how many of these devious plans there will potentially be and how hard it will be to monitor and enforce them all?

It is so clear to everyone who has had any involvement in the strategic assessment that the whole process has been corrupted because the state government is the proponent of the project and the entire EPA’s strategic assessment Administrative Procedures have proven to be inadequate and in urgent need of revamping.

When will the EPA’s make it known publicly that in 1991(?) they signed a document stating that the vine thickets on Dampier Peninsula should not be destroyed?.

Gas hub row drives big voter turnout - The West Australian

Gas hub row drives big voter turnout - The West Australian

Friday, October 14, 2011

Office opens as port planning underway - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Office opens as port planning underway - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)The Broome Port Authority is opening an office in Perth as planning begins for a port linked to the Kimberley gas hub.

The port will be built at James Price Point, just north of town, if operators such as Woodside decide to process Browse Basin gas at the site.

The infrastructure will come under the management of Broome Port which is already working with the Western Australian Government to develop a masterplan for the new facility.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

G'day Truthseekers of James Price Point

One of the questions asked by that Market Metrics mob, who were doing the survey on behalf of Essential Media on behalf of the Kimberley Land Council, was “How believable do you find the following people or organisations: State Government, Federal Government, Woodside, Shire, KLC, environmental groups”? etc. Let’s have a look:

Here’s Premier Colin from Cottesloe, the most senior politician in the State, in Broome last week:

50 square kilometres of dead sea bed, constant dredging to keep the deep-water channels clear, thousands of shipping movements a year? “The whales will not be impacted.” Unbelievable!

How about the folks over there at Murdoch’s Australian (yes Paige Turner Taylor, that means you and your mate Barrass). This story linking a so-called “chemical attack” with the anti-gas movement was published was published two days after the Shire acknowledged that they knew who was responsible and that it was unrelated to gas protests. Unbelievable!

Surely we can trust the constabulary: ever copped that response about “all our officers are busy right now – we’ll get someone out there as soon as we can”? Funny how they can have a vehicle manage to spend 40 minutes waiting to escort a three vehicle Woodside convoy through the Manari Road Blockade and Information site. Unbelievable!

What about the KLC? Thanks to Ms Coles, all the way down there in Bendigo, for pointing out the following in the Executive Summary of the KLC’s Indigenous Impacts Report in the SAR

"The Traditional Owners of James Price Point did give their consent to the Heads of Agreement for the establishment of an LNG Precinct. Their consent was informed by detailed information and advice in relation to legal and other options open to them, and in relation to agreement terms offered to them by the State and Woodside in negotiations. However that consent did not conform with the principle of Indigenous Free Prior Informed Consent (IFPIC) because:

· Traditional Owners faced the threat of compulsory acquisition by the State in the absence of an agreement and so their consent was not given freely. (On 2 September 2010, the Western Australian Government announced that a compulsory acquisition had been commenced);

· Traditional Owners and the KLC were required to negotiate within severe time constraints, and as a result insufficient time was available to negotiate certain issues fully with the State and Woodside and for Traditional Owners to fully understand the ramifications of certain components of the Heads of Agreement;

· Traditional Owners and the KLC faced the threat of loss of State funding to support any further participation in relevant processes if an agreement was not concluded;

· Traditional Owners lacked adequate information about important aspects of the proposed Precinct, including its design, the location of associated facilities, and its likely environmental impacts (Section 4)."

The KLC and its TONC went on to negotiate an agreement they were happy to hear the Premier describe as the “greatest act of Aboriginal self-determination since the 1967 referendum”. Furthermore, their director and spokesman Wayne Bergmann described Traditional Owners protesting under a banner quoting the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People as “rebels running amuck.” Unbelievable!

Woodside anybody? It’s not enough that they have provided written responses stating that the air pollution impacts will be maintained within the industrial precinct, it’s not enough that they insist Hostile Environmental Services provide health and safety services (?), now they are trying to equate the pearling industry with the oil and gas extraction and processing industry! Unbelievable doesn’t even come close.

Then there’s the Shire Council – apparently one of the Councillors standing for re-election has circulated material stating that the Nowhere Else But Here team will stop vehicle access to Cable Beach if elected, even though he knows that is not true. He also knows that the Shire no longer has that power, following the establishment of the three-party Coastal Park Management Committee. This Councillor is running on a ticket touting “Integrity” and “Respect”. Unbelievable!

Well, I’m over it! I’m sick of the lies! I’m sick of the misinformation, the spin and the manipulation of the truth! I’m sick of being treated like an idiot! And I’m obviously not the only one; that’s why we have “Occupy Wall Street” spreading across the USA and across the world. That’s why we have calls for people the world over to rise up on October 15, take back the streets and take back the truth. Unity for Global Change!

Here in Broome we are better placed than anybody to make a difference on October 15 – we have an election. We have the opportunity to change a government that has failed to represent us, the community, as they meekly roll over in the face of big business and bigger government. “We can’t do anything about it anyway” they mumble. Well we can! We can vote them out, and put in place a talented and diverse team that is prepared to listen, to communicate and to share the Community’s vision for Broome, not the vision of the resource industry and a dictatorial State Government.

So rise up, everybody! Get down to the Shire offices today, tomorrow, Thursday, Friday or Saturday and make a real difference! Vote for the Nowhere Else But Here team (all four of them) for a better future for all of us.

World rEVOLution now!

Rant over.

Western Australia: James Price Point - Video On Aboriginal Struggle To Block Woodside Gas Hub - Indigenous Peoples Issues and Resources

Western Australia: James Price Point - Video On Aboriginal Struggle To Block Woodside Gas Hub - Indigenous Peoples Issues and Resources

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Browse could require a radical solution and it not James Price Point

PETER Coleman’s first four months as chief executive of Woodside Petroleum have been a low-key affair but last week Slugcatcher thinks he saw the start of a keenly-awaited cull, with people first to go and with projects likely to follow.

The management shake-up has seen one-time contenders for the top job at Australia’s leading independent oil and gas producer make their way to the exit, hopefully on their way to fresh careers with other oil companies.

The widely-reported departures of international business chief Jeff Soine last week and Kevin Gallagher earlier this year were not a surprise. When you hold your hand up for the chief executive’s job and miss out, there’s not much point in hanging around.

Other changes among the ranks of senior personnel at Woodside have occurred since Coleman replaced Don Voelte on May 30 and more will occur as the new man stamps his mark on Woodside.

Interesting as it is to watch the people shuffle, there are two other factors by which Coleman will be judged – the Woodside share price and his ability to successfully develop new projects.

On the stock market, the short-term verdict on Coleman is not flattering.

On project development, the outlook is for as much change as in the ranks of senior management.

Investors, perhaps hoping for more thunder and lightning from the new boss, or a takeover bid from BHP Billiton, have treated Woodside harshly since Coleman took control.

Since he picked up the reins on May 30 the company’s share price has dropped from $45.97 to a close last Friday at $35.08, a fall of 23.7%.

Declining commodity prices can be blamed for some of the share price slide, but that does not explain why Woodside has been hit harder than most other oil and gas stocks.

Santos, which has a similar business profile to Woodside, has seen its share price decline by 17% since May 30. Oil Search is down by 14.8%. Origin by 13.8%, BHP Billiton by 15.3% – and the oil price is down by around 20%.

So, whichever test is applied Woodside has under-performed the oil price and the share prices of its peers.

It would be unfair to place much of the blame for Woodside’s 23.7% price fall on Coleman but he must cop some because his ultra-low profile has contributed to a feeling in the market that change is brewing – and markets do not like the uncertainty which precedes a period of change.

The people cull is one aspect to what’s happening, but the change the market is watching for most carefully is what Coleman does with the three big project problems he has inherited. It wants to know:

· How he will expand the Pluto LNG project without first ensuring that there are sufficient gas reserves to justify the investment

· How he will proceed with the Sunrise LNG project while the government of East Timor continues to demand a landfall processing site, and

· How he will to proceed with the enormously expensive Browse Basin LNG project, which the government of Western Australia seems to want more than Woodside itself.

Decisions on the three projects will not be easy and will not be made quickly or at the same time.

But it seems to an outside observer that Woodside and its new boss simply have too much on their plate for what is essentially a small oil and gas business by global standards.

The long-term nature of LNG, both in terms of construction and operation, means that even the oil majors such as Shell and ExxonMobil plan each step very carefully, because the risk of something going wrong is high, either in a development sense or marketing sense.

The question for Woodside goes like this: “If undertaking one big LNG development is a major challenge then how do you handle three at once?”

The simple answer is you don’t, because you can’t.

That means cull time nears for Woodside’s over-full LNG project book, either by going slow, or by bringing in a major new partner to take control of one, or more, of the planned developments.

If The Slug was in a betting mood he would put some money on Coleman opting to focus on fixing Pluto by acquiring third-party gas from a rival such as Hess Corporation, going slow on Sunrise, and looking for a smarter way to develop Browse.

Pluto and Sunrise will be the easiest problems to fix. Browse could require a radical solution, such as revisiting plans for a long pipeline to the existing North West Shelf production centre, a decision which will be as politically delicate as dealing with East Timor.

Perhaps the only safe thing to say about Woodside under its new boss is that nothing will happen quickly. That’s not how Coleman was taught during his time at the ExxonMobil, where cost control and careful planning are valued above all other qualities.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Woodside continue to trash the Lurujarri Song Cycle, with their ignorance and impertinence to Cultural Heritage

The following is a message to the international, national and the local communities from the Goolarabooloo people:

‘To our Friends,

Apart from the obvious environmental impact of this proposed industrialisation, which has been well documented, the significant issue of the preservation of our aboriginal cultural and spiritual heritage, has not been given due consideration.
The Law and Song Cycles of Walmadan are not ancient history, but present-day fact. This Law has been kept alive through my grandfather Paddy Roe and now through me.

If this proposed LNG development goes ahead, our Country is gone forever.

Our country holds our Heritage, including our burial sites, and most importantly the Song Cycle that runs through this country from the north of the Dampier Peninsula, south to Bidyadanga, the area below Roebuck Bay.

Your voice can draw attention to this great plight and help protect our ancient and sacred Song Cycles – Bugarigaara (Dreamtime).

Thank you.’

Joseph Roe,
Senior Law Boss and Law Keeper


This land, and the life it supports, were created at the beginning of time by those of the spirit. This is the Law, Burrgarrigurra. We, the Aboriginal Law-men, have held this knowledge unbroken since the first people inhabited this earth.

Some say the land is there for the benefit of people alone. But how can that be? It is not different from us.

Like humans, the wallabies and trees, rocks and water are all made of that same living, vibrating spirit. There is nothing in this entire world which is not of that spirit. When we know this intelligence, when we fathom what is at the ‘bottom’ of everything, we can, as human beings, realise our purpose and the meaning of our lives.

Paddy Roe OAM,
Traditional Custodian and Law-Keeper
of the land known as Waterbank Pastoral Station,
as interpreted by Joe Roe, 1992.

Bad oil: The Amazon's toxic mess - Sunday Night - Channel 7 - Yahoo!7 TV - Yahoo!7 TV

Bad oil: The Amazon's toxic mess - Sunday Night - Channel 7 - Yahoo!7 TV - Yahoo!7 TV

Mike Munro's powerful investigation into the growing environmental disaster in the Ecuadorian Amazon where one of the world’s largest oil drilling is destroying precious rainforest, contaminating waterways and poisoning families.

One unlikely aristocrat is leading the David-and-Goliath fight to hold the multinational giant responsible: Zoë Tryon, the daughter of the late Lady ‘Kanga’ Tryon.

Chevron, which also operates in Australia's pristine Pilbara, has been fined billions of dollars in Ecuador for the damage caused by almost 1000 unlined toxic waste pits left behind by Texaco (subsequently taken over by Chevron Oil) throughout the 40 years it has drilled for oil.

Chevron supplied us with the following information PDF in relation to their operations in Equador and in response to our enquiries.

Thursday, October 6, 2011



Ms Martin, 54, rejected suggestions an anonymous newsletter containing the racial slurs against her was the reason she was quitting politics despite it being widely reported that was the reason behind her decision.

Mrs Martin said while the slurs were hurtful, they had nothing to do with her decision.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The "Nowhere Else But Here Team"

Campaign video for the Broome Shire Council Elections 2011. The "Nowhere Else But Here Team" are running on a shared platform promoting the development of a community lead vision for Broome to guide future sustainable developments for Broome. Our team will protect the spirit of Broome and promote the development of new economies for our community.

Premier Barnett faces anti-gas precinct protestors at ABC Kimberley - ABC Kimberley WA - Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Premier Barnett faces anti-gas precinct protestors at ABC Kimberley - ABC Kimberley WA - Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Premier Colin Barnett arrived at ABC Kimberley and strode out to meet a group of protestors who had gathered in the carpark bearing placards to protest the development of the gas processing facility at James Price Point. Inside the studios, the phones rang hot as the Premier answered a range of questions about the Ord development, education and marine parks. But it was the proposed LNG precinct that dominated discussion.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Country police will be sent to Perth - The West Australian

Country police will be sent to Perth - The West Australian

"James Price Point will always be a challenge …but we have a long-term commitment to see that through," Mr Brown said.

"If that means I have to make a decision during the week of CHOGM to send 30 or 40 officers up there to Broome, I will do that."

Mr Brown conceded some investigations could be deferred until after CHOGM but denied high-end inquiries would be affected.

Fight to stop gas project targets Woodside partners

Fight to stop gas project targets Woodside partners

Woodside's partners know there's a fight coming and would prefer less contentious alternatives such as piping the Browse gas down to Karratha for liquefaction, or floating platforms offshore.

Timing is critical but the Browse project is getting bogged down - especially among a divided indigenous community.

From a distance, the politics are not clear. It seems to boil down to this: was the May vote, won 168-108 by the pro-gas members of the Aboriginal community, supporting the Kimberley Land Council, fair and valid?

The vote was carried under the threat of compulsory acquisition of the gas hub site at James Price Point by the WA government.

If the compulsory acquisition process itself was flawed, as the WA Supreme Court may decide later this month, it's back to square one.

Read more:

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Shire of Broome Election Saturday 15 October, 2011

This is a significant and crucial time in the history of Broome, at a point where decisions made now will change the course of our lives and our community. It will not be an easy time to represent the people. Our future, the future of Broome should be determined by us.

With regard to the gas processing /industrial precinct at James Price Point, we have not been provided with a choice of how the Shire of Broome will look and ‘be’ in the next 20 to 40 years. Local Government has been much aligned over recent years, but what choice do the 18,000 residents of Broome have about their future? The Shire is not an interest group, it is not a stakeholder, it is the only representative body we have specifically for all Broome people. While the Shire has many responsibilities under the Local Government Act, it is the only body that has the obligation to represent us all. This election on 15th October is very important and everyone who can, must vote.

The State Government intends to locate an industrial precinct for gas processing and heavy industry within the Shire of Broome 50 kilometres from the Town. Irrespective of the prospective energy companies the State will locate an industrial precinct within the Shire. At what point do we have a collective choice about this? In reality, the Commonwealth and State Governments may not listen to us, but the Shire must advocate the case for what we call Broome.
We do not support industrialisation of the coast. We do not support the location of a gas processing precinct at James Price point or the destruction of the Lurujarri Songline. It is possible to have a future that values that which we already have, Indigenous culture and practice, gorgeous landscapes, beautiful clean air and water, a diverse, important and interesting heritage and a diverse economy that has thrived over the last few decades and which has a very bright outlook. In the Australian context, Broome within the Kimberley is like that little bit of public open space between the Pilbara and Darwin, the space that people love to gather in, relax and enjoy.
Our choice then is expanding and excelling at what we have or the imposition of heavy industry to our coast. Broome has some excellent opportunities (some are related to heavy industry and processing of offshore gas), and there is no need to allow industry on the coast under the guise of economic development and potential job opportunities. It is possible for the gas and oil to be processed and exported from the Pilbara or offshore. The royalties earned will still go to the State and the Commonwealth Governments. The Broome Shire will never get a direct share in royalties from gas but will be dependent on these governments to fund and resource the impacts of heavy industry. Many have argued, advocated and lobbied long and hard for Government resources to be put into the region so that people here have access to Governments’ services equivalent to those provided to people in metropolitan areas. Gas processing or not we will still have to do this. There will not be an automatic provision of services and the money is not going to flow for some years yet.
The future can be growing the Broome brand, expanding tourism in all its forms, we have an excellent tourism future. How about 10, 000 Gorgon and other Pilbara workers taking time off in Broome for a holiday for a starter? An Australian domestic tourism market that dreams of going to Broome. How many times have you heard people say “ oh Broome that’s on my list of places to go.”? That 64% of Kimberley tourism is from Broome is a great benchmark to maintain.
The two things most important to visitors to Broome and the rest of the Kimberley are Indigenous culture and the wilderness or natural landscapes. These are ready to sell, to protect and develop and to grow. Tourism means people, means many flow on effects, building and construction, services and value added product. The Broome brand is well known nationally and internationally, it can be built on.
Broome is a regional service centre and not just for government services. Broome can be sold as the place for key companies to locate their north west offices, management and contracting services, Broome has an opportunity to promote itself as a regional centre for the fledgling manufacturing and service industries to support exploration and drilling. Pearling is an integral part of Broome and its history, the industry has had its ups and downs over the last 125 years, but it invariably survives and will again. Other opportunities that do not have the damaging effects of heavy industry include horticulture, some agriculture, aquaculture other than pearling, training and education, arts, music, film and television. At one time, we had four Universities with campuses in Broome, there is no doubt Broome could be a great centre for education, add to Kimberley TAFE and Notre Dame University and others, a technical training school, an Institute of Maritime Studies, a Hotel School, or a film, television and media school and so on, education centres that reflect our current industries and that can support the drive for skilled labour for the resources sector.
Broome is world renowned for its music, the arts and Indigenous media and these have enriched our lives as a community for a very long time. The achievements of the music, arts and culture industry can be built upon to achieve further success and they provide a huge potential for social and economic development outcomes. Indeed, sport can do this as well. The natural environment that we enjoy has been respected, managed and protected by Indigenous people for centuries, we have flora and fauna species so prolific, some endangered, some vulnerable and many not yet named, dinosaur tracksites of International Heritage value, landscapes so beautiful that not many other small towns have such a plethora of professional photographers, a coast that boasts one of the best beaches in the world and a marine environment significant because it is like the Antarctic one of the least human impacted marine environments in the world. Broome doesn’t have to have or even need, heavy industry here to survive, we must have the chance to determine our own choice for the future. There is valuable potential, we just need to explore and develop it.
The whole of the Broome community has not had the opportunity to have a full and frank debate about the proposed Kimberley LNG Precinct and, has not had an opportunity to explore its choices about its future. Consultations to date have been limited to ‘stakeholder’ workshops, planning for the impacts and managing them. This is not choice. We are presented with a Social Impact Assessment that tells us how we will manage the influences, the impacts, the population explosion and how the State Government expects to manage the problems and required resources. It does not acknowledge that we are already struggling with some of these. This will be a very good time for our Local Government, the Shire of Broome to really look at its core responsibilities as well as taking every economic opportunity available to resource further facilities and services within the Shire. The people of the Shire of Broome must ensure that their Local Government stands by the vision the community has for its brand, its country and its people.
This election is not just about the potential for industrialisation and the commitment to manage it but may well be about the survival of the Shire of Broome as a local government. Town Planning for the whole Shire may produce a new town or regional planning scheme and proposed new planning regulations may well mean that the Shire of Broome will lose control of the planning approval process.
Broome faces a number of challenges over the next few years:
• Town Planning – planning is underway for a new Town Planning Scheme for the whole Shire, a Master Plan is being prepared for the Dampier Peninsula. Council must make sure that that planning is determined by the vision of the community about how the area will look, will progress, how and we will live in the future. It is critical that Council leads this process including:
• Development and suitable zoning of land to increase the levels of affordable housing
• Understanding new planning arrangements how will they affect Local Government control over planning
• Environmental health services, town planning and delivery of municipal services to Indigenous Communities
• Retaining our style, heritage, design guidelines, liveability of new areas, climate appropriate building design
• Rethinking parking requirements and balancing that with routes and opportunities for public transport and pedestrian access ways
• Public Open Space management, care and ownership
• Potential impacts of proposed development on the Dampier Peninsula for the Shire as an operating entity An increased capacity of Council’s resources will be required to manage these impacts.
• Management of the coast and consideration of how the coastline will be managed, there is potential for walking turtle and dinosaur tracksites’ tours on Cable Beach and whale watching licences, how will these be managed?
• Financial Management and the careful use of funds will be extremely important as the Shire copes with the expected impacts from a population boom.
• Maximise resources and seek new sources of income, perhaps redevelopment of existing assets and seeking out other revenue opportunities, perhaps by way of small land developments for inexpensive housing, or sourcing income from recycling of waste or also consider development of a new small airport for light aircraft and helicopters out of the Broome townsite, perhaps in collaboration with the Yawuru people. Council consider differential rating for other than tourism marketing, for example environmental protection?
• Waste management, the tip may last just another few years at the current rate of landfill, a new waste management facility and rethinking of waste recovery, recycling and management, we will all pay for waste that goes into the land fill to achieve this.
• Operational funding for the Multipurpose Community and Performing Arts centre.
• There is a proposal to alter the Airport Development Plan to include non- aviation activities including workers’ accommodation and temporary non-aviation warehousing and storage do we really need this in the middle of town? Approval of these ensures that the moving of the airport is delayed further. Big issues need to be addressed, the airport will need to be moved out of town. How will Council manage complaints about the increasing noise pollution from small aircraft and helicopters? Council’s State of Environment Report needs to be re assessed and strategies properly resourced. Drainage and pollution aspects of the airport’s operations adjacent to a Ramsar wetland must be addressed and if need be, referred to the Commonwealth Department for Environment.
• While the Shire does not have responsibility, it must advocate and lobby the position of all residents to both the State and Commonwealth Governments for improved power supply, roads, footpaths and public transport, telephone/internet services, health, education and housing.
• Council has a moral obligation to protect and support the community, our children and young people and to enhance our natural environment, history, heritage, and Indigenous culture and practice.

The election on Saturday 15th October is about the community’s confidence in the Shire of Broome’s management of its people, its resources and its responsibilities, and planning for a bright future. Electors have a responsibility to vote in this election and winning candidates have the ultimate responsibility of listening to the people seeking that bright future.