Saturday, December 31, 2011

Ollie Butterfield, a Kimberley Protector has died in a car accident in Vic

In Victoria, a man died and a woman was seriously injured after a car hit a tree on the Hume Freeway near Wangaratta late on Thursday. A man in his 30s, believed to be the driver, died at the scene, a spokesman for Ambulance Victoria said.

A 34-year-old female passenger was flown to The Alfred hospital in a serious but stable condition with multiple injuries. The Australian.

Those who don't feel this Love
pulling them like a river,
those who don't drink dawn
like a cup of spring water
or take in sunset like supper,
those who don't want to change,

let them sleep.

This Love is beyond the study of theology,
that old trickery and hypocrisy.
I you want to improve your mind that way,

sleep on.

I've given up on my brain.
I've torn the cloth to shreds
and thrown it away.

If you're not completely naked,
wrap your beautiful robe of words
around you,

and sleep.

Pamela Knox wrote

RIP Ollie - via via Walmadan Country is Calling "Ollie and Izzi were travelling in car which crashed in Wangaratta. ollie unfortunately died at the scene. Izzi in serious but stable condition at the Alfred hospital. Prayers and tributes for Ollie's family and friends tonight. He was a beautiful soul. The world will not be the same with out him." I am blessed to have met such a beautiful soul. Sincere condolences to family and friends alike - the world will miss Ollie dearly! xox "

Disabled hip hop artist joins protest
Updated October 26, 2011 17:03:25

PHOTO: East coast hip hop artist Ollie Butterfield has chained himself to Woodside machinery at James Price Point.

MAP: Broome 6725

A disabled hip-hop artist from the eastern states is the latest to join the ongoing protest against the Kimberley gas hub, chaining himself to a Woodside vehicle near the site.

Ollie Butterfield, 26, is usually wheelchair bound but has been able to climb under the vehicle where he has been sitting for several hours.

Broome police are on the scene and have issued the man with a move on notice but have not attempted to physically remove him.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Woodside May Delay Decision on Browse LNG Project Until 2013

“There’s a lot of work in front of us,” Coleman said today. “We’d rather not rush to the finish line and not have any breath left. These are big decisions.”

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Woodside wobbles at Christmas time and other mining dramas

Shifting sands of the Browse Basin LNG hub

The future of a $35 billion liquefied natural gas hub - originally proposed to sit at James Price Point in the Kimberley - has been shifted so many times that it now looks set to be moved more than 1000 kilometres to Karratha.

The hub's Kimberley location has garnered heavy opposition from environmental groups and some members of Aboriginal communities, with protest scenes taking centre stage on news bulletins for several weeks in 2011.

Woodside this week requested an extension on its final investment decision for the project, pushing the deadline out by a year to the middle of 2013.

Woodside 'seeking alternatives' to James Price Point

Woodside 'seeking alternatives' to James Price Point
By Luke Waters
World News Australia

There are major doubts surrounding one of Australia's largest resource ventures, with Woodside Petroleum seeking to delay its $30b Kimberley gas project

While the company insists the controversial proposals at James Price Point in Western Australia will go ahead in the longer term, a final decision for the project north of Broome may now be delayed until mid-2013.

SBS's Luke Waters has learned that some analysts believe alternative locations are already being canvassed.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Woodside never at Walmadan James Price Point

Woodside Energy announcement to the Australian Stock Exchange today:

Mon, 19 Dec 2011 08:45:00 +1000 13 hours, 35 minutes ago

ASX Announcement Monday, 19 December 2011 WOODSIDE TO SEEK VARIATION TO BROWSE RETENTION LEASES Woodside advises that it intends to seek amendments to its Browse Basin retention leases, including a request to vary the condition relating to readiness for a final investment decision. The participants in the Browse Joint Venture are currently engaged in discussions on the final nature of this planned request for amendments. The request for amendments will be made to the Joint Authority and the WA Minister for Mines and Petroleum at the conclusion of these discussions.

The current Browse Basin retention leases require the lessees to be in a position to consider a final investment decision by mid 2012. Woodside believes an extension into the first half of 2013 may be required. While the joint venture has to date met the schedule imposed by the retention lease conditions, the variation would allow time to better evaluate the outcomes of front-end engineering and design work and the results of the tender processes for the development’s major contracts.

The revised timetable would also allow more time to complete necessary assurance activities. Contacts: MEDIA Laura Lunt W: +61 8 9348 6874 M: +61 418 917 609 E: INVESTORS Jeremy Hams W: +61 8 9348 6290 M: +61 412 288 781 E:

As predicted by those on the money the Financial Investment Day has been adjourned to 2013, and for Western Australians, around about the time the State Government will go to the polls. The Opposition Leader Ripper got it completely wrong today about the delay in approvals. The protest has documented the lack of transparency and honesty by this State's Government on approvals, licences, permits, registrations,the dumbing down of previously creditable Government Departments and Authorities and the control that Mr Barnett has used to sell this project. If the State Government worked any faster the plant would already be built with NO approvals. Mr Ripper would do well to read the fine print of the Commonwealth State Strategic Assessment Agreement he signed with Peter Garrett in 2008. The community consultation, information and advice has been appalling and there has been no free prior informed Traditional Owner consent, proper research into alternative sites has not been completed and nor have the Social Impact Assessment criteria been developed. Mr Ripper might like to take up the argument about the quality of approvals and processes not their speed. And he's a numbers man, perhaps he should ask why the State has no business case for this project and why no economic modelling for business has been done for the economy/infrastructure of Broome and the region?

Also, as predicted, are delays associated with the Front End Engineering and Design. More from Redhand later on the engineering but suffice to say you can't build a gas plant on an old riverbed just like you can't build the new sports stadium on an old rubbish dump at Burswood.

Julia Gillard needs to do a bit of a probity test on the retention leases issue, how did Ferguson get away with this? An independent public inquiry into that must happen.

And that Woodside also "...complete necessary assurance activities." now the details of those and who provides them will be interesting?

14 September, 2011 - Blockade on Manari Road

Woodside will not get a social licence to operate.

Hands off country

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Woodside's Illegal Road Works On Manari Road south of James Price Poin

What needs to be made clear in this video is the fact that the Broome Shire grader had just completed grading the road. What you are witnessing is Woodside using their equipment and undertaking their own road works which is highly illegal, hazardous and they should be prosecuted either by the Broome Shire Council and or the Department of Main Roads. This work was done in order to create a deep dangerous sandy pit, forcing people to slow down or spin out. This allows time for hostiles (Lockforce) Woodside corporate security thugs enough time to record number plates and photograph people who in travelling in Country.

What needs to be made clear in this video is the fact that the Broome Shire grader had just completed grading the road. What you are witnessing is Woodside using their equipment and undertaking their own road works which is highly illegal and should be prosecution either by the Broome Shire Council and or the Department of Main Roads. This work was done in order to create a deep dangerous sandy pit, force people to slow down or spin out. This allows time for hostiles (Lockforce) Woodside coporate security thugs enough time to record number plates and photograph people who in travelling in Country.
Woodside are not in accordance with a duly signed and sealed Instrument of Authorisation by the Commissioner of Main Roads to undertake roadwork’s, on public roads in Western Australia,

Any person or party intending to undertake an event or conduct works that may impact on traffic (including pedestrian traffic) within any part of the road reserve shall, as a condition of approval by Main Roads WA, Local Government or any other authority responsible for the road, ensure that the person performing the tasks contained in Table 4 - Main Roads' Traffic Management of Works on Roads Code of Practice hold a relevant and current traffic management certificate of accreditation.

Main Roads WA certificate and proof of certification is provided in the form of a 'Photo ID' card is issued for each category of accreditation to individuals who successfully meet the pre-requisites applicable for each level of accreditation.

Woodside did not have the necessary approvals to undertake these road works.

This roadwork was not approved by an Authorised Body nor was a MRWA approval obtained.

Woodside does not have a Traffic Management Plan for these road works.

This particular section on Manari Road is not located safely with respect to horzontal and vertical alignment. There was no signing and delineation erected to cater for this?

The transitions from the existing road to the roadworks were not safe or clearly laid out.

No speed limits were established on-site consistent with the modified road environment
The worksite was not clearly defined or appropriately separate from passing traffic.

The travel paths for both directions of traffic were not clearly defined.

No “Reduce Speed” signs located in accordance with the TMR Code of Practice
No “repeater” speed limit signs that should be erected in accordance with AS 1742.3.

No signs or devices were placed in such that they are clearly visible to approaching drivers and other.

No sign of temporary hazard markers (T5-4 and T5-5) aligned and spaced to comply with the
requirements of AS 1742.3.

No variable message signs (VMS) used compliant with the requirements of AS 1742.3

The clearances from the worksite were not consistent with the requirements of AS 1742.3

No Traffic Controllers on the worksite so no accredited, suitably attired and correctly
positioned relative to sight distance and the “Prepare to Stop” signs.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Wet season drilling worries green group - ABC Kimberley WA - Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Wet season drilling worries green group - ABC Kimberley WA - Australian Broadcasting Corporation: He says the proposal should be subject to public scrutiny.

"I'm hoping that these drilling proposals actually go to a public environmental review, so the public can actually get to have a look at what fluids are going to be used in the drilling in the Kimberley," he said.

"They'll get to look at the environmental management plan, so they can ascertain whether they believe Buru Energy is doing the right thing."

Aborigines block bid for gas refinery on 'Dreamtime' heritage site - Australasia - World - The Independent

Aborigines block bid for gas refinery on 'Dreamtime' heritage site - Australasia - World - The Independent: Joseph Roe, a member of the Goolarabooloo group, told ABC Radio that James Price Point was "a special place... for me and my people" because a songline – a track followed by ancestral spirits during the "Dreamtime""creation era – passed through it. Mr Roe said initiations of young men and other cultural ceremonies, known as "secret men's business", took place there.

Andrew Chalk, one of the lawyers involved in the case, claimed Woodside had known for years about the site's significance.

Broome Shire up to their neck in it at James Price Point.

All Planning and development applications, drilling permits and extensions approved and granted by the Broome Shire for Lot 259 for Woodside on behalf of the Minister of Lands or the Department of State Development are all illegal.

All the work that Woodside has undertaken over the last 12 months in Country is illegal. The shire had no jurisdiction to grant such approvals because Woodside are not the owners of the land in question. The compulsory acquisition process that was recently declared invalid means that the state is not the owner either
The approvals granted by the shire and the conditions placed on these original approvals granted have been either completely ignored or not implemented at all. Woodside has done everything but what they supposedly had approvals for.

Woodside can spend millions of dollars, carving up vast sways of land, clear hectares of native vegetation, establish toxic industrial lay down areas, erect permanent fencing, police locked illegal gates, establish a workers camp, site officers and install 50 bores without any appropriate and relevant Local Government Planning Approvals. The real dissolution for all their troubles will be a $500 fine and to add insult to injury they will then be issued with retrospective planning approvals.

Broome Shire and Woodside’s blatant ignorance and complete lack of respect for the Aboriginal Heritage Act or its legislation needs to be seriously questioned and passionately challenged at every opportunity. They will be held accountable.

All the planning controls for the site and the locality fall within the Shire of Broome Interim Development Order No 4. And according to this Order it states
4. Application for, and Grant of, Approval

(b) Application shall be made by or on behalf of the owner of the land and shall be accompanied by three copies of a plan or plans drawn to scale illustrating the proposed development and its location and indicating the type and construction or any buildings or works proposed.
So who is the owner of the land?

Given the fact that Lot 259 is unregulated Crown Land and the fact that either Woodside or the Minister of Lands is the owner of this land, how were any of these Shire planning approvals, drilling permits and extensions ever granted? There is still the matter of a registered native title claim over the land in question.

Who owns the land?
Given the decision handed down by the Supreme Court last week in regards to the Compulsory Acquisition Notices this question seems even more pertinent.

According to the Shire of Broome Interim Development Order NO 4
Where conditional approval to the carrying out of development is given under paragraph 4 of this Order states that no person shall commence, carry out, or complete that development otherwise than in accordance with the condition or conditions upon which the approval is given …….
Planning Approval issued by the Broome Shire on the 30th September 2010 to Woodside clearly stated that the proposal will obtain all the necessary approvals and clearance from all necessary Government Departments.

Every one of the Planning Approvals, Permits and Extensions issued to Woodside on behalf of the WA Department of State Development, by the Broome Shire had very clear Conditions placed on them in regards to the Aboriginal Heritage Act.

In November 2010 Woodside wrote to CEO of the Broome Shire seeking permission to undertake geophysical survey on Manari Road. In this correspondence Woodside clearly stated that they are aware that this survey fell within areas covered by the Aboriginal Heritage Sites Register and that they would consult with DIA.

In a Broome Shire Media release on Dec 7th 2010 it stated that Woodside is to obtain all Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Approvals prior to work being undertaken.

In January of 2011, Woodside sought an extension to this original geotechnical approval from the Shire which was also granted with the Condition 17, which stated Woodside are to obtain all necessary Aboriginal Cultural Heritage approvals prior to the work being undertaken.
Therefore, neither Woodside nor the Minister of Lands applied for, or to this date, been granted a Section 16, 17 & 18 of the Aboriginal Heritage Act to undertake these investigations and works. So what does the Broome shire intend to do about this?

Joseph Roe is the one and only registered Principle Informant with the Register for Aboriginal Heritage for the area concerned and has never been consulted about these works.
The Broome Shire Council has worked closely with the Goolarabooloo people for years and was one of many government agencies who sponsored the posting of signs throughout Country. These signs show the Songline in map form, with places named in proper language and even the stories of the dreaming are inscribed.

They were established in order to educate people about the presence of a highly significant and numerous Cultural Heritage Sites that stretch the entire length of the western side of the Damiper Peninsula and is commonly known as the Lurrujarri Song Cycle.

The Broome Shire logo is on every one of those signs, proudly sponsored by. How can the Shire now abandon this amazing living Songline and our precious cultural heritage and deny it now in the face of this great destructive adversity.

Out of respect why didn’t the Shire ensure or investigate when advised months ago that Woodside did not have the necessary and appropriate approvals under the Aboriginal Heritage Act.
And according to The Shire of Broome Interim Development Order NO 4
(b) Development to be carried out in accordance with approval plans
Where, pursuant to the provisions of the Order, plans indicating the form which development and other works shall take is approved by the Council, no development or other works shall be carried out otherwise than in strict accordance with the approved plans.

So like many other government agencies, who have been severely compromised and waived their legislated obligations during the whole corrupted process of getting Woodside into Country regardless of the rules and regulations, many court challenges are definitely on the drawing board for the coming new year. Many will be called to account and will be held accountable.
They will never return to Country.

Thursday, December 15, 2011
Andrew Chalk, one of the lawyers for the Goolarabooloo people, on SBS News talking about what is yet to come.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Third parties may get a say to stop warehousing of offshore oil discoveries | The Australian

Third parties may get a say to stop warehousing of offshore oil discoveries | The Australian: This is designed to stop companies sitting on reserves while they develop other fields, in Australia or overseas.

Under the plans, the outcome after the government decided a project was economic, with the help of other interested parties, would be the same as it is now.

That is, the licence holder would get the chance to develop it now but if it declined, the licence would be forfeited and a production licence offered for sale by tender. The timing of the white paper and any new rules mean it is unlikely to have ramifications where the issue of "commerciality" could next arise; the assessment of Woodside's $30 billion-plus Browse LNG project planned for James Price Point, 60km north of Broome.

Woodside, which appears to be less enamoured in building at James Price Point under new chief executive Peter Coleman, has been told by the federal and West Australian governments that it needs to evaluate whether it is commercial to develop the Browse project there by the middle of next year.

Yesterday, Resources Minister Martin Ferguson said the government's position in relation to whether the project would be viable would be based on departmental analysis.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Fling Open The Doors & Let The Truth Come in, for James Price Point

The latest weekly update from the darkside (attached) gives more cause for celebration, as do reports from Walmadan and Manari Road: "Geotechnical operations have ceased and crews are demobilising. Equipment is being removed and the site is being made safe for anticipated rain and high winds."

EK points out, interesting that this is happening before the geotechnical surveys have been completed. Even more delays - well done Protectors!

This item will be discussion in section 14, Matters Behind Closed Doors.
Saturday's rally and celebration should have made it clear to the Shire that this is an issue of great interest and concern to the community. If the Shire is serious about it's "Priority Statement" that

“ Council will strive to create an environment where local governance is delivered in an open and accountable manner; where we provide leadership to the region in such areas as planning and financial management; where the community has the opportunity to contribute to the Council's decision making thereby fostering ownership of strategies and initiatives"

Given the fact that it was members of the Broome Community who first drew the Shire's attention to all of the illegal activities undertaken by Woodside and non compliance with Planning Approvals, activities that Woodside has carried out in Country without the appropriate planning approvals. It is only right that these complaints are aired in open public discussion.

It was the Kimberley Protectors and the Walmadan Camp residents who had gathered all the evidence. They have been monitoring and recording Woodside's daily illegal activities for months and raised the issue of the tower being used for communications and not just for weather research, as their Shire Approval states.

It was the Broome community who covered the costs for all the aerial evidence. Woodside and the Shire have to answer to the community. How is it possible for a Shire Planning Approval to have three, not two but three conflicting dates on a Planning Approval?

Anyway, after lots of complaints to the Shire today by concerned residents the Shire has now put the details of the confidential matter on Woodside on the Shire web apart from the legal advice they've received. However, they are still planning to discuss the matter behind closed doors. This is just not good enough and the Broome Community NO GAS will be attending in numbers to put the heat on the Shire and Woodside tomorrow at 5pm.

Broome gas processing hub - Law Report - ABC Radio National (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Broome gas processing hub - Law Report - ABC Radio National (Australian Broadcasting Corporation): The latest in the ongoing dispute over a proposed 35 billion dollar gas processing hub in Broome.

Last week, the WA Supreme Court ruled that - Compulsory Land Acquisition notices issued by the WA government are invalid.

Is the decision a fundamental game changer or a temporary set back?

An attempt to lure a Woodside project to Darwin - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

An attempt to lure a Woodside project to Darwin - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation): Could the Northern Territory poach another multi-billion dollar gas project from Western Australia?

If the Territory's Chief Minister has his way, it could.

Late last week, Paul Henderson announced he had been in talks with the oil and gas company Woodside about basing its proposed $30 billion liquefied natural gas hub in Darwin.

Woodside's plans for its hub have been based at James Price Point, north of Broome in the State Government LNG precinct but there has been a setback after a recent court decision.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Protestors vow to continue gas hub fight - The West Australian

Protestors vow to continue gas hub fight - The West Australian: Traditional owner Neil McKenzie also took to the stage, commending people for their actions against the State Government, and making biblical comparisons of their fight to the battle of Jericho. "We need to keep fighting," he said. "This is the first stone we've cast out across the lake and we need to continue until we get to the other side."

Broome no gas Rally Dec 2011-Mobile.m4v - YouTube

Interestingly, there was no TV coverage of the Broome Community NO GAS Rally yesterday. When the police apparently acting on orders from above (state government) came in unbelievable force to traumatised and collapse a blockade that was put in place to stop the criminal and unlawful destruction of our cultural heritage cameras were everywhere.

Media loved the violence and the trauma inflicted on us. The State Government loved it because it sent a message to everyone in the state and if you question, blockage or attempt to stop a corporation like Woodside in the quest of greed, you will be put down.

Why didn’t the media want a feel good story about a community celebrating its tenacity?

Saturday, December 10, 2011


"In the face of the powerful forces arraigned against us, our communities have successfully exposed the many environmental, social and economic flaws in this project, and delayed it, to the point where it is now widely reported as a project in deep trouble.

Today we celebrate our remarkable courage and resilience in the face of unrelenting pressure from the WA government, police, Woodside personel and some sections of the media. A celebration of all we love and respect about Broome and its surrounds, of community and a of a year of wonderful action and great achievements.

Meet at 3.30pm at Male Oval Chinatown for a walk to Town Beach at 4.15pm.
We have limited supplies of bottled water. Please make sure you bring some of your own.

Setting up for the Adelaide event in solidarity with the people of Broome.

Compensation deal with Traditional Owners over gas hub may not hold: Former Judge

Compensation deal with Traditional Owners over gas hub may not hold: Former Judge
But Mr Wilcox says there's a strong legal argument that the state's agreement with Traditional Owners is now invalid.

"In order to enter into an agreement, agreeing to surrender the native title which is what the meeting (of traditional owners) agreed to, there needs to be an intention to take the land," he said.

"So if the notices are held to be invalid, the argument would be that the process has to start again.

"That means there would have to be a fresh meeting and a fresh agreement."

Friday, December 9, 2011

Unlawful FMG heritage dealing & massive sites damage at Solomon Project | Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation

Unlawful FMG heritage dealing & massive sites damage at Solomon Project | Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation

Moving right along: what powers do police have to 'move-on' protestors?

Moving right along: what powers do police have to 'move-on' protestors?: When police removed a young woman’s “tent dress” this week at the Occupy Melbourne encampment, it was yet another controversial interaction between protesters and authorities.

As shown in the Occupy movement, the increasing regulation of public spaces through intensive policing is a global phenomenon. Governments across Australia are introducing increasingly strident laws to police public spaces.

However, the evidence shows that these powers do not reduce crimes, they are exercised in a discriminatory way against young people, racial minorities and people experiencing homelessness, and they breach the norms and standards of international human rights laws.

"Legal battle not over" - ABC Kimberley WA - Australian Broadcasting Corporation

"Legal battle not over" - ABC Kimberley WA - Australian Broadcasting Corporation

A retired Federal Court judge has warned the State Government can expect to find itself in court again over the proposed Kimberley gas hub.

Murray Wilcox QC, who handed down the Noongar native title ruling over Perth in 2006, was commenting on this week's Supreme Court decision which found that the Government's notices of intention to acquire land for the project were invalid.

A Woodside spokeswoman said yesterday's the court ruling was a matter for the state and would not delay the project.

''The provision of the land for the Browse LNG precinct is a matter for the state,'' she said. ''We don't believe that this result will impact on the project schedule.''

However, Michael Orlov, a lawyer for the Goolarabooloo people's representative Phillip James Roe, said Woodside faced delays.

''The minister wanted to be in a position to assure Woodside that they would have security of tenure by the end of this year, so Woodside can make an investment decision next year,'' Mr Orlov said.

''That's not possible at this stage.''

Mr Orlov said it would take Lands Minister Brendon Grylls about 12 months to submit fresh notices of intent to take land in the area.

In the meantime, proceedings to declare a songline area at the site under the Aboriginal Heritage Act was set to start as early as next week, Mr Orlov said.

Mr Orlov said the proceedings could halt the Browse development.

''Any ground-disturbing work in the area should have been approved by the minister under the Heritage Act,'' he said. ''It hasn't been, so until that approval is obtained, it may well have an impact [on the development].''

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Delays cast doubt on Woodside's Browse plant | The Australian

Delays cast doubt on Woodside's Browse plant | The Australian
THERE are growing signs of delays at Woodside Petroleum's planned Browse LNG export plant, with development of a Broome construction camp and a $100 million road from the tourist hotspot to the proposed plant pushed back.

The delays come amid increasing speculation that Woodside's appetite for the Kimberley region gas plant is dwindling.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Divide over Woodside gas hub decision not so black and white | The Australian

Divide over Woodside gas hub decision not so black and white | The Australian
MERVYN Maher and Phillip Roe are both Aboriginal men from the northwest, yet the difference in their opinions on whether Woodside's $30 billion gas hub north of Broome should go ahead is as wide as a Kimberley sky.

As Goolarabooloo man Mr Roe returned to a hero's welcome last night after the West Australian Supreme Court declared invalid the land acquisition process underpinning the massive project, Mr Maher, 43, a Jabbir-Jabbir man who works for the Kimberley Land Council, said he hoped the decision would not jeopardise opportunities for his people.

Gloucester landowners blockade AGL coal seam gas project | Rooted

Gloucester landowners blockade AGL coal seam gas project | Rooted: The residents of this idyllic valley are facing the same questions facing so many other communities that are on the frontline of the fossil fuel boom – “How can we stop our most beautiful and productive farmlands becoming an industrial wasteland at the hands of the mining industry?”
The residents of this idyllic valley are facing the same questions facing so many other communities that are on the frontline of the fossil fuel boom – “How can we stop our most beautiful and productive farmlands becoming an industrial wasteland at the hands of the mining industry?”

Woodside not bothered by Kimberly land ruling | Browse

Woodside not bothered by Kimberly land ruling | Browse: Mr Roe's lawyer Michael Orlov said there would be proceedings, probably next week, to declare the songline area an Aboriginal site under the Aboriginal Heritage Act.

He said the area where the project was being developed was an Aboriginal site and should have been approved by the minister under the Heritage Act.

Mr Orlov said because the approval was not obtained, it could halt the development for around 12 months.

"The immediate practical effect of this judgment is the Browse project agreement, which depended on the validity of these notices, is invalid and has no effect," he said.

"The minister can commence again but it is a long process and we'll have to see what he does."

Decision may give Woodside excuse to ditch plan


The vision of an LNG export hub on the Kimberley coast, held dear by former Woodside boss Don Voelte and WA Premier Colin Barnett, is looking as if it might remain just that, a vision.


Neil McKenzie and Phillip Roe from Broome on the Dampier Peninsula, in The Kimberley on hearing news of the decision by Chief Justice Wayne Martin that the compulsory acquisition notices issued by Premier Barnett’s government are unlawful and any decisions made since the notices to take the Land at James Price Point and extinguish Native Title there, are also unlawful.

“This decision is a step towards the protection of part of a song cycle of immense cultural importance.

“As a legal case, the Court decision is important for all people who own properties in WA.

“In a true sense, it is a Castle moment where the Court and the Law stand as the guarantee for the rights of ordinary people in the face of huge political power and economic resources,” said Andrew Chalk, lawyer for the plaintiffs.

All people who have Land taken by a Government, need security. The Court says whilst the Government does have the power to take these rights away, it can only do it on the terms laid down by the Parliament.

In the present case, the Government issued notices covering a larger area than that which was required. This is something the Court decided was not allowed. The Land Administration Act requires the Minister to issue a notice that contains a clear description of what they want.

Description of the land that is required and Notices in this case, didn’t comply with that requirement.

“All law is a technicality but it’s also the only guarantee of people’s rights.

“The agreement which was negotiated with Woodside was done entirely in the shadow of the threat of compulsory acquisition, Those voting on that matter were told that if they didn’t agree to the proposal the Government would take the Land anyway,

“There are world class values at this site that will be trampled on without due consideration.

Mr Chalk says the deal struck to surrender the Native Title is now ineffective in light of the decision “it’s now a paperweight in light of this decision.”

“It’s back to square one as far as obtaining the rights to James Price Point and beyond.

“The records from the 80s and 90s clearly show that much of the proposed gas precinct would need digging up and thus they would need to destroy a large part of the site in order to build their precinct. It’s massive. Kilometres long and wide.

Mr Chalk said the Senior Custodian for this area “ has never shifted his option on the importance of this area.”

“He has been consistent. It is a position he’s inherited from his grandfather Paddy Roe who was equally determined to protect the significant heritage. What’s rare here, is it’s all been documented by anthopologists and the Government but then ignored by the State Government.

“It’s an important judgement, good judgement important not just for aboriginal people but any property owner in west Australian. It means the state can’t take your land without telling you what it is they’re going to take.

Goolarabooloo traditional custodian, Joseph Roe in response to the decision said from Broome:

“This is an opportunity for the Government and the gas companies Shell, BHP, BP, Chevron and of course, Woodside – to reconsider where they process Browse Basin

“If this gas precinct goes ahead our cultural heritage will be destroyed .in fact anywhere along the coast here on the Dampier Peninsula.

“This is something that those with cultural responsibility have been telling the Government and Woodside since 2005. And, much longer than that. In the Courts before now..

“It’s a songline that connects the people to their Country.
“It carries the law.

“It carries their understanding of the Cosmos in the form of song and ceremony.

“And relates it to places all along that Coast.”

Andrew Chalk explained that “The critical heritage approvals have not been given and will be subject to further proceedings and the heritage that is most critical here is the song cycle but which has been ignored throughout the process to date.

“We have written on behalf of the senior custodian to Woodside providing clear details about the location of that site. The real question is why Woodside has not been provided with these details by the State Government and KLC who have known the location of the song cycle in that area for 20 years.

It is misleading because the most critical bit of information has not been disclosed to the Federal Government. By the State and the KLC – the bodies charged with advising the Commonwealth on the significance of the area (as part of that Strategic Assessment Process). The Federal Government has received the draft report from WA and invited comments.

Implicit in the Chief Justice’s judgement is that as much as politician and companies might like to take short cuts, they can’t, it’s unlawful.

It’s not for Native Title claim groups or companies or even the Government to put themselves outside the operation of the Aboriginal Heritage Act. Its purpose is to protect the sites wherever they are, whatever anyone says. If they are a site, they are protected.

As Goolarabooloo traditional custodian Joseph Roe has said earlier this year: “They have been asking the wrong people.”

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Traditional land owners have court victory : World News Australia on SBS

Traditional land owners have court victory : World News Australia on SBS: Traditional land owners have won a technical victory after a court ordered that compulsory acquisition notices issued by the West Australian government regarding a proposed gas hub in the Kimberley were unlawful.
Traditional land owners have won a technical victory after a court ordered that compulsory acquisition notices issued by the West Australian government regarding a proposed gas hub in the Kimberley were unlawful.

Woodside Falls After Report Says Land Acquisition Ruled Unlawful - Businessweek

Woodside Falls After Report Says Land Acquisition Ruled Unlawful - Businessweek: Dec. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Woodside Petroleum Ltd. fell in Sydney trading after a report said a court ruled that compulsory land acquisition notices by Western Australia state for the company’s Browse natural-gas processing hub were unlawful.

Australia’s second-biggest oil and gas producer dropped as much as 1.8 percent to A$33.56 and traded at A$33.57 at 2:44 p.m. local time. The stock had risen as much as 0.6 percent before the report by the Australian Associated Press. S&P/ASX 200 Index declined 1.1 percent.

Court finds State Government's compulsory Kimberley land grab invalid | Latest Business & Australian Stock market News | Perth Now

Court finds State Government's compulsory Kimberley land grab invalid | Latest Business & Australian Stock market News | Perth Now: Premier Barnett today said the court ruling didn’t “mean a great deal” and the agreement with the Kimberley Land Council, which will deliver some $1.5 billion in benefits to the local aboriginal community, was still intact.

“The State Government will simply reissue the notice of intent on the 3500 hectares, which is now identified as the exact site for the LNG plant,” Mr Barnett said.

“The land was not compulsory acquired, we acquired it through negotiations with the aboriginal representatives and that is according to the native title act and that stands.”

Mr Barnett said he did not believe there would be any delays to Woodside’s $30 billion Browse project, with the project partners still to make a final investment decision next year.

He said it gave the State Government “plenty of time” to reissue the notice of intentions.

Woodside issued a statement saying the “provision of land for the Browse LNG Precinct is a matter for the State”

“We do not believe that this result will impact on our work program and our activities are continuing on site as scheduled.”

Lawyers claim major setback for gas processing at James Price Point - ABC Kimberley WA - Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Lawyers claim major setback for gas processing at James Price Point - ABC Kimberley WA - Australian Broadcasting Corporation: "That agreement...under the native title act depended on those notices being valid. If the notices are invalid then the surrender of the native title...falls away." he said.

The Court decided that moves to compulsorily acquire the land at James Price Point were invalid based on the requirements to specify precisely which areas of land were to be acquired. ABC Kimberley reported the discrepancies over the areas of land the State Government were saying they needed for the gas processing precinct and the area stated in the notices at the time compulsory acquisition was first initiated in September 2010.

Supreme Court of Western Australia Judgments

Supreme Court of Western Australia Judgments

Compulsory Kimberley land acquisition ruled invalid - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Compulsory Kimberley land acquisition ruled invalid - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
Western Australia's Supreme Court has ruled invalid the State Government's move to compulsorily acquire land for a gas hub in the Kimberley.

Chief Justice Wayne Martin ruled three notices of intention to acquire the land were invalid because they did not contain a description of the land.

It means the agreements the Government has struck with the Kimberley Land Council are now invalid.

The decision puts the future of the Browse gas project in doubt.

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Kimberley float - Freo Frestival Parade 2011

The Kimberley float - Freo Frestival Parade 2011

Australia's Woodside likely to face delays on Browse -analysts | Energy & Oil | Reuters

Australia's Woodside likely to face delays on Browse -analysts | Energy & Oil | Reuters

Secret men's business could threaten gas hub - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Secret men's business could threaten gas hub - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation): An Indigenous man in Western Australia says an area marked for a massive gas project is a sacred site for secret men's business. Traditional owners in the Kimberley have reached agreement with Woodside and the state and federal governments for a gas hub to be established at James Price Point, but Joseph Roe says the site was known for ceremonies associated with initiations and secret men's business.

Secret men's business threatens $30 billion gas bonanza

Secret men's business threatens $30 billion gas bonanza: Documents seen by the Herald show a song cycle, a path sacred to the Goolarabooloo and other people of the Dampier Peninsula, which runs through the James Price Point site, 60 kilometres north of Broome. Woodside plans to build a liquefied natural gas terminal there to process gas from its Browse field. Late last month Chalk and Fitzgerald, lawyers for a traditional custodian, Joseph Roe, wrote to Woodside and its joint venture partners in the Browse development - Chevron, Shell, BHP and BP - requesting that site clearing works be suspended as they may be in breach of the WA Aboriginal Heritage Act.

Andrew Chalk of Chalk and Fitzgerald expects shortly to commence legal proceedings to require the WA Registrar of Aboriginal Sites to include the song cycle on the sites register, as was determined in 1991.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Broome: Dubai Down Under - Australasia - World - The Independent

Broome: Dubai Down Under - Australasia - World - The Independent: Ms Curran adds: "It takes many years to create a harmonious town with a strong social fabric, but it doesn't take long to unravel it. This gas development will destroy our unique tourism brand and have a major impact on our town. Colin Barnett thinks he can force it on Broome; he thinks he'll get away with it because we're so remote." Ominously, Mr Barnett has predicted the Kimberley will underpin Western Australia's development over the next 50 years, just as the Pilbara has underpinned it since the 1960s. Rich reserves of copper, lead, nickel, zinc, bauxite and coal are thought to lie beneath the Kimberley's red dirt. Only five mines operate at present, but 700 applications for exploration licences were submitted last year.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Sky News: Thousands target Chevron in WA protest

Sky News: Thousands target Chevron in WA protest

Thousands of workers have marched through central Perth threatening to picket US oil and gas giant Chevron until it pledges to provide more local jobs and training.

Police blocked main roads as the combined union protest - which organisers estimated at being between 4000 to 5000 people - marched on Chevron's Australian headquarters in St George's Terrace.

Security was tight, with the company locking the doors to its QV1 Building entrance as protesters rallied outside, banging drums and shouting slogans.

The unions are demanding that Australian and multi-national resources giants, including Chevron, end their practice of importing cheap labour under temporary working visas, and provide more training to local workers.

Swiss-based contractor Allseas is being investigated by the Immigration Department over accusations it rorted business visas to hire cheap labour for Chevron's $43 billion Gorgon gas project off WA's northern coast.

Thursday, December 1, 2011


Dear Re Hand

Thank you for your email.

Fortescue has been vigorous in building indigenous independence among often severely underprivileged communities, from the least privileged upwards. We have steadfastly not yielded, as is often the case in the mining industry, to demands for huge cash payment which lead to dependence.

In this light, good faith negotiations have been ongoing for the past four years at the very best efforts of the team here at Fortescue. Mr Woodley, as has sadly become apparent, no longer has the support of his community as his 'cash only' demands have become more extreme. Yet we will willingly meet with him at any time he requests.

He must however bring with him the Yindjibarndi Elders who speak for their country as he is not the sole representative of the Yindjibarndi people.

Fortescue’s response to the allegations made recently by Mr Woodley is attached. Can I also suggest you take some time to read about the Wirlu-murra Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation:

Kind regards,
Elizabeth Gosch
Fortescue Metals Group Ltd

Level 2, 87 Adelaide Terrace East Perth WA 6004

Mobile - 0414 319 775

Direct - 08 6218 8412

Main - 08 6218 8888

Email -


The WA government has strongly denied traditional owners' claims they are being forced off a camp ground near a proposed gas precinct.

Protesters at possible danger from cyclones - ABC Kimberley WA - Australian Broadcasting Corporation

The Department of State Development is overseeing the gas hub project and it's deputy director general, Gail McGowan, has confirmed the camps are illegal.

"Certainly, establishing permanent facilities is clearly prohibited under the legislation," she said. For the first time the Government is considering forcing the campers out. Ms McGowan says the next steps are being considered.

"The relevant government agencies are working together on the issue, certainly with a mind to the cyclone season approaching, and also considering the impact on other resources, and looking at whether any addition action is needed," she said.

Redhand received information earlier this week that several government agencies met in Perth a couple of weeks ago and the main item on their agenda was how they were going to deal with the protestors embedded in Country, at James Price Point.

Well, if these government public servants are actually paid to think and come up with solid strategies as to how to address the very annoying issue of these protectors than Redhand would like to suggest that if their premise is cyclones and concern for people’s well - being than maybe having a cyclone in the vicinity at the time would be far more convincing that their intentions were virtuous.

People can see exactly what the game is, give us a break.!

But the question remains begging, why are they considering building the world’s second largest gas refineries in a cyclonic location? Does anyone remember that last year in November 2010, Woodside Petroleum had to rebuild several flare towers used to burn off waste gas because they did not meet design requirements to withstand expected wind speeds.

The costs for its Pluto liquefied natural gas (LNG) project blew out by $900 million and took another six months to begin production while it rebuilt equipment that fell short of design specifications.

Read more:

Indigenous group threatens Wheatstone boycott - The West Australian

Indigenous group threatens Wheatstone boycott - The West Australian: Despite agreement on appropriate compensation, it is understood the latest row between Chevron and the Thalanyji revolves around a request for the oil and gas giant to fund and build a Keeping Place for cultural materials, as well as a clash over the invitation list for today's first-sod turning ceremony.

Some elders were invited but others apparently not, leading to a decision by the Thalanyji leadership to not attend at all unless grievances with Chevron could be resolved by this morning.
A Chevron spokesman said it was "disappointed and regrets" that Thalanyji elders were planning not to attend.

Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation

Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation

The WA Supreme Court heard on Monday that veteran native title lawyer, Ron William Bower, of Perth legal firm Corser & Corser, and one of his clients, “pressured” an elderly Yindjibarndi woman into signing an Interlocutory Injunction Application seeking to stop the Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation (YAC) AGM going ahead this week.

Tell FMG board-time to stop greed, brutality and disrespect and start acting like an ethical company SHAME #FMG

Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation

Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation

It's just going to benifit the State Government, not my people of James Price Point

Click this link to hear Phillip Roe speaking on SBS radio about DSD's threats to shut down the camps....great work Phil!

Environmentalists buy shares in mining company to protect a Kimberley icon

Environmentalists buy shares in mining company to protect a Kimberley icon:
Mr Costin says he told the board's chairman and director that the current site is inappropriate for a copper mine.

"The prospect of tourism operations at the Horizontal Waterfalls co-existing with a copper mine is totally untenable," he said.

"It's not just the visual impact of the mine, but more so the discharges in relation to waste water."

Mr Costin says signing up as shareholder has given protesters a clearer understanding of what they're up against.