Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Woodside's sneaky strategy to avoid legal consequence at James Price Point

These photos were taken by the Walmandan Tent Embassy protectors yesterday and illustrates the grid-lines within the damaged proposed precinct area that are currently underwater. Woodside's so called investigations have basically created a network of rivers, lakes, dams and ponds, all likely to create a huge health risk because of mosquitoes in the coming weeks.

Woodside are now trying to circumvent the Local Government’s Planning and Development Act 2005 and the Interim development Order No.4. by applying through the state government ‘s newly formed rubber stamp politically motivated Development Assessment Panel, in order to obtain retrospective planning approvals for illegal works undertaken last year Shire of Broome | Lot 259 Wattle Drive, Waterbank, Broome and a variety of other additional works within the Browse LNG Precinct on James Price Point, whose boundaries are yet to clarified.

There are major concerns about the magnitude of impacts of Woodside's investigations works at the proposed project is already having on our community. Already, there is: marked escalation in the social disparity generated, irreversible environmental destruction has already been undertaken, a prevailing sense of anguish at the continued disrespect and devaluation of our Cultural Heritage, the criminalisation of a community who exercised their democratic rights to protect their children’s futures and a newfound understanding that corporate interests exceed those of community concerns.

Woodside’s invasion of 2011 did nothing but create division, distress and disillusionment in the once harmonious and tolerant community of Broome. After months of illegal environmental and cultural heritage destructive activities on Lot 259, Wattle Down, Waterbank, Broome, commonly known as James Price Point (Walmadan) and over 40 arrests of Broome residents trying to protect this bit of Country, Woodside are now trying to circumvent the Local Government’s Planning and Development Act 2005 and the Interim development Order No.4. by applying through the state government‘s formed rubber stamp politically motivated Development Assessment Panels.

This situation is both contemptible to the regards of the Broome community social wellbeing, the environment and highly offensive to democratic local governance. A toxic Industrial area with permanent fencing was created as opposed to a laydown area. A meteorological tower was approved by the Shire before a Section 91 was granted to Woodside. In early June, evidence came to light that this Tower was being used as a communication tower and not only by Woodside but also by the state police force.
The drilling of 50 bores as opposed to the 6 bores Woodside informed the Shire about and the 30 that the Department of Water is aware of. And Hundreds of more vehicle movements along Manari Road that had not been calculated because Woodside did not establish their Shire approved worker’s accommodation camp. Unauthorised and dangerous roadworks have been undertaken by Woodside on Manari Road.

Questions need to be asked like: where, how and who have been managing all the toxic wastes created by Woodside on Lot 259 and how will this be managed in the future? Who will monitor and supervise the applicant’s activities if this Development Assessment Panel grants Woodside this new planning application? Will this responsibility fall again onto the shoulders of concerned and dedicated community members who are arrested, intimidated, fined hundreds of dollars, demonized by main stream media and inconvenienced for their troubles?

Town Planning Scheme No.4 (the Scheme) and Interim Development Order No. 4 are subordinate legislation and each has the power of legislation. Woodside’s outrageous breaches of the IDO are an offence under the Planning and Development Act 2005. A person who commits an offence under this Act is liable to a fine of $200 000 and, in the case of a continuing offence, a further fine of $25 000 for each day during which the offence continues.

Woodside failed to comply with planning approval conditions or carry out development in accordance with approved plans. Instead of doing the right thing, once caught out, Woodside are now attempting to obtain retrospective approvals from the WA State Government Development Assessment Panel, for illegal work that has already been undertaken. Woodside’s: illegitimate environmental and social devastating actions, this current sneaky strategy of avoidance of consequence, the unmitigated lack of transparency and trustworthiness should be named for what it is criminal, immoral and totally unethical.

Currently, the Broome Shire Council is investigating numerous complaints about these works undertaken by the applicant (Woodside) and violations to the Interim Development Order. However, given the degree of impact Woodside’s actions have had on the community; the intensity of risk to the health and safety of community members; the magnitude of hazards and impacts on the environment; the fact that this matter was intentional to the community; that it will not be resolved in a short timeframe and further impacts are expected in the community, why should the Development Assessment Panel bequeath Woodside’s current application with additional opportunities to continue without penalty or any legislated repercussions?

Woodside exceeded the approved capacity limit of land, failed to undertake and maintain landscaping, undertook the unauthorised dumping of toxic wastes; unauthorised storage of materials, chemicals, toxic wastes and radiation substances; unauthorised use of land, buildings and communication tower; and unauthorised major land clearing, road works and established countless prohibited bores.

Can the Development Assessment Panel legally assess this new application when these investigations have not been completed and the findings released both to the Broome community who first made the complaints and the Shire itself?

Does the Development Assessment Panel legally have the power to assess a retrospective application the original approvals issued by the Broome Shire are still under investigations and the decision about whether to prosecute has not come to a Local Council meeting for clarification?

Has the Department of Local Government and the Minister for Land Administration ever been informed about these breaches?

The Shire should have upheld and enforced section 214 of The Planning and Development Act 2005, when they had not received Woodside “please explain letter” within the prescribed 14 days and issued a Planning Infringement Notice, a stop Work Notice and directly commenced prosecution action under this section of the Act.

Woodside’s proposal still needs to be assessed by the Shire Council under the Interim Development Plan No.4. Therefore, according to Section 4 (b) of IDO4 : Application shall be made by or on behalf of the Owner of the Land ……….. The Land in question is unallocated Crown Land with a registered Native Title Claims of the Goolarabooloo Jabirr Jabirr Peoples, WAD 6002/98. WC99/33. Native title has not been extinguished under section 177 of the Lands Administration Act.

Hansard Question 1046: JAMES PRICE POINT — WOODSIDE PROGRAM OF WORKS 2. Is Woodside the occupier or owner of the unallocated crown land where it is conducting its program of works at James Price Point; and, if so, which title applies and under whose authority was the title bestowed? Answer: 2. No

Is this Development Assessment Panel clear as to who legally owns Lot 259 ?

Although the tenure for the Land is considered under the Land and Administration Act and under this Act the Department of Regional Lands is responsible for the management of the land, it still does not give this Department or Woodside ownership or even a fundamental right to submit any planning or development applications.

Under what lawfully Act allows for this Development Assessment Panel to have the right to approve any planning or development application for Lot 259 when Native title has not been extinguished under section 177 of the Lands Administration Act.? The WA Minister for Lands was not successful in his attempts to compulsory acquire the land in question last year, no Indigenous Land Use Agreement has been signed, and there has been no lawful facilitation that has granted any appropriate tenure arrangements with the proposed precinct proponents.

Therefore, in the eyes of the law, no one has to right to make an application of this nature for Lot 259 under the IDO4. What legal rights or legislated powers does the Development Assessment Panel have to grant non owners of the land any planning or development approval over Lot 259, what are the Terms of Reference for an assessment of application of this nature?

Woodside have proven time and time again that they are not good corporate citizen. The Broome community has proven time and time again that they will never issue the social licence to operate. Friedman believes, in a free society, “there is one and only one social responsibility of business—to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits so long as it stays within the rules of the game, which is to say, engage in open and free competition without deception or fraud.” Woodside has not even managed to uphold this one social responsibility.


  1. social licence !!!!!! W T F. Were can I get one...


    ‘You don’t get your social licence by going to a government ministry and making an application or simply paying a fee… It requires far more than money to truly become part of the communities in which you wish to operate.’