Friday, March 30, 2012

Fit In or F@#$ Off

Inquiry into the use of ‘fly-in, fly-out’ (FIFO) workforce practices in regional Australia has open its hearing in Broome this morning.

Broome: A Community, not a Mining Commodity

Broome Community Members will gather outside the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Regional Australia inquiry into the impacts of FIFO operations on communities tomorrow.

“We are facing the largest onslaught of FIFO workers in the country of 8,000 workers if the Woodside gas refineries at James Price Point get the go ahead.” says spokesperson Jan Lewis.

“The town and its economy would be destroyed and that’s one of the reasons why there has been such strong protests against the gas refineries by the community, with more than 60 people arrested last year.” Ms Lewis said.

The Standing Committee has already heard presenters in Karratha telling of feeling as though they are under siege, schoolchildren being harassed and feeling threatened, and the damage done to volunteer-based community organisations by large scale FIFO workforces.

“We are a community, not a mining industry commodity and people in this town are very proud of the inclusive nature of our community, welcoming people from all walks of life and from all over the world and we want to keep it that way”. said Ms Lewis.
Recent studies have shown the increase in violence, drug availability and STIs in communities when large numbers of FIFO workers hit a town. House prices and rents in Karratha are astronomical.

“This town would be hell with a massive FIFO workforce, small and medium size businesses would fail with the competition for workers and massive rents would lead to overcrowding.” said Ms Lewis.

“The Federal Government can make sure Broome isn’t turned into a mining town by ensuring the Browse Basin gas is processed in existing facilities in the Pilbara.” concluded Ms Lewis.
Media Contact
Jan Lewis mobile no 0439 979 589 Photos available on request.
29 March 2012
The Terms of Reference

The Standing Committee on Regional Australia will inquire into and report on the use of ‘fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) and ‘drive-in, drive-out’ (DIDO) workforce practices in regional Australia, with specific reference to:

the extent and projected growth in FIFO/DIDO work practices, including in which regions and key industries this practice is utilised;

costs and benefits for companies, and individuals, choosing a FIFO/DIDO workforce as an alternative to a resident workforce;
the effect of a non-resident FIFO/DIDO workforce on established communities, including community wellbeing, services and infrastructure;

the impact on communities sending large numbers of FIFO/DIDO workers to mine sites;
long term strategies for economic diversification in towns with large FIFO/DIDO workforces;
key skill sets targeted for mobile workforce employment, and opportunities for ongoing training and development;
provision of services, infrastructure and housing availability for FIFO/DIDO workforce employees;
strategies to optimise FIFO/DIDO experience for employees and their families, communities and industry;
potential opportunities for non-mining communities with narrow economic bases to diversify their economic base by providing a FIFO/DIDO workforce;
current initiatives and responses of the Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments; and
any other related matter.

The public hearing will open with a Welcome to Country offered by the Yawuru traditional owners.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Woman executive to sue Woodside again - The West Australian

Woman executive to sue Woodside again - The West Australian:
Ms Mustard lodged a Supreme Court writ against Woodside last week alleging company chief executive Don Voelte, who has since left the firm, defamed her in front of 200 delegates at the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association annual conference in April last year during a seminar.

James Price Point Exhibition opening this Friday the 30th of March – Christian Fletcher Photo Images – Landscape Photography Australia

James Price Point Exhibition opening this Friday the 30th of March – Christian Fletcher Photo Images – Landscape Photography Australia:

The Power and The Passion exhibition comes to Perth after a successful showing in Broome. It features the images of renowned photographers such as Australian and West Australian Landscape Photographer of the Year Christian Fletcher, Adam Monk, Nigel Gaunt,Ingetje Tadros, Rod Hartvigsen, David Bettini, Fleming Bo Jensen, Jim Delios and featuring audio and visual by Jeff Skinner.

Come along and see why it is worth fighting for. Bring your friends and family. Be inspired and plan your own trip to see this “remarkable” piece of the Kimberley. I’ll be there to talk to people along with lots of the other photographers involved with the exhibition. It is going to be a great night.

Kicks off at 6.30 pm at the Perth Town Hall, Corner Barrack and Hay Street.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

BBC News - Flare still burning at North Sea gas leak Elgin platform

BBC News - Flare still burning at North Sea gas leak Elgin platform:

A cloud of escaped gas was reported to have bubbled up through the sea and was surrounding the base of the platform.

A sheen of between two and 23 tonnes of gas condensate, measuring six nautical miles in length, was reported on the water nearby.

FIFO workers cause 'havoc' for Pilbara - The West Australian

FIFO workers cause 'havoc' for Pilbara - The West Australian: The federal parliamentary committee looking into the impact of fly-in, fly-out workers on local communities today held its first WA hearing in Karratha, 1535 kilometres north of Perth.

Point Samson Community Association representative John Graham, who has lived in the Pilbara for 16 years, told the House standing committee on regional Australia that transient workers hired for oil, gas and mining projects were having a detrimental impact.

News: Australian Stock, Share & Commodity Markets News -

News: Australian Stock, Share & Commodity Markets News - Protesters smeared with black paint have demonstrated against plans by Madrid-based Repsol to drill for oil off Spain's Canary Islands in a joint venture with Australia's Woodside Petroleum.

Gas leak at North Sea platform

Gas leak at North Sea platform: French oil giant Total, which operates the stricken Elgin platform 241 kilometres off Aberdeen on Scotland's east coast, said the leak was the most serious problem it had faced in the North Sea in a decade.

Woodside & State Government Issued Our Notice of Intention To Keep James Price Point

On the 26th March 2012, Sandy Dann from Radio Goolarri in Broome interviewed Nik Wevers,community spokes person for the Broome Community No Gas Campaign. The interview focuses on a recent unveiling of another Cultural Heritage Awareness sign on Manari road and raises issues around a proposed gas processing facility on the coast north of Broome, Western Australia.

WA Government worried about Woodside wells

WA Government worried about Woodside wells

House of Representatives Committees – Parliament of Australia

House of Representatives Committees – Parliament of Australia

PO Box 6021, Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600 | Phone: (02) 6277 4162 | Fax: (02) 6277 4773 | Email: |

Public Hearing program
Friday, 30 March 2012
Portlight Room
Mercure Hotel
Weld Street
Broome, WA

The public hearing will open with a Welcome to Country offered by the Yawuru traditional owners.

Time Witness
Small Business West Kimberley 10.15am Break
Broome Shire Council
Broome Chamber of Commerce
Mr Ron Johnston
Community statement

Members of the community will have the opportunity to make short statements to the Committee of no more than three minutes. Please arrive early and register with the secretariat if you wish to speak. 12.30pm Close

The secretariat can be contacted on 0407 406 337.

Hearings may be followed live (audio only) at:

Submissions are available from the Inquiry’s website:

Friday, March 23, 2012

LNG projects a huge challenge: Ferguson

LNG projects a huge challenge: Ferguson: Updated | Australia faces a “huge challenge” in delivering all of the roughly $175 billion of LNG projects now under development, Resources Minister Martin Ferguson has told a conference in Sydney.

WA Government worried about Woodside wells

WA Government worried about Woodside wells: The National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) ruled Woodside would not have to re-plug the wells, with a NOPSEMA spokesperson saying there wasn't any technical justification for the original directions.

But WA Minister for Mines and Petroleum, Norman Moore, is disappointed with the regulator's decision and says Woodside's method of only capping the wells at the base hasn't satisfied the State Government's standards.

"The company (Woodside) is now doing half of what we believe it's required to do and it's being sanctioned by NOPSEMA," he said.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

James Price Point LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL 084. QUESTION WITHOUT NOTICE (Of which some notice has been given) Tuesday, 20 March 2012

(Of which some notice has been given)
Tuesday, 20 March 2012
Hon Robin Chapple to the Minister for Indigenous Affairs.
With regard to procedures within the Department of Indigenous Affairs (DIA) in relation to Aboriginal Heritage, and further to Question without notice number 004 I ask:
(1) With reference to Answer (1) in Question 004, will the Minister table the
"interim measures" being implemented?
(2) If no to (2), why not?
(3) Will the DIA undertake consultation with Aboriginal stakeholders prior to
adopting new procedures and guidelines?
(4) If no to (3), why not? If yes to (3), when will this consultation occur?
(5). Will the Minister guarantee that no currently registered sites will be de-registered
under the new procedures?
I thank the HOD. Member for some notice of,this question.
(l)The measure simply relates to affording those with an interest in the land a right to be
heard before a site is placed on the Sites Register.
(2) Not applicable.
(3) All stakeholders will be consulted.
(4) Once the draft documents are prepared.
(5) The procedures will determine how sites are placed on the register and how they are
taken off it.
Minister for Indigenous Affairs .

A $200b push to become world's biggest gas power |

A $200b push to become world's biggest gas power | Australia is on track to become the world's biggest supplier of liquefied natural gas, overtaking Qatar, perhaps as soon as 2017. Our LNG boom is happening all over: from Chevron's $43 billion Gorgon project at Western Australia's Barrow Island (the country's biggest resource project, ever), to Woodside's $35 billion Browse project on the Kimberley coast, to Inpex's $US34 billion ($32.4 billion) Ichthys project at Darwin and on to Queensland, where coal seam gas for export has taken off. Woodside and Oil Search also plan big projects in the Timor Sea and Papua New Guinea. In total, well over $200 billion of LNG projects are in the pipeline.

Barnett denies Browse gas hub obsession - The West Australian

Barnett denies Browse gas hub obsession - The West Australian: "I'm not obsessed at all."

Mr Barnett said the new notices were issued because the original notices had not been "precisely defined".

"We've now come back and precisely defined the 3500ha in the same area, but now more tightly," he said.

WA Chief Justice Wayne Martin ruled in December that the original notices to take land and extinguish native title at James Price Point were unlawful because they did not contain a description of the land required.

New notices of intent were advertised in The Koori Mail newspaper on Wednesday.

Barnett denies Browse gas hub obsession - The West Australian

Barnett denies Browse gas hub obsession - The West Australian: "I'm not obsessed at all."

Mr Barnett said the new notices were issued because the original notices had not been "precisely defined".

"We've now come back and precisely defined the 3500ha in the same area, but now more tightly," he said.

WA Chief Justice Wayne Martin ruled in December that the original notices to take land and extinguish native title at James Price Point were unlawful because they did not contain a description of the land required.

New notices of intent were advertised in The Koori Mail newspaper on Wednesday.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Woodside Security Tampering with Cultural Heritage Signs James Price Point

Woodside Genocide at Walmandan (James Price Point)

Look, lets just be done with it! Really, why doesn’t the state government just declare that Woodside can make its own sovereign state? Woodside would delight in flying high their own flag, would love the concept of their very own anthem and the prospect of having people with a passport to access a visa to enter into Country.

Given the amount of amendments to Legislation; variations to Standing Orders; the modifications to the Regulations; the introduction of brand new planning procedures and just how far the current state government is willing to bend over backwards to accommodate Woodside, surely granting them their own sovereign state would be far easier, much more efficient and considerably cheaper.

Woodside’s ability to sidestep the law, their capacity to avoid any kind of financial consequence and their proficiency in making up their own rules, and laws as they go, clearly demonstrates that they have all the attributes necessary to govern, licence and approve their own permits.

It would save heaps of work for the public servants and would be a welcome relief for the Broome Shire. Woodside already have their own police force at their beck and call and a mercenary security thug force, who act like an army, so they are already half way there. They could even issue themselves a social licence to operate, they would not be forced to try and buy one and would save themselves a pretty penny.

The Barnett’s government who are the proponent for this project has spared no expense or provisions to ensure that this corporation (who acts as their little go between, and by doing so) gets what this corporation wants, without hindrance or question. They have been allowed to operate above the law, in fact all the state government department’s compliance and integrity units and even the law enforcers have all turned a blind eye ,to their statutory duties in order to work without fear of losing their favor.

The proof is in the pudding and just because it is quiet and comparatively peaceful in Country at the moment, be assured that the wheels of the underhanded are busy at work, planning their next strategies in their desperate attempts to create some form of legal and ethical legitimacy for the stealing of Indigenous lands, the locking up of Country and destroying our Cultural Heritage.

So if you thought the DAP documentation was worth throwing and the process highly dubious, then you will not be too surprised to see what Woodside and their government lackeys have cooked up now. To avoid at all costs transparency, consequence and monitoring they are basically seeking to excise out the land earmarked for the natural gas refineries, between James Price Point and Barred Creek and override the local Shire’s control with 4 new state controlled planning arrangements.

'In achieving a statutory plan for the Precinct, Woodside has requested the Minister for Planning to authorise the preparation of an improvement plan (Improvement Plan). The Improvement Plan will authorise the creation of a subsequent Improvement Scheme (Improvement Scheme) which is the statutory mechanism by which a structure plan (Structure Plan) will be prepared for the Precinct.'

The Tender to develop the improvement plan has been advertised and apparently already granted. The Tender documents are mainly a rewrite of same vomitus jargon:
'The location of the proposed Precinct in the vicinity of James Price Point was chosen via an extensive site selection process involving consultation with a broad spectrum of stakeholders and a collaborative review of a comprehensive set of technical, environmental, heritage, economic and social criteria.' Blah blah blah.

So let’s get this straight: first we are told that the Broome Shire has limited development planning powers and the Interim Development Order No. 4 (IDO) is inadequate. Then we are gagged and dragged through the Development Assessment Panel fiasco so the State (proponent) could grant a temporary site access to Woodside, for last year’s entire illegal front end engineering destruction. Now we have to endure an Improvement Plan which in turn creates an Improvement Scheme which leads the way to a Structure Plan.

If this parallel planning processing and enforced escalation policy is supposed to increase efficiencies by reducing approval timelines and clearances, then someone needs to tell them “they’re dreaming”. The only thing these four separate processes will accomplish are procedural nightmares that will eventually tie them up in knots, drown them in paper work, swallow them whole in meetings and it will all end in tears, if not the Courts.

There is certainly no procedural fairness, no transparency procedures and certainly no natural justice ingrained within any of these four state driven planning strategies.
Outwardly, the State and Woodside are trying to treat the new NOITTs as a mere formality. So, why it is taking them months and months to: finalise the configuration that defines clearly the footprint of the proposed precinct and reissue the Notices of Intention to Take (NOITTs)? There is a broomer that the NOITTs will be issued within days.

The Contractor who won the Tender must assess 'the constraints on the land area of the Precinct and the limits to its use as defined within the Native Title Agreements. Good luck!

KLC is a member of the 'working group' however, given the decision made on 22/02/2012 to legally separate the two Native Title Claimant, it not only calls into question KLC’s position on the 'working group' but also all the Browse LNG Precinct Native Title Agreements ever signed. All is highly questionable whether the state or Woodside wish to acknowledge it or not.

The status the SAR is really not mentioned in great detail within the Tender documents. But it does go on to state that: 'It is expected that Woodside will be in a position to make a final investment decision (FID) by mid-2013, and process first gas from 2017. This is interesting because Minister Ferguson's office has still not mentioned if the milestone extension has in actual fact been granted.

Woodside is dressing up their refineries, so bring on the marching band, play up the anthem, hoist up their flag and get your visa application ready. Woodside is invading our community , country and culture , in a vain attempt to make it their own.

Woodside meets Cyclone Lua at James Price Point

Sorry about this but you need to double click on the video to get the full screen effect.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Irreversible Erosional Environmental Damage at James Price Point

According to Woodside’s Environmental Management Plan for James Price Point they state:
• Areas adjoining soil stockpiles shall be protected from degradation by the implementation of erosion (and sediment) control measures. Monitoring for erosion and erosion risk will be undertaken regularly to ensure that any erosion that does occur is promptly mitigated.

The reasons why the Monsoonal Vine Thicket (Remnant Rainforest) between James Price Point and Quondong is the largest and most diverse on the Dampier Peninsular is because when it rains the water naturally flows toward the sea, replenishing the forest, the shallow Walla Aquifer and all the native wells found along the base of the Holocene sand dune system.

What Woodside have effectively created with all their grid land clearing works last year is sizeable water courses that flow directly down every one of the grid lines from east to west, causing major irreversible erosional environmental damage. Soil nutrients are being leached from the soil and carried along the Woodside’s water courses, pooling in volume. Once these pools have dried out, these very precious nutrients are blown away in the wind along with volumes of top soil, from the cleared gridded land.

What this clearly illustrates is the fact the pindan soil is very difficult to manage and maintain. Once pindan becomes wet is becomes quite greasy and highly mobile.
The following video illustrates one of these water courses on the east side of Woodside’s compound flowing freely to the west, right through the Woodside’s compound, through their environmental brush down area (use to stop the spread of weeds!) spilling out of the compound on the northern side directly into the bush. It continues to flow out onto the Woodside main western access track, off Manari road and pooling, spilling into the bush of both sides of this track.

The footings of the perimeter fence are also being undermined and washed out. If Woodside do not have the ability to manage a small Lay Down Area (industrial block), or the capacity to control erosion issues and make no effort to control the spread of invasive weeds how in hell are they intending to manage the proposed world’s second largest LNG refineries, at James Price Point.

Our pindan country does not have the ability to hold up or withstand a massive industrial complex being slapped on top of it. There is no ground stability or solid bed rock into which to anchor such a development.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Gas hub bungle embarrassing: Dodson - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Gas hub bungle embarrassing: Dodson - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation):

"When you deal with the law you've got to be exact and you've got to be precise and you've got to make sure the technicalities are covered and I think it was a pretty embarrassing thing for the state in a sense that they didn't have their definition of the site clearly located or identified," he said.

Cultural Welcome to Country Signs James Price Point

The Heritage Act provides a comprehensive list of the types of placed to which the Act applies. As defined in section 5 of the Heritage Act, an Aboriginal site can be:
a) Any place of importance and significance where persons of Aboriginal descent have left any object used for any purpose connected with the past or present traditional cultural life of Aboriginal people.
b) Any sacred. Ritual or ceremonial site, which is of importance and special significance to Aboriginal people.
c) Any place the Aboriginal Cultural Material Committee thinks is or was associated with Aboriginal people and is of such historical, anthropological or ethnographic value that it should be preserved; and
d) Any place where objects are traditionally stored or places from which objects to which the Heritage Act applies have been removed.

It is an offence under section 17 of the Heritage Act to damage, destroy, etc an Aboriginal site. However, Section 62 of the Heritage Act provides that if a person charged with such an offence can prove that he or she did not know, and could not reasonably be expected to have known, that the place or object to which the charge relates was a place or object to which the Heritage Act applies, then the person is not guilty of the offence.

Therefore, in order to ensure that Woodside and all its contractors cannot claim ignorance as a defense to prosecution, the Goolarabooloo people in association with the Walmadan Protectors and the Broome Community NO Gas Campaign have erected Cultural Welcoming to Country and Informational Signs throughout Country. These signs clearly notify, advise, confirm and ensure that everyone is aware that the intertidal zone, Holocene sand dune system and the fringing Monsoonal Vine Thickets (Remnant Rainforest) on the west side of Manari Road are all part of one continuous, uninterrupted spiritually distinctive Song Cycle path.

This Song Cycle has been previously identified by the WA Museum and the Aboriginal Cultural Material Committee established under the Aboriginal Heritage Act as an area containing a large number of Aboriginal Sites. Removal or damage to these signs is also considered an offence.

Woodside in their most recent planning and development application to the Development Assessment Panel within the WA Planning Commission, for their proposed LNG refineries at James Price Point, clearly outlined their intentions of using mechanical equipment, soil and core sampling, drilling, mechanical digging, earthmoving, cutting of countless tracks and undertaking major ground-disturbance works within registered sites of Walmadan, Imbalala, Kundandu, Murdudan, and indirectly affecting Murrjal and Wayirru Wayirru and numerous unregistered sites along the Song Cycle path. Particular crucial concerns are held about Woodside’s proposed tampering and traversing of the Song Cycle path that has never been fragmented or intruded on or in ever before.

The Aboriginal Cultural Materials Committee (ACMC) concluded on the 11th July 1991 “All areas defined as the Song Cycle Path are regarded as having important and significant because of the interconnected nature of this network of totemic significances”. “The areas have significance under Section 39 2(a) and (c) and 39.3 of the Aboriginal Heritage Act”. The area of the Song Cycle path was accepted as being defined in accordance with Aboriginal Customary law. The ACMC concluded the “no exploration activity should occur on the areas defined as the song Cycle”.

Friday, March 2, 2012 + How the wheels fall off + How the wheels fall off
AS WOODSIDE grapples with securing third-party gas for a Pluto expansion and negotiating a deal with the Timorese government for the Sunrise project, changing supply side dynamics may seal the fate of its controversial Browse project.

Conceptual James Price Point development layout Courtesy of Woodside

With about $180 billion worth of LNG projects currently under construction or committed to, Australia is likely to overtake Qatar as the leading LNG exporter by 2017.

While the Browse project, despite serious environmental concerns, has the blessings of the Western Australian government, and is seen as potentially one of the last greenfield LNG developments, there is increasing concern that the project might become victim to the success of other LNG projects that have driven up costs.

ParlInfo - QUESTIONS ON NOTICE : James Price Point (Question No. 1506)

ParlInfo - QUESTIONS ON NOTICE : James Price Point (Question No. 1506): James Price Point

(Question No. 1506)

Senator Siewert asked the Minister representing the Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, upon notice, on 16 January 2012:

With reference to the Browse Basin liquefied natural gas (LNG) precinct (James Price Point) and the strategic assessment under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act):

Clink on the above link to access both the questions and answers.


The evening commences with a screening of Old Country New Country which is a politically powerful story of Bardi Elder Roy Wiggan passing on to his nephew Albert the traditional Aboriginal craft of raft-making. In the process, they travel from their country – the rugged and ancient beauty of the Kimberley region, one of the few remaining wildernesses on the planet – to the once pristine, now industrialised Pilbara to the south.