MEDIA RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 5, 2012
Moral victory for Traditional Owner as questions remain over Woodside planning approvals
The WA State Government’s decision to manipulate local planning laws in the Shire of Broome to facilitate works by Woodside resulted in a Supreme Court challenge by Goolarabooloo Traditional Owner Richard Hunter not only to the government’s Development Assessment Panel (DAP) planning decision but also the Minister for Planning for improper process.
The Supreme Court decision not to make a decision on the challenge to the DAP leaves a big question mark over any future decisions by the panel across the State when a Shire or Council refuses to endorse a report to them.
“What effectively happened here is that it is very likely we would have won the challenge to the DAP decision and Woodside would have had to leave country and go back to the drawing board. Instead the Minister for Planning John Day took the draconian measure of changing planning laws without any consultation with the local council or parliament,” said a spokesperson for Richard Hunter.
“By doing this the Minister has effectively said that he knew the DAP decision was unlawful and he didn’t want the courts to make a decision on that. As far as we’re concerned this bypassed a democratic process so the government can ram through the industrialisation of the Kimberley,” said the spokesperson.
“The State Government and Woodside may have won the day through legal interference but the moral victory belongs to us and shows what an undemocratic process this whole proposal is and how desperate the Premier is to force industrial gas factories on Broome,” the spokesperson said.
The court case has held up drilling work since May 28, which means key information for on-shore tenders for the Browse proposal will not be available for Woodside’s expected call in of tenders on the 18th July.
Ketrina Keeley 0437 886 866