Friday, September 21, 2012

The Premier called it an unremarkable piece of coastline.

Mr Barnett said "the James Price Point site was "literally a pinprick"  in the Kimberley, on land that
wasn't spectacular coastline.

COLIN BARNETT: "It’s a it’s a pretty piece of, ah, beach, but when I use the word unremarkable, uh, I’m making the point that this is not the spectacular Kimberley coast that you see in picture postcards". 


  1. Well looking at Cottesloe from Broome we could say IT only looks like a pin prick,but for the people of Cottesloe it would look very different,(Red Broomes picture of the gas plant north of the river tells the story).

    McGowan and Talbot again.The last couple of paragraphs are a real worry,as usual with these two.

    The Opposition also called for Minister of the Environment Bill Marmion to step aside until the Browse LNG project environmental assessment was completed” to ensure WA did not “miss out on the biggest industrial development in its history”.

  2. Ichthys LNG: first-hand look

    James McGrath
    Friday, 21 September 2012

    THE South East Asian Australian Offshore Conference in Darwin earlier this week was not only notable for talk about costs and the threat of US LNG but was also the first confirmation that work is indeed underway at the Blaydin Point site in the Northern Territory.


    Building the bubble

    Friday, 21 September 2012

    SCROME’s SeaOwl VizIR solution has been chosen to manage the maritime security bubble around Shell’s floating LNG vessel Prelude.

  3. Duncan Ord on the Aboriginal Heritage system :

    The director of operations at the Department of Indigenous Affairs, Duncan Ord, said "everybody" had lost faith in the heritage system.

    "Industry does not have faith because of these behaviours, the Government is concerned about what it's been told is the truth and many Aboriginal people don't have faith in the system either," he said.
    Mr Ord said the legislation, which was drafted in 1972, was not based on the native title principle of connection to the land and had allowed individuals to become the "go-to people" on heritage matters without being validated.


    Gerry Georgatos
    Accusations are flying thick and fast at the Western Australian government's proposed overhaul of the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972. The Act was intended to protect sacred sites however it appears it will become easier for the mining sector to steamroll sites in pursuit of expansionist projects, said a Greens parliamentarian, anthropologists and rights advocates.

    WA state Indigenous Affairs minister Peter Collier and the Department of Indigenous Affairs director of operations, Duncan Ord, who reports to Mr Collier, said the current legislation is clunky, meddlesome and unworkable, which is what miners and developers have been saying.

    Mr Collier unveiled proposed changes which he argues will speed up applications by companies and in effect which give them rights over listed heritage sites.

    "(The changes) will tighten up procedures and make sure there is much more rigour in the determination of sites," said Mr Collier.

    On April 27 Mr Collier said to the ABC, "There's so much duplication that goes on in the current form and quite frankly in so many instances, no-one is pleased, so we're almost there."

    State Greens MLC Robin Chapple is the first parliamentary figure to come out in opposition to Mr Collier's proposed changes since anthropologists and rights advocates spoke out to the National Indigenous Times early last month, and who were published in article underlain by a parliamentary source in state government in the April 4 edition of The National Indigenous Times.

    Mr Chapple said the changes are intended to further disempower WA's Aboriginal peoples.

    He said under the existing Act, not a single application to disrupt a sacred site has been turned down in the last ten years. If the proposed changes are enabled it will be harder for Aboriginal peoples to protect sites, he said.

    Mr Chapple told the ABC, "Most of what is being proposed in these reviews is to provide less availability for Aboriginal peoples to speak for their sites and their country and will create a very clear pathway for industry to progress with anything they want to do."

    A parliamentary source said, "The government will attempt to water down the Aboriginal Heritage Act to make it easier for government and big business to secure the 'assessments they want' of Aboriginal historical and cultural sites."

    Aboriginal Elders and advocates have spoken about their fears that the only intention of this move by the state government is to keep on building assimilationist policies, to railroad Aboriginal folk and in effect extinguish customary and historical rights to the benefit or miners, big business and state and local government projects.

    Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation (YAC) anthropologist Phil Davies said the state government will work over the Aboriginal Heritage Act so it befits purely the self-interests of state government and interest groups such as mining companies.

    Mr Davies said, "It's ironic that they are doing this because as it is all power is pretty much in the hands of the Indigenous Affairs minister, Peter Collier, and the department of Indigenous Affairs (DIC) does whatever it wants."

    "However we have heard that they want to smash the Heritage Act further and which we understand when done will wipe out more than 90% of Aboriginal cultural sites. This is more than disturbing, it's criminal."

    "The way the Act has been misused nevertheless is beyond a joke, and DIA and the state government listen to whomever they want to, and similarly mining companies for instance shop around for whom they want in terms of assessments - it's DIA who are a poor balance and check. They just don't care about Aboriginal history and the rights of Aboriginal peoples. They're a sham."

  5. cont...

    Broome-based Nikyina rights advocate Sofia Mirniyinna said, "The Act is not the problem, the government is the problem, and with what happened at James Price, the Kimberley, with the Yindjibarndi and FMG and with local shires and land development use, and recently with that stupid Native Title proposal to the Nyoongars well they don't want anymore lip and costly delays to their agendas."

    Nyoongar Elder Ben Taylor said, "It's always a situation of our backs against the wall, while the government continues to try to divide us, and continues to let those of us who don't agree with them languish in despair. Many of our people continue to live poor, die young."

    One month ago, the National Indigenous Times was told by a state parliamentary source that the state government, through its Indigenous Affairs minister Peter Collier, and the department of Indigenous Affairs, and through the South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council (SWALSC) chief executive officer Glen Kelly, would soon push for changes to the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972, and to undermine any groundswell of support for Nyoongar dissenters to the Native Title offer from the state government to the SWALSC.

    The National Indigenous Times is aware of the push by the state government, while they have both the state opposition (Labor) and the South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council (SWALSC) on side in "tightening up" the Act to "better controlling assessment outcomes of Aboriginal historical and cultural sites".

    There are a number of disputes before the department of Indigenous Affairs in relation to various sites throughout WA and some are holding up land use development and expansionist projects, said the source.

    "The government is under a lot of pressure from miners and big business to make 'assessments' easier and one proposal includes a register of those eligible to provide 'assessments'," said the source.

    Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation (YAC) CEO, Michael Woodley said, "In effect everything with the Aboriginal Heritage Act is geared in favour of any organisation with huge financial resources, and it is not protective of cultural, historical and customary rights. Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) is paying its way to an outcome - there should be protections from this, not making the road for such companies easier. We already have a David verse Goliath battle with them as it is."

    The source said, "Colin and Peter will sell their message for the necessity of the proposal to be signed off as done deal so to avoid rorts and that business can be fluid and they are going to tap into the emotive arguments that the taxpayer is being rorted, business is being rorted, and tap into the discrimination bit, that not even Nyoongars, or whomever, should be privileged over others."

    The source said, "The purpose of this campaign in as much as it is to tighten up the (Aboriginal) Heritage Act in the narrow interests of government, at the expense of cultural sites which most of government couldn't give two hoots about, is really to crush this embarassing situation with the Nyoongar dissenters at Heirisson, and that such events don't have the extra oxygen for them to recur. Colin is very upset at the damage it may have done to the government in terms of the voter - in how they (mis)handled it."

    Mr Collier has publicly said he "was aware that inappropriate payments had been made to 'mavericks' who were taking advantage of the Aboriginal Heritage Act, which requires surveys to be done on areas that may be of cultural signficance." The source said, "Peter and Colin would never put out an example of FMG and Andrew Forrest even though we know they can use whomever as anthropologists and surveyors, and will keep on paying till they get the right person, however the example you'll get is the other way around, not of Aborigines being ripped off but of Aborigines with their finger in the cream pie..."

  6. cont...

    Mr Woodley has long accused FMG of employing 'experts' friendly to the company in their assessment of cultural sites such as those within proximity of the Solomon Firetails mines.

    The source said, "Peter, Colin and Glen will use scare mongering in a concerted effort to get the (Native Title) deal through and will try to make the Aboriginal Heritage Act as overkill in that the whole of Perth, the Swan River and much of the south west are in some way registered through Act and in that way forever at odds with progress."

    The source said, "...but the crux will be a fear campaign of widespread rorting."

    Mr Collier has publicly said, "There has definitely been rorting."

    "There have definitely been situations where the purported sites have not been legitimate but it's easier for the developers or the proponents for the development to take the easier way out." Mr Collier publicly said that he was aware of 'rumours' that government departments had made large payments but he could not 'confirm them.' As a minister he has the fidicuary obligation to investigate.

    Mr Collier publicly said, "It is a shame because most Aboriginal people have a genuine desire for their heritage to be preserved but unfortunately you have a few mavericks coming in who see it as a process for financial gain... They're well aware that the mavericks are rorting the system and they resent that fact."

    Nyoongar Traditional Owner and university academic Associate Professor Len Collard, "Wedge tactics, turning people against people, and it's discrimination because in the end no system is perfect and human nature is what it is, with stuff happening in every society, every culture, so to say it may happen more in Aboriginal communities is not on and it's discrimination to rumour monger this."

    "In the end we do need to fix the Act however only in terms of who can speak for their peoples and who cannot but let us not get caught up that the government should have a role in this, as it is now all discretion is with them, so they've failed. Let us get it right however at all times out of the hands of government which only corrupts the process," said Assoc Professor Collard.

    Broome-based Nikyina rights advocate, Sofia Mirniyinna said, "There is an agenda here, clear as the light of day, that is to further disempower Aboriginal peoples while rubbishing them at the same time and to do it while the iron is hot with the way the media has portrayed Nyoongar Tent Embassy. However, it'll be a similar story state-wide with all our clans if the Act is amended to meet the government's seeming objectives."

    The source said, "We know most of the Nyoongar Tent Embassy are not the types making money from heritage assessments or from Welcomes to Country but the scare tactics of rorts and money to be made get swallowed, it works unfortunately."

    The director of operations at the department of Indigenous Affairs, Duncan Ord, added his weight with a swathe of sweeping and unsubstantiated public statements, "Industry does not have faith because of these behaviours, the government is concerned about what its been told is the truth and many Aboriginal people don't have faith in the system either."

    Mr Ord said the 1972 legislation was out of date and "was not based on the Native Title principle of connection to the land and had allowed individuals to become the 'go-to people' on heritage matters without being validated."

    University of WA law student and Nyoongar Tent Embassy spokeswoman, Marianne Mackay, "We have to speak for ourselves, there is no one in state government or in the opposition prepared to support the sovereign rights of Nyoongars or any of our Aboriginal people. The Aboriginal Heritage Act is as a weak as, and weakening it further is simply another attack on our sovereign rights. It's tough times for Aboriginal peoples in the backwater of racism that is WA."