Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Barnett calls for Browse co-operation - The West Australian

Barnett calls for Browse co-operation - The West Australian:
Premier Colin Barnett has called on the broader Browse Basin gas industry to shoulder more of the load in developing a land-backed processing hub at James Price Point, saying they could help cap surging capital costs and unlock new fields.

In a sign of his determination to see off threats to his preferred site, including Royal Dutch Shell's floating LNG technology, Mr Barnett also said he was "hypothetically" open to extending the Woodside consortium's retention lease until construction costs fell.


  1. FLNG will emit 20% less emissions.

    FLNG is moored over the fields and it is far easier to store carbon in old wells.

    In a desperate attempt to make JPP "cheaper" for the JVP's - we have this mess.

    WA Minister allows LNG pollution blowout equal to 400,000 homes

    November 28th 2012

    In a move condemned by WA’s peak environment group, Environment Minister Bill Marmion has removed all requirements for the James Price Point gas hub to manage and reduce carbon pollution, abandoning the Premier’s commitment to best practice and potentially allowing additional pollution equal to nearly 400,000 Australian households.

    CCWA Director Piers Verstegen said, “This reckless decision is a clear example of Minister Marmion cutting corners and lowering standards in a desperate attempt to ensure the liquid natural gas (LNG) development at James Price Point goes ahead.

    “If it does go ahead, this project will be the single largest carbon polluter in Australia, and it will have no requirements to operate efficiently or reduce carbon pollution at all.

    “At the stroke of a pen Minister Marmion has allowed a staggering 5.5 million tonnes of additional carbon pollution every year for the life of this project – roughly equal to the pollution from an extra 400,000 Australian households.

    “This represents the difference between international best practice emissions and what we now expect from the gas hub.

    “This one decision would totally wipe out the benefits of all the solar panels ever installed on Perth homes under the Barnett Government’s solar feed-in tariff scheme.

    “The EPA recommended a number of requirements for the gas hub to reduce carbon pollution in order to meet Premier Barnett’s commitment to world’s best practice; however Minister Marmion has overturned the advice of the EPA as well as the Appeals Convener in order to reduce costs for Woodside.

    “There is a clear need for State Government conditions to complement the national carbon price, especially for the LNG industry.

    “LNG producers have been given such generous concessions under the Commonwealth Government’s carbon price that there is very little incentive for them to reduce carbon pollution at all, let alone meet world’s best practice environmental standards that Premier Barnett has promised for this project.”



      The Barnett Government could never again question the legitimacy of the carbon tax after using it to remove greenhouse conditions from the Kimberley gas hub, Climate Change Minister Greg Combet said yesterday.

      A liquefied natural gas- processing plant last month became the first major project since the late 1990s to be given WA Government approval without greenhouse conditions after Environment Minister Bill Marmion decided it did not need them in light of the carbon tax.

      Emissions from the plant operating at full capacity could be as much as 52 per cent of WA's and 6.5 per cent of Australia's total greenhouse gas generation based on 2007 levels, according to the Environmental Protection Authority.

      In its July assessment of the plant, the EPA recommended conditions including carbon abatement and offsets which were backed by the appeals committee appointed to review the approval.

      The EPA and the committee gave Mr Marmion the option of removing the conditions should he decide they would duplicate the effect of the carbon tax, which came into effect on July 1.

      Mr Marmion exercised that option last month and approved the plant with only the requirement to report emissions yearly.

      "As a result of the introduction of carbon pricing arrangements, it was appropriate to consider the extent of State-based greenhouse gas conditions to avoid unnecessary regulatory duplication," the minister said yesterday.

      Premier Colin Barnett has said repeatedly that the carbon tax "won't work" and backed his Federal colleagues' pledge to repeal it.

      Mr Marmion has the right to retrospectively add greenhouse conditions to the Browse project, should the Federal coalition carry out its threat.
      A spokesman for Mr Combet said: "Behind the political rhetoric, the Barnett Government accepts that the carbon price will reduce greenhouse gas emissions as WA's LNG industry continues to grow."

  2. Colin Barnett....Bad decissions Wrong priorities.

    Question on notice

    Wednesday, 24 October 2012

    2 7 NOV 2012

    6350. Hon Robin Chapple to the Leader of the House representing the Premier.

    I refer to the $1million assistance fund for former Agriculture Protection Board

    herbicide sprayers, promised by the Liberal Party in its 2005 election campaign, and

    I ask–

    (1) Can the Premier explain why, after four years in office, the promised fund has

    still not been forthcoming?

    (2) Does the Premier believe that the issue of assistance to these former herbicide

    sprayers is less important now than it was in 2005?

    (3) Does the Premier agree with Professor David Black that ‘the passage of time

    should make no difference to an ‘ethical’ promise’?


    (1) – (3)

    This was a commitment made during the 2005 State Election and was not committed

    to during the 2008 election.


  3. Colin Barnett....Bad decissions Wrong priorities.

    An Aboriginal worker who had years of wages withheld by the Government has raised concerns about compensation payments offered to his generation.

    Western Australian Aboriginal people had until this Friday to apply for a $2,000 ex-gratia payment, if they had had wages withheld up until the 1970s.

    The Government has refused to further extend the deadline, despite concerns that elderly Aboriginal people living in remote areas have not heard about the scheme or had time to apply.

    Broome man Frank Lacey, who worked unpaid on Kimberley cattle stations for 14 years, says although he has applied, he knows many other workers who have not applied for compensation.

    H told the Breakfast Show, the amount being offered will never do justice to the years of service given.

    "It's terrible that amount," he said.

    "It's like giving them a slap on the back and good fella type of thing, you know, it's wrong.

    "These men and myself had given the best part of our lives to the place and they're certainly worth a lot lot more."


  4. Colin Barnett....Bad decissions Wrong priorities.

    As the days warm up, most West Australians find a way of keeping cool.

    But, for thousands of inmates living in un-airconditioned prison cells across the state, the nights are hot and sticky.

    The situation is made worse by many having to 'double bunk', ie two or sometimes even three people are crammed into a cell designed for one.

    "On a very simple and human level, if you've got two people in a small, hot cell with a single toilet and no discretion in terms of going to the toilet, it has an enormous impact."It becomes a much more dangerous position for prisoners and for prison staff to manage.

    "Prisoners are far more likely to become violent or lay hands on staff."

    The Director of Custodial Services, Neil Morgan, released a report into Roebourne Regional Prison, designed to hold 116 inmates but housing 168, that paints a grim picture of daily life behind bars in the Pilbara.

    In it, Mr Morgan warns of the 'dehumanising effects of overcrowding and inadequate climate control' at the facility.

    "The climate in Roebourne is harsh and conditions in the cramped and non-air-conditioned cells are both degrading and a risk to health," he said.

    He reported that cells were 'intolerable and inhumane', infested with rodents and bunks were broken and unsafe.

    His June report into Broome Regional Prison, which houses 121 despite being built for 66, tells a similar story.

    "Conditions at the prison remain confined and restrictive," he reported.

    "In the male minimum security area, which is the least restrictive but most overcrowded part of the prison, it is not uncommon for six and sometimes more prisoners to be sharing hot, cramped cells.

    "The maximum decent capacity of which would be three people."

    When the ABC asked the Minister for Corrective Services, Murray Cowper, if there was a problem with overcrowding in WA Prisons, his office issued a statement from the Minister saying the union had got its facts wrong.

    "The majority of prisons are below their operational capacity," he said."It is a reality that there is double bunking, we run a prison system not a holiday camp."


    Gerry Georgatos, from The Human Rights Alliance in WA, says overcrowding has a severe impact on prisoners' mental health.

    'With overcrowding, conditions are much worse so that obviously affects people's well-being," he said.

    "There is a reduced prisoner to staff ratio.

    "It means that prisoners have reduced access to all kinds of services and facilities, including healthcare, training and counselling."

    "What we have here is a warehouse of mental illness.

    "We see clinical depression, self harm, suicide because of the despair and the dejection.

    "They have no hope in that environment."

    Mr Welch says he fears the consequences of allowing overcrowding to continue.

    'I'm worried we will have to wait until a prison officer is killed before the Government admits to overcrowding in our prison system and starts to take it seriously," he said.


      In it, Mr Morgan warns of the 'dehumanising effects of overcrowding and inadequate climate control' at the facility.

      "The climate in Roebourne is harsh and conditions in the cramped and non-air-conditioned cells are both degrading and a risk to health," he said.

      He reported that cells were 'intolerable and inhumane', infested with rodents and bunks were broken and unsafe.

      Colin Barnett....Bad decissions Wrong priorities

    2. Complaints about the treatment of mentally ill people by police officers have been referred to the Corruption and Crime Commission, a report into involuntary psychiatric care in WA has revealed.

      One person was allegedly left handcuffed in the back of a police van for more than an hour on a 34C day, without being offered a drink or the doors being opened.

      Another complained of being manhandled and injured when being dragged out of their house by "laughing" police, according to the Council of Official Visitors annual report, tabled in State Parliament this week.

      The report also referred to two more cases where involuntary mental health patients complained that when being interviewed by police, they were not given access to legal advice.

      A CCC spokesman said yesterday it was finalising its review of the police investigation of the complaint involving the person in the police van.

      Council head Debora Colvin said she wrote to the CCC asking it to look into the police handling of the complaint after it was dismissed by the force.

      "The trip to the mental health hospital had taken about 45 minutes and there was an unexplained delay of 15 to 20 minutes in moving the consumer from the van to the ward upon arrival," she wrote in the report.

      "Triage notes confirmed that the consumer was brought in from the police van 'dripping with sweat'."

      A police spokeswoman said yesterday: "All matters have been examined by WA Police and there are no outstanding issues with the cases."

      The complaints come after Police Minister Liza Harvey conceded last month that police officers needed more training in dealing with mentally ill people.

      The Council of Official Visitors is an independent agency set up under the Mental Health Act to help ensure mentally ill people are aware of their rights and their rights are respected.
      Official visitors have on-demand access to secure psychiatric facilities to visit patients and handle complaints on their behalf.


    The West Australian Premier has upped the ante on the controversial Browse gas project, indicating that joint venture leader Woodside Petroleum might not receive state government approval for a floating option.

    Colin Barnett said he doubted that the cost of constructing his favoured onshore gas processing plant at James Price Point, near Broome, could blow out to between $60 billion and $70 billion, causing Woodside to deem the project uneconomic.

    "I doubt that's going to happen," Mr Barnett told the Leadership Matters conference in Perth on Wednesday.

    Mr Barnett said in that scenario he would draw Woodside chief executive Peter Coleman's attention to retention licences.

    "I would remind him that two-thirds of the gas is owned by the Commonwealth and one-third is owned by the state of Western Australia," Mr Barnett said.

    He noted that gas could be brought onshore for the proposed Gorgon and Wheatstone liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects.

    "If they can bring gas onshore, then surely you can, too. Pretty simple policy position."

    On Tuesday, Mr Barnett confirmed that energy giant Royal Dutch Shell was discussing its preferred option of a floating LNG platform for the Browse project with joint venture partner Woodside.

    Mr Barnett has conceded that building three LNG projects in Western Australia at the same time might not be feasible.

    The WA Premier has long advocated for Browse to be developed through an onshore LNG plant at James Price Point.

    Royal Dutch Shell has neither confirmed nor denied its intentions to pursue floating LNG at Browse.

    Mr Coleman said Woodside's position to bring gas to James Price Point had not changed.

    "We've got to take that to a natural conclusion. We're 98 per cent of the way through that process.

    "That will take us into early next year and we'll make a decision as the joint venture by the end of the first half of next year."

    He said Woodside had spent about $1 billion getting to this point.
    Shell Australia chairwoman Ann Pickard said the company would "obviously like floating (LNG) because that's going to be a cheaper alternative to some onshore projects".

    1. Presumably this isn't just about a few jobs for Aboriginal folk?

      Me thinks there must be something else going on here,but...what the devil could it be?


    The oil and gas company Woodside has officially applied to build and operate a liquefied natural gas plant at James Price Point, north of Broome, a site which has been the target of sustained protests.

    The West Australian Environment Minister has already approved the broader development precinct.

    Woodside has now put its application before the Environmental Protection Authority.

    The authority's chairman Paul Vogel says the EPA will consider whether what Woodside proposes to do inside the precinct fits with what has recently been approved by the Minister.

    "The decision making that the Minister made on the strategic proposal sets up the process whereby the foundation proponent can come in and put in a referral," he said.

    "Then the EPA has to make a decision about whether that proposal fits with the strategic proposal decision and, if it does, the EPA can declare it to be derived."

    Dr Vogel says it is unlikely there will be any new or significant information that would require further assessment of the project.

    The EPA will accept public comment on the application for seven days.

    Woodside's chief executive Peter Coleman says the company remains committed to processing the gas at James Price Point.

    Since Shell bought a larger stake in the project, there have been discussions it was pushing the joint venture partners to use its floating LNG technology to process the gas.

    Shell says processing the gas offshore on a floating platform would be cheaper and more environmentally friendly.

    Mr Coleman says Woodside is locked into making a commercial decision on James Price Point because of a retention lease it signed in 2009.

    He says the company is 98 per cent through the process of reaching a decision and has so far spent $1 billion on the process.

    It is due to make a final investment decision on the project next year.