Thursday, December 20, 2012

Browse hit by more litigation | The Australian

Browse hit by more litigation | The Australian:
WOODSIDE'S $35 billion Browse development has been hit with fresh legal action to overturn environmental approvals for the project because of conflicts of interest on the West Australian Environmental Protection Agency board.
Conflicted EPA board members on Country with Goolarabooloo 2011
Traditional owner Richard Hunter and the Wilderness Society of Western Australia have launched action in the Supreme Court seeking a judicial review of decisions taken by the EPA and state government to allow construction of the Browse gas processing facilities at James Price Point.

If successful, the action could force the Browse joint venture partners to restart environmental approvals for the James Price Point development.

The court action could lead to another delay for the controversial gas project that has split local and indigenous groups in the Broome community.

It follows Supreme Court action started last month on behalf of traditional law boss Phillip Roe, who claims the Kimberley Land Council had been placed under "improper pressure" by the WA government. It also follows warnings to business by environment groups of a spike in US-style litigation against resource developments to challenge environmental approvals from the states.

The Business Council of Australia has pushed for the federal government's decision-making powers to be delegated to state governments to cut "green tape".

Wilderness Society national director Lyndon Schneiders said the James Price Point approval showed the "folly" of the BCA approach. "JPP is a case study of how not to build public confidence in the capacity of state governments to be entrusted with the protection of the natural and cultural environment," he said.
The EPA's approval for the Browse development has been mired in controversy due to declared conflicts of interest by board members in relation to the project.

The Browse report was released by EPA chairman Paul Vogel, acting alone after the other four board members were required to stand aside due to conflicts of interest. The West Australian Environment Minister's approval was based on Mr Vogel's recommendation alone. The court action claims three of the conflicted EPA board members had extensively deliberated on the Browse LNG precinct at James Price Point before being stood down only at the end of the process.

In a briefing on the court proceedings, Mr Hunter and the Wilderness Society of WA said the EPA was set up to be independent and avoid conflicts of interests by requiring that at least three non-conflicted board members were needed to make a decision.

The Supreme Court action is seeking orders to quash the approval and to quash the assessment report for any use in any further approval.

The Wilderness Society said the failure of the EPA and West Australian government to follow proper process had placed legal uncertainty over next year's June 30 deadline for the Browse final investment decision.

1 comment:

  1. Burke making Barnett nervous?

    Burke's uranium delay fires up Barnett

    From:The Australian
    December 20, 201212:00AM

    WEST Australian Premier Colin Barnett has accused federal Environment Minister Tony Burke of playing politics by again delaying an environmental clearance decision on Toro Energy's proposed $270 million Wiluna uranium development.

    The project has already been cleared by the state government and is the first of a number of WA uranium developments looking to get into production following the lifting of the state's ban on uranium mining under former Labor governments.


    Also sounds like the Ord stage 2 in the NT is being rushed to suit the Chinese buyers.


    I don't care if we are so broke we can't afford Xmas this year,we will find some money to donate to the Wilderness Society for this case.
    After all the kids will lose their hometown if this hellish plan isn't stopped.
    And I'm not kidding,no pressies,no Xmas feed due to health issues.
    Losing is not an option.