Monday, January 28, 2013

Premier heckled by protesters - The West Australian

Premier heckled by protesters - The West Australian:

Mr Barnett said the social impact of the proposed gas hub would be minimal on Broome, sparking jeers from the crowd, some of whom had waited for almost two hours for Mr Barnett to appear.

Broome residents say NO to the Premier - because the social impacts of the gas hub proposal have been ignored. This evening 140+ members of the Broome Community No Gas Campaign chanted “Broome says NO” outside a Liberal party ‘sundowner’ at the Broome Civic Centre being attended by the WA Premier Colin Barnett. Campaign members were there to show their ongoing anger and concern about the way the Liberal government is imposing the gas hub project on the town of Broome.
Spokesperson for the Campaign, Nik Wevers, said: “The Strategic Assessment Agreement (SAR) which underpins this project was signed without any input from residents of Broome. Part of that Agreement required a social impact assessment. This also was done with almost no input from local residents. The outcome is that the Broome community will be faced with having to participate in various community reference groups to ‘manage’ the impacts, when in fact we believe the impacts will be too great to manage.“

Campaigners are angry that their fears regarding the future of community life in Broome have been ignored. An application to build an 850 person workers’ camp just outside Broome that has recently been received by the Shire is a case in point. It is proposed that this camp will accommodate workers who will construct the new town for up to 8,000 construction workers near James Price Point. These workers will undoubtedly have an impact. “We are concerned about more traffic on the road, the potential for increased drug availability, fights between workers and locals over girls, thousands of extra single people recreating on our beaches and driving unmanaged in the bush, opportunities for small business, impact on availability of airline seats, health services and so on – a whole swag of changes that are unlikely to be positive for our town” said Ms Wevers.

The SAR requires the Federal Minister Tony Burke consider the social impacts before he gives his approval for this project.

Ms Wevers “We, the residents of this town made it what it is. We are being bullied into submission by the Barnett government to accept this project; it will destroy our community, our culture and our country and we are not prepared to lie down and take it”.

“The Broome Community No Gas Campaign is therefore calling on the Minister Burke to immediately appoint an independent expert panel to identify what the social impacts of the proposed gas hub project are likely to be on the town of Broome, and to evaluate whether they are addressed by the WA Government’s plans outlined in the SAR. No decision on approval for the project should be made until the issue of social impacts has been addressed to the satisfaction of the Broome community.”

For further comments contact Nik Wevers on 0417998598
Broome Community No Gas Campaign
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