Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Woodside given permission to drill in Kimberley | Green Left Weekly

Woodside given permission to drill in Kimberley | Green Left Weekly:
 In 1991 the Aboriginal Cultural Material Committee concluded that no exploration should occur in this area.

The sand dunes and rare Monsoon Vine Thickets have been recommended for protection by the WA Environmental Protection Authority twice in the past twenty years because of their environmental significance and their cultural heritage values.

The WA Museum also recommended they be protected in 1989 because of their outstanding archaeological and cultural significance.

“Why do we have to find out about Woodside getting permission to destroy our law and culture on the radio? Goolarabooloo evidence in 1991 from the old people is clear. The ACMC accepted it then. It has been ignored by the Minister now. They are trying to rewrite history” said Goolarabooloo Law Boss Phillip Roe.

 This video was made in October 2011 when Woodside went into the Walmadany sanddunes without any permission nor did they have a Section 18. Woodside carved tracks into the dunes that had never seen a vehicle on them ever before. In their destructive illegal activity they drove straight through ancient middens, over artifacts,  through ceremonial sites and also dislodged skeleton remains. 

Complaints made to the Department of indigenous Affairs, by the Goolarabooloo people have never been fully investigated nor has Woodside been prosecuted for this outrageous deliberate damage to registered Cultural Sites.


Traditional custodians have responded to today’s revelation on ABC Radio by Department of Indigenous Affairs Chief Heritage Officer Aaron Raynor that State Minister Collier has authorized Woodside to destroy sacred sites on the Kimberley Coast, north of Broome as part of its exploration and assessment work at the controversial James Price Point gas hub site.
Spokesperson and Goolarabooloo Law Boss Phillip Roe says he and senior law boss Joseph Roe had not been given prior notice of the decision but had learnt about it via the media.
“This shows an outrageous disregard for the profound impacts of such a decision on our proven and substantial culture and heritage. 
“The decision is an insulting joke,” Mr Roe said from his home on the Kimberley Coast at Walmadan near the James Price Point gas hub site.
Mr Roe accused the WA Government of attempting to deliberately rewrite indigenous history at the site in its attempt to secure land tenure for the gas hub proponents, Woodside.
And he called on the West’s “alternative Premier” to declare his commitment to better protect indigenous heritage and culture and request his Federal Labor colleague, Environment Minister Tony Burke, to intervene.
“Why do we have to hear on the radio that Woodside has been given permission to destroy our Country, Law and Culture . It’s not right” says Goolarabooloo Law Boss Phillip Roe.
“The evidence from our old people and from us about this Country is clear and has just been ignored. So has the decision in 1991 about the exact same area of land by the Aboriginal Cultural Material Committee (ACMC ) with the help of the Kimberley Land Council to stop this kind of disturbance.” 
“All that has changed since 1991 is that the government is now hell bent on putting the gas hub here. They are trying to rewrite the history of this Country and the governments own decisions.”.

“My Grandfather Lulu opened up this special area for all people, everyone as an important part of reconciliation and to preserve our Culture and Living Heritage. How can anyone agree to the destruction of another persons culture?” says Phillip Roe. 
“Furthermore, the people likely to be entrusted with the job of overseeing these works by Woodside are traditional owners but they are not cultural custodians deeply versed in the stories and sites of the country.
“Myself, Joseph Roe and Richard Hunter – none of us have been asked to assist but we are the senior law men for the site."
Mr Roe said the WA government “is incapable of protecting our oldest living heritage.”
He called on Federal Heritage Minister, Tony Burke, to exercise his responsibilities under Federal Aboriginal Heritage Law.
And in this election year, my people, the Goolarabooloo, call on the Opposition Leader Mark McGowan, the alternate Premier of West Australia to state his position on the preservation of aboriginal heritage and country in our State.
“We also call on him to consult with his Federal colleague Mr Burke to use his Federal powers and intervene in this outrageous action by Premier Colin Barnett.”

This land, and the life it supports, were created at the beginning of time by those of the spirit.  This is the Law, Burrgarrigurra.  We, the Aboriginal Law-men, have held this knowledge unbroken since the first people inhabited this earth.

Some say the land is there for the benefit of people alone.  But how can that be? It is not different from us.  Like humans, the wallabies and trees, rocks and water are all made of that same living, vibrating spirit.  There is nothing in this entire world which is not of that spirit.  When we know this intelligence, when we fathom what is at the 'bottom' of everything, we can, as human beings, realise our purpose and the meaning of our lives.

Paddy Roe OAM,
Traditional Custodian and Law-Keeper
of the land known as Waterbank Pastoral Station,
as interpreted by Joe Roe, 1992.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks to Kimberley Page.


    Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region


    Woodside given go-ahead to destroy Aboriginal sites at James Price Point

    15th January 2013

    Greens Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region and Greens WA spokesperson on Aboriginal affairs Robin Chapple has lashed out in response to yesterday’s decision by State Aboriginal Affairs Minister Peter Collier to give Woodside the go-ahead to destroy Aboriginal sites at James Price Point.

    “The Section 18 approval of ground disturbing works flies in the face of previous recommendations and Court decisions not to allow mining in the area due to its cultural and environmental significance,” Mr Chapple said.

    “I am appalled at the Aboriginal Cultural Materials Committee’s recommendation to permit the works to go ahead; although I am prepared to accept that they may well have done so under duress.

    “In 1991, the ACMC recommended that ‘no exploration activity should occur in the areas defined at the Song Cycle path’ and nothing has occurred to diminish its significance.

    “At the same time the Environmental Protection Authority recommended no ground-disturbing works be permitted west of the Manari Road or east of the road without approval from the Minister for the Environment, as the area was part of the proposed Dampierland National Park and the WA Museum had plans to declare it a Protected Area under the Aboriginal Heritage Act.

    “The ACMC is a toothless tiger that consistently fails to protect sites, and the Aboriginal Affairs Minister should be ashamed of himself for allowing the Minister for State Development, Colin Barnett, who is also the proponent in the Browse LNG project, to call the shots.

    “Of course the Premier will always find in favour of Browse LNG project operator Woodside, in what is the cosiest arrangement since WA Inc.

    “In this Barnett-Grylls government there is no-one standing up for Aboriginal Heritage Protection, just as there is no-one standing up for environmental protection.

    “The Aboriginal Heritage Act provides just a thin veneer of protection, which has being weakened further since the John Avery review conducted last year,” Mr Chapple said.

    For more information please contact Robin Chapple on 0409 379 263 or 9486 8255

    All the best

    Robin Chapple MLC

    Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region

    PO Box 94, West Perth WA 6872

    41 Havelock Street, West Perth. WA 6005

    Phone: (08) 9486 8255 | Email: | Freecall: 1800 138 610 | WEB: