Thursday, March 28, 2013

Residents feel growing pains as Onslow expands - Business - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Residents feel growing pains as Onslow expands - Business - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation):
Rental prices are in the thousands, petrol prices have hit $2.08 a litre and some contractors are even sleeping in "boatels" off the coast for $700 a night.

Nelly Wright has lived in Onslow for 16 years and says while locals do expect to pay a bit more, the situation is getting extreme.

"Unleaded petrol has just gone through the roof," she said.

"Normally on average over the past few months it sort of hovers between $1.78 to $1.87 roughly, but we were just absolutely horrified to see it go up to $2.08[on Tuesday 5th March]."

Geoff Herbert from the local Chamber of Commerce and Industry says the situation is becoming untenable.

"From my point of view I can totally understand where the petrol station is coming from, I think they are between a rock and a hard place," he said.

"From what I can gather they are renting accommodation, I think accommodation is probably up around $2000 - $2500 a week now, and they have fly-in fly-out staff , I think there is about three or four staff, so whatever the wages are for that a week as well."

60 Minutes: Sacred stones on MSN Video

60 Minutes: Sacred stones on MSN Video

60 Minutes:   Sacred stones
It's simply magic and one of Australia's best-kept secrets. A national treasure to equal Uluru and Kakadu, a vast and ancient art gallery in the outback And it's being systematically destroyed… 
Woodside has a long history when it comes to destroying Australian natural and cultural heritage. Woodside are not good corporate citizens nor are they a responsible corporate player. Now they wish to destroy the living cultural heritage of the Lurrujarri Trail, grave sites,  the national heritage listed intertidal zone with 24 different dinosaur species, the migrating whale corridor, healthy bilbies colonies and endangered ecological community of the Monsoonal Vine Thickets. 
Do not trust them, they are out only for themselves and will destroy anything in their path, regardless of its value or importance. - On the record: FLNG fracas on the cards - On the record: FLNG fracas on the cards:
The WA state proposal for an LNG hub at James Price Point and the Woodside proposal for an LNG plant within that precinct are now before the minister, awaiting the final green tick.

While environmentalists attack Burke for having a penchant for approvals, a rejection of JPP may be just the poll boost Labor is looking for.

While it has formally ended its alliance with the Greens, the Labor fear is that the Greens could take some of the votes from the Labor left with them. To say Labor would be desperate to secure all the votes it could before the September election would be an understatement.

With Gray now in Burke’s and prime minister Julia Gillard’s ear, even more so than before, the ex-Woodside man may just deliver the final push needed for Woodside and Shell to propose an alternative development plan.

One which involves FLNG.

The, at least publically, the joint venture would be able to say that they did all in their power to get the onshore plant up, and simply shrug their shoulders.

Such a scenario where FLNG is the development choice du jour would set up an interesting time in WA politics.

It’s Tiny, Poor, And Very Possibly Not Going To Take It Anymore | The Global Mail

It’s Tiny, Poor, And Very Possibly Not Going To Take It Anymore | The Global Mail:
 A temporary treaty fix — designed to unlock a huge gas field for Woodside Petroleum — has expired. This could unravel decades of Australia’s scheming both with its tiny new neighbour Timor-Leste and its largest, Indonesia.

Court raises Aboriginal native title rort concerns

Court raises Aboriginal native title rort concerns:
 “I’m going to see the court controlling that and making sure whoever gets this money accounts for it publicly and transparently, because rorting this system has gone on through the community for much too long,” he said during the case.

“It’s time people realised that when they’re making native title applications they’re not doing it to feather their own nests, they’re doing it to benefit the whole of the group and the community is entitled to know what the money is and where it’s going, and I’m not going to have some secret deals done on the side that benefit particular people protected from public scrutiny and supervision by the court.”

Monday, March 25, 2013

New Billboards for the Kimberley all over Sydney today.

What do you think of our NEW Kimberley billboards?

Saturday, March 23, 2013

State government marginalization and bullying of Broome continues

All the liberal elephants were all lined up, straight after the state election to stampede over our strong defiant community of Broome. Plans are afoot to undertake another invasion into Country to destroy Indigenous and National Heritage. 

In a recent survey undertaken by the Broome Shire is appears that all that we as a community value and what we as a community wish to maintain and nurture is under severe threat. 

Just this week the Broome community was faced with three major agenda items at the shire council meeting.  

9.2.3 Browse LNG Development Marine Facilities and Impact Zone Plan (wait to you see this shoddy mendacious report) 

9.2.7 Responsible Authority Report to Kimberley Joint Development Assessment

9.2.9 Consideration of Improvement Plan and Proposed Improvement Scheme

All three issues have a direct association with the proposed world’s largest LNG refinery being landed in our cultural heritage heartlands. 

All three issues have their own set of direct and devastating impacts that will have a permanent distressing effect  on our community and the values we have cultivated as a community.

All these issues are complex and difficult for most of the community to understand or participate in. The process involved, the technical and bureaucratic clap trap, the ever changing  legislations and the dis-empowerment of our local government in planning decisions. 

These complexities and the evasive answers to public question time at council meetings ensure that the community is placated but restrained.
Over the coming days Red Hand will try and bring you all three issues in order to shead some light.  However, there were a few very interesting disclosures made at this week’s shire council meeting.

It was casually mentioned  that Woodside has not yet  provided the Shire with their Environmental Management Plan as was required in their Development Assessment Approval issued in Feb last year. 

This Plan was required to be lodged with Shire with advise from the Department of Conservation and Environment (DEC) prior to any works being undertaken.  Should this prove correct Woodside have been acting outside their DAP approval conditions?

The Shire president also mentioned glibly (this is the second time Red hand has heard this from the president) “that the third Compulsory Acquisition (NOITTs) has again been botched”. How this has occurred was not clarified by the shire president.

The Department of Planning made a statement on the 19th January, 2013 stating that the paid chairperson of the Kimberley Development Assessment Panel (DAP)  Mr Kotsoglo resigned last month before taking the job with the company Planning Solutions.  This department went on further to say that no conflict of interest had arisen because Mr Kotsoglo had resigned as committee chairman before taking the job with the company Planning Solutions.

However, Mr Kotsoglo is in fact the founding director and established Planning Solutions (WA) Pty Ltd in April 1998  This very same company  how has an application with the DAP to build the temporary FIFO village, 20 kms out of town. 

According to Development Assessment Panel Procedures Manual - DAP Members are required to report any suspected breach of the Code of Conduct, or any misconduct of a DAP member concerning DAP business. 

So when asked from the public gallery at the council meeting:

 “Has the Broome Shire made a complaint under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2003 (which enables disclosures to be made within defined forms of misconduct within the State public sector, local government and public universities without fear of reprisal)_ directly to the Director General or to the office of the Ombudsman for Western Australia regarding Mr Kotsoglo’s alleged Conflict Of Interest?” 

The shire president replied and again stated on the local ABC radio the following morning that  Mr Kotsoglo’s conflict of interest was currently being investigated by Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC). 

The DAP code of conduct is evidence that the DAP structure is not as transparent or accountable as has been claimed. Panels have a superior probability of producing incidents of conflict of interest at best and corruption at worst, precisely because lack of transparency and accountability of panel members. 

The permanent and known members will also make panels and panelists a target for people wishing to illegally influence the approvals process. 

The makeup of the Development Assessment Panels, with Local Government being a minority member shows a clear and deliberate attempt by the state to remove local decision making from the community and Local Government. Effectively locking both out of the development assessment processes and local planning issues.

Obviously an uneven number was required to avoid deadlocks. The issue is not the number of members on a panel, but it’s the ratio. 

The fact that these DAPs has Local Government as a minority is an outright attack on our democratic rights with community losing its representation. 

With the Minister appointing three members and two elected members creates an imbalance and diminishes Local Government decision making. Community interest and the primacy of local Town Planning Schemes are gradually being diminished under the pressure of those with a short term commercial interest and those looking after only the big end of town.

However, the most concerning issue is the fact that when the DAP does sit on the 4th April 2013 to assess Planning Solution’s application to build a FIFO temporary Workers village, none of the current Kimberley DAP members will be able to claim that they have no conflict of interest because every one of them has a working relationship with Mr Kotsoglo, Mr Planning Solutions himself. 

So who will represent the interests of community, in balancing development of the built environment with: the natural environment, community needs, cultural values and economic sustainability when the state government overrides local government responsibility and the wishes and values of the community?
How are we to improve our community’s quality of life and create and maintain our vibrant community? How are we to sustain the values we hold as a community, when we are being totally marginalized?
At around 12.54 minute mark on the audio Martin Ferguson is asked about James Price Point/Browse (Martin Ferguson resignation press conference)

Woodside planning drilling in Endangered Ecological Community Monsoonal Vine Thicket

Woodside have all intentions of not only cutting several illegal  8 meters tracks through the Federally listed Endangered Ecological Community Monsoonal Vine Thicket but are also planning to drill within the Thicket itself. Refer to Map

Everyone, especially Woodside and the police need to clearly understand that the Monsoonal Vine Thickets are present within the proposed drilling program. The drilling program will have a major impact on matter of national significance under the EPBC Act and these needs to be referred to the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (SEWPaC).

In addition to this, under state legislation the clearing of native vegetation is prohibited except where a clearing permit has been granted.  In the Woodside’s Development Assessment Panel approval clearly states that the proponent has been advised that they will require a permit to undertake the proposed activities to the west of Manari Road.

Sky News: Gillard's new look cabinet to go west

Sky News: Gillard's new look cabinet to go west:
Ms Gillard's office has confirmed that despite the huge events in Canberra, the scheduled Community cabinet meeting in the southeast of Perth on Wednesday is still to go ahead.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Changes to Federal Govt's bill passes | Sunshine Coast Daily

Changes to Federal Govt's bill passes | Sunshine Coast Daily:
CHANGES made to the Federal Government's bill to include water as a trigger for environmental assessment for large coal mines and coal seam gas projects were passed on Thursday.

The amendments will see a stricter approach to the assessments, with the parliament acknowledging the "ongoing failure of state planning laws" on environmental issues.

Backed by independent Tony Windsor, the amendments had support from the government and the Greens, but the Opposition voted against the change.

While the amendment makes few significant changes to the original amendment proposed by Environment Minister Tony Burke, it also notes the deep concerns of communities about the effects of such resource projects.

Botanist questions thickets clearing - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Botanist questions thickets clearing - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation):
The Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) is investigating whether a transport company illegally bulldozed vegetation near the Broome Port.

Broome resident Louise Middleton says an area of land leased by Toll Mermaid has been recently cleared of monsoon vine thickets.

Weeks ago, the Commonwealth listed the thickets as endangered.

Ms Middleton says the clearing of native vegetation require a permit to clear and she has accused the company of acting illegally.

"You have to advertise to get a permit and ask for public comment," she said.

"That wasn't undertaken and according to the DEC website and my own investigation proves they do not have any native vegetation clearing permits."

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The game continues but our resolve remains strong

The Wilderness Society legal case against EPA, with co-applicant Richard Hunter, is slowly progressing.  Almost all affidavits etc have been filed and served.  The next 'directions hearing' is likely in Supreme Court on 8th April (was supposed to be tomorrow but that's been adjourned).  Issue of Woodside's involvement not yet resolved - will be determined by Chief Justice. Pro bono barrister Dr Hannes Schoombee has done a mountain of work on this case.
Collective lobbying of Burke has been intense and involves calls on him to reject the WA 'strategic assessment', prevent Woodside's imminent dune-drilling operation, and hold an inquiry under the EPBC Act on multiple documented grounds including:

  1. Recent listing of Monsoon Vine Thicket (MVT) as 'endangered' under EPBC Act;
  2. Previous EPA assessments (1990 and 1991) recommending AGAINST development in this same area due, explicitly, to monsoon vine thickets, dinosaur fossils and Indigenous heritage values;
  3. EPA's seriously misleading statements in its 2008 Section 16(e) advice on potential gas hub sites in the Kimberley, which claimed there is no MVT at JPP (there is!); no previous conservation reserve proposals for the area (there have been several!), and failing to mention dinosaur tracks at all;
  4. Failure to address Indigenous heritage issues;
  5. Failure to address social impacts;
  6. The fact there has been NO ASSESSMENT of plans to dump all the gas hub's dredge spoil in Commonwealth waters off JPP - right where DSD and Barnett say is the main Humpback whale migration area.  The EPA said it had not assessed this because it is "outside our jurisdiction". This is key as Burke has to specifically approve any permit application to dump anything in Commonwealth waters;
  7. Greenhouse gas emissions changes - Minister Marmion's dropping of EPA's proposed GHG abatement conditions - due to alleged 'duplication' of Cwth abatement measures;
  8. New whale information from community survey showing far more whales in waters close to JPP than DSD and Woodside have reported/admitted;
  9. National Heritage-listed dinosaur tracksites - latest research showing JPP even richer in tracksites than previously recognised.
Despite having all this evidence laid before him, in correspondence and in person, it is unclear still when he will make his decision and what it may be - anything from straight up "Yes", to calling for much more and better info, to flat out "No".

We are now running up against timing of two other key factors: The joint venture partner's 'Final Investment Decision' due end June, and the Federal election campaign.

If Woodside enter the sand dunes through the Monsoonal Vine Thickets they will be acting out side the law

Woodside's proposed drilling regime in the Songline and Monsoonal Vine Thickets. Note that the line pen lines are the tracks that Woodside illegally carved into the dunes, uncovering bones, driving through middens and other cultural significant places. go to to see how Woodside have already damaged sites.
 Because the Federal Government has just listed the Monsoonal Vine Thickets, located on the coastal sand dunes of Dampier Peninsula as threatened ecological communities, Woodside is required by law to refer their planned works in the sand dunes to the Feds because of this Listing. 

Until Tony Burke makes a decision on the SAR, Woodside can not touch a leaf within the Thicket and approval for these destructive works needs to be obtained. 
This is how much Monsoonal Vine thicket will be destroyed with Woodside get their way.
Woodside's planned drilling program in the proposed southern pipeline, within weeks.
In addition to this a Native Vegetation Clearing Permit (as stated in their Development Assessment approval) needs to be obtained from the Department of Environment and Conservation. Again, with this Listing, DEC will have great difficulty granting this. To date neither of these approvals have been obtained or applied for. Woodside can not undertake any work that may impact on the Vine Thickets' threatened ecological community.                                   Carving several 5 to 8 metres tracks through the largest Monsoonal Vine Thicket community on the peninsula at James Price Point, and numerous bore and investigation holes will undoubtedly have a massive impact on this endangered ecological community. 
Woodside's proposed southern pipeline
However,this cunning corporation could approach this proposed drilling program in the dunes by sea as they have stated in earlier planning documents. Woodside has referred to the conditions in the intertidal region being unsuitable for the safe operation of a jack up barge. Therefore, they state that another type of rig will need to be used instead. This could be either an amphibious vehicle, beachlanding craft, or a land based drill rig (truck), depending on the suitability of access to the test sites, in the sand dune system. If an amphibious vehicle or beach landing craft is used it is likely to be towed or transported to location on a barge. Alternatively the amphibious vehicle/beach landing craft could be driven to location and deployed from the landward side. If a land based drill rig (truck) is used it will be driven to the test sites via the tracks through the heart of the Thickets themselves.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

HEADING - 18.03.2013 Notice of 2013 Annual General Meeting.pdf

HEADING - 18.03.2013 Notice of 2013 Annual General Meeting.pdf: ASX
Woodside’s 2013 Annual General Meeting will be held on Wednesday, 24 April 2013 at the Perth Convention Exhibition Centre, 21 Mounts Bay Road, Perth, Western Australia at 10.00 am

Woodside and protesters on collision course at James Price Point - ABC Kimberley WA - Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Woodside and protesters on collision course at James Price Point - ABC Kimberley WA - Australian Broadcasting Corporation:
"We don't care if we have to go to prison. We're going to stand up and protect what rightfully belongs to us and what's buried up on the sand dunes." Phillip Roe

Tear the beating heart out of many of us

Facebook entry, name with held.

THIS IS 2013, is it not? We are educated, are we not? We as a nation have said we are SORRY, have we not?

Australians all must hang their heads in shame if this 'State sanctioned' trajectory of violence is allowed to happen. Strong, loving and clear old women (like your mother and grandmas) and old men (like your dad), young families (like yours) whose only care their whole lives has been for their precious country, culture and community will be thrown in jail as CRIMINALS...because 'one man' (WA Premier Barnett) will not move heavy industry away from THEIR sacred burial grounds. 

I fear we are about to see here the most vicious, racist, violent disrespect perpetrated by State government and big business, in lockstep with State and Federal RIOT POLICE, whose aim will be to destroy the physical and spiritual past, present and future world of these caring fellow Australians...Get this! Purely for 'pre-investment decision surveying'. 

REMEMBER, these people are bound by Traditional Law to look after and protect their country and pass it on in good shape. To destroy the graves of their spiritual leaders is as good as a declaration of war, I and many believe. 

In Woodside's statement they say the process WILL be supervised by 'traditional owners', BUT, the traditional owners they have chosen, don't have any cultural knowledge of that country...and they know it. This is no time for word games, this is critical for this precious remaining jewel on the west-Kimberley coast.

They will have to tear the beating heart out of many of us before we allow that to happen. Draw a line good folks, and stand with the Goolarabooloo community, and those Jabbir-Jabbir people who are against the proposed gas hub, (and the pristine Kimberley coastline) by any peaceful energetic means you and your families can muster. What kind of future do you want for your country?

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

No Dredging @ James Price Point/Protect Whale nursery & Migration Routes |

No Dredging @ James Price Point/Protect Whale nursery & Migration Routes |
No Dredging @ JAMES Price Point,,,,,,The West Australian Government & Woodside Energy Ltd propose to build the second largest gas plant in the world, in the world's largest whale migration corridor, off Western Australia's Kimberley coast. James Price Point is one of the largest nursery grounds...

Broome 'tired' of gas project uncertainty - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Broome 'tired' of gas project uncertainty - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation):
Shire president Graeme Campbell says that polarised opinion seems to have been replaced by impatience.

"The feeling I'm getting, and I'm getting it said very loudly, people are saying, 'I don't support that oil and gas and I'm over it', 'I support the oil and gas, why the heck don't they get on and make a decision one way or the other?'" he said.

"I think people are tired of it and they just want a decision one way or the other.

"This hanging on, hanging on, hanging on isn't good for the community."

Meanwhile, a local real estate agent says uncertainty over the project is having a mixed effect on the local housing market.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Goolarabooloo calls for protection of cultural sites | The Stringer

Goolarabooloo calls for protection of cultural sites | The Stringer:
Mr Roe said the West Australian EPA and Environment Minister Bill Marmion recently gave Woodside and its joint venture partners approval to clear 110 hectares of the most important patch of monsoon vine thickets for developing gas refineries and an industrial port at James Price Point, 50km north of Broome.
Monsson Vine Thicket along the Lurujarri Heritage Trail, Photo -Jan Van Der Kam

Monsson Vine Thicket along the Lurujarri Heritage Trail, Photo -Jan Van Der Kam

Woodside is poised to resume work this year in areas of monsoon vine thickets which are part of the sacred Songcycle and contain middens, heritage sites and burial grounds. Mr Roe said this is despite the fact that the WA EPA recommended the area be protected from disturbance in 1991 and the WA Museum’s Department of Aboriginal sites recommending the area be protected because of its cultural significance in 1989.

“Woodside, Shell and BP will be responsible for destroying our environment, our heritage and burial grounds if they start drilling and digging for their exploratory works in the monsoon vine thickets,” said Phillip Roe.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Lurujarri Dreaming - AWAYE! - ABC Radio National (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Lurujarri Dreaming - AWAYE! - ABC Radio National (Australian Broadcasting Corporation):
Four years in the making, the animated Lurujarri Dreaming documents the Western Australian song-cycle from Broome up through the Dampier Peninsula.
This particular song-cycle is part of the annual nine day Lurujarri Heritage Trail which was established in 1987 by Goolarabooloo elder Paddy Roe.

Though since 2008 plans for a land based liquefied natural gas development have loomed over the Kimberley coast, in particular James Price Point (Walmadan), located approximately fifty kilometres north of Broome – this area making up part of the Lurujarri Heritage Trail.

Unions attack Gray over FLNG - The West Australian

Unions attack Gray over FLNG - The West Australian: Special Minister of State and former Woodside executive Gary Gray made the provocative comments to WestBusiness on Monday, arguing there was far more to be gained for the WA economy and future generations by developing expertise in the cutting-edge technology than pursing land-based processing.

His comments came in the context of speculation that the Gillard Government will withdraw its support for the controversial James Price Point site when it hands down its imminent environmental ruling on the development.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Woodside are back in Country 2013

They're back! Woodside located on Country on the proposed southern pipeline, east side of Manari Road. Woodside are fully committed to invading the sand dunes, Songline and gravesites within the coming weeks. People need to start planning carefully and determine how they intend to participate in the civil actions against Woodside and the state government.

Reid Road block full of brand new hire cars; Woodside accommodation in use.

Please BE OBSERVANT and notify us on the Gasphone if you see anything suspicious or any movement that you feel with be of interest.


Last December, a strong community campaign made the Federal Government push pause on their plans to hand off their environmental responsibilities to state governments.
This plan would have put Barry O’Farrell in charge of protecting koalas, Campbell Newman in charge of protecting the Great Barrier Reef, and give Colin Barnett the final decision on the James Price Point gas hub.
The Greens were there alongside the community; talking to local environment protection groups about how to protect their local species and habitats, holding street and market stalls to let people know about the government’s plan, asking the Government tough questions in the Senate.  By signing our petition, you were an important part of this community campaign for strong national environmental protection.
This Thursday, we have a chance to make the hand off of powers to state governments history.
I have a Bill in the Senate which would change our environment laws to make the hand off of powers unlawful.  It comes on for debate this Thursday.
In the recent Senate inquiry into this Bill, over 90% of submissions supported the Bill.  The submissions from a variety of local groups, environmental law experts and concerned community members pointed to the poor track record of the states and the importance of having the Federal Environment Minister as a check-and-balance to prevent the destruction of nationally significant parts of our environment.  However, the Senators on the committee didn’t recommend the Bill be passed: sadly, politics trumped evidence-based policy.
If the government has truly ditched its idea to hand over national environmental protection to state governments, it needs to act now to stop an Abbott government being able to hand off its environmental powers to conservative state Premiers – like the Coalition confirmed again today that they would.
I’m asking you to do these two things today to help protect what’s too precious to lose:
1.            Share the petition with three friends.
2.            Call your Federal Labor or Coalition Senator and tell them you support the Bill to make the hand off of environmental powers to the states unlawful.
Yours sincerely,

Minister enters Browse debate - The West Australian

Minister enters Browse debate - The West Australian: "Australia is at a unique intersection in gas processing and also in the context of developing unconventional gas sources," Mr Gray said. "Ten years ago we were having this conversation. The only global gas liquefaction technologies were onshore technologies.

"We now have not only unconventional gas being converted to LNG in Queensland, but we also have development of offshore floating processing through the possibility of Prelude (and other fields).

"That takes Australia to literally the technological cutting edge of the growth export industry on the planet, energy.

"That is a great future to have for our kids, it is a great future to have for our resources."

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Neck and neck in a Kimberley thriller | The Australian

Neck and neck in a Kimberley thriller | The Australian: THE Greens and Labor are both confident of victory in the northern West Australian seat of Kimberley, which will boil down to postal and absentee votes in a tight four-way contest with the Liberals and Nationals.

WA Electoral Commissioner Warwick Gately yesterday said the primary vote was still too close to allocate preferences for a two-party-preferred result although a fresh scrutiny of votes today could clarify the contest.

Doubts about Browse despite WA support | The Australian

Doubts about Browse despite WA support | The Australian:

WOODSIDE Petroleum's $40 billion Browse gas project looks less likely to go ahead despite the re-election of its biggest supporter, West Australian Premier Colin Barnett.

Some analysts believe the controversial proposal to build a gas plant at James Price Point, near Broome, is not economically viable due to spiralling costs and challenges securing labour.

They expect Woodside's final investment decision on Browse to be delayed by at least another year, meaning state government approvals for the project will lapse.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Kimberley District Results | Western Australian Electoral Commission

Kimberley District Results | Western Australian Electoral Commission:
72% of those who voted in Broome rejected the Liberals who are the only party to hold a strong pro James Price Point view.  Kimberley District Results View district profile information Number of Electors: 16,387
Count Status: Count In Progress

A revised notional distribution of preferences will occur on Tuesday after the fresh scrutiny.

Festival for the Kimberley Geoffrey Cousins - YouTube

Walk from James Price a win for Woodside | The Australian

Walk from James Price a win for Woodside | The Australian:
THE wallets of shareholders could be the big winners if, as expected, Colin Barnett's re-election sets in motion the series of events that ultimately will see Woodside Petroleum and its partners walk away from the proposed $US45 billion ($43.9bn) James Price Point LNG plant.

Don't be surprised if, now that he's been safely re-elected, the positive rhetoric from the West Australian Premier towards the controversial proposal begins to ease.'Walk from James Price a win for Woodside'-

Barnett has been an increasingly lone voice in his advocacy for James Price Point. But as his protestations have become louder they have reinforced the perception the plan is an increasingly challenged proposition. Rising costs, a strong Australian dollar and increased uncertainty around both the long-term direction of liquefied natural gas markets and the future of LNG pricing mechanisms are likely to ensure the more than 40-year wait to exploit the huge but remote Browse gas reserves continues for at least a while longer.

The political impact of the partners scrapping James Price Point today is far less damaging for Mr Barnett than it would have been on Friday, given how strongly he has advocated for it and how damaging such a move could have been to his campaign.

The Browse partners, for their part, did the right thing during the past few months and kept their mouths shut when quizzed about their intentions.
Rather than being bad news for Woodside, scrapping James Price Point could present an opportunity to become the pre-eminent dividend-payer among Australian oil and gas stocks.
And it could give the company the chance to finally resolve the Royal Dutch Shell overhang that has been a burden since Shell made its original partial sell-down, back in late 2010.
The near-doubling in net profit to just shy of $US3bn, announced by Woodside at its recent full-year results, reinforced the rude profitability in which the company now finds itself.
That cash flow gives Woodside a fantastic opportunity to differentiate itself from its peers in the Australian-listed oil and gas sector, and the chance to establish itself as a company offering substantial and sustainable returns.
Its stakes in the North West Shelf LNG project and its Pluto LNG project -- completed early last year after years of schedule headaches and painful cost-blowouts -- are now generating serious volumes of cash.
Deutsche Bank analyst John Hirjee estimates that Woodside could throw $US2.5bn at capital management this year, and get moving on returning the more than $US3bn in franking credits it has amassed during the capex frenzy of the past few years.
Investors today are less willing to back stocks driven by long-dated, high-capex growth opportunities and are increasingly orientated towards yield.
An enthusiastic embrace of capital management by Woodside at a time when peers such as Santos, Oil Search and Origin are all feeling the pain of cost-blowouts and delays at their LNG developments would certainly distinguish Woodside among local oil and gas stocks.
On Mr Hirjee's calculations, Woodside -- assuming it dumps James Price Point -- could manage a special dividend this year of $US3.04 a share. When interim and final dividends are added, Woodside could offer a total yield of about 11.9 per cent -- an eye-catching figure in any industry, but especially so in a resources sector with a history of low dividend yield.
Woodside's rapidly expanding cash pile, low capex needs and bulging franking credits position could help it make real inroads into reducing Royal Dutch Shell's overhanging position on the company's share register, through a partial buyback.
Shell sold a 10 per cent position in Woodside in late 2010, leading to plenty of speculation since then about its intentions for its remaining 23.6 per cent.

Since that first sell-down, the value of Shell's remaining stake has fallen from about $US8.1bn to about $US6.5bn.

Mr Hirjee believes that Shell, despite being a foreign company, would be entitled to franking credits, given that it has substantial operations in Australia that pay tax.

He believes Woodside could execute a buyback for some of Shell's stake, with the buyback being 50 per cent a deemed dividend (opening up the potential for franking credits) and 50 per cent a return of capital.
The Deutsche Bank analysis works on an assumed buyback price of $35 a share, but franking credits help improve the notional value of the buyback to more like $42.50 -- higher than the $42.23 at which Shell completed its original sell-down.

Such a plan would require Shell's willingness to participate, and, given its moves in recent months to up its interest in Browse and its behind-the-scenes efforts to push for a floating LNG solution for the project, it may not be willing to cede its influence over the project by decreasing its Woodside stake.

But the key point is that Woodside certainly has plenty of options in a post-James Price Point future. Abandoning James Price Point would not be an end for the company but a beginning, particularly from a capital-management perspective.

James Price Point's biggest champion, Barnett, won't be happy with that decision.
But at least he'll be able to console himself from the comfort of the Premier's chair.