West Australian Premier Colin Barnett is planning to lobby Chinese and Japanese customers and investors in the state’s huge Browse gas project directly to try to convince them they must back the controversial onshore site of James Price Point in the Kimberley.
Mr Barnett told The Australian Financial Review that if his Liberal-led government was re-elected on March 9, he would “be doing a lot of work’’ with the Chinese and Japanese on Browse.
“I will be dealing with the Chinese and Japanese as Premier to ensure they support the development of gas onshore,’’ Mr Barnett said. “That is what the state government of Western Australia wants. It will be a factor in China.’’
The Liberal Premier’s intervention sharply ratchets up the political, commercial and environmental arguments over the site of the $40 billion gas development north of Broome.
The state Liberals have consistently argued for James Price Point, although recent changes to the Woodside Petroleum-led partnership are thought to have increased the appeal of developing the gas offshore on a cost basis.