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.


  1. Good to hear they did some work yesterday,this was badly needed,but should have been for ALL fracking,shale etc.


    Now Ferguson has gone it is plain to see the mess he has made of Browse by insisting on processing at JPP.


    06 Oct 2011

    James Price Point LNG protsesters were lacking in respect for traditional indigenous landowners, said Resources and Energy Minister Martin Ferguson at the Darwin oil industry conference.


    1 September 2011

    The leaked US embassy cables about the James Price Point gas plant show that Resources Minister Martin Ferguson pushed the Browse Basin joint-venture partners into the controversial development.

    "Minister Ferguson is completely out of line, forcing environmentally destructive projects on resource companies," said Wilderness Society National Campaign Director Lyndon Schneiders.

    "It’s alarming enough for the United States government to take an interest. Prime Minister Gillard needs to pull Minister Ferguson into line as he’s walking the Government into what will be Australia’s biggest environmental battle."


    August 13, 2011

    ROYAL Dutch Shell's reluctance to develop the controversial Browse gas plant near Broome led the company to push for the reopening of shelved studies on piping the offshore gas to Darwin, building a plant on a reef or constructing a floating LNG plant.

    Shell put the case as government pressure to commit to a plant in the Kimberley region grew early last year.

    Documents obtained under Freedom of Information laws show the oil major - one of four minority Browse partners forced into studying the Kimberley option last year by the commonwealth and West Australian governments - may have been prepared to build a pipeline to Darwin and a new plant to avoid setting up in the Kimberley.

    The documents indicate the partners expressed their displeasure at Mr Ferguson's corralling of them into an agreement.


    ENERGY companies involved in a $30 billion gas development believed they were blackmailed into accepting a controversial site for a gas plant in the Kimberley, diplomatic cables reveal.

    The details emerged in US diplomatic cables published by Wikileaks about the intensely controversial Browse Basin liquefied natural gas project that looks set to be processed at the environmentally sensitive James Price Point area in the Kimberley.

    Australian Petroleum Producers and Explorers Association (APPEA) Director for Exploration and Access Ranga Parimala told the US, “the decision was an ‘unprecedented interference’ by the government in a project, intended to force Browse partners to choose Woodside's preferred development pathway.”

    “In Parimala's view,” the cable continued, “the Browse partners would have no chance to develop a credible alternative in 120 days and would either accept the James Price Point plan or seek to walk away from the project.”

    Kevin Blatchford from the group Save the Kimberley believes the push for a processing plant at the James Price Point is part of a wider plan to open up the rest of the Kimberley to industrialisation.

    “We also know that Martin Ferguson is heavily pushing behind the scenes for this because this will open other resources in the area.

    A media spokeswoman for Resources Minister Martin Ferguson said the Government did not comment on “leaked confidential documents.”

  2. cont....

    We live in a strange world when Governments and major companies conspire to damage, destroy and desecrate some of the world's most pristine environments, when there are clear alternatives, better alternatives and where pretty much everyone except the Government and one company are opposed to the development.

    Such is the scenario at James Price Point, in the Kimberley, where the WA Government and its mates in the oil industry, in this case Woodside Petroleum, are proposing a $46 billion port and gas hub in the Kimberley near the town of Broome.

    Woodside Petroleum and the WA Premier want to turn Broome into an oil and gas town by building gas refineries on the coast at James Price Point (JPP), 40km north of Cable Beach.

    Woodside Petroleum has joint venture partners Shell, Chevron, BHP and BP in the project who are reluctant to go to the Kimberley but have been forced into it by the WA Premier and Federal Minister Martin Ferguson.


    2009 - April – “a meeting of Traditional Owners from the Goolarabooloo Jabirr Jabirr, and Djaberra Djaberra Claim Groups … voted with a significant majority to enter into a Heads of Agreement with the State and Woodside to move forward in the process of allowing an LNG facility at Prices Point. This agreement was conditional on environmental and cultural heritage requirements being met.” (From Kimberley Land Council website)

    2009 - August - Montaro oil spill

    2009 - September – Shire of Broome LNG “Forum”

    2009 - November – Woodside begins construction of “temporary meteorological tower” near James Price Point

    2009 - December – Federal Resources Minister Martin Ferguson makes onshore LNG processing on the Kimberley Coast a condition of the Joint Venture partners (Shell, BP, BHP Billiton and Chevron) keeping their gas field retention leases.

    2010 - March – First meeting of Broome Community No Gas Campaign


    July 1st – At the start of NAIDOC week, WA police begin issuing traffic infringement notices to senior Aboriginal women blockading Manari Road to protest illegal clearing of Aboriginal Cultural sites, and breaches of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People

    July 5th – Black Tuesday. A peaceful Community blockade aimed at preventing illegal clearing of country containing Aboriginal Cultural sites is smashed by heavy-handed police tactics. About 80 black-shirted Public Order Group (Riot Squad) officers flown in from Perth bully and barge a path through protestors for Woodside’s equipment. 26 people, including Aboriginal women and long-standing Broome Community members and business owners are arrested.

    July 5th – Land clearing for “geotechnical surveys” commences. Senior Law Boss Joseph Roe issued with a notice to move on from his own Country.


    The signing of a "Heads of Agreement" by Premier Colin Barnett, Woodside chief Don Voelte and Kimberley Land Council (KLC) CEO Wayne Bergmann is a significant milestone for the Browse LNG Precinct Project.

    The Department will now work with Traditional Owners through the KLC to identify an exact location for the precinct in the James Price Point area, develop an indigenous land use agreement, and involve them in the design and construction of the precinct.

    Heritage, environmental and social impact studies are underway, with the aim to obtain State and Federal approvals by late 2010.

    The signing ceremony at James Price Point, 60km north of Broome on Monday April 27, 2009, was also attended by Federal Resources Minister Martin Ferguson and by many Traditional Owners from the Goolarabooloo Jabirr Jabirr Native Title Claim Group, which is represented by the KLC.


  3. cont...

    December 22nd – Woodside bypasses Broome Shire Council and lodges development application with State Government appointed Development Assessment Panel

    December 29th – Woodside request Final Investment Decision delay to “first half of 2013”

    2012 - January – Financial markets continue to hold negative opinions regarding LNG developments in Australia

    January – Announcement that rare Gouldian Finches have been positively identified on the Dampier Peninsula

    2012 - January – Woodside confirms it wants to sell some of its equity in Browse Basin

    2012 - February – WA Government Development Assessment Panel approves Woodside’s development application, despite Broome Shire Council refusing to endorse a Responsible Authority Report, and clear evidence of Woodside being in breach of planning regulations and the WA Aboriginal Heritage Act.

    February – At a meeting of Goolarabooloo and Jabirr Jabirr Traditional Owners, Goolarabooloo resolve to remove themselves from the joint native title claim and submit one in their own name. This further complicates the compulsory acquisition process.

    February 22nd – Broome Community No Gas Campaign presents the alternative Woodside Annual Report at Woodside’s Broome Office

    2012 - March 9th – highly respected Aboriginal leader Patrick Dodson says the compulsory acquisition notices “bungle” is embarrassing for the State, and suggests a gas plant is further away than ever.

    March 10th – new signs erected at Walmadany to advise everyone of the culturally significant status of Country, and the penalties for disturbing it.


    WGAR News: Fears raised over burial sites near James Price Point: Tracker

    27 Feb 13: "WESTERN AUSTRALIA: The Australian Greens fear Aboriginal burial sites north of Broome will be destroyed unless the Gillard government stops Woodside moving in heavy machinery near a controversial gas hub site. The Senate was told on Tuesday the energy giant was preparing to move equipment onto sand dunes near the James Price Point site. Woodside’s proposed $30 billion Kimberley gas hub has divided the community. Greens leader Christine Milne urged the government to step in to prevent sacred sites being damaged ... "


    2005 - Woodside announces Quandong Point as a possible site for its Browse Basin LNG plant

    2006 - Inpex investigates possible Kimberley sites for its Browse Basin (Icthys) LNG plant

    2007 - WA Labor Government establishes Northern Development Taskforce (NDT) to investigate potential LNG processing precinct sites in the Kimberley

    2007 – Save the Kimberley formed

    2008 - Strategic Assessment Agreement signed by WA and Australian Federal Governments

    2008 - September – Colin Barnett elected Premier

    2008 - October – Hands Off Country blog commences following the first banner protest in Broome

    October – Colin Barnett announces North Head (Pender Bay) as his preferred site

    2008 - December – NDT announces James Price Point as its recommended site for an LNG processing precinct