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."


  1. They just let these big companies in and then spend as little as they can putting band aids on all the problems.After all its a long way from Perth.

    As the very high costs bite and famillies can afford less food,kids see a bleaker future,crime goes up.

    "You cant tell a starving kid NO"

    Barnett's answer will be lock them all up.


    Adult jail for teens 'inhumane'

    The Children's Court President has launched an extraordinary attack on conditions facing young offenders held in an adult jail, branding them inhumane, appalling and a violation of the law.

    Judge Denis Reynolds made the damning assessment this week while considering the harsher regime at Hakea Prison when sentencing four juveniles in two cases.

    A total of 125 young offenders are held in two segregated units at Hakea after a destructive riot in January at Banksia Hill, WA's only youth detention centre.

    Judge Reynolds said detention facilities were in a "state of crisis", prompting unprecedented action by the court to clarify the law and the extent of the hardship. He said the makeshift conditions needed to be fixed immediately.

    In giving detention to three boys for a two-day crime spree and a 17-year-old for rape and aggravated armed robbery, Judge Reynolds did not reveal how much he reduced their penalties because of the "exceptionally harsh" conditions.

    He said the regime violated the Young Offenders Act and did not satisfy the legal requirements for a youth detention facility.

    Evidence of juveniles forced into cell lockdowns for an average of 15 hours a day - including 23 consecutive days of lockdowns for 23 or 24 hours - sometimes only to cater for staff training or breaks, was "inhumane" and a serious breach of duty of care to children.

    Judge Reynolds said reduced education and recreational time at Hakea - about nine hours of schooling and four hours of outdoor activity a week - was grossly inadequate and appalling.

    He also criticised an increase in strip searches and the use of restraints at Hakea, saying there seemed to be an inappropriate "broad brush" use of these.

    Judge Reynolds said a lack of opportunities to do rehabilitation programs was unacceptable and that harsh treatment in youth detention was not in the best interests of children or the community.

    Despite his concerns, Judge Reynolds said detention was the only option in the two cases.

    On Wednesday, he gave two 16-year-old boys 16 months detention and their 14-year-old relative a 10-month term for a series of offences.

    The 17-year-old rapist was sentenced to 27 months in detention.

    He said it was likely juveniles would not be returned to Banksia Hill until much later this year.

    Defence lawyer Ben Tyers told the court on Wednesday his client felt he was being punished for something he did not do.
    The boy, though safe in his cell, felt intimidated by violent and sexual gestures from adult prisoners.

  2. Early on this year ABC radio had an interview with the mayor of Onslow and he was wild about what was happening and said he was leaving town and all the old time residents were leaving,Wheatstone had killed the place.

    I've looked through the ABC site but haven't found any record of the interview.

    Would be great if someone could contact him for a statement for the Broome campaign as he was very honest about what Wheatstone had done to destroy their community.

  3. A few interesting headlines.


    US to approve shale gas exports in the form of LNG to Japan despite Non-FTA status

    Thursday, 28 March 2013

    The US government is in the final stages of lifting its embargo on shale gas exports in the form of LNG to Japan despite the Japanese not having a Free Trade Agreement with Washington.


    Japan to launch LNG futures trading at Tokyo Commodity Exchange in fiscal 2014

    Sunday, 31 March 2013

    The Japanese Ministry of the Economy, Trade and Industry said it would create an LNG futures market at the Tokyo Commodity Exchange in fiscal 2014 in an effort to help lower LNG import costs.


    West African state of Cameroon pitches its LNG ambitions in Houston and London

    Thursday, 28 March 2013

    The West African nation of Cameroon, which is also already developing an LNG project under France's GDF-Suez, is launching data rooms in Houston and London to heighten interest from energy companies in its latest exploration licencing round.


    On the other side of the ledger.


    A glorious winter, but the Alps face a warmer world – bringing huge change

    Under Mont Blanc's glittering peak, mountain guides and scientists tell the same story: the Alps are warming, the evidence of climate change is clear and the golden years of ski tourism will soon be past

    ""The impact of global warming on the Alps will be certainly felt by 2050, maybe 2040 according to climate models, so we are talking about maybe 20-30 years. Politicians need to take decisions now to face the challenges; 75% of the people I know [in the Alps] work in tourism and this will be a great challenge. This is no time to be sceptical: it is everyone's future we are talking about.""


    Scientists link frozen spring to dramatic Arctic sea ice loss

    Melting sea ice, exposing huge parts of the ocean to the atmosphere, explains extreme weather both hot and cold

    "According to Francis and a growing body of other researchers, the Arctic ice loss adds heat to the ocean and atmosphere which shifts the position of the jet stream – the high-altitude river of air that steers storm systems and governs most weather in northern hemisphere.

    "This is what is affecting the jet stream and leading to the extreme weather we are seeing in mid-latitudes," she said. "It allows the cold air from the Arctic to plunge much further south. The pattern can be slow to change because the [southern] wave of the jet stream is getting bigger. It's now at a near record position, so whatever weather you have now is going to stick around," she said."


    The cultural, economic and social effects of missing a spring are severe

    2013 is shaping to be one of the worst in northern Europe in decades. The British livestock industry is in crisis with tens of thousands of cattle and sheep having died in the cold. Cereal farmers have not recovered from last year's deluges and winter crops and vegetables lie rotting in sodden, frozen, or snowbound fields.

    If the severe weather persists, any seeds already planted are likely not to sprout. Analysts are already predicting the lowest wheat crop in 12 years. Meanwhile, the UN food and agriculture organisation reminds us that food prices have increased 30% since 2000 and can expect to rise at least 30% by 2021.

    To make everyone feel worse, economists now expect the severe weather to result in a triple-dip recession

  4. 'Critical information missing' from LNG approvals

    The environmental assessment process for two of Australia's biggest coal seam gas projects was a "farce", a former Queensland bureaucrat has claimed.

    Senior environmental specialist Simone Marsh was part of the Queensland Government team that approved Santos's $18 billion and Queensland Gas Company's (QCG) $20 billion LNG projects in 2010.

    She has told tonight's Four Corners program that the final stages of the three-year approval processes were rushed and the environmental impacts not properly assessed.

    "All the scientific arguments in the world wouldn't have changed things in that situation," she said.

    "They had decided they wanted to go ahead with the projects and there was nothing stopping it."

    In 2010, during the final stages of the three-year approval process - after assessing the environmental impact statements (EIS) and supplementary materials ahead of the Coordinator-General's report - she repeatedly raised concerns about the lack of key information in the documents.

    Four Corners has obtained more than 900 pages of documents under Queensland's Right To Information Act.

    Those documents appear to support Ms Marsh's claims.

    In other words, the process had been finished and the same information that was asked [for] right at the beginning of the process had still not been provided

    One departmental brief dated May 4, 2010 - less than a month before the Coordinator-General's report was published - states: "Delivery of information requested by DIP and agencies following assessment of the supplementary EIS (DERM primarily) has been slow".

    It goes on to say: "We need to be assured that overall impacts are acceptable. This has been difficult and uncertain without the full suite of information normally processed by DERM (Department of Environment and Resource Management) and other agencies.

    "We are mindful of the CG report being able to provide a 'bankable' outcome."

    Ms Marsh says she tried to raise her serious concerns about the missing information with the companies, and internally with senior management, but it "became apparent" to her that the Government was going to proceed without it and ask for the details after the process had concluded.

    "Terms of reference had been established for the projects, requiring a range of typical environmental information that allows you to undertake proper risk assessment of the situation," she said.

    "When you look at the Coordinator-General's conditions that eventuated from these projects, you see that the Coordinator-General has asked the proponents to provide the information that the terms of reference asked for many, many months earlier.

    "So, in other words, the process had been finished and the same information that was asked [for] right at the beginning of the process had still not been provided."

    Ms Marsh has taken the matter to Queensland's Crime and Misconduct Commission.

    In his report, the Coordinator-General hinted the company had provided insufficient information during the process to date, and asked for 10 further reports.

  5. cont....The environmental assessment process for two of Australia's biggest coal seam gas projects was a "farce"


    "I am not convinced there is sufficient detail in the draft EIS and SEIS (supplementary environmental impact statement) ... in order to determine with some degree of accuracy the impacts on environmental values in the gas fields," he wrote in his assessment of the Santos project.

    The head of the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA), Rick Wilkinson, said he was confident that proper process had been followed.

    "I think it's right and proper ... that there should be whistleblowers, and if something is not right then they should raise it," he said.

    "But I'm confident, from what I've seen, that the right processes were followed. And there were many checks and balances on the way through."

    On Twitter, Mr Wilkinson pointed to a paragraph in the Coordinator-General's report which says the Santos project "adequately meets the requirements for impact assessment to the greatest extent practicable".

    In written statements, QGC and Santos said the Coordinator-General approved the environmental impact statements on the basis that sufficient information had been made available.

    Santos says the time and volume of work produced indicates there was a "comprehensive assessment", while QGC said its project was subject to 1,500 state and federal environmental conditions.

    But Dr Chris McGrath, a senior lecturer in environmental regulation at The University of Queensland, said he believed it was a flawed decision to sign off on the project.

    "The fact that the Coordinator-General's reports supported the projects proceeding is not the issue," he said.

    "The issue is that the Coordinator-General should not have approved the projects given that critical information was missing."

    The Queensland Government, Santos and QGC, all declined interview requests from Four Corners.


    The Four Corners program "Gas Leak" airs on ABC 1 at 8:30pm AEDT tonight.