The head of WA's environment watchdog has accused green groups of rewriting history and lacking objectivity by ignoring the previous detailed approval process for Woodside Petroleum's contentious $40 billion Browse project.
Environment Protection Authority chairman Paul Vogel made the comments after he yesterday approved Woodside's so-called derived plans for a 25 million tonnes per annum LNG facility at James Price Point, north of Broome.
The green light for the plant was given under the umbrella of a broader strategic approval process for the entire, larger, James Price Point precinct, which was cleared by the EPA and accepted by the WA Environment Minister this year.
It means the latest "derived" decision will not be subject to appeals.
Green groups attacked the move and flagged legal action against the EPA.
However, Dr Vogel said no new environmental issues about the project had been raised in 1800 public comments on Woodside's derived proposal, and green groups were "attempting to rewrite history" by ignoring the previous lengthy approval process.
"We have been involved in this assessment since 2007," he said.
"There have been 43 sites looked at along the Kimberley coast . . . and there have been several years of a lot of work and thousands and thousands of pages of investigations about James Price Point.
"This has been a rigorous and exhaustive process. To suggest that this has been a cursory examination is fatuous and disingenuous.
"We have formed the view, with the approved project, that there aren't any significant new issues that would justify reassessment."
To suggest that this has been a cursory examination is fatuous and disingenuous. "EPA boss Paul Vogel