WGAR News: Woodside given go-ahead to destroy Aboriginal sites at James Price Point: Robin Chapple

Newsletter date: 19 January 2013


* Robin Chapple MLC: Woodside given go-ahead to destroy Aboriginal sites at James Price Point
* Greens leader Senator Christine Milne: Burke must intervene as Barnett rubber stamps destruction of Aboriginal heritage at James Price Point
* The Wilderness Society: Woodside given permission to drill in Kimberley
* News re Woodside and James Price Point, Kimberley Region, WA
* Background to Walmadan Tent Embassy, James Price Point, north of Broome, Kimberley Region, WA

* Other articles


- News

Robin Chapple MLC: Woodside given go-ahead to destroy Aboriginal sites at James Price Point
15 Jan 13: "Greens Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region and Greens WA spokesperson on Aboriginal affairs Robin Chapple has lashed out in response to yesterday’s decision by State Aboriginal Affairs Minister Peter Collier to give Woodside the go-ahead to destroy Aboriginal sites at James Price Point. "The Section 18 approval of ground disturbing works flies in the face of previous recommendations and Court decisions not to allow mining in the area due to its cultural and environmental significance," Mr Chapple said. ... "


Robin Chapple MLC: Aboriginal Issues
"The Greens (WA) acknowledge that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, as the original inhabitants of this country, have a special cultural and spiritual connection with the land and water. We believe that their rights and obligations as owners and custodians must be respected."


- Media Release

Burke must intervene as Barnett rubber stamps destruction of Aboriginal heritage at James Price Point
Greens leader Senator Christine Milne: http://christine-milne.greensmps.org.au/content/media-releases/burke-mus...
Greens Senator Scott Ludlam: http://scott-ludlam.greensmps.org.au/content/media-releases/burke-must-i...
15 Jan 13: "Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Issues ...
Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke must intervene immediately to protect Aboriginal heritage at James Price Point and beyond in the wake of the Western Australian government's decision to allow the Woodside Petroleum Gas Hub to disturb Aboriginal heritage sites, the Australian Greens said today.
Greens leader Senator Christine Milne said "I'm shocked that the West Australian government is allowing such destructive acts to happen, particularly when there are two court cases pending.
"Tony Burke has to step in immediately to protect this priceless heritage."
Greens Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam said the decision defied multiple precedents. ... "


Christine Milne: Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Issues
"The Australian Greens acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as Australia’s first peoples and recognise their strong cultural and spiritual connection with the land, and their rights and obligations as owners and custodians."

About Christine Milne
1 Jan 12: "Christine Milne, Senator for Tasmania and Leader of the Australian Greens, is one of Australia's most experienced and respected environmental and community activists, with a career spanning 30 years."

Scott Ludlam: Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Issues
"All Australians, including those living in remote communities, have an equal right to essential government services such as health, education, training, housing, community infrastructure, employment support, and policing."

About Scott Ludlam
1 Jan 12: "Scott Ludlam is an Australian Greens Senator for Western Australia. Elected in November 2007, he is one of ten Australian Greens in the current Parliament and is the spokesperson for Communications, Housing, Heritage, Nuclear Issues, Infrastructure and Sustainable Cities."


- Statement

Green Left: Woodside given permission to drill in Kimberley
15 Jan 13: "The Wilderness Society released this statement on January 15. ***
The Broome community is outraged at the Minister’s decision announced today to give WA Aboriginal Heritage Act Section 18 clearance to allow Woodside to drill in the dunes west of Manari Road as part of their investigation work for an LNG processing site.
"We are gravely concerned that the Minister has provided no advice as to the reasons for his decision and for the future protection of Aboriginal Heritage sites in the area. The Broome Community no gas Campaign will be calling on Tony Burke the federal minister responsible for the Environment and Aboriginal Heritage to intervene” said spokesperson Nik Wevers.
In 1991 the Aboriginal Cultural Material Committee concluded that no exploration should occur in this area. ... "

- Related News

The Wilderness Society: Barnett hints at fracking in the Kimberley
16 Jan 13: "Western Australian Premier Colin Barnett has, for the first time, drawn a strong link between his proposed gas hub at James Price Point and vast onshore shale gas deposits in the Kimberley’s Canning Basin. As industry analysts increasingly doubt the economic viability of the Premier’s gas hub - and insist that 'floating' technology would be a more profitable way for Woodside and Shell to exploit gas from the offshore Browse Basin - Barnett has responded: ... "


The Wilderness Society: The Kimberley
"The Kimberley region of northern WA is one of the world’s great natural and Indigenous cultural regions."


- Videos

Yahoo!7 GWN7: Gas hub protesters vow to fight drilling decision at gravesites (video)
17 Jan 13: "Protestors at the site of a controversial gas hub have promised to fight the latest decision by the State Government. It's going to allow drilling in certain sacred sites that have been under protected status for more than two decades."

NITV News - 17 January part 1
[Footage relating to James Price Point starts after about 10 minutes.]

- Research

Hands Off Country: Valuable & Threatened Broome Botanical Society Research Released
16 Jan 13: "Broome Botanical Society has worked with Environs Kimberley to release important research about one of the Kimberley's most threatened ecosystems; Monsoon Vine Thickets of the Dampier Peninsula. The Federal Government is currently deciding whether or not to list this culturally significant and environmentally important ecosystem as Nationally Endangered under the EPBC Act (1999). "Extensive surveys of the Monsoon Vine Thickets (MVT's) were conducted by the Broome Botanical Society (BBS) in partnership with the DEC, between 2000 and 2002. ... " Principal Author of the scientific report, Sally Black said."

- News

newsTracker: Floating LNG plant would be nuts: Barnett
17 Jan 13: "WESTERN AUSTRALIA: Federal and state authorities would be "nuts" to allow Woodside to replace the $40 billion gas hub proposed for James Price Point with a floating processing plant, Western Australia’s Premier Colin Barnett has said. In a clear warning to the resources giant, Mr Barnett has said he would rather see the vast gas resource stay in the ground for years, rather than let the liquefied natural gas plant leave the mainland."

Business Spectator: Kimberley gas must be processed onshore: WA Labor
17 Jan 13: "As part of a scramble to ensure gas from the $40 billion Kimberley gas hub is processed onshore, West Australian Labor leader Mark McGowan has said he would allow project participants to switch sites or pipe the gas to the Pilbara, according to The Australian Financial Review. The state election is set to take place March 9, and if victorious, Mr McGowan plasn to immediately meet all stakeholders in the project to discuss its future. “I'd call the parties together to say, firstly, I want an Aboriginal benefits package, and I want it processed onshore, and then work out a way of doing that,” he said, according to the AFR."

newsTracker: Woodside granted access to sacred sites
16 Jan 13: "WESTERN AUSTRALIA: The West Australian government has sparked immediate protests after granting resources giant Woodside the right to disturb Aboriginal sacred sites as part of the proposed $40 billion James Price Point gas hub near Broome. Locals, environmentalists and Australian Greens leader Christine Milne have all condemned the granting of Woodside’s application under the state’s Aboriginal Heritage Act, which allows work in sand dunes at Walmadany."

National Indigenous Radio Service: WA Gov't: Woodside allowed to damage heritage sites
16 Jan 13: "The Western Australian Government has granted mining and energy company Woodside permission to disrupt Aboriginal heritage sites at its James Price Point gas hub near Broome. The Australian newspaper reports Aboriginal Affairs Minister Peter Collier says Woodside's application allows them to drill, conduct flora and fauna surveys and hydro-geological testing as part of construction for the gas hub."

ABC: Group opposes Woodside move to disturb site
16 Jan 13: "Aboriginal families from Broome have reacted angrily to the State Government's decision to allow Woodside to disturb archaeological sites as part of its Browse LNG project. The Indigenous Affairs Minister this week confirmed Woodside had been given permission to disturb two areas that have been registered as protected heritage sites for more than twenty years.
Goolarabooloo man Phillip Roe, who opposed the application, says protesters will be ready to try to block the work when it begins."

The West: Woodside plans Broome camp for 857
16 Jan 13: "Woodside is pressing ahead with its plans for a gas hub at James Price Point, with one of its contractors applying to build a massive camp just outside Broome to house almost 1000 transient workers. Skunthorpe Accommodation Camp, 24km north-east of Broome, will house workers building accommodation at James Price Point. It will include a bar and wet mess and will, according to Woodside, ensure that workers do not flood tourist facilities in Broome." Glenn Cordingley and Pam Casellas, The West Australian

ABC: Woodside allowed to disrupt Aboriginal heritage sites
15 Jan 13: "The Western Australian Government's decision to allow Woodside to disrupt archaeological sites north of Broome has provided more ammunition for gas hub opponents who say the system is geared against Aboriginal people. The Minister for Indigenous Affairs has granted Woodside approval to disrupt Aboriginal heritage sites as it plans a $40 billion liquefied natural gas precinct north of Broome. The sites include Indigenous artefacts that predate European settlement."

Australian: Floating platform idea for Woodside
14 Jan 13: "ONE of the design contractors studying Woodside Petroleum's controversial and expensive Browse LNG project planned for near Broome has advised the partners to look at developing the project through a floating LNG platform because of the high costs of building onshore in Australia. Houston-based engineering contractor KBR -- the leading engineering contractor on West Australian liquefied natural gas projects -- said that in discussions since Browse front end engineering and design (FEED) studies were submitted last year, there was recognition from Woodside that building projects in Australia was very expensive." Matt Chambers

Perth Now: Gas saviour now a pipe dream for Premier Colin Barnett
12 Jan 13: "COLIN Barnett is desperately clinging to his dream of a $40 billion gas hub at James Price Point in the Kimberley despite a now-widespread belief it is doomed. The Premier yesterday warned the multinational consortium behind the project led by energy giant Woodside that they ''don't own it'', referring to the gas riches in the Browse Basin off WA." John Flint, The Sunday Times

The West: The battle of Broome
[Includes several articles.]


Last updated: 18 January 2013



- News

National Indigenous Radio Service: Case adjourned for Brisbane Embassy members arrested in December
15 Jan 13: "Three Brisbane Aboriginal Sovereign Embassy members who we're arrested late last year will need to wait to a so-far-undecided date to hear their fate after their court case was adjourned on Friday. The Brisbane Times reports Wayne 'Coco' Wharton, Bogain Spearim and Hamish Chitts were arrested for contravening a police order to leave the Embassy area in December. Their lawyer, Barrister Andrew Preston, argued they were removed from land that was legally designated for Aboriginal purposes and it was unlawful for the police to remove them."

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