Friday, November 28, 2008


A large pod of Humpback Whales were seen today just offshore from Middle Lagoon, adjacent to North Head and they were seen to be breaching and cavorting for quite some time.Even after the so-called end of the "whale season"(it is presumed that most are on their southern migration) we are still seeing whales in the northern waters in one of their socialisation areas.Apparently it may be that not all whales take the migration,especially young bulls who may not be of mating age.
Again, Eyesoncountry calls on the State and Federal Governments to declare the area a Marine Park and endeavour to undertake further studies in this internationally significant region.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Bruno Dann, Traditional Nyul Nyul Owner

Bruno Dann requested to be filmed on the weekend to appeal to the government to rethink their proposed gas development on the Kimberley coast. This footage was first posted on Youtude under the Title: Please Think Again

We will never be able to create a just or sustainable world without addressing the ongoing colonialism, imperialism and genocide inherent in denying indigenous people control over their own lands and destinies.

The violation of country and destruction of indigenous cultures is inseparable from the other injustices that confront our world. It is no coincidence that even as cultural diversity and native languages disappear at rates unheard of in the history of our species, extinction rates have reached levels unseen.

While many pressing issues confront indigenous Australians, Governments and multinational corporations worldwide continue to launch new assaults on indigenous lands, in order to secure access to the resources that their economies need to sustain themselves, even when it is killing the planet. These resources are then used to secure corporate control over the rest of the world, leading to many of the other injustices that progressives routinely follow.

The fundamentally colonialist nature of these types of projects is underscored by the fact that their supposed benefits rarely flow to local communities — rather, they are intended to move resources away and to the wealthy. The dislocation caused by these projects is culturally devastating to indigenous peoples. Yet devastating as they are, infrastructure projects are in many ways only the shock troops that facilitate the ongoing assault on indigenous lands around the globe.

Once roads have been punched into country or electric generating capacity set up, for example, the way is cleared for an unremitting flood of industries. The economic model underlying globalised infrastructure represents a fundamentally non-indigenous way of doing business. It is based on the premise that the land is meant to be exploited for short-term gain; an indigenous way, in contrast, emphasizes relation with the land over the long-term and into future generations.

All around the world, indigenous communities are resisting assault by these types projects. They are defending their cultures against a global economy that insists that they assimilate, conform, consume, give up country and be silent.

Delving into the Deep

This week Hands Off Country will focus on the Marine Environment and we aim to bring you the most com pelling scientific evidence to date that proves without a doubt that North Head should not be the site for the Gas Hub and that the Kimberley in general is absolutely no place for industrialisation.
Below is the most up to date scientific study and research on Humpback Whales conducted in the North Head/Pender Bay region.The three year study's outcomes are very clear and highlight the fact that a Gas Processing Facility would directly impact on the recovering Humpback Whale population which is of international significance.This Whale Nursery and Socialisation Area is one of the most important left on the planet and Hands Off Country calls on the State and Federal Governments to immediately protect these areas.
This study has international significance and Hands Off Country would like to sincerely thank Two Moons Whale and Marine Research Base initiated and run by Goojarr Goonyool Aboriginal Corporation and the researchers and authors,Shannon McKay and Dr Deborah Thiele for allowing us to use this.Please note that the data in this submission is not to be cited without the authors consent.As such you will find the submission in full below.Just click on each page to view in full size.Pages 1-16 run in order down the page.

Humpback Whales

Humpback whale is a moderately large baleen whale, reaching lengths of up to 17.4 metres and a maximum
weight of 45 tonnes. Hunted extensively throughout the 19th and 20th centuries (until a moratorium was implemented
in 1963), a staggering 95% of the Humpback p
opulation was slaughtered for human use.
Along the west coast of Australia, records show that at least
19,557 humpback whales were killed between 1911 and 1963,
in addition to 8,302 tak
en by east coast whaling stations.
The rema
ining populations numbered less than 600 in the
west coast, and 100-500 along eastern migratory pathways.

As the species struggles to recover from such decimation,
its survival continues to be threatened by degraded habitat
and disrupted calving areas. Attempts to manage human
impact on the Humpback Whale are limited by a general lack
of kn
owledge of their habitat requirements along migratory
Figures taken from the Australian Government Department of Environment and Heritage website,, 19/06/07

Here are a few samples that can be used in the protection of the humpback whale. these are all recorded within 4 miles of north head
Attached is footage of a young calf. This unfortunate baby humpback was unlikely to see another dawn break!
Tiger Sharks take only a few ,There are many such baby humpback whales that will be displaced by the noise and vessel traffic of a GAS Refinery at North Head!. this displacement could very well lead to a higher mortality rate as the mothers and calves attempt to cope with what would be the human equivalent of evicting mothers and children into the unknown !. this area is a Humpback Whale Nursery in a recovering population that was almost wiped out by whaling less than one human generation ago.
If the Australian population were concerned about the fate of the baby humpback whale named Colin or (Collette) then they ought to be informed about the proposed gas refinery and the possible fate awaiting the many returning pregnant mothers that once again during our winter, will be seeking shelter in what they believed were ANTI Whaling friendly Australian Waters .
N.D.T.F Scientific advise on Humpback Whales
The Northern Development Task Force informed the indigenous community at the meeting at Middle Lagoon that their scientific advise was, "that a refinery at North Head was non preferred but manageable" ???
I would say as far as a humpback whale was concerned, The gas refinery can only "manage" to reduce their groups available "socialising, calving and resting areas"
(3 years of base line data and We never received a visit by the N.D.T.F ???)
What Example will we be setting
Australians cannot knowingly accept their actions against these mothers and calves .this would be contrary to the Australian international stance against Japan and the fact t hat Japan have agreed "for now" NOT to HARM or Kill Humpback Whales
A Response to the Proposed Gas Refinery
All of us Here at The Two Moons Whale And Marine Research Base Are awaiting the pr ocesses of Government . They now have 3 years of Humpback Whale, Base line data Via the authors in the form of the public submission . . these three years of survey are adjacent to north head.
We would expect that informed decision makers would not announce a gas refinery at North Head and instead announce the North Head area and Surrounds as a Humpback Whale Sanctuary .
Thanks must go out to Shannon McKay and Deb Thiele for their devotion to preserving and aiding the humpback whale
("my apologies to the male humpback whales for not mentioning you blokes as often")
(these images and audio are not for commercial use or gain without the strict consent of Two Moons Whale And Marine Research Base.)
Yours Sincerely
Andrew.J. Bowles
Chairperson Goojarr Goonyool Aboriginal Corporation
PO Box 1754 Broome WA 6725
Ph- 0891924616 Mob- 042813814



Companies told to declare emission targets

This is a transcript from AM. The program is broadcast around Australia at 08:00 on ABC Local Radio.
Tuesday, 25 November , 2008 08:09:00
Reporter: Alexandra Kirk

TONY EASTLEY: Corporate Australia is being challenged to declare its hand on greenhouse reduction targets.

The think-tank, the Climate Institute, says business leaders should come clean on their position, accusing many of them of pressuring the Federal Government to delay action on cutting emissions.

The Institute has taken out newspaper advertisements and written to the nation's top chief executives asking for a balanced approach.

From Canberra, Alexandra Kirk reports.

ALEXANDRA KIRK: The Climate Institute's chief executive, John Connor has placed ads in major newspapers and written to the Business Council of Australia and all its members.

JOHN CONNOR: It's a tough political environment and I don't think it's fair that one of the major players is allowed to get off scot -ree on one of the critical elements of this debate.

You would see Woodside and Xstrata and Exxon Mobil, all of those are putting a lot of pressure on the Government and saying we should delay, we should give special treatments. All we're asking for is a bit of balance here, lets here what their views are in terms of the long term objectives for the planet and for the kind of low carbon competitive economy we should actually be aiming towards.

ALEXANDRA KIRK: One insider has labelled the challenge to business as "not very helpful".

Woodside says it will comment when the Government unveils its emissions trading scheme proposal, or White Paper, next month.

The Business Council isn't commenting, neither is the Australian Industry Group, though it has stipulated its preferred 2020 target.

ExxonMobil's spokesman, Rob Young, doesn't think it's for business to set or seek to set carbon targets.

ROB YOUNG: It's up to governments to determine what targets are appropriate based on the science and so forth that they wish to set. From our point of view, we consider that climate change is a risk and we're working constructively with governments to provide input into their deliberations and in fact, along with a range of other stakeholders industry, we've been invited to do so by the Australian Government and Professor Garnaut and we've done that in an open and transparent manner.

ALEXANDRA KIRK: The Government will announce its interim emissions reduction target just before the Climate Change Minister, Penny Wong, heads to Poland next week for global negotiations. The Climate Institute wants business to reveal its hand before that.

The Government and Opposition aren't saying anything. But National Party Senator Ron Boswell, who recently sought the views of business leaders himself, says the ad strategy goes too far.

RON BOSWELL: Well I would call on the Business community not to be intimidated by the climate institute. I think they've got a cheek to come out and tell business what they should do. There's no doubt about it, businesses are becoming very edgy and very nervy about it.

ALEXANDRA KIRK: But Don Henry from the Australian Conservation Foundation says it's a case of give and take.

DON HENRY: Well some of Australia's biggest polluting companies have got their hands out for over a billion dollars a year in tax payers funded assistance to make the transition to a lower carbon economy. And if they want to have their hands in the public till to that extent, they should be saying where they stand on targets to reduce emissions.

TONY EASTLEY: The Australian Conservation Foundation's Don Henry, the report by Alexandra Kirk.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Interviews transcribed

As promised the interviews with

Kevin George ( Kevin George speaking at Djarindjin 13 November 2008),

Mary Kitchener, Jackie McKenzie (The Tower Story 13 November 2008) ,

Elsta Foy, Phillip Sibosado, David Dureau and Kathleen Cox (Summary of the Northern Development Taskforce meetings 12 November 2008)

have been transcribed and now included at each post. Thanks HJ for your help, Redhand.

Hands off country and speak out for the Kimberley and the Planet.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Ancient Ones

Please click on this old page to view image in full size.
Eyesoncountry was walking along a remote dirt track when this page fluttered around on the track ahead.Curious and always alert to the interconnectedness of things I picked it up and had a read.
What has it got to do with a Gas Hub one might ask but really we can draw so many parallels with this snippet of a story.
For those amongst us who do believe that the Songs of the Country are more than a careless custom, this page can hopefully give some comfort to our cause."You are not without allies even if you know them not".
And on a Global Outlook the "little life of Men is now endangered"(global warming crisis)and therefore the life of those things that many may believe are but "matters of legend" are also endangered.
This leads eyesoncountry to think about the ancient ones,seen or unseen, and how significant their health is to that of the planets.
Stay tuned as we delve into the deep over the next days as this blog brings you the most up to date research on our ancient allies the megaptera novaeangliae the Humpback Whales.

Friday, November 21, 2008

'By Order of the Broome Shire Clerk'

'By Order of the Broome Shire Clerk', for more than twenty years, there have been signs plastered all along the Dampier Peninsular encouraging and informing locals and visitors alike to.

Shoot only cameras
Take only Memories
Leave only footprints

The majority of people who have visited the Dampier Peninsular have understood, respected, protected and implemented these conservation initiatives over the years. There are also signs thanking all of us helping the Shire keep the country clean.

Colin Barnett and Carol Martin are openly and publicly inviting the development of a Gas Processing Hub within Dampier Peninsular that will:

Shoot Indigenous Human Rights back forty years
Take everything and more
Leave huge scares from environmental disasters

Therefore, Red hand queries, what will be the new “Orders of the Broome Shire Clerk” for the Dampier Peninsular?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Aboriginals want $2m more to continue gas talks

20th November 2008, 6:00 WST
The Western Australian are reporting this today.

The Kimberley Land Council has asked the State Government for another $2 million to consult traditional land owners on a site for a gas processing precinct on the coast.

The Government confirmed it is negotiating with KLC over the request for more money, which would be in addition to the almost $7 million already paid to the group by the Carpenter government.

The West Australian revealed recently that taxpayers paid almost $7 million to KLC in two instalments in February and June under an agreement with the previous government.

The funding enabled KLC to consult traditional land owners on whether they supported any development, then produce a shortlist of potential sites.

Industry sources told The West Australian that in addition to the $7 million, KLC was paid $3.5 million by development proponent Inpex as part of negotiations over a site.

KLC selected four possible sites for the processing hub in September after eight months of consulting traditional owners.

KLC executive director Wayne Bergmann said yesterday his group had requested $2.2 million in new funding to consult traditional owners in relation to the selection of a single site for developing gas resources off the Kimberley coast.

“There are some in the mining, oil and gas industries and Government who would prefer that Aboriginal people did not have enough resources to represent their rights when negotiating with multi-national companies,” he said.

A spokesman for Colin Barnett said negotiations were under way on whether KLC would be given the extra money.

He said once that decision was made, the Government would determine how much KLC would get.

It is understood the additional funding would be for two months work but KLC would not confirm this yesterday.

The Premier last month named North Head, north of Beagle Bay, as his preferred site for the gas precinct in the Kimberley.

Last week, a group of Aboriginals who live at Beagle Bay set up a roadblock to stop senior bureaucrats from the Government’s Northern Development Taskforce entering the community to discuss the plan.

But The West Australian understands KLC held a meeting yesterday with traditional owners of the area who voted in favour of continuing negotiations with the Government’s task force.

Asked about the vote numbers, a KLC spokesman said the group could not confirm anything in relation to decisions taken at the meeting of traditional owners.

KLC will meet traditional owner members of a task force from the four native title groups from the shortlisted areas on Wednesday.


Northern Development Taskforce meeting at Middle Lagoon.

Gail McGowan and Duncan Ord representing the Northern Development Taskforce met with community people and visitors at Middle Lagoon, on the Dampier Peninsula on Tuesday 11th November, 2008.

Marty Sibosado spoke about law, heritage, the KLC and about the need for informed decision making.

The video is about 10 minutes long and split into two parts.
Part 1

Middle Lagoon part 2

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


The premiere of the epic "Australia" movie screened in a number of keyspots on 18 November including a special screening in Kununurra attended by the Federal Opposition Leader and Liberal Party member, Malcolm Turnbull. So touched by the movie and the landscape it was set in that Mr Turnbull declared to the media, "Lets hope this movie will do for this place what "the Lord of the Rings did for New Zealand". That's right Mr Turnbull, this Kimberley is the place that the eyes of the world will be turning to and Hands off Country suggests that you might make your fellow Liberal Party members, especially Colin Barnett aware of its significance and that Tourism, Whales and Pearls and Gas Hubs just don't fit together.

Beagle Bay Church

Our thanks to Elena and Francesco for these pictures taken in October, 2008

Historic Beagle Bay divided over gas hub 17th November 2008, 6:00 WST

The West Australian
17th November 2008, 6:00 WST

The exquisite Sacred Heart chapel at the Beagle Bay community, with its intricate pearl shell decoration, is the most obvious link between past and present.

It represents Beagle Bay’s religious foundation and is much loved today by the Catholic Church, local schoolchildren, their families and tourists making their way along the Dampier Peninsula to One-Arm Point.

When the chapel’s belltower collapsed in 2000 an Australia-wide appeal produced the money to rebuild it. Emily Charles, whose grandmother collected shells for the chapel when it was originally built by missionaries and Aboriginals in 1917, is reported to have wept with joy when she heard the bells ring again two years later: “I thought ‘bugger going fishing with my nephew, I’m going to church’.”

Beagle Bay finds itself in the news again as the closest community to North Head, Colin Barnett’s preferred site for an LNG processing plant.

Some residents have no objection to it and believe that the project could provide the much-needed employment for Aboriginals.

Others are vehemently and vocally opposed and fear that the 1000ha site will be a blot on a one of the world’s most remarkable and pristine coastlines. Their protest led to a blockade of the road into the community last week when members of the Northern Development Taskforce were due to visit.

But there are other complications at Beagle Bay, intertwined with debate over the LNG site and connected with the community’s history.

The first Catholic school in the Kimberley was established by the Trappist fathers at Beagle Bay mission in 1892 and handed over to the German Pallottines in 1901. In 1907, the St John of God sisters arrived and stayed at the mission until the 1975 when Beagle Bay became a self-governing community. The community asked the Catholic Church to continue to operate the Sacred Heart School, next to the church and the Pallottines left in 2002.

In 2005, however, the community was found to be dysfunctional, riven by feuds and rumours of abuse and missing money, and was placed into administration. And there it remains, the administrator now referred to as a “place manager” with the task of managing day-to-day affairs but with no right to speak for the community.

The community is, in fact, voiceless.

During last week’s roadblock, resident and protester Albert Wiggan referred to the fact that the community has no legitimate governing body. He believes that the community, therefore, is hamstrung in its ability to negotiate over the plant. There are further complications in that the community’s land is held by the Aboriginal Lands Trust.

There is another problem, too. Many, if not most, of the residents of Beagle Bay are not traditional owners. Because the community has grown out of a mission, its inhabitants either are descendants of the stolen generation or moved to the community for other reasons.

Negotiations over finding a place for the LNG hub have been conducted by the Kimberley Land Council with traditional-owner groups from along the Kimberley coast. And so, many of the residents of Beagle Bay feel, rightly or wrongly, that their wishes are not being heard and that they have not been given enough information about the project to form a view.

Everyone seems to agree that it’s a mess, including Beagle Bay-born Kerrianne Cox, a musician and songwriter who was elected chairwoman of the Beagle Bay community in 2004 and was instrumental in having it declared a community in crisis the following year. She continues to be involved in the long process of uniting the disparate groups and helping build a local economy and does not see a gas hub as being helpful.

A Joint Government Action Plan for Beagle Bay was adopted when the community failed, with one of its aims the creation of a governance plan. It is, she agrees, a painfully slow process.

But, she says, she’s focused on the vision, not the negativity — as the religious orders which have been part of the community for more than a century have done.

The West Australian

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Broome Pearls. Pressure on the pearling industry.

The environmental damage to the crystal clear waters along the Kimberley coast where pearling leases are located will be devastating. The turbidity created by drilling and dredging will ruin the nutrient flow required to maintain and grow healthy oysters. Take a look at a previous post on this blog ‘Why Gourdon Bay? ‘ this is what could happen if a gas hub is located on land adjacent to pearling waters.

Redhand noted the recent notices for new pearl farm leases at Sandy Point, Paspaley Pearling Company Pty Ltd, Roebuck Pearl Producers Pty Ltd, Pearls Pty Ltd and the Australian South Sea Pearling Company Pty Ltd and at Vansittart Bay – Seaflower Bay B, Paspaley Pearling Company Pty Ltd; applications for a pearl oyster farm lease Port Smith, Clipper Holdings Pty Ltd and Prices Point, Clipper Holdings Pty Ltd and an application for a pearl oyster farm lease trial site Shenton Bluff, Cygnet Bay Pearls. Each are within close proximity to one of the four sites selected by the Northern Development Taskforce Site Evaluation Reports for an LNG gas hub. Redhand hopes these applications are supported; pearling is an industry that nestles comfortably with a wilderness coast.

Quite apart from the environmental damage that raises the question, will the pearling industry survive, the damage to the heritage, the history and retail value of the pearling industry will be immense and forever. The images of pearls around Broome are many.

Pearls, their history and industry in Broome are one of the major attractions that encourage tourists to visit Broome. Anyone who has been to a Broome Cup knows that that’s ‘show day’ for pearls.

Redhand looks forward to the publication of the sequel to Port of Pearls by Hugh Edwards which is expected to be released later this month during the celebrations for the 125th anniversary of the gazettal of the town of Broome. However, that’s history, what of the future for Pearls in Broome?

Beagle Bay Blockade 3 and 4

These are the final two videos of the conversation held at the blockade on the road into Beagle Bay on Monday 10th November, 2008. The group included, secretariat, Gail McGowan and Duncan Ord from the Northern Development Taskforce, Beagle Bay community people, leaseholders, visitors and was witnessed by representatives of the Department of Indigenous Affairs.
Videos of other meetings held on the Dampier Peninsula last week will be posted soon.
Beagle Bay Blockade 3

Beagle Bay Blockade 4

Sunday, November 16, 2008

No public notice for Dampier Peninsula Northern Development Taskforce meetings.

Redhand queries why there was NO PUBLIC NOTICE of the public meetings held by the Northern Development Taskforce representatives at Beagle Bay, Middle Lagoon, Lombadina and Djarindjin on the Dampier Peninsula last week 10th and 11th November, 2008? Why was the Broome public meeting the only one that was advertised?

Notice that it is advertised as an LNG precinct not a gas hub.

photo: Broome, Northern Development Taskforce Public Meeting notice in the 6th November, 2008 edition of the Broome Advertiser.

Bob the Builder 2

Bob the Builder stands up
in absolute solidarity with the people,
he has been swayed.
Unlike the NDT people,
he understands NO.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


All around Australia with the same opinion


Here are some of our friends,