Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Videos of Save The Kimberley (15)

Videos of Save The Kimberley (15)

Wayne Bergmann calls on Tony Burke to stop gas processing at James Price Point - ABC Kimberley WA - Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Wayne Bergmann calls on Tony Burke to stop gas processing at James Price Point - ABC Kimberley WA - Australian Broadcasting Corporation

The Aboriginal champion of a gas processing precinct north of Broome at James Price Point has altered his position and called on the Federal Environment Minister to not approve the project. Kimberley Land Council Director Wayne Bergmann says that Tony Burke should not approve the project because there are no plans in place to deal with the social impact.

National Heritage Listing

One Place,Many Stories:West Kimberley.
Today at Gambanan on the Dampier Peninsula at 10.30 am the Minister for Sustainability,Environment, Water, Population and Communities, Tony Bourke, announced that the West Kimberley would be added to the National Heritage List.Although the whole of the Dampier Peninsula was not listed the intertidal area from north to south has been included and will help protect the ancient dinosaur trackways from further destruction.As the minister said this morning to the small crowd that gathered for this historic moment "if you want Broome to be the next Pilbara, then you wont like my decision.And if you want Broome to be the next Dubai then you wont like my decision" because the areas are too sensitive for this.
We certainly hope that barnett and woodside sit up and take notice of this spanner in their works and that they immediately cease all activities in this tidal zone as a matter of urgency and law.
handsoffcountry, standing up for the planet!

Heritage Listing for Dinosaur Footprints

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Woodside convoy halted as protest moves into 35th hour | Latest Business & Australian Stock market News | Perth Now

Woodside convoy halted as protest moves into 35th hour | Latest Business & Australian Stock market News | Perth Now

THREE women have locked themselves onto heavy machinery and a 44 gallon drum in an attempt to stop Woodside from gaining access to the proposed gas hub site at James Price Point near Broome.

Local Broome woman Marion Lester, 58, locked herself onto a Woodside vehicle around 2.30 am Friday morning and police are currently working to free her. She said she is not giving up.

“Woodside’s joint venture partners and investors need to start thinking about why there’s no plan B; any responsible business would have one. The Broome community’s resolve to stop this is not going to go away. In fact, it’s growing stronger by the day.”

Earlier yesterday morning Sue Clarke, 57, stood on the road blocking the Woodside convoy and was arrested for obstructing police. She refused bail conditions and spent Friday night in the Broome lockup. She has since been released on reduced bail conditions.

Dinosaur tracks fuel opposition to $35bn gas project near Broome | The Australian

Dinosaur tracks fuel opposition to $35bn gas project near Broome | The Australian

THE footprints are all around me, as large as spa baths or as small and delicate as a modern pawprint. It feels sacriligious to tread on them, even though I know they are firmly embedded in Broome’s orange sandstone. I skip over the smaller three-toed impressions, and leap across bigger, bath-like imprints.

As far back as 130 million years ago, a huge dinosaur lumbered past this spot and left its distinctive tracks. I hastily catch up with my guide, Louise Middleton, as she traces the animal’s giant steps across a wide, pitted rock shelf. Had we been transported back in time, we might have glimpsed a procession of plant-eating giants as they squelched their way across mudflats or browsed in tropical undergrowth. Looking down at my feet, I notice an exquisite, feathery fossil that hints at the fern-like plants that might have surrounded us.

Middleton has spent years combing the rocky shores of the Dampier coast. We squat to peer at the sharp-clawed print of an ornithopod, a two-legged plant-eater. “I was sitting on one boulder the other day, looked up and down the rock platform and realised there were tracks going in each direction for 500 metres,” she tells me.

Mayo Road Blockaded in International Solidarity Protest



Early Morning arm tube lock on in solidarity with Broome communityFrom 6.00am to 9.30am Friday 26th August, three campaigners occupied Aghoos Road, as part of the ongoing protests against the controversial Shell refinery at Bellinaboy. They formed a triangle in the middle of the road using a set of especially made arm-tubes.

This action follows on from yesterday, which saw the Gardai assault Dublin MEP Paul Murphy during a sit-down protest at the same part of the road. The protest stopped a number of Shell's construction vehicles reaching their destination at Aghoos. All three have been arrested and taken to Belmullet.

One of those occupying the road said, “I'm doing this in support of a similar protest that took place in Broome Community, Australia last night. This is a powerful way to show that struggles from Ogoniland in Nigeria, to the Tar Sands in Canada, Australia, to Erris, Mayo and now to Australia are linked in common cause. Once we heard about the Broome Community actions we had to show solidarity. It feels really powerful to be part of this.”

http://www.shelltosea.com/content/mayo-road-blockaded-international-solidarity-protest

Frech Film Crew issued Move On Notices a James Price Point

French Film Crew given move on notices at the site of the two girls who are locked on at Quondong. The police are working on cutting them off now. The people involved in The Pipe in Ireland have locked on to day in solidarity with the Broome Mob. The road is still being block at Quondong, by the police, at the turn off to everyone including the Darkside. Ice, support, watermelons and lots of fresh energy is needed.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Woodside locked out of James Price Point by Girls

It’s been over 12 hours and still we have three protectors still locked on.

Sue Clarke, who was arrested earlier this morning and refused the bail conditions has been forced to stay in the lock-up and will be imprisoned for the weekend.

Two young women are still locked within a 44 gallon drum and have successful been able to stop the entire Woodside convoy, all day.

Woodside workers were ferried back to Manari Road and sent home without raising a finger of work today.

The Broome community will continue to challenge the illegitimacy of Woodside’s current work plan, will question the lack of governess and will continue to hinder, obstruct and contest Woodside at every turn.

In the words of one of our favorite protectors “Its going to get harder and harder and harder”.

Woodside, your brand is suffering and like Country last week, your company will smolder in the minds of your shareholders.

GO BACK YOU ARE GOING TO WRONG WAY!.

WOODSIDE OVER A BARREL AT JAMES PRICE POINT


Broome No Gas Community Group

Friday, 26 August 2011

MEDIA RELEASE

At 2:00am this morning, a community roadblock stopped the progress of a large convoy of Woodside’s vehicles, including land-clearing and drilling machinery as they tried to return to James Price Point, site of Woodside’s proposed gas hub in the Kimberley.



For over six hours, about 60 Broome community members have halted any progress of this convoy of over 25 vehicles and trucks on the Manari Road, about 40km north of Broome.

“Why are they coming in here at 2am in the morning if they’ve got all their permissions in place?” Goolarabooloo Law Boss Joseph Roe asked Woodside at the site of this morning’s protest.

After a number of traffic infringements were issued and one arrest occurred for protestors standing on the road, four people have locked themselves to machinery, and to a roadblock, in an effort to further delay the return of Woodside onto the proposed gas hub site.

Marion Lester of Broome is currently ‘locked on’ to machinery loaded on a flatbed truck at Manari Road. When asked why she’d taken this action, Marion said,” I’ve lived in the Kimberley for 21 years, in Broome for 7. There are other options for processing this gas than building an enormous new industrial site on an unspoiled stretch of the Kimberley coastline. Woodside should pipe it to the Pilbara, or look to processing the gas on a floating platform offshore.”

“Along with the majority of our community, I’m determined that Woodside’s plans for James Price Point will not go ahead,” Marion continued.

Further down the road, Lauren Ausborne is locked to a concreted 44 gallon drum in the middle of the road with Naomi Hodgson. Still holding up the convoy six hours later, Lauren said, “I feel very strongly that Woodside must be stopped from destroying the living culture and unspoiled wilderness of this place.”

To date, one arrest has occurred this morning – Sue Clarke was arrested at about 3am for standing on Manari Road. Ms Clarke, of Broome, is currently being held in custody and is refusing bail.

Further arrests are expected throughout the day. To date, 26 people have been arrested in protest actions since Woodside have started their landclearing works near James Price Point.

To arrange further comment from protest site, call Nik Wevers: 0417 998 598
High res pictures & HD vision (unedited) available upon request. One image attached

Woodside held over a barrel at James Price Point

Ten traffic infringements issued at Manari Road Blockade this morning.

One arrested, Mrs Sue Clarke is currently refusing the bail conditions.

4 People are currently locked on preventing Woodside from get back on CountryOne woman is locked on the heavy machinery; one man is locked on to another vehicle at the Broome Community NO GAS Blockade.

Police are now issuing traffic infringements to people supporting the two women who are concreted into a 44 gallon drum at Quondong. ABC Regional Radio about to interview Marian Lester, live to air , who is currently locked on.

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=240004039370329&set=pu.146254135411987&type=1

Two people are still locked on at Manari Road and two others (women) are locked into a concreted 44 gallon drum, just pass Quondon turn off. About 50 vehicles in Woodside's convoy now held up - on narrow section of road at Quondong. For up -to-date information and photos refer to Save the Kimberley Facebook.

Ten traffic infringements issued at Manari Road Blockade this morning. One arrested, Mrs Sue Clarke. One woman is locked on the heavy machinery; one man is locked on to another vehicle. Police are now issuing traffic infringements to people supporting the two women who are concreted into a 44 gallon drum at Quondong. ABC Regional Radio about to interview Marian Lester, live to air , who is currently locked on.

Following are photos of the two women locked on Manari Road, 50 Woodside vechiles are not going anywhere for a long time

http://www.facebook.com/aboriginal.songlines/posts/238485182862119?ref=notif&notif_t=like#!/photo.php?fbid=240029369367796&set=a.147872175250183.23133.146254135411987&type=1&theater

http://www.facebook.com/aboriginal.songlines/posts/238485182862119?ref=notif&notif_t=like#!/photo.php?fbid=240025696034830&set=a.147872175250183.23133.146254135411987&type=1&theater

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Protestors lock themselves to cement barrel to stop Shell

Protestors lock themselves to cement barrel to stop Shell

ANOTHER lock-on protest on the roadside in north Mayo, near the site of Shell works for the controversial Corrib gas project, meant that operations were impeded until lunchtime yesterday (Monday).
The two protestors were arrested and charged at Belmullet Garda Station with Public Order Offences.

A spokesman for the Rossport Solidarity Camp confirmed that the two protestors were locked by their arms into a concrete barrel, on the north coast road, from shortly before 7am yesterday morning. This blockade is part of an intensive series of on-road actions, taken by the camp and Shell to Sea, since Shell started works at the Aughoose site for the 4.9km sub-sea tunnel during late July.

A large team of IRMS security guards has been policing the site on behalf of Shell.

A camp spokesman confirmed to The Mayo News that a Garda Síochána cutting team arrived around 9am yesterday morning and was supported by over 20 other gardaí. The protestors were cut from the barrel by 1pm.

He said, the action was also taken to highlight Shell’s recent oil spill at the Gannet Alpha platform, in the North Sea.

The Pipe will be screened at the Manari Road Blockade tomorrow night. A MUST SEE DOCUMENTARY that is totally parallel by our story. Multi national companies riding ruff shot over small communities. Shell is one of the joint venture partners for the proposed LNG at James Price Point.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Conservation groups slam marine plan - The West Australian

Conservation groups slam marine plan - The West Australian
Conservation groups are far from pleased with draft sanctuaries for northern Australian waters.

Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke released the details today, saying the ocean's fragile marine life deserve protection. A proposed network of reserves covers global refuges for turtles, dugongs and sawfish as well as the world's largest breeding and feeding ground for whale sharks.

It also aims to protect the breeding ground where each year more than 10,000 humpback whales migrate to mate and give birth in the waters off the Kimberley. The proposed networks of marine reserves are in commonwealth waters which start 5.5km off the coast.

FireExclusionZone-MPEG-4 .mp4 - YouTube


FireExclusionZone-MPEG-4 .mp4 - YouTube



It is evident that these fires have been lit, systematically. Who and why would want to burn country are questions we leave the audience to answer. Fires were lit on the southern boundary of the Trace Line on Friday evening around midnight. The fires were encouraged by easterly winds. In normal circumstances the wind swings to the south and would blow in a westerly direction, burning back onto itself.

Remnant rain forest (monsoon vine thicket) were threatened and the fire did cross the Manari Road just south of James Price Point.

We all fear for the bilbies and their babies but we are hopeful they have survived this holocaust as they live underground in burrows.

However, survival of the bilby population in the aftermath of an environment that has been scorched, with water scarce and habitat depleted of all nourishment is cause for great concern.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Road blockade at Shell's Compound in Co. Mayo | Shell to Sea

Road blockade at Shell's Compound in Co. Mayo | Shell to Sea
It such a parallel to our story. Please take time to write to these people and offer your support.



Shell, is one of the joint venture partners for the Browse.




Fires burning at Manari Road Blockade.



Messages from Facebook:

- Broome Police closed the Manari Road today as bushfires were flaring up! FESA dropped several fire 'bombs', some VERY close to the Manari Road Blockade Camp to try and backburn!? The camp has been established more than 80 days ago to stop Woodside from entering on to country and is still standing strong! We wont give up!

- People on the front line don't give up. Remember you are making a difference. You have a Bike to Broome, mentions in the West Australian, a full page article in the Sunday Times, guestions in Federal Parliament, fabulous coverage on Catylist, Q&A trying hard to ignore you, people donating to get the Dinosaur experts up, John Butler's article, Facebook growing before your eyes. And that's just some of the actions in the last 7days. Keep strong, Australia needs you to stay there.


ALERT LEVEL:
A bushfire ADVICE remains for Manari Road, Waterbank at Quondong Point, north of Broome in the Shire of Broome.

The bushfire is burning in bushland east of Manari Road between Bard Creek and Willie Creek, near the coast north of Broome.

There is no threat to lives or homes, but there may be a lot of smoke in the area. Although there is no immediate danger you need to be aware and keep up to date.

ROAD CLOSURES:

Manari Road remains closed to all traffic from the Cape Leveque turn off. This will be reassessed tomorrow morning.
Cape Leveque may be closed from tomorrow morning.

Motorists should avoid the area and be aware of fire and other emergency services personnel working on site.

RELOCATIONS:
Today 120 tourists and staff at Willie Creek Pearl Farm and tourist site were relocated to Broome for their personal safety.

BUSHFIRE BEHAVIOUR:
The bushfire is moving in a southerly direction. It is not contained or controlled.

WHAT FIREFIGHTERS ARE DOING:
Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service, Bush Fire Service and Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) firefighters are on the scene, undertaking back burning and fire suppression operations. Aerial back burning is also being utilised.

Several bushfires have been burning in the vicinity over the past 14 days. To date there has been more than 97,000 hectares burnt.

AGENCY RESPONSIBLE:
FESA is managing the fire. The Shire of Broome, DEC and WA Police are assisting.

IMPORTANT NUMBERS:
If you have a respiratory condition you should contact your local doctor or call Health Direct on 1800 022 222.

In a life threatening situation call 000.

KEEP UP TO DATE:
Call 1300 657 209, visit www.fesa.wa.gov.au or listen to news bulletins.

The next update will be provided at 11am on Tuesday 23 August unless the situation changes.

http://www.fesa.wa.gov.au/alerts/Pages/Alert.aspx?ItemId=2521


Save The Kimberley

Save The Kimberley

Clink on the above link to access photos taken at the Manari Road Blockade this afternoon whilst under threat. Currently the fire situation is under control at the corner. Many local supporters arrived to offer assistance during the fire scare.

Kimberley_Threat_map_v2.pdf (application/pdf Object)

Kimberley_Threat_map_v2.pdf (application/pdf Object)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Fires are burning James Price Point August 2011



Sunday August 21, 2011 13:17 AEST

At the height of the fires burning in the northeast of James Price Point, on Friday, residents of Walmandan went to Woodside’s compound in order to gain access to Bilby researchers out in the northern part of the land scarring. However, no one was in the compound and the access road gate was locked. This made it impossible to utilise the quickest and safest way to where researchers were working.

On the same day, the Broome Shire used the fire as an excuse to complete Woodside’s trace line (the proposed 120 million dollar highway from the Cape Leveque Road to James Price Point) right through to the biota track.

Meanwhile Woodside’s Fire Management Plan (World’s Best Practice) is hot in action:

Run for your life

Lock up your gates

Leave the fuel tank and

Take the water trucks

Whilst the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) was in discussions with Environs Kimberley about the best way to manage this fire, the Shire of Broome took it upon themselves to undertake this work. The bulldozer was being walked through by other staff members from DEC, with GPS in hands. No Traditional Owners or FESA representatives were present at the bulldozing.

Many government departments were aware of heritage sites located within the trace line path.

On Saturday morning, someone used the trace line to light additional fires.

These aerials shots were taken early Friday morning.

Thanks to the huge crew of people who contributed these photos and film

to keep YOU up to date.

Hands off country.



Thursday, August 18, 2011

Walmadan Camp facing the fires at James Price Point






Facebook

Facebook

Companies fracking WA gas sites, for processing at James Price Point

Dane Griffen, a resident fracking and 'unconventional gas' researcher has compiled this important list of references linking the James Price Point gas hub with the serious threat of fracking for onshore shale gas in the Kimberley's Canning Basin.

These references are important as Premier Barnett is going out of his way to make the JPP gas hub a 'small target', denying that it is part of any 'thin edge of the wedge' for industrialising the Kimberley.

What the references below illustrate is that, whatever Mr Barnett thinks, or wants the public to think, major industry players see the advent of a LNG hub at JPP as a great opportunity to allow the commercialisation of other gas deposits in the Kimberley which would be accessed using the highly controversial and dangerous 'fracking' process.

Reference 1

Overview of Shale Gas Resources in Western Australia
The economic success of shale gas in the United States (US) and the high conventional gas prices in Australia have driven the interest in unconventional gas resources, particularly shale gas resources in Western Australia (WA). The Canning Basin has gathered a lot of interest in recent times and companies such as Buru Energy and New Standard Energy (NSE) are currently involved in an extensive exploration program focussed on this region’s unconventional gas resource. The basin is one of WA’s last frontier onshore provinces and it has the potential for major shale gas reserves that could be linked with the planned LNG hub at James Price Point north of Broome. Buru Energy has identified significant potential for unconventional resources in its Canning exploration permits and is currently undertaking a structured evaluation program of the area. In the wake of Buru Energy’s exploration in the Canning Basin, NSE secured exploration acreage in nearby permits in the basin. The existing granted permits within the NSE portfolio form an integral part of the Goldwyer shale exploration area (Buru Energy, 2010; NSE, 2010a; NSE, 2010b).

Source: "Petroleum in WA: WESTERN AUSTRALIA’S DIGEST OF PETROLEUM EXPLORATION, DEVELOPMENT AND PRODUCTION"; Department of Mines and Petroleum, April 2011

Reference 2
Oil Basins Limited
http://oilbasins.com.au/OBL%20ASX%20Announcement%20-%20Appointment%20of%20OBL%20as%20USG%20Operator%20-%2021%20July%202011.pdf
Exploration Permit 5/07-8 EP is a very large and hydrocarbon prospective address encompassing some 5,062 km2 (refer to Figures 1 and 2 attached) and is most favourably situated to both the future James Price Point LNG Terminal, the proposed Point Torment industrial area and the existing infrastructure (roads, airports and harbours) and community and light industry facilities associated with the vibrant Kimberley regional townships of Derby and Broome.

http://oilbasins.com.au/OBL%20-%20March%202011%20Quarterly%20Activities%20Report.pdf
DISCLAIMER – CSG PROSPECTIVITY AND CSG RESOURCES POTENTIAL
There are numerous uncertainties inherent in estimating quantities of prospective and economic coal seam gas (CSG) resources, including many factors beyond OBL‟s control. Estimates of economically recoverable CSG natural gas reserves are based upon a number of factors and assumptions, such as geological and engineering estimates and judgments (which have inherent uncertainties and risks), the assumed effects of governmental regulation and access to the Browse LNG Hub and estimates of future domestic gas and export-LNG commodity prices and operating costs, all of which may vary considerably from actual results and/or future negotiations.

BURU -
http://buruenergy.com.au/getfile/370.pdf
Highlights
• The four key unconventional plays identified have combined mid range unrisked gross in-place volumes of 362 trillion cubic feet (“TCF”) of gas and 50 billion barrels of oil (“BBO”). (NOTE: the whole of Browse is said to be ~35 TCF - TWS)

New Standard Energy -
http://www.newstandard.com.au/images/stories/Quarterly%20Activities%20Report%20April-June%202011.pdf

New Standard has pretty vague reporting. Not much in this apart from JPP referenced in all map images

NOTE: if this link doesn't work, cut and paste it into your browser.

AM - Broome divided over gas proposal 18/08/2011

AM - Broome divided over gas proposal 18/08/2011

Man made fires are growing at James Price Point






Proposed Gas Hub and Bilby Habitats | Greens MPs

Proposed Gas Hub and Bilby Habitats | Greens MPs

Is this Controlled Bilby Burning?


This photo was taken this morning, looking north towards James Price Point, Walmandan.

A number of fires have sprung up within the last 6 -12 hours within the vicinity of James Price Point, in a strange grid-like, man - made pattern. Smoke has been very thick and the sunlight is tinged orange. Walmandan has been completely smoked out but the wind is dropping.
http://www.firenorth.org.au/nafi2/


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

What is really happening at James Price Point? No equipment, No work!




After hearing from the head pilot from the Broome Community No Gas Campaign’s air force, it has become quite clear that Woodside’s exist from Country on Monday was not due to the fire risk. The fire is no where in sight and the weather is perfect.

Given the fact that Country has suffered a whole lattice of clearing by Woodside and that these grid-lines can very effectively act also as fire breaks it seems very unlikely that Woodside and all its heavy earth moving equipment was taken out of Country for that reason.

According to Woodside Update:



NOTE: A number of our onshore activities have been put on hold due to a bushfire currently burning in the vicinity of James Price Point. The safety of our people and contractors is paramount and we will only return to work as soon as it is safe to do so.


The question needs to be asked, why take out the water trucks and leave a fuel container, if you are really worried about fire?

Mr Coleman, from Woodside said today that the “geotechnical survey work had been delayed by weather and other factors” – what are the other (true) factors? Maybe this really is a question for their shareholders and the stock market.



Considering, how hard and how aggressive Woodside has pushed to get into Country its exceedingly surprising that their lay down compound area currently looks like Woodside have virtually packed up, turned around and moved out of Country.

Even the support vessels that were accompanying the jack-up rig (that still sits, on a strange angle, right out the front of Walmandan) are no where in sight today. Two hostiles (Environmental Services) people were placed at James Price Point, two others were lurking around the illegal gate to the compound and two others seeking shade in the compound.

What are the real reasons for Woodside’s hasty retreat on Monday and how is this living up to Coleman’s claims today: we are “catching up very quickly to our FID process.” How are they achieving this when they are not in Country and are no longer working?

A current rumor that is floating around is that the Department of Main Roads has put all stops to the development for the 19 kilometer, 120 million dollar road to the proposed LNG precinct. Is this true? Maybe questions need to be asked by shareholders and stakeholders.

Whatever the real reasons, Woodside can rest assured that they will not be able to bring all this equipment back into Country without the Broome Community once again blockading their machinery and workforce, challenging their criminal behaviors and questioning the WA government’s total lack of governance over them.

Gas hub rally tells Woodside to save bilbies - The West Australian

Gas hub rally tells Woodside to save bilbies - The West Australian

Bilbies won't delay Browse LNG: Woodside

"We don't expect there to be any undue delay in pursuing ... those approval processes," Mr Coleman told a teleconference on Wednesday.

"Good science and appropriate science, and consultation with community and others, drives our decision processes.

"We are sensitive to it. We're going to take our time to do it right."

Woodside and joint venture partners plan to reach a final investment decision (FID) on Browse by mid-2012.

Mr Coleman said geotechnical survey work had been delayed by weather and other factors - no doubt referring to recent protests and blockades that prevented contractors from reaching the site for several days.

"But we're catching up very quickly and it's essential to our FID process," he said.Bilbies won't delay Browse LNG: Woodside

The following was released by the rating agency

MELBOURNE (Standard & Poor's) Aug. 17, 2011--Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said today that its ratings and outlook on Australia-based Woodside Petroleum Ltd. (BBB+/Negative/A-2) were not immediately affected by the company's record cash flows for the six months to June 30, 2011. Although Woodside's bumper first-half cash flows and retention of the fully underwritten dividend reinvestment plan have helped mitigate downward credit pressure, we retain the negative rating outlook. Reported cash flows for the six months to June 30, 2011 of US$1,391 million, compared with US$1,007 million in the first half of 2010, largely reflected high global oil prices. The negative outlook, assigned in June 2011, reflects our view of the commissioning risks associated with the Pluto foundation project. Further cost overruns and project delays had reduced the buffer in the rating in light of inherent volatility in oil prices and exchange rate. Furthermore, the project delay means that the time gap between completing Pluto and Woodside's next investment project is likely to be shorter, reducing the time to establish a sustained improvement in the company's cash-flow-protection metrics.

Dinosaurs, Bilbies and now the Whales are proving that Woodside's studies around James Price Point are again totally inadequate and contemptible.



Kimberley Whale Watching has just completed two extended boat surveys from Broome to Camden Sound, Adele Island and the Lacepede Islands. The highest concentration of whales was recorded between the Lacepede Islands and Broome.

Tables showing sightings from our 2011 Cetacean Survey. Icons are coloured to represent different surveys (yellow 2010, red aerial survey 2010, blue July 2011 and magenta August 2011).




Please contact Richard Costin on 0439 691194 or 08 9192 7162 if you'd like any further information.

kimberleywhales@bigpond.com
www.kimberleywhales.com.au
www.kimberleystockphotos.com.au

Government provides underwhelming response to JPP bilby concerns | Rachel Siewert

Government provides underwhelming response to JPP bilby concerns | Rachel Siewert

News: Australian Stock, Share & Commodity Markets News - Tradingroom.com.au

News: Australian Stock, Share & Commodity Markets News - Tradingroom.com.au

Woodside wants gas hub bilby sites revealed - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Woodside wants gas hub bilby sites revealed - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Baby Bilbies at James Price Point

MEDIA RELEASE
Statement from Goolarabooloo Law Boss Joseph Roe. Monday 15 August 2011

Goolarabooloo insist Woodside cease landclearing and drilling immediately.

Following last week’s discovery of adult Greater Bilbies at the proposed James Price Point gas hub site, research cameras have this week revealed a further three baby bilbies at the same location.

These recent sightings of Greater Bilbies, including juveniles, are in the exact location that Woodside is currently undertaking landclearing at the proposed gas hub site.

This landclearing is taking place prior to federal environmental approval for the project.

“These pictures confirm what we as Goolarbooloo already knew: bilbies are here on this country. It’s also what the Government’s own reports have told them, if only they’d listen,” Goolarabooloo Law Boss Joseph Roe said in Broome today.

In 2008, the State Government’s own reports identified a number of protected mammal species, including the Greater Bilby, likely to be found on the Dampier Peninsula (see attached fact sheet for details).



This species faces a very high risk of extinction in the wild and is protected under both state and federal environmental laws, and listed globally on the World Conservation Union’s ‘red list’ of endangered species.

In 2009, subsequent environmental surveys commissioned by the State Government found ‘evidence of presence’ of Greater Bilbies in the proposed precinct area.

Woodside and the State Government chose to ignore all these reports, and have taken no further action to ensure this protected species is indeed protected within their proposal to build a gas hub at James Price Point.

“We hear Woodside and the Government talking up this proposal as ‘world’s best practice’ – but any sensible person can see that this company and the government are determined to look the other way when it comes to protecting the environment here.”
“Amateur naturalists with a motion-sensor camera found direct evidence of this species in one month that Woodside haven’t found in four years. It’s time they worked a lot harder to meet their environmental obligations.”

“Goolarabooloo insist that the State and Federal governments step in to immediately stop Woodside landclearing while they work out how to protect this species as their state and federal laws say they must,” Joseph Roe concluded.

The last time a live bilby was positively identified on the Dampier Peninsula was in 1991.

Looking the other way:
A three year timeline of fauna reports, surveys and commentary by the State government and Woodside re the Greater Bilby and other protected species
When the State government first looked at four possible sites for the proposed oil and gas refinery in the Kimberley, they commissioned a number of reports to determine the possible presence of protected species.

Three reports document fauna of the James Price Point area, using a variety of methods to assess whether a particular species is present or not. Evidence of a species is determined by either:
1. Direct evidence i.e. a confirmed sighting of an animal; or
2. Evidence of presence i.e. indicators of presence such as burrows, tracks and animal scats.
2008
A broad survey of four possible Kimberley sites for the proposed oil and gas refinery is undertaken over nine days as part of a preliminary report. This report makes particular note of the Greater Bilby:
“…No systematic survey for bilby burrows was possible in the survey area…so it is unknown to what extent
bilbies are present…”
“…It is likely that this species [the Greater Bilby] occupies most of the Peninsula in very low densities. As it is
a conservation-significant species under significant pressure from fire and predation, systematic bilby
searches are recommended once the proposed development site is selected, if it contains or is close
to suitable Bilby habitat…” [our emphasis added]

2009
James Price Point is selected as the preferred site for Woodside’s proposed oil and gas refineries. A Wet Season fauna survey (5- 31 March 2009) identifies 37 species of ‘elevated conservation significance’, occurring or potentially occurring in the James Price Point area, including the Greater Bilby.
Though not definitively sighted through direct evidence, the Greater Bilby is considered to be potentially occurring in the area .
The report also notes “…further effort would be likely to yield additional species”

2010
A supplementary State Government-commissioned fauna and habitat assessment is released in 2010, based on a five day Dry Season survey undertaken in November 2009.
This survey finds ‘evidence of presence’ of the Greater Bilby in the form of burrows and tracks .
No further work has since been undertaken to determine direct evidence of this species at the proposed site.

2011
As part of its PR material to defend commencing landclearing at James Price Point, Woodside issue an ‘Activity Update’ in June 2011. Under the ‘Environment Management Plans’ heading, this fact sheet states:

“…Woodside has conducted extensive environmental studies of this area as part of planning for this activity. The land clearing will not significantly impact on any matters of National Significance. No EPBC Act-listed threatened species have been directly recorded in the James Price Point coastal area. In addition, Woodside has prepared detailed environmental and heritage management plans to support the activity…” [our emphasis added]

OTHER PROTECTED SPECIES FOUND IN THE VICINITY OF JAMES PRICE POINT.
In addition to Greater Bilbies, the 2009 Wet Season survey finds a further five species (other than Greater Bilbies) of elevated conservation significance: The Dampierland Burrowing snake (Simopelus minimus), skink (Lerista seperanda), Bush Stone curlew, Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus), the White-bellied sea eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster) and the Rainbow Bee Eater (Merops ornatus). Golden Bandicoots are recorded as ‘potentially occurring in the area.

In the later Dry Season study, direct evidence of the following four species was found in addition to ‘evidence of presence’ of Greater bilbies: Peregrine falcon; Chestnut-backed button quail, the dingo and the Eastern Curlew.. This report deemed it likely that the EPBC-listed Golden-backed tree rat occurred in the area on the basis of suitable habitat and previous sightings.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

2011-08-13 Qwon Gifts Dia

LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL
571
QUESTION WITHOUT NOTICE
(Of which some notice has been given)
Wednesday, 10 August 2011
Hon Ed Dermer to the Minister for Indigenous Affairs.
For the period 23 September 2008 to date:
1) Will the Minister table a copy of any record of all gifts, hospitality or other
benefits received by any officers in the Department of Indigenous Affairs?
2) Ifnot, why not?

2011-08-13 Qwon Gifts Dia

Is this how you get a Section 18 of the Aboriginal Heritage Act, or more to the point the reasons why you would not need one, at all? Are these the gifts needed to ensure that Department of Indigenous Affairs investigations into serious culture heritage desecration and the theft of cultural items and removal of those items from Country are as protracted and ineffectual as possible?

Now, the questions need to be asked, what gifts has Woodside provided to the WA Police Department, the Department of Water, The Main Roads Department, the Department of State Development, the Broome Shire Council, the Lands Administration, the Department for Environment & Conservation and the Environment Protection Authority? etc: etc: This is much more than interesting, this is true insight.

Is this one of the reasons why any concerns we had in regards to the what in which the Department of State Development has managed the Strategic Assessment process and the current total lack of good governess within WA current state government departments and the fact that a lot of legislation is not being adequately addressed, investigated, scrutinised or examined.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Hirst hitting another protest note | Courier Mail

Hirst hitting another protest note | Courier Mail

Shell pushed pipeline plan for offshore gas | The Australian

In a report earlier this month, Goldman Sachs analyst Mark Wiseman said he expected Browse to cost more than $US40bn and to be potentially uneconomic.

"Woodside's project timetable (of a mid-2012 final investment decision and a 2017 start-up) still looks unrealistic," Mr Wiseman said in his report.

Shell pushed pipeline plan for offshore gas | The Australian

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.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Natural Gas Product Chain Chart





Just for your information and knowledge, LNG is not clean, from the beginning to the end process.

Broome Community Protest | Robin Chapple MLC

Broome Community Protest | Robin Chapple MLC

Woodside Gas| Premier's spitting claims are 'lies'

Woodside Gas| Premier's spitting claims are 'lies'

Woodside can not longer afford to consider Social Licenses as flowery rhetoric.

What has happened to Woodside’s Household Survey that was conducted within the Broome & Dampier communities recently? Why have: the findings of the survey not been released, their Social Impact Report put on hold and the consultant’s determined before completion? What has happened to the Browse Social Impact Assessment Community Group and all their concerns raised within this forum?

Woodside and the WA Department of State Development can no longer escape the concept of corporate responsibility nor can they afford to consider Social Licenses as flowery rhetoric.

What do News Corp, BP and the Australian live cattle export industry have in common? Is it something to do with their social licence to operate, or the basic permission that society gives to any corporate organisation to conduct its activities?

A few years ago, you might have dismissed the concept as just a bit of flowery corporate responsibility rhetoric. After all, there isn't a piece of paper titled social licence - and who ever heard of their social licence being revoked?

This position is no longer tenable. News International, BP and the Australian live cattle export industry have all found their social licences seriously under question recently.

A company's social licence to operate is intangible but it is very, very real. And it can be taken away in the blink of an eye. Increasingly, profitable and otherwise successful businesses are having their real-world operations suspended or shut down as a response to moral shortcomings.

What does it look like when a social licence is revoked? Well, as a result of an ethical disaster, News International has just had one of its flagship publications close, almost overnight, has lost the opportunity to purchase another major outlet and may have worse to come.

Or take BP's Deepwater Horizon disaster, following which the US placed a nine-month moratorium on all new deep-water offshore drilling.

The moratorium didn't only affect the culprit, BP. Other companies also lost profits and suffered delays. Some even lost their viability. Texas-based Seahawk Drilling, a $300 million company that had no role in the disaster, filed for bankruptcy in citing the moratorium as the main cause.

Moratoriums are definitely in vogue. Indonesia's got one on new palm oil projects that involve forest clearing. Australia slapped one on live cattle exports to Indonesia following evidence of animal cruelty in abattoirs. New South Wales just put one on licences for coal seam gas projects, because of broad community opposition. Several European countries announced plans to abandon nuclear energy altogether after the Fukushima disaster. The list goes on. There are a few lessons that both the Department of State Development and Woodside and all the under the radar joint venture partners might take warning from these and other recent corporate disasters.

Sufficiently bad stuff-up by anybody anywhere in the supply chain (whether employed by your business or not) can result in businesses being shut down overnight - regardless of whether any laws have been broken. The consequences for breaching your social licence can be far more drastic and immediate than if you breach your planning approval or environmental licence. And forget about defending yourself in the courts; prosecution for breach of a social licence will take place in the media, in the national community, around kitchen tables and there are no appeals.

A sufficiently bad stuff-up by anybody in your entire industry can result in your business being shut down overnight, even if your own operations are squeaky clean (see US oil exploration, or live cattle exports.) This means not only do you have to manage your own company's conduct, you have to do what you can to make sure your competitors are not transgressing the boundaries of social acceptability and responsibilities as well.

In each of these cases, the ethical disaster is in one sense a chaotic event: a minor trigger leading to immense commercial consequences. A man abuses a cow and a whole industry is shut down for months; another taps a phone and a global media empire teeters on the brink.
But in another sense, each case was entirely avoidable had the leaders of the business or industry involved paid close attention to evolving social expectations and concerns.

Nobody at Meat & Livestock Australia really thought the industry could be shut down over the treatment of animals overseas and that the leadership at News International didn't really grapple with the possibility that monstrous behaviour by its journalists could scuttle billion-dollar deals.

Milton Friedman notoriously claimed in 1970 that "the social responsibility of business is to increase its profits". It seems society disagrees. Woodside and the Department of State Development have not, never had and from all accounts never will accept the facts that the Broome and Dampier Peninsular communities will never issue the social Licence to operate. Deal with it and leave town as soon as possible, you are not welcome.


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Board of Directors - Woodside

Board of Directors - Woodside

LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL 563 QUESTION WITHOUT NOTICE (Of which some notice has been given) Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Hon Robin Chapple to the Minister for Indigenous Affairs.
With regard to Woodside's ground breaking work at James Price Point and the risk of
damage to registered Aboriginal sites, I ask:
(1)Has the Department of Indigenous Affairs completed their investigation into this
matter?
(2)If no to (1), when will the investigation be completed?
(3)Has the Department prepared a report of the investigation?
(4)If yes to (3) will the Minister table the report?
(5)Is the report to be considered by the Aboriginal Cultural Materials Committee?
(6)When will (or did) the Aboriginal Cultural Materials Committee meet to consider
this report?

I thank the Hon. Member for some notice of this question.
(1) No
(2) The investigation is ongoing.
(3) The report is in preparation but not complete.
(4) Not applicable.
(5) No. The site disturbance investigation report, pr~pared under t~e provisions of section
17 of the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972, is not requued to be consIdered by the ACMe.
(6) Not applicable.
Minister for Indigenous Affairs

Battle for the last great wilderness - The West Australian

"Every member of the WA community has a right to voice their opinions in a peaceful and lawful manner. It is up to each person how and when they voice their opinions and they should be able to do so openly."

Woodside, the police, the shire and the Government know they have a problem on their hands. Woodside's own polling confirms deep divisions in the community.

So have any of our political leaders stepped up to the plate and faced the issue head on? Not on your life. After all, entering the fray on any side would ostracise a big number of voters in a seat that the ALP is desperate to hold in the 2013 election but one which the conservatives are eyeing.

Police Minister Rob Johnson, normally a blinkered cheerleader for the State police, was unusually quiet when the boys in blue broke up the protesters last month.

Local MP Carol Martin has gone missing in action.

Opposition Leader Eric Ripper has not engaged the issue, despite saying he believes the hub should go ahead.

And Mr Barnett has hardly been using his sky-high approval ratings to bring quiet to the troubled town.

"I have been appalled by the personal nature of some of those attacks on individuals," he told the Legislative Assembly yesterday.

It would be far more helpful if he said the same thing on Broome's Carnarvon Street, rather than in State Parliament.

It's not for nothing that they call it cowards castle.

Battle for the last great wilderness - The West Australian

WA’s ‘dinosaur coast’ must be fully protected according to expert | Conservation Council of Western Australia

WA’s ‘dinosaur coast’ must be fully protected according to expert | Conservation Council of Western Australia

Cultural and environmental heritage 'threatened' by gas hub proposal - 10/08/2011

Cultural and environmental heritage 'threatened' by gas hub proposal
By Greg Muller

The bulldozers have started moving in on the site of the proposed gas hub at James Price Point in the Kimberley about 60 kilometres north of Broome in Western Australia,

The Federal Government is yet to approve the development but that hasn't stopped the State Government building a road to the site and compulsorily acquiring about 25 square kilometres for a gas processing plant - an acquisition which is under a court challenge.

The Kimberley Land Council approved the development and the estimated one billion dollars which will flow to communities if the project goes ahead.

But some indigenous locals say the $30 billion dollar development will destroy Aboriginal sites.
Follow this link to listen:

Cultural and environmental heritage 'threatened' by gas hub proposal - 10/08/2011

James Price Point opponents labelled 'privileged' - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

See this for what it is, a desperate attempt to down play the total opposition the Broome community has demonstrated against the proposed LNG refineries being located at James Price Point. It is interesting that this Minister was addressing a oil & gas industries forum, the HAVES, and the only NOT in the equation is: ITS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. On the lighter side its great that he is getting the message, has been drawn out of his hole and has finally spoke about and identified that "We have a problem Houston".

James Price Point opponents labelled 'privileged' - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

We are hummingbirds


Monday, August 8, 2011

Rare bilbies found at gas hub site - The West Australian

Rare bilbies found at gas hub site - The West Australian

Bilbies found within Woodside clearing pernit at James Price Point

MEDIA RELEASE

Malcolm Lindsay, Ecologist

Monday, 8th August, 2011

Population of threatened Bilbies found at proposed James Price Point Gas Hub
A community supported ecological study confirmed over the weekend that there is a healthy population of Bilbies within the proposed James Price Point Gas Plant precinct.

This ecological survey was conducted at the request of and in conjunction with the traditional custodians, the Goolarabooloo people, and supported by members of the Broome community concerned over the Gas Hub’s impact.


Fresh tracks and multiple burrows were located in the north of the precinct area and were confirmed as belonging to the Greater Bilby, Macrotis lagotis¸ through the use of motion activated cameras.

The measurement of track size, number of burrows and locations of fresh tracks suggests that there are a number of Bilbies in the area.


Woodside currently has a permit to clear the forest where this population have been found. These threatened marsupials could meet Woodside’s bulldozers tomorrow.


Additional to this area, old burrows and anecdotal evidence of Bilbies throughout the whole precinct area suggests that the whole gas plant precinct is and has been an important habitat for this threatened and charismatic marsupial.

This finding comes as Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke considers his approval for the project through the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, under which the Bilby is listed as threatened.

Lead Ecologist, Malcolm Lindsay commented that:

“The most recent fauna survey completed for Woodside in the area occurred after a large bushfire and found no evidence of Bilbies. The recent recolonisation of this area by the Bilbies demonstrates that the ecological information that Minister Burke is basing his decisions on is inadequate, and further and more exhaustive ecological surveys are needed”

For further information, footage and photos contact:

Malcolm Lindsay, 0405 667 103

Current Species Status

The greater bilby Macrotis lagotis is listed as Vulnerable under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

Conservation Status

The greater bilby Macrotis lagotis is listed as Vulnerable under Schedule 1 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. The species occurs in three states QLD, WA and the NT and is being reintroduced to SA and NSW.

International Obligations
The greater bilby is listed in Appendix 1 of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). This recovery plan is consistent with CITES and with Australia’s other obligations under international treaties.

WA - Vulnerable, specially protected as species threatened with extinction, pursuant to the Wildlife Conservation Act 1950.;

Greater Bilby (Macrotis lagotis) – Vulnerable (EPBC Act)

Potential impacts to the Greater Bilby are primarily associated with vegetation and habitat clearing, vehicle movements, terrestrial site disturbance and excavation, noise and vibration and terrestrial discharges and spills.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Reporting Misconduct

Reporting Misconduct

News Item : Woodside Browse LNG approvals questioned

News Item : Woodside Browse LNG approvals questioned

Tony Burke smoothes ruffled feathers but what power does he hold over gas at James Price Point? - ABC Kimberley WA - Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Tony Burke smoothes ruffled feathers but what power does he hold over gas at James Price Point? - ABC Kimberley WA - Australian Broadcasting Corporation

BEWARE: Don't Wail About a Whale at James Price Point

This is the woman who spoke on ABC morning radio, about what she witnessed in regards to the incident of a Police launch driving over a whale. This was this lady's first day ever at the Manari Road Blockade and she has no criminal record.

The head honcho who was directing the operation for the W.A police force(Woodside) on this morning was in plain clothes. He never identified himself as a police officer and when asked repeatedly, refused to identify himself. When the head honcho first arrived and got out of the unmarked car that was the second car in, the Woodside convoy, he approached this lady and informed her that "she would be the first to go today".



She was approached later and asked for identification, she stated she had none on her and was about to tell them her name when she was grabbed by the arm and pulled to the paddy wagon. All the other protesters on the road that morning were issued with a Traffic Infringement Notices or Move On Notices, some even were issued with both. However, this women was dragged directly to the paddy waggon and was never given any warming.

Redhand has major concerns and wonders if this was premeditated and that this lady was purely targeted because she spoke about a very disturbing incident in regards to the harassment of whales by police who are there protecting, once again, Woodside interests with your tax payers dollar.

Drilling Into Eden - Forbes.com

Drilling Into Eden - Forbes.com

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Minister Burke meets with the Broome Community

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-08-02/burke-visit-gas-hub-site/2821208



Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke arrived in Broome this morning to a rapturous reception from anti-gas protestors, who have pinned their hopes on him refusing to grant environmental approval to the State Government’s proposed $30 billion gas processing precinct at James Price Point.

As soon as he stepped off the plane, Mr Burke headed north to meet traditional owners including Phillip Roe, who gave him a personal tour of the coastal site.

Known as Walmadan to locals, it is one of many recommended for national heritage listing by the Australian Heritage Council for its unique dinosaur trackways, judged to be internationally significant.

Mr Burke is due to make a decision on the heritage listing at the end of this month, although his final decision on the gas precinct is thought to be several months away.

Broome Shire Councillor Elsta Foy appealed to Mr Burke to listen to the community’s concerns.

“What is going to happen to us with all this happening, with Woodside here,” she said.

“They have no permission from the Federal Government, Environment or Heritage, or anything and yet they’re allowed to come and clear our land – if they expect us to keep the law, they have to keep the law too.

“We’re trying to preserve our law and culture and my concern is that we won’t be allowed to come here anymore."

Ms Foy urged Mr Burke to look at that declaration of the rights of indigenous people, to which the government is a signatory. "You take that away from us all and we have nothing," she said.

Law breakers for James Price Point

http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/-/wa/9960141/protesters-urge-federal-minister-to-stop-gas-hub/

Candles welcomed in the dawning of another day for Broome Community No Gas Campaign Blockade,to save James Price Point, in true Kimberley colours.

With Woodside's: regime of drilling happening just offshore at the moment, between Quondong and James Price Point, during the peck Humpback whales migration and birthing season;
their continued destruction of clearing and drilling in Country in known Bilby Habitat;
the delayed or referred investigations into the destruction of Heritage Sites;
total indifference shown to Broome and Dampier Peninsula communities grave concerns;
excessive use of police and state resources to serve them;
silencing the other joint venture partners.
and the fact that Woodside Licence to occupy crown land requires that they "Reinstate the licence area to the state and condition in which was at the date of commencement" 24th Oct 2009. Something they can never do.



Enough is Enough and this morning, one month after Black Tuesday, people again blockaded Woodside's state protected convoy from entering Country.
This action resulted in 3 arrests, 4 Traffic Infringement Notices and 4 Move On Notices

Monday, August 1, 2011

Police drive over whales

Tuesday 02/July/2011, 3.00pm
Just spoke to DEC in the Broome Office to Ben who informed me that I should call their media liaison person because there was not enough evidence regarding the police driving over whales. However, DEC never tried to interview or contact any of the four eye witnesses nor did they contact me to see if I had any additional footage.



http://www.police.wa.gov.au/Specialistunits/WaterPolice/Ourpatrolvessels/tabid/1288/Default.aspx

On the 31st of July 2011, from 11.20 AM, before the last shift of a community whale research, 4 volunteers witnessed the following incident involving two police boats between Quondong and James Price Point.

A large police boat was travelling south, coming across pods of humpback whales. They came very close to a pod, as demonstrated by a blowing whale just in front of the boat (Photo 1 ).

Rather than changing direction to move away from the whales, the police boat proceeded to travel over the top of the blowing whale. Immediately afterward, the whale breached directly behind the boat (Photo 2. 42 seconds later) Humpback whales are known to display this behavior, but not often and not that close as it is dangerous for them.

The police boat (was joined at this point by the smaller police boat) then turned around, facing north (Photo 3, which took 46 seconds) to follow this whale, which continued to blow (Photo 4 in between is 10 seconds Photo 5).

The police boats circled the pod of whales several more times before continuing to travel south. For the entire duration of this incident, the police boat did not maintain a safe distance from the whales (<100m).

Also, during this time, several surrounding pods of whales began exhibiting a frenzy of erratic behaviours (chin slapping, huge numbers of lobtailing), which continued for some time after the police boats had left.

Queensland:
A fourth dugong has been found dead in the last 3 months since May this year, washed up on a beach south of the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland. Environmental groups are warning of an ecological disaster in this part of Queensland. Friends of the Earth spokesman Drew Hutton said we are seeing destruction around Gladstone Harbour with the construction of the LNG plant there.

An LNG plant and port facilities are being built in this part of World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef, which is a dugong sanctuary.

Mr Hutton asked, “How do you develop an environmental management plan that allows you to sensitively dredge your way through sea grass beds, removing 50 million cubic metres of spoil?”.

The Department of Environment and Resource Management (DERM) reported that six dugongs have died since the start of 2011 in the Gladstone area. This compares to just two in 2010 and one in 2009.

There has also been an increase of sea turtle deaths in the area, from 26 last year to 48 for the same period this year.

While recent floods in Queensland may account for many of these marine animal deaths, the reduction of the natural habitat from dredging is “at least helping to create a situation where they are slowly being forced out of their traditional habitat to die of starvation”, said Mr Hutton.

Meanwhile the Australian Greens are calling on the Federal Government to investigate what impact the James Price Point LNG plant and port facilitie will have on the Kimberley marine environment.

Greens Spokesperson Senator Rachel Siewert said, “According to the Government’s own reports, dredging and blasting of seabeds and reefs for the gas hub would lead to a 50km2 ‘marine deadzone’. This is a huge area to take out of an important international marine sanctuary”.

The Kimberley could be heading down the same path to a marine environment disaster and the WA Government must take the Queensland dugong deaths seriously.