Friday, November 30, 2012


We have just four days left to appeal Woodside's sneaky plans to avoid environmental assessment of the gas hub at James Price Point. Please make a submission to tell the government "No assessment? No way!"
We were shocked to discover on Wednesday that the West Australian Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has secretively released a request from Woodside for its gas plant at James Price Point to be exempt from environmental assessment!

What's worse, the EPA allowed just seven days for public feedback on this request, so we must act quickly.
Use this online form to make a submission to the government insisting that Woodside play by the rules.
If Woodside's application is granted, the project will receive 'derived proposal' status and be allowed to bypass any environmental assessment – meaning the gas hub could be approved by the state government within weeks, before the Federal Environment Minister has even had a chance to consider whether or not to to approve the contentious Browse LNG Strategic Assessment.

This latest attempt to circumvent due process is typical of the collusion and cynicism that has plagued the Kimberley gas hub proposal from the very beginning. It's crucial that we show Woodside and the West Australian government that the Australian people won't stand for it.


1.    Read this simple two-page summary as a guide to your submission. 

2.    Use this online form to make a submission to the EPA.
3.    Share this message via email, on Facebook, or using Twitter.
Thanks so much for your support at this critical time,
The Kimberley Team.

Barge aground on Mid West reef - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Barge aground on Mid West reef - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation):
 The Department of Transport says the vessel, which was destined for Chevron's port at Barrow Island, came adrift in strong swell while at sea off the Mid West coast last night.

Attempts were made to salvage the vessel before it drifted away and struck the reef.

The department's Oil Spill Response Coordination unit is monitoring the barge.

It says the 90 metre cargo barge was loaded with 1,800 tonnes of construction equipment, including heavy vehicles, and aerosol paint cans.

The department says the vessel also has 1,000 litres of diesel fuel and 1,000 litres of hydraulic fluid on board.

BHP chief hits out at Browse options

BHP chief hits out at Browse options:

BHP Billiton boss Marius Kloppers has taken a thinly veiled swipe at the lease conditions set by governments for the Browse gas project, suggesting it was not ideal to be given only one site to investigate.

Controversy over the location of the $30 billion LNG plant has been running hot this week, after WA Premier Colin Barnett said he would try to force the proponents - Woodside Petroleum, BHP and Shell - to develop the plant on land at James Price Point near Broome in Western Australia.

Shell is understood to favour a floating LNG processing facility, and that option is also favoured by environmental and indigenous groups who believe James Price Point is too sensitive to host such a large industrial development.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Woodside applies to build LNG plant north of Broome - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Woodside applies to build LNG plant north of Broome - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation):

Woodside has now put its application before the Environmental Protection Authority.

The authority's chairman Paul Vogel says the EPA will consider whether what Woodside proposes to do inside the precinct fits with what has recently been approved by the Minister.

"The decision making that the Minister made on the strategic proposal sets up the process whereby the foundation proponent can come in and put in a referral," he said.

"Then the EPA has to make a decision about whether that proposal fits with the strategic proposal decision and, if it does, the EPA can declare it to be derived."

Dr Vogel says it is unlikely there will be any new or significant information that would require further assessment of the project.

The EPA will accept public comment on the application for seven days.

Dr Vogel said he encouraged the public to provide comment during the seven day period.

“This is an opportunity for the public to outline whether this proposal should or should not be declared a derived proposal and their reasons to support their view,” Dr Vogel said.

The referral can be found at

Public comment closes December 4, 2012.

In accordance with the Environmental Protection Act 1986, there is no appeal on the determination set by the Chairman.

The final environmental decision on the Precinct will be made by the Commonwealth Environment Minister.

Barnett attacked on carbon tax - The West Australian

Barnett attacked on carbon tax - The West Australian:
 The Barnett Government could never again question the legitimacy of the carbon tax after using it to remove greenhouse conditions from the Kimberley gas hub, Climate Change Minister Greg Combet said yesterday.

A liquefied natural gas- processing plant last month became the first major project since the late 1990s to be given WA Government approval without greenhouse conditions after Environment Minister Bill Marmion decided it did not need them in light of the carbon tax.

Emissions from the plant operating at full capacity could be as much as 52 per cent of WA's and 6.5 per cent of Australia's total greenhouse gas generation based on 2007 levels, according to the Environmental Protection Authority.

Barnett calls for Browse co-operation - The West Australian

Barnett calls for Browse co-operation - The West Australian:
Premier Colin Barnett has called on the broader Browse Basin gas industry to shoulder more of the load in developing a land-backed processing hub at James Price Point, saying they could help cap surging capital costs and unlock new fields.

In a sign of his determination to see off threats to his preferred site, including Royal Dutch Shell's floating LNG technology, Mr Barnett also said he was "hypothetically" open to extending the Woodside consortium's retention lease until construction costs fell.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Barnett's Browse warning - The West Australian

Barnett's Browse warning - The West Australian:
Add caption
Premier Colin Barnett has opened a new front in his campaign for a land-based gas hub at James Price Point, warning that rival floating LNG technology proposed by Shell poses greater environmental risks similar to the Gulf of Mexico petroleum spill.

Despite approval from the State's environmental watchdog this month, green opposition to Woodside's $40 billion Browse gas development near Broome has been fierce. Protesters have been up in arms about issues, including the damage to the coastline near James Price Point and dinosaur footprints as well as potential harm to marine life including transitory whales.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Mine workers and their families suffer the toll of shift work

Mine workers and their families suffer the toll of shift work:
Barbara Pocock, Director of the Centre for Work and Life at the University of South Australia, said mining workers had some of the worst work-life balance in the country.

“In our data this year we found the longest hours worked in Australian workplaces are worked by miners, and they have the most negative outcomes as consequence,” she said.

Dr Pocock said the impact on families could be severe.

“Even if the worker themselves loves their job and gets a lot out of what they do in the long hours they work, the pleasure is not shared by their partners or their children.”

“This is in accord with a range of international and national studies that show the consequences for the national health budget and for family life are significant and need to be attended to.”

Beagle Bay Woodside Water info session.

Eyes On Country reports:

Last week,  the Darkside’s roadshow travelled to Beagle Bay to try and tick another of their consultancy boxes. Spooked, by the fact that many of the grassroots and community people had held their own water info session a few weeks earlier, the darkside sent up some of their local workers to gauge opposition and the day of the info session they were accompanied by their ugly hostile ex-army security force, who hid in their aircon car behind the community shop. 
Beagle Bay people love their church but value their water more.

Water was the agenda and they babbled on about water sustainability, how they believe that there is an endless supply for their needs. As usual they showed many of their unscaled and dubious maps as they tried to convince themselves and those attending that none of their greedy plans would have any impact. Mr Ben Badseed, their environmental advisor also let it slip that once they get their Section 18 they have plans to drill over 30 Water test bores in the sand dunes!!! 

Woodside’s plan is to only use groundwater for the construction period and desalination after that. When questioned about why they need to use high quality drinking water for construction Mr Badseed responded, that it would cost too much to use the deeper Wallal aquifer and that they would never use briny water to hose down what was left of the Monsoon Vine Thickets to try and control dust whilst  they are ploughing up country during construction. Such comfort in their words.

When it was time for questions (only 15 minutes worth because they had jabbered on so long) Mr Albert Wiggan informed them that Beagle Bay has no governance in place and they were not welcome to come and give any more of their presentations until such time that a governing body was in place to properly inform all of the community and outstations. Therefore, Woodside cannot tick their consultation box, or claim that this gathering was a true or proper consultation. Informed consent was not sort nor was it given.

Woodside also tried to distance themselves from was the Department of Water Dampier Peninsula Groundwater Review of which they are a major stakeholder. This review is slush funded by Royalties for Regions to the tune of 2.8 million dollars over 4 years and its purpose is to gain a better understanding of the groundwater because of large knowledge gaps due to lack of bore monitoring and 3000km square of no bores.

Until or if this review is finished (because it needs TO support) no one , least of all Woodside will know for sure whether groundwater dependant ecosystems like the Monsoon Vine thickets, springs, wetlands will be safe if large scale water abstraction takes place. Salt water intrusion is a major concern on the peninsula. Woodside denied that they needed this information to form their water plan and prattled on about the James Price Point (Walmadany) site being a separate impact zone even though the Broome sandstone aquifer sits under the entire peninsulas’ length.
Overall another failed attempt at consultation……

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Draft Framework of Standards for Accreditation

Draft Framework of Standards for Accreditation

New Framework for Simpler Project Approvals

New Framework for Simpler Project Approvals:
The federal government has released a draft framework for bilateral agreements which it says will reduce the amount of ‘green tape’ associated with approval of large-scale resource and other infrastructure construction projects throughout Australia.

The framework follows an agreement earlier this year by the Council of Australian Governments to reform national environmental regulation in order to reduce duplication within the environmental approval process for significant developments.

The key plank of this reform revolves around bilateral agreements which will be negotiated between the federal government and which will set out environmental requirements for project approvals in each state. This means project owners will no longer have to get separate project approvals at a federal and state level.

Under the new framework, any bilateral agreement will have to be in full accordance with requirements set out in the Environmental Protection of Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC Act – 1999) as well as any of Australia’s obligations under international law.

Monday, November 19, 2012

The tick in yet another box

Interesting that this story broke within hours of the news that FRESH legal action has been launched to stop Woodside's $35 billion gas hub project at James Price Point, by Phillip Roe, an Goolarabooloo Law Man.
Browse site selection process a first

WEST Australian Environment Minister Bill Marmion has admitted he can't think of a project, other than Woodside's Browse gas hub, that involved the federal and state governments hand picking the site. Mr Marmion made the admission on Monday after ...
Tough conditions on Browse
Greens denounce Browse decision

Australia is likely to fall off a “growth cliff”

Australia is likely to fall off a “growth cliff” when the resources investment boom ends in the next few years because the economy is not becoming more productive, says Michael Chaney, chairman of National Australia Bank and Woodside Petroleum.

Economic growth was likely to slow to less than 2.5 per cent after 2015 because of burdens on business, including overlapping state and federal environmental regulations, and Labor’s industrial relations system, which made the workplace less ­flexible, along with other problems, he told The Australian Financial Review.
Mr Chaney’s warning is particularly significant because Woodside will soon make a decision on whether to build the $40 billion Browse gas project at James Price Point in ­Western Australia.
“Every major project under evaluation, including Browse, has to confront this issue,” he said. “Unless you are highly productive in Australia, projects will go offshore and construction jobs will go offshore.”

A reported $20 billion blowout in the cost of Chevron’s Gorgon gas project in WA has raised concerns across the industry, and in the investment community, that Australia’s high costs, combined with lower gas prices, could lead to the cancellation of one or more of the $100 billion-plus of liquefied natural gas projects waiting for clearance.

States gives final tick for James Price Point | WA Business News

States gives final tick for James Price Point | WA Business News:

Environs Kimberley director Martin Pritchard said the state government had fixed its sights on James Price Point "based on politics rather than on science".

"And they have failed to properly consider social and economic impacts on Broome and the Kimberley," Mr Pritchard said.

"This proposal would be the biggest environmental disaster the Kimberley has ever seen."

The Wilderness Society labelled the state's environmental assessment process "a sham", pointing to the fact an Environmental Protection Authority report advising Mr Marmion to back the project was left to just one man, chairman Paul Vogel, after his four fellow board members abstained due to conflicts of interest.

Mining activity jumps 500pc in Kimberley - The West Australian

Mining activity jumps 500pc in Kimberley - The West Australian:

Onshore oil and gas activity in the Canning Basin has increased, along with interest in uranium, bauxite at Mitchell Plateau and copper at the Horizontal Falls.

Pew project manager Rupert Quinlan said proposed mines now threatened almost eight in 10 rivers, wetlands and floodplains in the Kimberley and about a quarter of its conservation areas had mining or exploration permits over them.

"If you look at the southern part of the map where the Fitzroy River is, mining exploration basically covers hundreds of kilometres of that river system," he said. "Across the Kimberley, either current mining or proposed mining impacts on 76 per cent of rivers and wetlands and floodplains - there are very real risks, particularly with some of the open cut types of mines, on groundwater and water quality."

Coalition for Australian Communities COAC

"If you look at the southern part of the map where the Fitzroy River is, mining exploration basically covers hundreds of kilometres of that river system," he said. "Across the Kimberley, either current mining or proposed mining impacts on 76 per cent of rivers and wetlands and floodplains - there are very real risks, particularly with some of the open cut types of mines, on groundwater and water quality."


Mining activity jumps 500pc in Kimberley

Join the Coalition for Australian Communities, until all communities in Australia stand up together against these corporations that want to destroy communities, environment, use all our water and poison our air, nothing will change.  

If you think this map is shocking and distressful you should see how the whole island has been pegged. Government want to take the green tape out of the red. Australians want to colour in with a deep strong green. This will be the next big national movement.

The Environment Minister Bill Marmion just put out this release giving State Government environmental approval to the gas precinct at James Price Point:

Broome Community No Gas Campaign

Broome Community No Gas Campaign


Over 200 people gathered on Cable Beach yesterday and unfurled a banner calling for Governments at all levels to “Protect the Kimberley”. The banner came from the John Butler Concert for the Kimberley held recently at Federation Square, Melbourne.

This latest action demonstrates that Community members continue to protest the industrialisation of the Kimberley.  The Broome Community No Gas Campaign will continue to protest the development of James Price Point as an LNG processing precinct, and in particular the planned new port.

The State Government’s Browse Land Agreement provides for a new port in perpetuity, and facilities to provide a source of energy and export facility for a range of commodities out of the Kimberley.  “This is not the 30 year project that community people have been led to believe” said Community Member Nik Wevers.

With mining tenements and exploration leases all over the Kimberley, there is enormous concern within the community about the social impacts that mining and gas extraction will have on local communities.   This applies especially to Broome, should the James Price Point gas hub goes ahead.
Check out these photos of the Broome community, on the beach yeaterday on the above link.

0917 - Browse Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Precinct - Ministerial Approval Statements - Post Assessment

0917 - Browse Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Precinct - Ministerial Approval Statements - Post Assessment:
0917 - Browse Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Precinct
Summary: Statement that a future proposal(s) identified in a strategic proposal may be implemented (sections 40b and 45 of the Environmental Protection Act 1986) within the Browse Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Precinct located at James Price Point.
Release Date: 19 November 2012
Status: Final

The Environment Minister Bill Marmion just put out this release giving State Government environmental approval to the gas precinct at James Price Point:

Browse LNG proposal gets environmental nod
• Environment Minister reaches agreement wi

th decision-making authorities
• Marine and terrestrial fauna, monsoon vine thickets and heritage to be protected

Environment Minister Bill Marmion today provided environmental approval for the Department of State Development’s proposed Browse Liquefied Natural Gas Precinct at James Price Point, north of Broome.

Mr Marmion said his decision followed three weeks’ consultation with other decision-making authorities and the ministers for Mines and Petroleum; Indigenous Affairs; Lands; and Transport.

“In reaching this agreement, I also took into account comments made by the ministers for Planning and State Development; and agencies, including the departments of Environment and Conservation, and Water; and the Shire of Broome,” he said.

The strengthened conditions will:
- improve knowledge and strengthen protection of whales, dolphins, dugongs, turtles and sawfish, including from the impacts of noise and pile driving
- reduce impacts on the monsoon vine thickets
- enhance protection of dinosaur tracks
- better address the risk of pollution from oil spills and air emissions, and invasive marine species.

“I have also strengthened conditions for the involvement of traditional owners and native title claimants, and the requirements for stakeholder and community consultation in the development of a range of environmental management plans,” the Minister said.

“I am satisfied the strictest environmental approvals process has been followed to ensure all possible issues have been addressed.

“On top of a four-year investigation by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA), I appointed an independent Appeals Committee to investigate the 244 appeals lodged against the EPA’s recommendations. This resulted in a comprehensive review of the EPA’s report, which allowed me to strengthen the final conditions so the environment will be properly protected if the precinct is developed.”

Fact File
• Federal Government still to finalise environmental/heritage assessment & approvals process
• Following determination of the appeals, Environment Minister reached agreement with decision-making ministers that proposal could proceed subject to strengthened conditions
• Final conditions:

Click here to view the document (file type: Acrobat PDF file size: 949.81 KB)
Appeals close