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Walmadan-James Price Point. Photo by Bob Brown

James Price Point Saved!

Congratulations to everyone who helped in achieving this outcome for James Price Point. Without all the efforts of the Broome community and all those who supported them around Australia today would not have been possible.

Woodside and its partners should now ensure that the same $1.3 billion payment flows to the Kimberley Traditional Owners wherever the Browse Basin gas is processed. The Goolarabooloo and Jabirr Jabirr people have been put through hell by Woodside and Premier Barnett’s compulsory acquisition of their coastal lands and they now deserve the certainty of that money whenever Woodside proceeds with its next option.

With the world’s biggest humpback whale nursery, the world’s greatest show of dinosaur paths and footprints, rare dolphins, dugong and turtles and, ashore, a rare bilby colony and monsoon vine thickets, together with its astounding living Indigenous culture, this Kimberley Coast should be assessed, in consultation with its Aboriginal owners, for World Heritage nomination.

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Concert for the Kimberley

Fremantle - 24 February 2013

Jeff Hansen and Bob Brown discuss Operation Kimberley Miinimbi
Author: seashepherd Sea Shepherd Australia Director Jeff Hansen and former Greens Senator Bob Brown share their thoughts on Operation Kimberley Miinimbi. Video by Fair Projects | Time: 3.18 min

Bob Brown and Sea Shepherd launch operation Kimberley Miinimbi

In wake of the James Price Point gas hub ‘go ahead’, Bob Brown and Sea Shepherd today launched operation Kimberley Miinimbi, at a press conference by the Steve Irwin in Willamstown.

The controversial Kimberley gas hub has been given a go-ahead from Western Australia’s environmental watchdog, the EPA (Environmental Protection Authority), even though the EPA’s decision making process has come under scrutiny after it revealed that four of the five board members were stood aside due to conflicts of interest. EPA chairman Dr Vogel, who gave the approval even admitted that turbidity from dredging, oil spills, industrial discharges, noise, light and vessel strikes could adversely affect whales, dolphins, turtles, dugong and fish.
The Western Australian Premier Colin Barnett is pushing ahead with gas factories at James Price Point, north of Broome on one of the world’s most pristine coastlines, even though whale deaths are imminent.

Australia was once a whaling nation, however nowadays Australians are some of the most passionate defenders of whales in the world and the support Sea Shepherd receives in Australia is overwhelming.  However, the same humpback whales that are being targeted by the Japanese whalers this summer are being targeted by a new threat, its this proposed gas hub in a place called James Price Point, north of Broome.

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Whale

Saving James Price Point

In August I will be off the Kimberley coast, north of Broome on the Sea Shepherd ship “Steve Irwin”.

This will be a peaceful trip to draw attention to one of the world’s largest whale calving events: thousands of humpback whales, and other species, migrate their from Antarctica to theses tropical waters each year.

The problem is Woodside and venture partner Shell, BP, BHP-Biliton, Chevron and Mitsubishi’s $30 billion plan to process gas from 400 kilometres off shore at a gas ‘hub’ or factory at James Price Point, 60 kilometres north of Broome.

The company will decide next year whether to proceed.  Opponents point to options: process the gas on-site off shore (as Woodside is doing off East Timor) or pipe the gas, at little or no extra cost, to Woodside’s existing facility further south at Karratha or at an abandoned industrial site at Port Headland.

In my talks with Shell, it, for one, is happy to move the project.  I suspect Woodside would move too and I will ask them to consider this alternative when I get the opportunity.

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