The Kimberley is special. A stunning landscape with a rich natural heritage, WA's north Kimberley region is the only place on mainland Australia that has not had a single mammal extinction since European settlement.
But gas giant Woodside Petroleum Ltd and its project partners Shell, Chevron, BP and BHP want to build a huge $30-billion dollar gas hub at James Price Point, just north of Broome. This enormous project, covering an area 20 times the size of the Melbourne CBD, is a proposal of the West Australian Department of State Development and is being assessed by another government agency, the EPA. The West Australian Premier, Colin Barnett, is the Minister for State Development, and thus the proponent.
The Wilderness Society will join with Goolarabooloo Traditional Custodian, Richard Hunter, in taking both the West Australian Environment Protection Authority (EPA) and the state's Environment Minister to the Supreme Court over gross mishandling of conflicts of interest in relation to assessment of the proposed Kimberley gas hub.
As evidenced by a long list of blunders, the government has repeatedly failed to display any sense of procedural competence or scientific rigour in relation to environmental and cultural assessments of this highly contested project. One of it's most spectacular failings has been its improper handling of conflicts of interest declared by four of its five board members (dating back to 2009) revealed in mid 2012.
It's our hope that this case will make a significant contribution to the ongoing community campaign against the gas hub at James Price Point. If successful, it could mean that the West Australian Government will have to begin its environmental assessments again from scratch.
In the new year, we'll be calling on our members and supporters to help us raise $300,000 to cover legal costs.
Only people power can hold this rotten alliance of government and big business to account and protect the Kimberley’s amazing environment and culture.
Take action now - sign our online petition to protect the Kimberley and stop the gas hub.