Compulsory Acquisition announced: WA Premier Colin Barnett accused of bullying Aborigines over land

News – West Australian Premier Colin Barnett says his government will start the process of compulsory acquisition of land in the Kimberley for a gas precinct.
After weeks of threatening compulsory acquisition for the $30 billion Woodside Petroleum-led project, Mr Barnett officially announced the government’s intention to proceed.

Premier Colin Barnett has initiated compulsory aquisition of land at James Price Point - Indigenous leader Mick Dodson said in response: "I think compulsorily acquisition is, in a sense, another act of colonialism, it's another theft of our land, it's another invasion. It should never ever be contemplated at a political level."

The move has sparked outrage amongst people and organisations across Australia.

A selection of articles on the subject:

Colin Barnett moves to acquire land for Kimberley gas project – AAP and Narelle Towie, environment reporter September 02, 2010 9:46AM

Gas hub land to be compulsorily acquired - ABC news – September 02, 2010
Premier ‘breaks Commonwealth agreement’ over Kimberley acquisition From: PerthNow September 02, 2010 11:37AM

WA Premier Colin Barnett accused of bullying Aborigines over land From: AAP September 01, 2010 6:25PM

WA Premier’s land grab will unleash legal battle quagmire: Environs Kimberley – ABC online, By Matt BrannFriday, 03/09/2010

Friction over Kimberley gas plan site -  Andrew Burrell and Nicolas Perpitch: The Australian September 08, 2010

“It is understood Woodside’s partners in the project — Shell, BHP Billiton, Chevron and BP — want gas from the Browse fields off the Kimberley coast to be piped south to existing processing facilities at the North West Shelf Venture in the Pilbara.
Some partners have backed this option because it would preclude the need to build a new gas plant; others have expressed concerns over a campaign by environmentalists against building on the pristine coastline.”

Green groups battle to overturn Woodside gas plan – Nicholas Perpitch From: The AustralianSeptember 06, 2010 10:29PM – “Green groups fighting Woodside’s $30 billion gas project in the Kimberley hope to overturn a decision to allow the proponents to clear 25ha.”The environmental approval for the project hasn’t been granted by either state or commonwealth ministers, and therefore to clear a substantial area of vegetation in that area at this time, we believe, would be pre-emptive of those subsequent decisions,”

Brendon Grylls on compulsory acquisition of James Price Point for Kimberley gas ABC Radio By Vanessa Mills 7 September, 2010 3:18PM AWST – Audio – a very interesting series of interviews Mark McGowan, Mr Grylls making some incredibly paternalistic pro gas utterances and more.

State’s interest in James Price Point bigger than expected – ABC article and full audio including long interview with Wayne Bergman 8 September, 2010 2:30PM AWST By Vanessa Mills and Ben Collins
“Good people stand up for little people” – Wayne Bergman
“The Kimberley Land Council’s Executive Director, Wayne Bergmamn, who has been a champion of the gas processing precinct and the benefits for Aboriginal people, now paints a different picture.”

When Mornings Presenter, Vanessa Mills, pointed out that the area indicated in the Department of State Development’s master plan for the project, released last week, was much bigger than what he had been stating, the Premier said ‘No, it’s 2500 hectares that’s going to be acquired plus a thousand hectares of marine.’

“The total area of notification is five times larger than expected.”

“It is also over five times the area of land stated in the Heads of Agreement, signed in April 2009, by the State Government, Woodside Energy and  Traditional Owners, that gives in-principle agreement to the project.”

Traditional owners focus anger at Woodside – FLIP PRIOR, The West Australian September 9, 2010, 3:11 pm

“Kimberley traditional owners have come out swinging at Woodside, accusing the company of orchestrating the compulsory acquisition process triggered by Premier Colin Barnett.”