Indigenous people complain of ‘pressure’ in 60-40 support of gas hub, but the fight goes on.

Traditional owners in Western Australia’s Kimberley region say they were forced to sign off on a multi-billion dollar gas hub, set to be built north of Broome. The Jabirr-Jabirr Goolarabooloo people last week voted in favour of the hub being located at James Point Price. There were 164 votes in favour, 108 against and five people abstained.

One of the many banners flying over the protest camp opposing the industrialisation of the Kimberley at James Price Point north of Broome

In exchange, traditional owners will receive a benefits package worth $1.5 billion. “A spokesman for the traditional owners Wayne Barker says the State Government threat to compulsorily acquire the land put pressure on them. “Compulsory acquisition has been a parallel process through all of this,” he said. “The State Government has indicated to us that if we had not agreed, compulsory acquisition would have stepped up.” Mr Barker says the Premier Colin Barnett forced their hand. “He calls it self-determination, we call it standing on our own feet with a gun to our head,” he said.” SOURCE: Abc News http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/05/09/3211612.htm Meanwhile Save The Kimberley co-chair and Indigenous opponent Neil McKenzie said the vote was split roughly 60-40, and he vowed yesterday to fight on against the project through the Supreme Court, declaring the decision an ”embarrassment for all Australians”. SOURCE: Sydney Morning Herald http://www.smh.com.au/business/indigenous-deal-boosts-woodsides-lng-plans-20110506-1ec5g.html And Save The Kimberley Director Kevin Blatchford  says the Aboriginal people were put in an impossible position. “It’s no surprise and the whole process is basically flawed because of the threat of compulsory acquisition against indigenous people,” he said. “They were damned if they did and damned if they didn’t. Source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/05/06/3209682.htm?section=justin

Other related news..

Senior Indigenous Traditional Owner, current Save The Kimberley secretary and the next generation join community to protest outside Woodside's Broome office - 13th may 2011

The Greens say “We believe Aboriginal people shouldn’t be forced into these sorts of agreements so they can get access to adequate housing and education . . . that’s something they should be able to enjoy the same as all Australians,” SOURCE: http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/-/breaking/9338776/kimberley-gas-deal-was-forced-say-greens/ Businessman Geoff Cousins vows to continue the fight and environment groups say they will focus on the yet to be completed environmental approvals process and the reluctant joint venture partners in the lead up to the final business decision on whether the gas hub will go ahead at James Price Point, expected mid 2012. Interest around the country and around the world continues to grow as public meetings and lobbying of Government and Business other activities continue to ramp up. At James Price Point Woodside contractors are moving in to do preliminary work, approved by Government despite the incomplete environmental approvals process and are being held up and opposed by protesters on the ground. (more info soon). Save The Kimberley encourages all people to stay strong and continue the fight to protect James Price Point and the Kimberley – THERE ARE ALTERNATIVES. Want to support Save The Kimberley? Please click here or on the banner below to make a secure online donation.

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  • Kerry Firkin

    I have the pleasure of seeing the Kimberley twice now the first time was going over the Gibb River Road Broome to Broome then sailing down from Darwin to Broome I can honestly say I have never ever seen anything so beautiful in all my life
    We all must do all we cna to save this perfect piece of paradise