Blockade News, Days 27-29

Day 27

Today many people joined the Goolaraboloo Family at Millibinyarriat  to show support at the beginning of the Lurujarri Heritage Trail. Everyone was welcome to come together and celebrate Reconciliation. The trail is an annual event which has run for many years as a way of bringing cultures together and sharing the stories of the song cycle which includes the Country proposed for the gas plant. Over a week Traditional Custodians guide people from all cultures to walk the trail and learn. This is a shining light of reconciliation and cross-cultural learning.  Founded by the late Paddy Roe, Law Boss for the James Price Point region, who earned the honor of Order Of Australia for his contributions to culture and reconciliation. The trail and the protection of the Law is continued by Joseph Roe and family. A Gas Factory cutting the songline would destroy culture and damage Country – Joe Roe and his family have a cultural and moral obligation to stop this travesty from going ahead. THERE ARE ALTERNATIVES.

 

Today at the blockade we seem to have returned to the pattern established over the past few weeks. Convoy parks up the road. One car comes to blockade. Today 2 Police oversaw discussion with Woodside hired security. They were told that they would not be allowed through to clear or drill. Soon after they all turned around and headed back to town.

 

However later in the day police have headed out to assess the situation and numbers at the blockade and Waldaman camps. This is ominous but people are positive that the community will be strong in the face of any attempts to clear or drill at James Price Point.

 

Day 28

Good numbers at the blockade – a broad cross section of the community supporting the traditional custodians. Many people who work during the week took the opportunity to show support. Tomorrow we need all hands on deck. Thanks for all the words and deeds of support from across the country.

 

No sign of Woodside contractors today, mirroring previous Sundays. This will be an important week…

 

Day 29

Good turn out this morning – Woodside contractors have been turned around again.

 

A sausage sizzle greeted the morning today and great community spirit was shown.  Information has come to hand indicating that a large number of Police have recently been flown up from Perth, there is concern in the camp that there may be an attempt to break the blockade coming up. The local police have acted with respect to date and we certainly hope this will continue with these ‘outside’ police.

 

There is a clear feeling that the blockade will continue and that Browse Joint Venture (Woodside, Shell, Chevron, BP, BHP) contractors will not be allowed to undertake clearing or drilling on country. From within the old families of Broome and the business community there is a rising groundswell of opposition and a real feeling of a lack of proper consultation.

 

A number of Traditional Custodians are today heading over to Canberra to talk with Minister Burke and others. Their message is to slow down and listen to all community voices not just those being put forward by Woodside and the pro-gas elements of the Kimberley Land Council. Dr Anne Polina and others will be presenting the case against the location of a gas factory on the Kimberley coast and pointing out serious concerns around the conduct and process that has resulted in an announcement of an agreement between Woodside and the native title group. Concerns include the ‘gun to the head’ of compulsory acquisition removing the possibility of free prior and informed consent and irregularities in who was able to and encouraged to vote and the incorrect belief of many eligible native title claimants that by not attending the meeting at which a vote was taken their ‘no’ vote would be recorded.

 

Media:

Broome musician Alan Pigram will lead a delegation of old Broome families to Canberra today in a bid to convince Federal politicians that the proposed $30 billion gas project at James Price Point should not go ahead.

 

Broome protester fined but given spent conviction- “A Broome resident who chained himself to a bulldozer for 26 hours as part of an anti-gas hub protest, has been fined but has been given a spent conviction.  Specially trained officers had to be flown from Perth last month to remove Shane Hughes from a Woodside bulldozer.”

 

Woodside talk in Broome while community activists take their message to Canberra – abc online

 

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