The Western Australian Government, headed up by WA 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. Woodside has already started drilling into reefs and to enable the big ships to come in, there would be further drilling and dredging up to 6 km out to sea. A jetty several kilometres long would also be constructed.
The Kimberley gas hub has been given conditional 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 stood aside due to conflicts of interest. EPA chairman Dr Vogel, the one remaining board member who made yesterday’s decision, even admitted that turbidity from dredging, oil spills, industrial discharges, noise, light and vessel strikes could adversely affect whales, dolphins, turtles, dugong and fish. Western Australian Premier Colin Barnett is pushing ahead with gas factories at James Price Point, just north of Broome, on one of the world’s most unspoiled coastlines, even though whale deaths are inevitable.
It has taken over three decades for the Western Australian humpback population to bounce back from the brink of extinction, from the barbaric slaughter they endured from whaling. The last thing our Aussie humpbacks need now is gas factories and a giant industrial port right through their breeding grounds. The area is the biggest humpback nursery in the world. Blue whales also pass through to calve further north of the spot. Constructing the gas factories and port would mean noise pollution, destruction of habitat and also boat strikes to whales.