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The Kimberley coast is one of the world's last great unspoiled marine environments – nursery for the world's largest population of Humpback whales; home to a coral reef network of global significance and refuge for a wide range of endemic and endangered species. Unlike another Australian natural icon, the Great Barrier Reef, the Kimberley coastal and marine environment lacks any formal protection.

On 2 December, Federal Resources Minister Martin Ferguson threatened Browse gas joint venture partners (Shell, Chevron, BP, BHP and Woodside) that they would lose their gas leases if they did not accept his two stage decision deadline – leading to the construction of a massive polluting gas (LNG) processing hub on the Kimberley coast near Broome.

The Wilderness Society urges everyone who cares about the Kimberley to sign this petition – and make sure Ferguson does not get away with his bullying tactics designed to subvert the existing environmental impact assessment process.

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Most of the companies listed above do not want to build the gas hub on the pristine Kimberley coast, but Ferguson is determined to override their – and the community’s - concerns.

He has told them they must first agree to his timeline within 30 days, and decide on an onshore site within 120 days or he will not renew their leases. This is a clear attempt to force these companies to fall into line with the WA Government and the lead joint venture company Woodside, who are trying to force the Kimberley option.

The WA Premier Colin Barnett followed this announcement the next day by announcing an exact site at James Price Point for this development. The Premier had previously threatened compulsory acquisition of the James Price Point site if Indigenous Traditional Owners did not agree to the imposition of an industrial site on their land.

The Australian Federal and State Governments have pre-empted the environmental approvals process, their own heritage and marine protection processes, Indigenous approvals and the oil companies' decision making process. Decision making is back-to-front and wrong-way-round.

A proposal for a facility on the Kimberley coast at James Price Point to process offshore Browse basin LNG will have devastating impacts on the pristine Kimberley environment. The proposal also represents the thin edge of the wedge, opening the door for the industrialisation of the Kimberley via damaging industry such as strip mining around the Mitchell Plateau, coal and uranium mining.

The Governments pre-emptive actions are failing Australia and the world by:
• Not properly investigating the alternative options for processing Browse gas
• Pre-empting the environmental assessment process, opening the door for legal challenges in the future
• Disregarding concerns from scientists and the local, Australian and international community
• Discounting the International significance of one of the world’s last great natural landscapes
• Threatening a range of endangered species and habitats, including the breeding and calving area for the world's largest population of Humpback whales
• Disregarding Indigenous Traditional Owners opposed to the proposal, who have recently signed a declaration of their concerns
• Compromised the long term sustainable environmental, social and economic future of the Kimberley, instead focusing on short term politics and profits.

The Kimberley coast is too special, too important and too sensitive to put at risk. There are viable alternatives that would have less impact on the environment. The bullying tactics of Government and the company Woodside are unacceptable.

This is your chance to bring rationality back to the debate – please send a message to the leaders of Government making it clear that you do not support a polluting industrial site on the Kimberley coast.

Thank you for your support. – together we do make a difference.

Josh Coates
Kimberley Campaigner
The Wilderness Society (WA) Inc.

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Any material on this page which may be construed as electoral material or an electoral matter under any State or Commonwealth Law is authorised by Peter Robertson for The Wilderness Society (WA) Inc City West Lotteries House, 2 Delhi Street, West Perth, WA, 6005, Australia.

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