Barnett could ignite local opposition to Woodside gas project  

Posted by Big Gav in , , , ,

The Australian reports the WA government is trying to force Kimberley locals to accept a new LNG plant for the Browse basin to be built on their land -
Barnett could ignite local opposition to Woodside gas project
. I saw John Butler play at the Hordern on Friday night - it was a good gig and he was actively promoting the cause of the locals.

Their support may be withdrawn not so much because of agitation from the likes of musician John Butler -- but thanks to one of its biggest supporters -- West Australian Premier Colin Barnett.

The KLC, which had strongly supported the project as a way of bringing jobs, health, housing and education services to the remote region, last night declared itself at a crossroads. "There's going to be a big meeting next week and I kind of think we're on the knife edge of splitting either way," KLC chief Wayne Bergmann told The Weekend Australian.

With anger growing over the Barnett government's decision to forcibly acquire 2500 hectares of unallocated Crown land -- which is subject to two native title claims -- at James Price Point in a bid to kickstart the project, former federal court judge Murray Wilcox again entered the debate, calling for a public inquiry into the matter.

Butler, who is touring the country agitating against the project north of Broome, yesterday warned of a major community backlash over the Barnett announcement. He revealed that Kimberley law man Joseph Roe, whose divisive court action against the KLC sparked the breakdown with the government, has been appearing at his concerts.

The award-winning blues and roots musician said Aboriginal people should not have to give up their land to get the services and opportunities other Australians were given.

Mr Bergmann said the dynamic could change if traditional owners withdrew their support for the project. "The risk is that my instructions might start to be changed to now oppose the project. I've had phone calls from traditional owners very upset," he said.

The KLC signed an in-principle agreement on behalf of the traditional owners with Woodside and the government last year. The process stalled when Mr Roe, on advice from Mr Wilcox, took the KLC to the federal court, claiming the body had no right to sign the agreement on behalf of the traditional owners. Yesterday Mr Roe promised to fight Mr Barnett "with every breath".



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