Barnett's Kimberley land grab threats illiberal: Greens

1 July 2010 - Colin Barnett’s ongoing threats to compulsorily acquire lands for the development of the Browse Basin Gas hub set a dangerous precedent for government land grabs, Greens MLC Robin Chapple said today.

“For the Premier to issue threats like this just because negotiations are not going his way, is disgraceful for the parliamentary leader of a political party founded on principles of individual rights, especially property rights,” Mr Chapple said.

“What we are seeing here is a Premier who is not amenable to negotiation unless it is guaranteed to turn out in his favour, and who is wilfully blind to the many alternatives on offer in the case of this gas hub”.

“Mr. Barnett has a history of acting like an autocrat when his agenda is stymied.   We saw it with the infamous canal proposal and we have seen him repeatedly go rogue on his own ministers when he wants his way.”

“This is not the type of behaviour the leader of a democratically elected government should be engaging in, as our most recent ex-Prime Minister discovered to his cost.”

Mr. Chapple said that the Government was demonstrating extremely bad faith in refusing to negotiate further with traditional landowners.

“The situation surrounding the traditional ownership of James Price Point is an extremely complex one and will take time to resolve,” Mr. Chapple said.

“Mr. Barnett is compounding the problem by refusing to allow traditional owners time to resolve the situation, in addition to demonstrating a disturbing disregard for due process over the negotiation of property rights.”

“The parliamentary leader of the Liberal Party is acting most illiberally.” 

  • Media Contact: Robin Chapple on 0409 379 263 or 9486 8255
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