Greens WA Applaud Supreme Court Ruling but Kimberley Risks Remain

Monday 19 August 2013

Greens WA Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region, Robin Chapple MLC, today welcomed the decision by the Chief Justice to uphold the Wilderness Society case against the validity of the approvals process around the James Price Point (JPP) gas hub development.

“This very good decision removes the last vestige of cover from the shameful maneuverings and posturing of the Barnett/Grylls Liberal/National government in its attempts to railroad its preferred position through the environmental oversight process.

“There has been a litany of mistakes made by the government through this whole sorry affair.

“From the botched compulsory acquisition, to the use of the Development Assessment Panel (DAP) to override local wishes, to the Premier’s pressuring then-environment Minister Marmion into allowing the flawed Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) decision to stand – it has been a disaster from start to finish.

“And unfortunately this is not the finish – because the Premier continues to stick to his dogged personal campaign to open up the Kimberley to all sorts of inappropriate development.

“I just hope the decision today will go some way towards allowing Mr Barnett a way out – he can rule a line under this, and walk away with some dignity, and say ‘Well, the highest authority in the state has spoken – let’s move on and look at other options’.

“If not, then I fear the Traditional Owners, local residents, and their supporters around the country, will only be in for a brief respite of celebration, followed by a return to the all-too-familiar confrontation and imposed rule-from-afar that has characterized the Barnett/Grylls approach to the Kimberley.

“As we know from last year, Mr Barnett rushed into law a State Agreement Act allowing virtual open slather on activities at JPP –and this is now the real danger, because there is nothing stopping processing of onshore gas from fraccing, large port development, and any number of other large-scale industries – subject only to agreement between the parties to the Act, with little or no Parliamentary scrutiny.

“The land acquisition is still in the Premier’s sights; the development of port infrastructure is approved; we have seen how easily workers camps and the like can be rubber-stamped by the Government’s Kimberley DAP – so while we celebrate today’s decision, this is no time to let down our guard,” Mr Chapple warned.

For more information please contact Robin Chapple on 0409 379 263 or 9486 9965

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