September 8, 2003 - Greens (WA) industrial development spokesperson Robin Chapple MLC has vowed to step up the campaign to rescue Barrow Island in the wake of the Government's announcement that Chevron Texaco has in-principle approval to pursue the Gorgon project.

'In 1908 Barrow Island was protected as 'an absolute fauna and flora reserve for all time,1'' Mr Chapple said. 'Today our Government abandoned these principles and elected to follow the fast buck instead.'

Mr Chapple predicted that the Government's sagging environmental credentials would be an important issue in the run-up to the next State election, and could well influence how regional groups choose to allocate greens preferences.

'This decision permanently destroys the Government's sustainability credentials and is a serious breach of their election commitment to 'prohibit mineral and petroleum exploration and mining in National Parks and Nature Reserves,'' Mr Chapple said.

'The Draft State Sustainability Strategy states:

The definition of sustainability, interpreted literally, is very challenging. It implies that an activity that only meets two of the factors simultaneously (say economic and social but 'trades off' the environment) is ultimately not sustainable.

WA Draft Sustainability Strategy p24

'This is a project that was opposed in the strongest possible terms by the Government's own environmental expert bodies. Socially the benefits are extremely questionable as it is a fly in fly out operation that will not add anything to the region.'

'The Government is trying to pass off a massive fossil fuel project in a nature reserve as somehow sustainable, and I find that extremely objectionable,' Mr Chapple said. 'I support the project going to the mainland where it clearly belongs.'

'This marks the beginning, not the end, of the campaign to rescue Barrow Island.'

1- EPA s16 Report and Recommendations 'Environmental Advice on the Principle of Locating a Gas Processing Complex on Barrow Island Nature Reserve' July 2003

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