Well, that was a roller-coaster ride, wasn’t it?
Report by Kel Mydas: First of all I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who has worked so hard over the week or so as we headed into today’s DAP meeting. Thanks to all the people who wrote to the Shire, asked questions at the meeting, those who protested outside and those went inside. Thanks to Councillor Eunice Yu for getting the ball rolling on the non-endorsement result, and thanks to Councillor Anne Poelina for her powerful speech in support of the community’s wishes (certainly left Councillor Mitchell lost for words!)
Thanks to everyone who contributed to the DAP meeting, including all those who made written submissions (a long list was recorded in the minutes) and those who made such great presentations: Martin from EK, Jan, Keels, Robyn and Sue. Thanks to everyone who turned up for the meeting, and to Louise making it clear that the community does not recognise the authority or legitimacy of the DAP process (especially when they can’t even comply with their own regulations). Thanks to all those who walked out, and those that stayed and kept the bastards honest (or as honest as they could be).
(I was going to thank Councillor Campbell for having the good grace to speak and vote against the motion to consider the application, but then he blew it by voting to approve the application anyway. Shame.)
The meeting commenced with lots of waffle and procedural issues. One detail that I’m sure most in the public gallery didn’t recognise at the time was that the person who excused themselves from the meeting on impartiality grounds was the Deputy Presiding Member. My recollection of the Presiding Member’s comments was that it was a matter of conscience, but we’ll need to check the minutes.
Presentations by the Community Members were well-researched, thorough and to the point, but ultimately made no difference. The meeting exploded when Specialist Member Dr Garry Middle moved that the application be approved with conditions. The weasel words, bureaucratic gobbledegook and self-justification that then proceeded to spill forth from his mouth inflamed emotions around the room, leading to Louise’s outburst and a general walk-out. I urge you to look at Dr Middle’s bio on the DAP website http://daps.planning.wa.gov.au/data/DAP%20Members/Appointed%20DAP%20specialist%20members.pdf and ask yourselves how someone with those qualifications can justify what he said and approved today (although the words “Gorgon” and “Pluto” are pretty big flags.) I know that if I had any connection with Curtin University I would be having a good close look at it now. I wonder what the student body there thinks?
I know give you a summary of events after the walk-out provided by Jan Lewis, who is proving to be almost as indefatigable as Dr Jeff:
The DAP spent a considerable amount of time considering the conditions that will apply to the development approval. A number of environmental matters were considered including protection of vegetation, management of water run off, dust abatement, weeds.
The conditions put in place include the requirement to have an Environmental Management Plan approved by DEC and the Shire of Broome before work on the site commences.
Access was also discussed. Access to the work site will only be allowed from Manari Road until a new road from the Cape Levique road is built. Exit/entrance roads must be at 90 degrees.
Monitoring of adherence to the conditions of the various plans (eg EMP, Weeds, Dust abatement) was discussed. The conditions in the development approval include the requirement for Woodside to conduct an independent audit of their adherence to EMP and other plan conditions on a quarterly basis, and to provide that report to the Broome Shire for display on the Shire website.
Graeme and Jenny also advised that the passing last night of the Shire’s compliance policy also gave them protocols to monitor compliance with.
There were a number of conditions that relate to waste water management, building codes, mosquito control, waste disposal etc . don’t think there were any surprises.
Woodside will continue to be responsible for the cost of maintaining the Manari Road.
The period of the approval was amended to include a subject to a renewal of the Section 91 permit.
There were a number of conditions relating to site remediation.
After their conditions the development approval contains a number of advices. They include the requirement to adhere to the provisions of the Aboriginal heritage Act etc.
They also say that a clearing permit will be required to work west of Manari Road, and that clearing of monsoon vine thickets will require referral to the EPBC Act.
Thanks to interjections from the gallery by Jan, Keels and others the following conditions were included:
No work can commence without the Shire and DEC approving an environmental management plan and other plans eg weeds
Quarterly independent monitoring /audit reports to be provided to the Shire for placement on the Shire website
A clearing permit must be obtained for any work west of Manari Road.
Where to now? I note a media release from Environs Kimberley that they are seeking legal advice, and if anyone knows a lawyer who specialises in planning work who is willing to advise us it would certainly be appreciated. I understand, too, that TWS are keeping a close eye on things, as are other supporters on the East Coast.
One thing for sure – they are coming back. We don’t know when, and they certainly have some work to do re permits etc, so one assumes we have a little time yet. So it’s a good thing there is a Direct Action meeting set down for this Sunday 1pm at Lotteries House!
And remember to keep spreading the word – it’s still not a done deal! No EPA, no Federal Environmental Approval, no FID, no customers, no commitment from Joint Venture partners.
AND NO SOCIAL LICENCE TO OPERATE!
Broome Community No Gas Campaign
Bank Account for Communications Officer Support:
ANZ Broome BSB 016554 Account Number1850 93222 Broome No Gas
Bank Account for Campaign Donations
ANZ Broome BSB 016554 Account Number 2492 71156 NGOTKC
And despite all this, Woodside will still be acting illegally by breaking Native Title Laws under the Indigenous Heritage Act.