No Gas debate in Parliament …

A very interesting debate in Parliament (god forbid!!) yesterday about JPP and Native Title, EPA process; Appeals process, etc. (Jaxon Barnes)McGowan: “The project has been comprehensively mishandled from the start. Four years in, nothing that the Premier said would happen has happened. We now know that the deadline for a decision on this project is after the next state election. We
all know what the business community is saying about this project and what will happen to this project. The Premier
has comprehensively mishandled. He has threatened commercial interests. He has threatened Indigenous people —
Mr C.J. Barnett: I have never threatened Indigenous people in my life.
Mr M. McGOWAN: He has torn apart the community of Broome. The Premier’s Environmental Protection
Authority assessment process has been an outrageous corruption of the process intended when the EPA was set up.
What has happened shows the Premier’s comprehensive mishandling of this issue.

Grylls: The Kimberley Land Council had a vote and it was 164 to 108, Premier?
Mr C.J. Barnett: Something like that.
Mr B.J. GRYLLS: A very substantial majority of the people allowed to vote on this issue voted for it. I am offended
by the protesters who have flown from all over Australia to try to have this project vetoed; it is disgraceful. For the
Leader of the Opposition to align himself with those people who are erecting towers to try to impede the development
of this site is disgraceful. He sits on the fence; he will not make a decision; and he will not tell the Parliament what he
thinks. He is, again, a much less substantial Leader of the Opposition than the previous Leader of the Opposition, the
member for Belmont, who at least took a position, at least made an argument, and at least was prepared to stand up
for his policy. So this government is supportive —
Mr B.S. Wyatt: Are you going to answer any of the questions—any of them?

Bill Johnson (ALP): The minister says that we gave them a vote. Oh my God; how generous! They all remember when the Premier voted against native title; when he came into the chamber and said there was no native title in Western Australia. That is what this Premier did. We all remember it. Go and read the Hansard. It is recorded there in black and white. The member for Cottesloe as leader of government business voted to deny native title rights to Western Australians. That is what happened. That is what that person did. The Minister for Planning was here as well. We can go through the list. Go and read Hansard. They said that there was no native title in Western Australia. Now they come here and say, “Oh, my God, you want to give a right of veto to Indigenous Australians.” No wonder they were so deeply offended by the Labor Party trying to give rights to Western Australian Indigenous people. That is what we expect from them. For 150 years the conservatives of this state have been denying the rights of Indigenous Australians, so it is no wonder they come in here and get upset about that.

Adele Carles (Indep): To add insult to this whole wound, we now find out that the government is paying only lip service to the actual appeals process at the very end of the process. Minister Marmion has recently announced the appointment of Dr Roy
Green as an appeals committee. This is quite bizarre to my mind—“committee” is plural. It seems quite bizarre that
an appeals committee of one is deemed an appropriate process when we know there is an unprecedented 244 appeals
to be heard by this so-called committee. I therefore call on this government to appoint a proper appeals committee of
at least two or more persons in accordance with section 108(1) of the Environmental Protection Act to give the
appeals committee at least the perception of legitimacy in the eyes of the public at this stage. I also believe that Dr
Green may be too close to the EPA process. He has held prior roles as deputy chair of the EPA and chairman of the
EPA review committee. To conclude, I would say that there is a strong sense of disbelief over what has taken place—the debacle of this process—and it really beggars belief that the government would appoint a one-man band at the very end of the day to tick off on such a controversial proposal.

Marmion also speaks about EPA decision.

Starts on page 14:$File/A38%20S1%2020120911%20All.pdf

Good to contact McGowan, Carles etc to say ‘well done’ for at least bringing on the debate!

About Tom Harley

Amateur ecologist and horticulturalist and CEO of Kimberley Environmental Horticulture Inc. (Tom Harley)
This entry was posted in Broome/Kimberley, Environment, media, Oz politics, Resources and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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