...They want to put a gas hub through the worlds largest Humpback nursery!
The Western Australian Government, headed up by WA Premier Colin Barnett is pushing ahead with gas factories at James Price Point, north of Broome on one of the world’s most pristine coastlines. Woodside has already started drilling into reefs and to enable the big ships to come in, there would be further drilling and dredging up to 6 km out to sea. A jetty several kilometres long would also be constructed.
The Kimberley gas hub has been given conditional go-ahead from Western Australia's environmental watchdog, the EPA (Environmental Protection Authority), even though the EPA’s decision-making process has come under scrutiny after it revealed that four of the five board members stood aside due to conflicts of interest. EPA chairman Dr Vogel, the one remaining board member who made yesterday's decision, even admitted that turbidity from dredging, oil spills, industrial discharges, noise, light and vessel strikes could adversely affect whales, dolphins, turtles, dugong and fish. Western Australian Premier Colin Barnett is pushing ahead with gas factories at James Price Point, just north of Broome, on one of the world’s most unspoiled coastlines, even though whale deaths are inevitable.
It has taken over three decades for the Western Australian humpback population to bounce back from the brink of extinction, from the barbaric slaughter they endured from whaling. The last thing our Aussie humpbacks need now is gas factories and a giant industrial port right through their breeding grounds. The area is the biggest humpback nursery in the world. Blue whales also pass through to calve further north of the spot. Constructing the gas factories and port would mean noise pollution, destruction of habitat and also boat strikes to whales.
...An invitation Sea Shepherd could not refuse... Operation Kimberley Miinimbi was born, led by Bob Brown
Sea Shepherd received a letter from Joseph Roe, Phillip Roe and Richard Hunter, Senior Law Bosses of the Goolarabooloo people, whose country the proposed gas hub would be built upon.
"The Goolarabooloo People along with our friends from around the world are fighting to save this Country from destruction. Our Sea Country here is the home of the Humpback whale. We have seen the work you have done to protect the whales in the Southern Ocean. We would appreciate any support you can give us to protect the Humpback in our Sea Country from the proposal to build an industrial port at James Price Point for LNG export." -- Senior Law Bosses, Joseph Roe, Phillip Roe and Richard Hunter.
To pay our respect to the Goolarabooloo Traditional Owners, we are naming our visit, Operation Kimberley Miinimbi, the Goolarabooloo name for humpback whale and to take the lead on this campaign is Bob Brown, Sea Shepherd advisory board member and former leader of the Australian Greens Party.
...No alternative for the whale nursery
Bob Brown said at the campaign launch, “There are alternative sites for Woodside's factory, but not for the whale nursery there - or the living Indigenous culture, including the songline-linked dinosaur tracks, 130 million years old, on the shoreline of James Price Point.
“There are other, better options for where this major gas development could go. We know that a number of Woodside’s partners would also prefer it go elsewhere. In my talks with Shell, it, for one, is happy to move the project. I have written to the Woodside Board, and will ask them to consider alternative sites,” Bob Brown concluded.
...A vigil for the whales
Already this year, hundreds of whales have been seen by scientific survey just off James Price Point and over twenty mum and baby pairs sighted already, with other seventy percent found within five kilometres off the coast, which completely contradicts Woodside's findings.
The Steve Irwin will conduct a number of voyages with media and traditional owners from Broome to James Price Point as a vigil to draw attention to the
prolific calving that goes on at the proposed site region.
The world will then see the real truth, that the the proposed site really is a nursery for the majestic humpback whale.
Having massive gas export facilities at James Price Point would be like trying to have and nurture a baby right next to the noise of an airport, while having trucks going right through your house. The peace and tranquility of the humpbacks world would be shattered.
...The WA Government does not represent Australia's wishes
New national polling has shown that the majority of Australians do not want a gas hub at James Price Point
Sea Shepherd supporters, if you stand by us in defending the humpbacks in their Antarctic summer feeding grounds, then please stand by us in defence of their birthing grounds.
The very same humpback whales that are being targeted by the Japanese whalers this summer in the Southern Ocean face a new threat in their calving grounds - Woodside's proposed gas hub in a place called James Price Point, just north of Broome.