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Operation Kimberley Miinimbi: the Issue

Thursday, Aug 16, 2012

The Western Australian Government is pushing ahead with a gas hub and port on one of the world’s most pristine coastlines. 

The Kimberley Coastline.

The Western Australian Government, headed up by WA Premier Colin Barnett, is moving forward with the development of gas factories at Walmadan (James Price Point), north of Broome. Woodside - Australia's largest independent oil and gas company - 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. 

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 for the ruling due to conflicts of interest. EPA chairman Dr Vogel- the one remaining board member who gave the project the green light- even admitted that turbidity from dredging, oil spills, industrial discharges, noise, light and vessel strikes could adversely affect whales, dolphins, turtles, dugong and fish.

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 Australian humpbacks need now are gas factories and a giant industrial port right through their breeding grounds. The area is the biggest humpback nursery in the world with blue whales also passing through to calve further North. Constructing the gas factories and port would mean noise pollution, destruction of habitat as well as boat strikes to whales.

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 in the Southern Ocean face a new threat in their calving grounds - Woodside's proposed gas hub in a place called Walmadan, just north of Broome.

A humpback whale at Walmadan, WA.
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