Updated: July 05, 2012
Gas hub protesters remember 'Black Tuesday'
On July 5 last year, 26 people (mostly Broome residents) were arrested while participating in a peaceful community blockade to stop land clearing machinery reaching James Price Point – site of the proposed gas hub.
A year on, the group has gathered in Broome to mark the anniversary of what's come to be known as 'Black Tuesday' and to reaffirm their commitment to stopping the controversial gas hub project being advocated by mining giant, Woodside and Western Australian Premier, Colin Barnett.
In a statement released today, the Black Tuesday arrestees said that "at the time, protesters asserted that Woodside did not have the permits required for this [land] clearing, and that their work was illegal. Information provided as part of Woodside’s retrospective application for planning approval later in the year proved this to be the case".
"We were arrested for trying to stop illegal activity from occurring by the very people who are supposed to stop illegal activity".
Over the last 12 months, efforts to prevent the construction of Woodside's gas hub at James Price Point have evolved into a truly national movement. On his recent trip to Broome, former Greens Senator and Wilderness Society founder, Bob Brown, likened the campaign to that which saved the famous Franklin River in Tasmania.
But this campaign is not yet over. In June this year, Woodside tried once again to get their machinery past blockaders in order to begin work at James Price Point. This time – in a move that sparked national outrage – the heavy machinery was flanked by 200 police officers at a taxpayer-funded cost of approximately $100,000 per day.
"Our community has been intimidated, community members with no prior history in the justice system have been made into criminals, and our concerns have been ignored", said the Black Tuesday arrestees today.
"A year after Black Tuesday, we come together again to remember the manner in which our community was treated. But we also gather to celebrate what our campaign has grown into, and to remind Woodside and Premier Barnett that we will never allow a gas hub to be built at James Price Point".
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