Updated: September 21, 2010
James Price Point threatened by fossil fuel industry
|James Price Point - Panorama.|
Almost two years after WA Premier Colin Barnett first announced James Price Point off the Kimberley coast as the Government's preferred site for a liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant, the destruction of this unique and ecologically significant part of Australia is imminent.
On the 2nd September, Premier Barnett announced compulsory acquisition of land at James Price Point, despite strong opposition by the Kimberley Land Council and other indigenous groups.
Want to know more? Here are some environmental and cultural impacts the proposed LNG gas hub will have:
Environmentally, the Kimberley is the wrong place for this polluting industry:
- James Price Point is home to spectacular and sensitive habitats including rainforest (monsoonal vine thicket) patches, pindan scrub, corals, seagrass and sponge gardens.
- The marine environment offshore from James Price Point is recognised as a fish aggregation area, dugong feeding area and is a nursery, feeding, nursing and migratory pathway for
- The terrestrial environment is home to sensitive and important ecological communities, and the area is home to a number of unique mammals including the Golden Bandicoot and the Flatback Turtle, among many others.
If one polluting industry takes hold, it's easy for more to follow
- Clearing: The gas hub would require clearing 2400 hectares (24 square kilometres) of Pindan Woodlands and extremely rare Monsoon Vine thicket plant communities could be affected.
- Dredging: Dredging would be required to allow access for the LNG tankers and other boats. Dredging is a very ecologically damaging process that releases large loads of sediment. During construction blasting of reef with explosives and cutting would be required.
- Seismic pollution: The impact of seismic pollution (e.g. blasting and ship noise) has been studied and has been implicated in changing migratory and other behavior and whale stranding events.
- Disruptive Breakwall construction: A 7km long breakwall would need to be built to support the site, despte an environmental report finding that the breakwall would interrupt and change current flows, be ecologically damaging during construction, and have unknown ongoing ecological impacts.
- Water use: The gas hub development wil require large amounts of water, from groudnwater or desalination, which will have negative impacts on waterholes and vegetation.
- James Price Point is culturally significant for Traditional Owners and Aboriginal heritage, home to burial and mythological sites. The area is part of the Indigenous song-cycle, a continuous dreaming track that incorporates the Lurujarri heritage trail running from Cape Leveque to south of Broome, and is used by Indigenous people to harvest Gubinge and other bush tucker.
Tourism and fishing
- A large facility such as the one proposed will spoil the visual amenity of the Kimberley coast and impact negatively on tourism to the region, including numerous sustainable Indigenous tourism ventures on the peninsula.
Climate change and carbon pollution
- Climate change: The LNG gas hub will cause massive greenhouse gas emissions meaning WA and Australia will almost certaonly miss greenhouse gas reduction targets. Conservative estimates of just the initial project indicate that 15 million tonnes of greenhouse gases would be emitted every year – equivalent to 3 million cars (20% of WA’s total).
Shipping and environmental disasters
- As we've seen in the Gulf of Mexico, Montara oil spill in the Timor sea off the Kimberley coast, accidents do happen. The Kimberley coast is just too ecologically significant, too special to be put at unnecessary risk.
For more information, please contact:
The Wilderness Society WA Inc
City West Lotteries House
2 Delhi St
West Perth, WA, 6005
Phone: 08 9420 7255