- Andrew Burrell
- From: The Australian
- February 11, 2012 12:00AM
FORMER ALP national president Warren Mundine and wealthy Perth dealmaker John Poynton are behind a plan to promote indigenous investment by building a $600 million port near the Kimberley town of Derby to service the massive offshore oil and gas industry.
But the plan could spark a fresh stoush with green groups over the industrialisation of the Kimberley, which boasts vast unexplored deposits of coal, bauxite, uranium and iron ore that could one day be shipped out through a new port.
A supply base at Point Torment, 30km north of Derby, would be aimed initially at servicing Woodside Petroleum’s planned $40 billion Browse liquefied natural gas project near Broome, which has attracted opposition from environmentalists who say the Kimberley should remain undeveloped.
West Australian Greens MP Robin Chapple said any development at Point Torment, which he described as a pristine piece of coastline, would be “another nail in the coffin for the Kimberley”.
Mr Chapple called on West Australian Premier Colin Barnett to reject the plan. “It flies in the face of what the Premier has said — that we wouldn’t have any further industrialisation of the Kimberley,” he said.
Mr Barnett has expressed support for a supply port to service the LNG industry at Point Torment, saying it should not be built at Broome because of the need to preserve the town’s tourism industry.
He told The Weekend Australian the government had held talks with firms with petroleum interests in the Browse Basin, off the Kimberley coast, to determine their interest in using Point Torment, but “in reality it will be a commercial decision which drives future development”.
Leading Perth-based investment bank Azure Capital, which is run by Mr Poynton, is behind the Point Torment plan. It is understood a Malaysian investment consortium has expressed an interest in helping to develop such a project.
The plan is being driven by an Azure director, indigenous leader Clinton Wolf, and forms part of the bank’s efforts to identify investment opportunities that would benefit Aborigines and involve them as shareholders.
A company called Point Torment Supply Base has been set up to examine the viability of building the facility. The directors are listed as Mr Mundine, Mr Poynton, Mr Wolf and fellow Azure Capital director Simon Price.
Mr Wolf said the plan was at a preliminary stage and would only go ahead if it was economically viable and was supported by traditional owners and other stakeholders.
But he said talks would be held soon to outline the proposal and get feedback from key players.
Mr Mundine, who chairs the Australian Indigenous Chamber of Commerce, said he believed a new supply base and port facility at Point Torment could help the development of the Kimberley’s huge mineral reserves.
He became a director because he wanted to ensure that any development benefited Aborigines. “This is about closing the gap, it’s about Aboriginal people having skin in the game,” he said. “This type of project needs to go ahead otherwise you will keep people in poverty.”
He said the Kimberley was bigger than most European countries and that Australia’s environmental laws were strong enough to ensure responsible development.
Shire of Derby president Elsia Archer said the town was desperate for a developer to build a port, which could also be used for the region’s live cattle exports.
A WA government report in 2005 identified Point Torment as a suitable site for heavy industry, suggesting it could be home to an alumina refinery, which would be underpinned by bauxite mining on the Mitchell Plateau in the northern Kimberley. It said the West Kimberley had deposits of diamonds, iron ore, copper, lead, zinc, silver, nickel, uranium, coal, tin, mineral sands and onshore petroleum.
Oil company Buru Energy recently announced a major discovery in the Canning Basin area of the Kimberley, prompting WA Resources Minister Norman Moore to say last month he expected an exploration surge. But the viability of a supply base at Point Torment will be linked to whether Woodside and other LNG companies, including Shell and Japan’s Inpex, support it.
There is speculation that Shell plans to use ports in Broome and Darwin to support its Prelude LNG project, while Inpex is said to have settled on Darwin.
As seen on Australia’s Yahoo News and ABC (Australian Broadcast Company)
Opponents of a cull of thousands of wild horses in Western Australia say they have evidence the animals are not being killed humanely.
CAITLYN GRIBBIN –
Over the past week, more than 7,000 brumbies have been shot dead in the remote East Kimberley, using rifles fired from mustering helicopters.
Traditional owners, the RSPCA, and local graziers admit brumby numbers are out of control and have endorsed the cull because the horses are destroying native habitat near the WA/Northern Territory.
The Aboriginal Lands Trust undertook the cull on two stations with Aboriginal pastoral leases.
It is being overseen by veterinarian Jordan Hampton.
“You have two people in a small mustering helicopter and the shooter has a high-calibre semi-automatic weapon,” he said.
“They’re called SLRs, they’re similar to military rifles that were used in the Vietnam war.”
Dr Hampton is monitoring animal welfare during the operation.
“The helicopter pilot gets the shooter side on as close as he can to the animal, and then there’s our policy of repeat shooting,” he said.
“It’s known as mandatory overkill; each animal is shot more than once to ensure that it is indeed dead.”
RSPCA supports cull as little food or water for horses
The RSPCA is supporting the cull, saying it is inhumane to let the horses live because there is not enough food and water.
It says it demanded the brumbies be killed instantly through an accurately-fired shot, through the head or thorax.
But Libby Lovegrove, from activist group Wild Horses Kimberley, says she has evidence that has not happened.
“The photos, there’s one there of a horse that’s been shot in the shoulder and he’s been left to die, you can see the blood running down his leg,” she said.
Ms Lovegrove says the photos were taken by one of the stations’ employees on the October 30.
In one photo, a brumby is standing in a paddock and Ms Lovegrove says the horse is bleeding from a bullet wound on its left fore quarter.
“That bullet would’ve gone into its shoulder,” she said.
“Eventually it probably would either bleed to death slowly in the 40 degree heat or it would just carry that wound around with it, and it would be in tremendous pain.
“The other photographs are of a mare and a young colt, they all looked to be in terrific condition but they’ve both been shot, one of them in the wrong place.
“My major concern is when they shoot the mares, the foals that are left there have no way of surviving, they die slowly, it’s pretty terrible.”
Vet admits some horses still alive after being shot
In a statement, the Aboriginal Lands Trust and the Department of Aboriginal Affairs say they are confident the operation was conducted as professionally and humanely as possible.
Dr Hampton, who examined 452 of the 7,000 dead horses, admitted some were still alive after being shot.
“That’s part of the assessment and also the potential for the animal to show signs of having had a protracted death,” he said.
“We found animals alive associated with approximately one per cent of all the animals that were targeted.”
Wild Horses Kimberley says the brumbies should not be shot, but instead mustered and gelded.
But Dr Chris Pollitt, a veterinarian and feral horse researcher, says that is not viable and brumbies wreck the environment.
“Like looking at the surface of Mars, there was absolutely no natural pasture and it really did look red and barren,” he said.
And, he rejected the prospect of gelding.
“When you have extensive populations, difficult terrains, it’s not just as simple as you think,” he said.
RSPCA says it is pushing for a long-term strategy to control horse numbers and has requested that the photos in question be sent to them.
Ms Lovegrove wants the killing of the horses to get international attention.
“I’m in touch with the Mustang people in America because in the States now they’re passing laws to save their Mustangs,” she said.
Go to the Yahoo 7 article to Tweet, FB & Share: http://au.news.yahoo.com/a/19697501/opponents-of-wild-horse-cull-in-the-kimberley-say-some-have-been-left-to-die-slowly/
When will Australia come clean with the real reason they want to kill off the brumbies? Read the biased spin piece (below) that doesn’t mention the other side of the debate. Why isn’t ABC including brumby advocates in this article?
Feral horse cull commences in the central Kimberley
Updated Thu 31 Oct 2013, 1:47pm AEDT
An aerial cull of thousands of feral horses has started on two Indigenous pastoral leases in the central Kimberley.
The Kimberley Rangeland Biosecurity Group says there are about 6,000 feral horses on Lake Gregory and Billiluna stations. However, the Pastoralists and Graziers Association believes the number is closer to 9,000.
The Aboriginal Lands Trust says the horses must be removed to protect the local environment, to comply with legal obligations and to mitigate animal welfare and public health issues.
The RSPCA is also supporting the aerial cull.
Clinton Wolf is the chair of the Aboriginal Lands Trust.
“What I am firm on is the number in relation to the aerial count and that was 6,000 horses,” he said.
“The logistics is basically that the RSPCA is heavily involved, we’ve got two veterinarians there, I believe that there is two helicopters involved and that’s the standard way of doing culls in Western Australia on pastoral leases and we’ve just tried to make sure that we’ve followed to the letter the exact requirements for best practice aerial culling which we believe and we’ve been told by a variety of experts is the most humane way of dealing with the feral horse population.”
Mr Wolf says the traditional owners want the feral horse numbers under control for business and personal safety considerations.
“Build a fence one day and the next day it’s not there because a huge herd of wild horses has run right through the middle of it. You can see the distress in their eyes and they’ve had a connection with these horses for 120 years.
“When you see them say we’ve had enough and sure we want a few horses out here because we want to maintain that connection, but you can’t have six to seven thousand horses running around and what is concerning them also is when there was no water around, the horses were coming into the community.
“And you’ve got two or three year old kids walking around and we’re not saying wild horses are aggressive or anything like that, but when you’ve got a wild animal that suddenly takes flight over a vehicle going past and takes off and runs over the top of a child, is anyone going to turn around and say ‘well, we should put up with that’, because quite clearly we shouldn’t.
“We’ve got a feeling that if we get on top of the bulk of them, we’ve already had discussions with Kimberley land Council rangers who are saying that as part of their duty statement that they’re prepared to participate moving forward so that we absolutely keep a handle on this.”
The Australian Wildlife Conservancy has backed the cull of the brumbies at Lake Gregory “as long as it’s humanely conducted”.
The AWC owns more than 800,000 acres in the Kimberley, most of it former pastoral stations.
The land is being rehabilitated and cleared of feral animals to help build up numbers of endangered species.
Chief executive Atticus Fleming says the brumbies don’t belong there.
“Feral horses do have a significant impact on the environment, they are driving the decline in our wildlife, along with other feral herbivores.
“So action does need to be taken. It needs to be done humanely, but we need to remove them from the Australian environment.”
Mr Fleming says the option of rounding up and breaking in the brumbies wouldn’t be practical in the vast Kimberley.
Join the international outcry to Stop Killing the Brumbies!
Please tell your friends about the important Thunderclap that will shout out to Stop the massacre!!! We have 10 days left to get a total of 250 people on board to make a wave of thunder shouting out “Stop Killing the Brumbies!”
Reports are coming in from Australia that 2-3,000 have been massacred and the wild horse killers want to kill 3,000 more. We will keep you posted as more information comes in. Help shine the light on this darkness. Share this information with your friends.
Evidently a huge liquid natural gas (LNG) deposit, the largest outside the U.S.A., has been discovered in Western Australia’s Kimberely, where these wild horses roam. LNG is the new export gold–selling to the Asian market for their growing electricity needs. Could the mass slaughter be connected with plans to industrialize the area into a massive fracking zone?
Help save the wild horses in Australia by clicking here: https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/6098-stop-killing-brumbies?locale=en
Thank you for doing what you can do to help save the wild horses.
Executive DIrector of Protect Mustangs
(Photo © Libby Lovegrove, Brumbies in the wild. All rights reserved.)
“The global public is outraged that Australia would condone mass killings of wild horses. Are they killing off thousands of horses so they can frack the land for oil and natural gas? We ask that the heinous killings cease immediately.” ~Anne Novak, Executive Director of Protect Mustangs.
An aerial cull of wild horses is taking place in the Kimberley
As seen on ABC Australia
A survey of Lake Gregory and the Billiluna Pastoral Station two months ago found about 6,000 feral horses.
The Trust says the animals are a risk to the environment and public health, and to comply with the law they have to go.
The Trust says an aerial cull is the most humane way to do that and has employed shooters in helicopters.
A plan to cull feral horses in the same area in 2010 was abandoned after a backlash from animal welfare advocates.
The state Opposition’s Lisa Baker has called for the cull to stop immediately.
“There’s babies, there’s foals whose mothers are shot who starved to death,” she said.
“This is not a civilised way of managing a population of horses.”
Ms Baker says traditional owners want to manage feral horse populations in other ways.
“They’re really cognisant of the fact that some of them will need to be euthanised, put down, whatever, but there is many opportunities for tourism, for breaking the horses in, and for using them more productively,” she said.
The Aboriginal Lands Trust says traditional owners have been consulted.
The area’s former Indigenous Protected Area co-ordinator, Wade Freeman, says other options were considered and ruled out.
“Too costly and not humane at all,” he said.
“We even tried the option of darting and putting horses to sleep but when you’re looking at numbers of up to 10,000 it’s just not viable.”
Links of interest™:
Petition: Stop Killing the Brumbies! http://www.thepetitionsite.com/258/184/025/stop-killing-the-brumbies/
The Canning Basin in Australia’s isolated Kimberley may be one of the largest unconventional natural gas finds outside the United States. http://grenatec.com/canning-basin-natural-gas-and-australias-kimberley/
Aerial cull in Kimberley region of Australia http://horsetalk.co.nz/2013/10/31/aerial-horse-cull-kimberley-region-australia/#axzz2jEuPty9A
Mixed news to Canning Basin decision: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-05-09/mixed-news-to-canning-basin-decision/4678898 “Shale gas fracking can’t be divorced from the risk of serious water contamination and serious air pollution.”
Western Australia introduces Canning Basin Development Bill: http://www.lngworldnews.com/western-australia-introduces-canning-basin-development-bill/
Canning Basin Bill marks new chapter of gas development: http://www.findlaw.com.au/articles/5183/canning-basin-bill-marks-new-chapter-of-gas-develo.aspx
Oilex expands onshore Canning Basin oil and gas acreage: http://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/49061/oilex-expands-onshore-canning-basin-oil-and-gas-acreage-49061.html
Oilex gets 2 blocks in Canning Basin: http://www.naturalgasasia.com/oilsex-expands-in-canning-basin-in-western-australia “According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), the Canning Basin has the largest unconventional hydrocarbon potential in Australia.”
Key Petroleum: Canning Basin focus to unlock shareholder value: http://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/30893/key-petroleum-canning-basin-focus-to-unlock-shareholder-value-30893.html
Hydraulic Fracturing in Australia’s Northern Territory Protect Mustangs Hydraulic_Fracturing_in_Australia_draft
Land Rights Controversy: The Case of the Australian Aborigines Protect Mustangs UP149.001.00009.00011.archival
Agreements, treaties, negotiated settlements project http://www.atns.net.au/default.asp
Petroleum Prospectivity of the Eastern Canning Basin, WA BRUMBY Canning_Prospectivity_Report_Final_Updated_July06
GASLAND 2: www.Gaslandthemovie.com
GASLAND 2 in Australia: