Historic LNG deal goes ahead in the Kimberly

Woodside Energy and the Goolarabooloo Jabirr Jabirr people jointly sign up for a $1.5 billion LNG development in the Kimberly region of WA

Historic LNG deal goes ahead in the Kimberly
Historic LNG deal goes ahead in the Kimberly

July 1, 2011

Woodside Energy and the Goolarabooloo Jabirr Jabirr people have jointly signed up for a $1.5 billion Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) development in the Kimberly region of Western Australia.

Based at James Price Point, north of Broome, the LNG precinct will process gas from the Browse Basin Gas reserves.

The agreement specifies operations be limited to the site on the Kimberley coastline.

WA Premier Colin Barnett says all West Australians will benefit from the development of the natural gas resources in the Browse Basin, and the investment, employment and business opportunities, generated by the construction and operation of multi-billion dollar Liquefied Natural Gas facilities.

But he also pints out the deal is the most significant act of self determination by an Aboriginal group in Australian history.

"Today's signing formally concludes years of intensive negotiations with the traditional owners," Barnett says.

"Establishing the LNG precinct will boost economic growth in Western Australia and significantly improve the lives of Aboriginal people in the Kimberley."

While the agreement gives the green light to establishing the precinct for LNG processing and exports over a 30-year span, it also includes the rehabilitation of the land and its eventual return to traditional owners.

"For the first time in a native title agreement, benefits will not only go to the affected native title group, but also be directed to indigenous people of the Dampier Peninsula and the wider Kimberley region," Barnett

The state government has also contributed to the project, injecting $256 million towards housing, education, economic development, promotion and protection of cultural heritage and a Kimberley enhancement scheme which will invest in indigenous social programs.

Other benefits include land parcels, indigenous land reform on the Dampier Peninsula, the creation and joint management of conservation areas, employment and business contracting opportunities.

The traditional owners will be involved in the management of the precinct, including monitoring the environmental performance of precinct operators and consulting on issues of
environmental protection.

"The State Government will apply the highest level of environmental oversight for this project," Barnett says.

"The precinct will not proceed without the necessary approvals, conditions and detailed management plans."

"For the traditional owners and their descendants, and for indigenous communities across the Dampier Peninsula and the entire region, the agreement will ensure an unprecedented level of economic independence," he says.

Some funds will be immediately transferred to the Goolarabooloo Jabirr Jabirr native title claimant group to enable the administrative and governance matters to be progressed.

The balance of state benefits will flow to the traditional owners upon the acquisition of land for the precinct, when a foundation proponent is secured and upon passage of the precinct legislation.

Woodside is expected to make a final investment decision by mid-2012 and based on these time frames, it is anticipated LNG processing will commence in 2016-17.

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