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Barnett prepares to lay blame on Traditional Owners

The latest impasse between Kimberley Traditional Owners and Premier Colin Barnett over the siting of an LNG hub in the Kimberley highlights the State Government's poor handling of the decision-making process, the Australian Greens say.

"We are now seeing Premier Colin Barnett preparing to lay the blame for a failure to reach an agreement squarely on the shoulders of Traditional Owners, when in reality he is to blame for skewing the process," Greens Spokesperson on Indigenous Issues, Senator Rachel Siewert said.

"Having stated his preference for which site should be used even while this was supposed to be under negotiation – and then threatening to compulsorily acquire the land – Mr Barnett demonstrated months ago that he was not interested in consulting in good faith.

"It now appears that the Traditional Owners of the Kimberley are reluctant to sign an in-principal agreement about the site and who can blame them since their faith in the process must have been severely shaken months ago?

"Today we have seen Mr Barnett laying the groundwork to ensure that Aboriginal people get the blame if the project does not go ahead.

"The Australian Greens' view is that Mr Barnett was far too hasty in deciding that James Point should be the site for the plant and there are questions about whether an LNG plant should go ahead in the Kimberley at all. The latest situation is further evidence of the WA Government's develop-at-all cost mentality." 

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