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Greens condemn Barnett’s old school approach to Kimberley

The Australian Greens today called on Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett to press ahead with the ongoing strategic assessment process to find the best location for an industrial Hub in the Kimberley, saying that he should not approve any LNG developments in the region outside of the agreed process.

"Colin Barnett's attempt to return to the old days of trampling on Aboriginal rights and environmental heritage is inappropriate and out of step," said Senator Rachel Siewert.

"The world has moved on and there is a process already underway to find the best place to co-locate industries in the Kimberley and deliver a better outcome for all players involved."

"The strategic assessment process is seeking a win-win outcome - Environmental impacts are minimised, Aboriginal communities have their land respected, and industries get greater certainty."

Senator Siewert called on Woodside and other LNG proponents not to get 'sucked into' Mr Barnett's 'old school' approach, warning them that if the WA Premier cut corners and compulsorily acquired the land, the Commonwealth would be forced to intervene.

"Most of the big players understand that we've moved on from this sixties' 'bulldoze-through' approach to inappropriate development. They have corporate social responsibility policies, seek to make their enterprises more environmentally sustainable and want to enter into mutually beneficial partnerships with Aboriginal owners"

"This crash or crash through strategy is simply too risky for the proponents - the process is likely to be longer, more expensive and less likely to succeed," she concluded.

For more information or media enquiries please call Tim Norton on 0418 401 180

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