Barrow Island Bill introduced

THE long-awaited Barrow Island Bill, which includes the Gorgon State Agreement schedule, was introduced into State Parliament early this week.

The bill ratifies the Gorgon Gas and Infrastructure Project and will set aside 300 hectares, or 1.3 per cent, of the island for gas processing purposes.

The bill also outlines the commitments to environment, domestic gas supply, local content and carbon dioxide sequestration required from the Gorgon joint venture.

The A-class reserve, which sustains 24 unique native species, will continue to apply to the 24,500ha reserve. The bill proposes that the State Government administer a lease over the 300ha without excising the land from the reserve.

It is expected the lease will be based on a similar framework as Burrup Peninsula leaseholds, and estimates suggest between $70,000 and $100,000 will be generated annually for the State coffers. The project will generate about $300 million in payroll tax.

The bill also allows for the transport and disposal of carbon dioxide by underground injection on the island, making it the second project in the world to dispose and store carbon dioxide through this process.

In addition to ongoing environmental management on the island, the Gorgon State Agreement will require that the Gorgon joint venture pays for the permanent presence of Department of Conservation and Land Management officials on the island. 

An investment of $40 million into conservation projects in other similar bio-regions will also be required, beginning with an initial $3 million lump sum as soon as Government passes the Gorgon Joint Venture proposal.

The agreement addresses concerns about supply security and future local gas demands by tagging 2000PJ or 15 per cent of the Gorgon reserves for domestic use.

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