Gorgon go ahead

ENVIRONMENT minister Mark McGowan has given the green light to the $15 billion Gorgon gas project, upholding an appeal from the Chevron-led consortium against an Environmental Protection Authority recommendation against the LNG proposal. Development of the Gorgon project hit a snag earlier this year when the state’s EPA rejected environmental approval for the construction of a gas processing plant on Barrow Island, due to a perceived risk to the threatened Australian flatback turtle. Chevron said its environmental assessment included more than 36 months preparation and more than 100 experts, as well as extensive community consultation. In a statement, Mr McGowan said the protection plan involves an additional $60 million commitment by Gorgon to a series of new initiatives to conserve the flatback turtle population and protect other endangered species. Mr McGowan said the new environmental conditions were on top of an existing commitment by the project partners to provide $40 million to WA for environmental protection of habitats similar to Barrow Island. The plan also involves a series of tough conditions on the project with regard to dredging, quarantine and greenhouse gas sequestration.

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