05/12/2008 - 12:17

Landowners reject $500m Woodside offer

05/12/2008 - 12:17

Bookmark

Save articles for future reference.

Woodside Petroleum says it will continue negotiations with the Kimberley Land Council over a compensation package for a proposed gas hub after traditional landowners knocked back a proposal.

Landowners reject $500m Woodside offer

Woodside Petroleum says it will continue negotiations with the Kimberley Land Council over a compensation package for a proposed gas hub after traditional landowners knocked back a proposal.

Reports say the KLC is angry with the offer, with chief executive Wayne Bergman saying the compensation package fell below standard agreements between mining companies and traditional landowners.

Woodside spokesperson Roger Martin told WA Business News today the company has only started negotiations with the KLC, which represents the traditional owners, and has not made a formal offer.

Both sides have been in talks over the past few weeks.

Woodside is aiming to process gas from its Browse Basin project at one of four sites on the Kimberley coast, shortlisted by the state government and traditional owners.

It is also evaluating an option to process the gas at its North West Shelf operation or its Pluto liquefied natural gas project.

Mr Martin said Woodside's proposal is expected to deliver up to $500 million to local indigenous people over the life of the project and includes commitments for education, training, business-capacity building and the establishment of a regional benefit fund.

"The financial package is in addition to commitments on employment and contracting opportunities for Indigenous workers and businesses," he said.

However it is understood the proposal requires traditional owners to agree there were no heritage indigenous issues that would prevent the precinct going ahead at any of the four sites.

ABC radio reported the KLC as saying the offer the sets back Aboriginal rights back 30 years.

Comment was being sought from the KLC at time of publishing.

"Woodside remains committed to reaching a negotiated outcome with Indigenous people in the Kimberley should we proceed with a Kimberley option," Mr Martin said.

In October, Premier Colin Barnett named North Head, north of Broome, as his preferred location site for the gas precinct. Other locations are Anjo Peninsula, James Price Point and Gourdon Bay.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

Subscription Options