20/09/2005 - 22:00

READER RESPONSE - More to the Gorgon story

20/09/2005 - 22:00


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HAD Mark Pownall (WA Business News, September 15, Opinion) contacted me to talk the issue through rather than simply quoting from our brief media release, I would have pointed out just how dirty (in terms of reservoir CO2) the gas from the Gorgon field is compared with the current North West Shelf gas or upcoming projects such as BHP Billiton’s Scarborough field or the Jansz gas field.

Gorgon gas is so dirty, in fact, the proposed LNG plant will emit four millions tonnes of CO2 equivalents per year – even if the unproven geosequestration technology works.

Had Mr Pownall and I spoken I would have agreed with him that the relatively small number of long-term employees who have worked on Barrow Island since the 1960s have done a relatively good job in terms of quarantine management (27 proven breaches in that time, but luckily no catastrophic pest, weed or disease introductions so far).

The prospect of up to 3,300 contractors crawling over the island during construction for Gorgon is a totally different proposition, which is why both the EPA and the Conservation Commission said the project should not have access to Barrow.

Indeed, had Mr Pownall quoted from our press release more comprehensively, he would have acknowledged that we base our conclusion that Chevron’s choice of Barrow was “predetermined” on Dr David Annandale’s report for the EPA.

Chris Tallentire
Director - Conservation Council of WA


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