11/07/2007 - 14:24

State plans development taskforce for Kimberley

11/07/2007 - 14:24

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The State Government will set up a taks force to co-ordinate the development of gas resources in the Kimberley, with a focus on safeguarding the region's indigenous, environmental and heritage values, State Development Minister Eric Ripper has announced.

State plans development taskforce for Kimberley

The State Government will set up a taks force to co-ordinate the development of gas resources in the Kimberley, with a focus on safeguarding the region's indigenous, environmental and heritage values, State Development Minister Eric Ripper has announced.

 

 

An announcement from Mr Ripper's office is pasted below

The State Government has taken the next step in safeguarding indigenous, environmental and heritage values in the Kimberley

State Development Minister Eric Ripper said today the Government had endorsed setting up a taskforce to coordinate the development of gas resources in the region.

Mr Ripper said the Northern Development Taskforce would ensure development of Browse Basin gas resources was balanced against the unique environmental and heritage values of the Kimberley.

"The Kimberley is a magnificent location and it also has significant offshore gas fields that are very attractive to investors," Mr Ripper said.

"There are several major investors who are proceeding with proposals for gas developments off the Kimberley coast, and the State Government is committed to ensuring this is done in an acceptable manner.

"The major focus for the taskforce is to identify suitable possible locations for at least one gas processing complex which would be used to process Browse Basin gas. This will be done in a way that ensures meaningful engagement of indigenous people in the region.

"The establishment of one or more locations will mean companies will use the same location for their processing facilities.

"It also ensures companies process their gas locally, giving the Kimberley community direct benefits from the projects through jobs and business opportunities."

The immediate purpose of the taskforce was to manage cross-government planning processes and stakeholder consultation regarding the selection and development of a suitable location for any gas processing hub.

It would also set the framework for how the State would protect and manage the area while still ensuring structured economic development benefits all Australians.

Mr Ripper said the taskforce would ensure the traditional owners play a significant role in balancing economic development with environmental and heritage values.

"We will resolve native title issues as a part of the process and we aim to locate any hub on land where tenure has passed to the traditional owners and is subsequently leased back to the State," he said.

The taskforce would include senior staff from the Department of Industry and Resources, the Department of Environment and Conservation, the Department of Indigenous Affairs, the Department for Planning and Infrastructure and the Office of Development Approvals Coordination.

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