In an unlikely pairing, Jimmy Barnes and John Butler have both called on the newly appointed CEO of Woodside Petroleum to find an alternative to its proposed location of a gas processing plant in the wilderness of Western Australia’s Kimberley Desert. Woodside, Chevron, BP, Shell and BHP are collaborating on a massive development on the Kimberley coast to process petroleum gas, and environmental groups are up in arms over the planned development, which they claim will adversely affect one of the last areas of pristine wilderness in Australia.
In an open letter to Coleman, the John Butler Trio have called on the companies to reconsider their decision and locate the processing facilities in the Pilbara or consider an offshore floating processing facility in the Timor Sea. The letter, which the band have delivered to Coleman, also accuses the Western Australian government of coercing the local indigenous population in to accepting the development.
It says “Woodside has claimed that it has indigenous support for the development, but Woodside and the Western Australian Government have been unfairly coercive in their negotiations with local communities. Indigenous people were told that if they did not support the development they would receive lesser services, fewer educational resources and poorer health facilities. The Western Australian Premier said that if indigenous people did not voluntarily forfeit their land, it would be forcefully acquired from them anyway. This pressure robbed indigenous people of their democratic right to freely decide on the future of their land.”
Jimmy Barnes has also chimed in with his support for the cause, saying on Facebook and Twitter “Stop mining on the Kimberly coast save Broome for our kids!” Read the whole letter from the John Butler Trio here