How Cosy is Government with Big Business Print E-mail
Submitted on 23/01/2013

A growing number of controversial decisions made by the government in recent times raises serious question about a willingness to compromise good policy to appease big business. For instance the James Price gas hub and most recently Chevron's Wheatstone project...

The ABC has exposed some very disturbing facts about the government's conduct in regard to Woodside Petroleum James Price Gas Hub. The influence of big business and the business interests of the Environmental Protection Agency’s board members.

James Price Gas Hub

Some of the commentary in ABC 7:30 report (below in black text) click on the video for the full report
BRONWYN HERBERT (ABC Presenter): 34 million cubic metres of the seabed, the equivalent of filling 13,000 Olympic pools, is set to be blasted, dredged and piped out to Commonwealth waters, three nautical miles offshore. Despite the intense opposition, the massive project is one step closer to reality. Last month it cleared a major hurdle when the State Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) approved the development…...

Conflict of interest
BRONWYN HERBERT: But the EPA process has been mired in controversy. Three of the five State Environmental Protection Authority board members had conflicts of interest which they declared. One was an employee of BP Australia, which is a partner in the project. Another owned Woodside shares. A third was in a super fund with Woodside shares…

Government changes the rules,rules meant to prevent intentional or unintentional abuse of planning procedures
BRONWYN HERBERT: State Government documents obtained by 7.30 reveal that the Government changed the rules last year, so EPA decisions could be made by just one board member instead of three. That allowed the final approval of the project to be made by the chairman alone……

Her approval as an EPA board member given the background raises important questions
BRONWYN HERBERT: Controversy also surrounds the approval of the EPA's latest board member. Elizabeth Carr was ruled out of discussions after revealing she had led the project for the Department of State Development….

There were and are other cheaper options that are less destructive to the environment
BONWYN HERBERT: ……..But investor notes show some of the project partners are concerned at rising costs and delays of processing at James Price Point and are pushing for cheaper options, including piping to existing facilities in the Pilbara. Shell's $450 million purchase of Chevron's share boosts the prospect of another processing option. Shell has proven it can process offshore, claiming it's cheaper and less destructive to the environment.

James Price gas hub, know the facts, click to watch this revealing report in full.

Chevron's Wheatstone Project (below)

Some of the commentary in the ABC news item (below in black text)
The Environment Minister, Bill Marmion, has waived carbon emission restrictions for Chevron's Wheatstone project in the Pilbara, rejecting independent recommendations..... However, the Environmental Protection Authority last month insisted the conditions complemented rather than........... The decision means Chevron no longer has to limit its carbon emissions or have its performance independently assessed or made public......

“Chevron estimates Wheatstone will emit 10.4 million tonnes of carbon emissions a year when fully operational.
That could increase WA's total emissions by 13.5 per cent.” ABC News

Chevrons Wheatstone Project, know the facts, click to watch the full story.


Environmental Quote

"Let every individual and institution now think and act as a responsible trustee of Earth, seeking choices in ecology, economics and ethics that will provide a sustainable future, eliminate pollution, poverty and violence, awaken the wonder of life and foster peaceful progress in the human adventure."

— John McConnell, founder of International Earth Day

Social Quote

... the 20th century has been characterized by three developments of great political importance: The growth of democracy, the growth of corporate power, and the growth of corporate propaganda as a means of protecting corporate power against democracy.

Australian social scientist, quoted by Noam Chomsky in World Orders Old and New

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