Monthly Archives: June 2012
Re: Lack of integrity to EPA process for JPP
I recently found out that only one of the board members appointed to the James Prices Point EPA investigation does not have a conflict of interest with the proposed Gas Hub project. I was shocked and very disappointed that such a huge proposed development, and approval process, could be left so vulnerable and with such little independent scrutiny. I have always upheld the belief that the EPA should be free of bias and a truly independent authority that has the capacity to advise the WA Government from this position of strength.
It clear to me that the EPA’s investigation into the impacts of the proposed gas hub at JPP must process must be carried out again, with a new Board that comprises of members who are all free of a conflict of interest with regards to this project.
c/o Coconut Wells
Coming back to Broome in anticipation of walking the Lurujarri songline with Goolarabooloo, all conversations lead in someway to the No Gas campaign. This year preparations for the Trail (the yearly walk along the songline) seem less tenuous than last year. People have a bit more certainty that we wont get shut out of country by development proponents. So much energy is being invested in defending this country, protecting future generations’ right to maintain connections. Court cases, community actions, meetings, whale monitoring, merging conversations… there is a big groundswell of action to land in. I haven’t really had any role to play in the campaign apart from being a supporter and spreading the message of Goolarabooloo and Broome families that they love their country/place and want to keep it free from industrialisation. Sitting here on Goolarabooloo country now, I feel a sense of guilt, a voice from within telling me I should be ‘doing more’.
Last year I was here for such a short time, I tried to focus my energies on just being fully present here and on loving this place. Is that enough? Does that make any difference? Are there legitimate and illegitimate ways of loving and caring for place/country? I guess that this spin into the dualism of right and wrong comes from a place of comparing.
One thing I am sure of is that walking the songline and action to protect the songline and connections with country are inseparable…
Years ago when I first went to Broome and stayed out at Goolarabooloo’s block at Coconut Wells, J told me to head up to the top sand dune at sunrise on a full moon. I had been staying on country all the way up the coast for nearly a month, watching the moon grow full from my swag at night. I remember getting up just before dawn, crawling out of my warm bed and walking up the cold sandy track to the beach. Tens of tracks imprinted in the sand told me that it had been a busy night and that I wasn’t the first up and about… Beatles, wallabies, snakes, lizards and ants carving their way through the sand as they went about their business.
Standing on the top dune I could see back over the block to the east, south down the long stretching beach towards Broome, up the beach to the north where the lagoon lay and out to sea to the west. A full pregnant moon slowly dropped into the sea, she was in one outstretched hand, and the rising sun in my other. Balance. Something I can’t put into words, but a profound feeling that I am part of these cycles, whether I observe them or not.
It has taken a long time to make my interaction with the full moon into a ritual, but I have done this more since being up in Darwin and living close to the west facing cliffs. Last full moon (the big super moon) I sat on the edge and watched the sun drop into the Arafura Sea. In the moments afterwards, as I sat still and drank in the pinks and oranges on the horizon, a dragonfly landed on my finger and sat with me for a while.
I thought of this moment and the one before when I read this Henry David Thoeau quote just earlier…
I once had a sparrow alight upon my shoulder for a moment… I felt I was more distinguished by that circumstance… by any I could have worn.