The West

Barnett firm on gas hub site
Police deal with protesters at Manari Road today. Picture: Kim Kirkman

Police have moved in to clear protesters blocking a road to Woodside's $30b gas hub project, as Premier Colin Barnett said he would do all he could to ensure the project stayed at James Price Point in the Kimberley.

Six people were arrested this morning after allegeldy blocking the road and preventing drilling equipment from being moved to the site.

Five of the protesters had locked themselves together across Manari Road.

Police, included four officers on horses, moved the protesters off the road.

The Broome Community No Gas Campaign said the standoff between police and protesters had delayed the convoy of drilling equipment from reaching James Price Point for more than three hours and many community members has been issued with move-on notices.

Goolarabooloo man Errol Roe said protesters were “making a statement to the global community about what is happening out here - and how it must stop.”

Mr Barnett today reiterated his preference for the Browse Basin site rather than Woodside's existing North West Shelf facility.

Investment research by Citi last month said piping gas from the Browse Basin to Woodside's existing North West Shelf facility in the Pilbara was a more attractive option.

“I strongly believe that James Price Point is the correct location,” he told ABC radio today. “Then it comes down to the commercial decision.”

If the project proponents, including joint venture partners BHP Billiton and Chevron, elected instead to pipe the gas to the Karratha plant, Mr Barnett would not prevent them.

“I won't stand in the way bluntly now, but I will as Premier do all that I can to make sure it happens at James Price Point," he said.

“They cannot by themselves make a decision to send it to the North West Shelf - that can only happen if the state government agrees - and at the moment, the State Government's policy and the Federal Government's policy is, you do it at James Price Point.

“That's the best location.”

He also rejected suggestions the plant would open the floodgates to industrialisation of the Kimberley.

“There won't just be one LNG (liquefied natural gas) project. There will probably be two or three eventually, and what James Price Point does is ensure that they are all on one site, not spread around the Kimberley.

“There will only be simply the liquefaction process - there won't be an industrial complex developed there.”

The West Australian

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