Music icons in beach gas hub protest
Singers Missy Higgins and John Butler during the protest. Picture: Iain Gillespie/The West Australian

Australian music icons John Butler and Missy Higgins were among hundreds of people who donned fluorescent clothing at Cottesloe beach today to protest against the proposed gas hub at James Price Point.

Protesters stood in front of a makeshift gas hub to voice their concerns about Woodside’s $35 billion project near Broome.

Butler performed two songs about the Kimberley before representatives from of the Wilderness Society, Sea Shepherd, Save the Kimberley and the Greens addressed the crowd.

Butler said his objection to the proposal stemmed from common sense and a love of his country.

“Barnett reckons it’s just going to be a little refrigerator but we all know there is going to be a huge, huge influx of industrial expansion throughout the Kimberley,” he said.

“It really feels like for some reason the mass consciousness in this state is lying a little bit dormant.

“We really need to, in some way or another and in the most polite way and un-condescending way, let these people know that it’s not somebody else’s place, that this is our home. It needs to be protected.”

Despite approval from the State’s environmental watchdog last month, opposition to the development has been fierce.

Protesters have raised concerns about damage to the coastline, dinosaur footprints and marine life.

Today’s event was part of a national day of action against the development, which included a rally in Broome, a picnic in Melbourne and gatherings in Hobart and NSW.

Higgins said the huge crowd gathered at the Cottesloe Beach highlighted how many people were against the gas hub.

“I’m really impressed with the turn-out,” she said.

“From my perspective, having spoken to so many people in Broome and really kind of knowing the community up there, the general feeling is that nobody wants it to go through.”

Fremantle-based protestor Rick England said the protest was deliberately held in Premier Colin Barnett’s electorate to grab his attention.

“We are seeing something that should be stopped, right here, right now,” he said.

“WA and Australia needs to stand up to this kind of corruption.”

Protesters gather at Cottesloe beach. Picture: Iain Gillespie/The West Australian

The West Australian

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