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Professional protesters fear police move
Lachlan Douglas, son of Malcolm Douglas, says he was hassled by police twice on the road to James Price Point. Picture: Flip Prior/The West Australian

Rumours are rife in Broome that more than 100 additional police are on their way north to break up two camps full of people opposing Woodside's proposed gas hub at James Price Point.

However, police are keeping quiet on what they have described as "operational matters".

This morning, the Kimberley District Superintendent refused to confirm or deny the police numbers, saying only that the situation in Broome was at the "planning stage".

Yesterday, Woodside announced it had resumed work on the $30 billion project, moving two drill rigs are moving from the Broome Port to James Price Point as part of the final phase of its engineering and environmental studies program.

Data gathered in the nearshore geotechnical survey will describe the surface and subsurface of the seafloor off the coast of James Price Point.

It will be used to develop geological models to support the design and assessment requirements for the marine infrastructure and pipeline corridor.

Social media sites are buzzing with rumours of police about to descend on the town and book into hotel rooms, leading to calls for more protestors to boost numbers at the camps.

Yesterday afternoon, community members at the Manari Road turn-off camp reported seeing police in three 4-wheel drives and a paddy wagon driving up towards the "Walmadan camp", about 60km up a dirt road close to James Price Point.

They claimed police stopped to photograph them.

Fergus Reid, who claimed to have lived at the camp on traditional Aboriginal grounds for nearly a year, spotted a troop carrier with two police in it.

He said they jumped out briefly to photograph the site from the road before continuing on their way up to James Price Point.

Mr Reid claimed police told protestors recently that they would not be bothering with issuing move-on notices this year if people got in the way of equipment and personnel.