Re: [mammals-aus] Barrow Island Development

Subject: Re: [mammals-aus] Barrow Island Development
From: "Mark Sanders" <>
Date: Wed, 10 Sep 2003 23:44:10 +0000

Some comments:

1) There was no contrary advice from the conservation agency as it doesn't
apply at this stage.

However, the Conservation Commission of Western Australia make their
opinions regarding the project very clear in their advice to the Government:

?The Commissions advice is that the government should not approve the
location, construction and operation of any gas processing plant on Barrow
Island Nature Reserve.?

Further more, the EPA state in their advice the government:

?Given the very high environmental and unique conservation values of Barrow
Island, which are reflected in its status as a Class A nature reserve, it is
the view of the EPA that, as a matter of principle, industry should not be
located on a nature reserve and specifically not on Barrow Island.?

2) Barrow Island is an extensive working oil field! The company has gone to
great lengths to ensure quarantine on all deliveries to the island. e.g.
barge, planes, etc. This is to prevent the introduction of rats, cats, etc.
There are already House Mouse there.

Yes, no doubt. However, how old is the project. Was it approved during a
period when less value was placed on our natural resources? Was it approved
prior to our full understanding of the extent of value in Barrow Islands
natural history?

Yes, strict quarantine methods (that I believe are very good) have and are
currently being used at the gas field. However, there have already been
several introductions of exotic weeds and pests (the exact nature and number
I have not found out). Increasing traffic to and from the island will
increase exotic introduction risks. What is an acceptable risk?

3) This project will go ahead. It is too big to stop.

You are probably correct. However, most of the alternatives have not been,
in my opinion, properly explored. From my understanding, the company would
have moved their operation onto the mainland if the commonwealth gave the 1
million to help them with the 6 million dollar cost of placing the plant on
the mainland. If this is the only hindrance to placing it on the mainland,
then 6 million out of the 11 billion seems like a very minor sacrifice to
me. I admit that this may not take into account additional running costs,
but I have seen very little argument about ongoing costs associated with
mainland operations. (I know nothing about CO2 sequestration either)

I am not opposed to large business, after all they pay my bills. However,
some fail to take the precautionary principle and only do what is required
of them, and little more. Perhaps it is up to the regulators to raise the
bar and force companies to fully consider all the alternatives.

Mark Sanders

Hot chart ringtones and polyphonics. Go to

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