Woodside continues clearing land despite promises

Katie Robertson PerthNow July 11th 2011

Woodside has resumed clearing works at the James Price Point gas hub after halting over the weekend amid claims of an unregistered Aboriginal cultural site in the area.

Woodside spokesman Paul Ryan maintained the clearing would not impact the area under evaluation by the Department of Indigenous Affairs.

"Prior to commencing this work, Woodside engaged senior traditional owners to complete detailed anthropological and archaeological surveys, and received the appropriate cultural directions in order to conduct geotechnical work within this area," he said.

UPDATE - Protester arrested at gas hub site
ABC News 12th July 2011

Police were called just before 8:00am today when about about 10 protesters were blocking Woodside vehicles from entering the site - A 20-year-old man allegedly jumped on the bonnet of one of the Woodside cars and later refused to provide his personal details and was charged with resisting arrest.

"We have taken this approach to ensure that our work program does not interfere with any potential heritage sites.

"Traditional owners are providing ongoing assistance to our contractors by monitoring our approved site activities."

The DIA requested the mining heavyweight stop ground work on Friday after they received a notification from Goolarabooloo man Joseph Roe of the possible location of a previously unknown heritage site.

The Aboriginal elder recently led protests against the gas hub and wanted to get the cultural site officially registered in a bid to stop clearing works.

A DIA spokesman said officials were still investigating the site and it would be some time before they could release any results.

"[Woodside] basically agreed to not clear in the area where the previously unreported site has been potentially identified," he said.

"They have an approval from the Department of Environment and Conservation to clear vegetation and they’ve also worked with traditional owners alongside that."

Cultural site found at James Price Point

Emily Moulton PerthNow July 9th 2011

Clearing at the controversial James Price Point gas hub has stopped amid claims an unregistered cultural site has been found.

This morning it emerged that Woodside had halted some work following a request from the Department of Indigenous Affairs (DIA) late last night.

It is understood officers from the department contacted the company advising them they had received notification about the possible location of a previously unknown Aboriginal heritage site.

Woodside agreed to stop ground work for 48 hours in the area near the meteorological tower to allow officials to inspect the site.

A spokeswoman said following the request the company voluntarily stopped disturbance activity but added that work was still ongoing in other places which had been cleared.

"At the request of the DIA, we have stopped our ground disturbing activity while we seek further advice about the exact location of the potential heritage site under evaluation," she said. "We have taken this approach to ensure that our work program does not interfere with any potential heritage sites. Traditional Owners are providing ongoing assistance to our contractors by monitoring our approved site activities."

It is understood that two officers with the DIA have travelled to the James Price Point project site today with Aboriginal elder Joseph Roe who lodged the claims earlier this week.