Traditional custodians demand consultation as part of NOPSEMA approvals process for Scarborough gas
Woodside's Scarborough gas project does not have all the approvals it needs to proceed. Traditional custodians of Murujuga, also known as the Burrup Peninsula, have demanded consultation as part of the NOPSEMA approvals process for Scarborough.
Scarborough puts Country and climate at risk.
"Woodside see money. We see the future, we see the Country. They see dollar signs when they see our Country, we see the Country for what it is," says Kuruma Marthudhunera Custodian, Adrianna Irvine.
Mardudhunera woman Raelene Cooper and Kuruma Marthudunera woman Josie Alec wrote to Woodside on Monday asserting their rights to be consulted as “Relevant Persons” in accordance with the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage (Environment) Regulations Act (2009).
At this point, Woodside still requires multiple approvals for Scarborough from NOPSEMA, the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority, which regulates offshore petroleum projects.
These approvals will require full consultation with all relevant groups and individuals in relation to cultural features of the environment and appropriate management strategies.
Mardudhunera Custodian Raelene Cooper says: "We have had positive conversations with NOPSEMA recently. As relevant persons that have concerns regarding industry being developed out on the Burrup, we have every right to make our statements and we have every right to voice our concerns in terms of the environment, our history, our culture, and our identity."
The letter asserts that the ongoing cultural practices, businesses, interests & activities of custodians would be affected by development of Scarborough.
The letter states that industrialisation of Murujuga causing impacts on rock art through pollution & physical displacement, damage to other heritage sites, & restriction of access by Traditional Owners and Custodians to sites of cultural and spiritual significance.
It states that these impacts on their cultural heritage will all be further exacerbated by Scarborough.
Scientists have expressed fears that acidic industrial emissions from industry on the Burrup Peninsula could cause the 40 000-year-old Murujuga rock art to be destroyed.
Kuruma Marthudhunera custodian Josie Alec says: "Woodside haven't consulted with the right people. We are standing up for the rights of the people and our own ancestral bloodlines and stories that sit in the rocks. We should be really consulted as the relevant people, and the wider community should be consulted as relevant people."