Buru Energy’s claims it would use a “raised blade” while clearing Kimberley savannah for seismic testing have been exposed as a myth, with photos revealing the company has bulldozed vegetation down to the dirt.
Earlier this year, WA’s Environmental Protection Authority chose not to assess Buru’s plan to clear 1147 km of seismic testing lines, in part because the company said it would use a “raised blade which does not involve complete removal of vegetation”.
But new photos (available here) show the company appears to have sliced all the way down to the red dirt of the region. Environs Kimberley has sent the photos and a letter of complaint (available here) to the WA Appeals Convenor. However, it may already be too late, with word on the ground suggesting clearing has been completed.
Since 2009, Buru Energy has cleared more than 15,000 km to conduct seismic testing for oil and gas. If arranged in a straight line, and the newly approved additional clearing is included, Buru will have cleared the equivalent distance of Perth to Greenland.
The latest scandal comes as Buru progresses its environmentally disastrous “Rafael” gas project, with the company planning huge pipelines and a floating LNG terminal off the Kimberley’s coast.
Lock the Gate Alliance WA coordinator Claire McKinnon said, “Buru has shaved the Kimberley down to such an extent, it would make a competitive bodybuilder blush.
“The WA Government is once again allowing Buru Energy to lay waste to the Kimberley without even the bare minimum of environmental restrictions in place.
“These photos suggest Buru has already violated the weak assurances it gave the WA Government under which it is clearing 1147 km for seismic testing for gas, on top of the roughly 15,000km it has cleared since 2009.
“Buru has plans to build massive pipelines, a petrochemical plant, and a floating LNG terminal off the WA coast so it can export gas from its proposed Rafael project. The fact this company cannot even abide by the weakest of conditions at this very early stage shows Buru cannot be trusted to operate in a place as precious as the Kimberley.
“The Kimberley is home to the largest area of intact tropical savannah in the world. The WA Cook Government ought to be protecting it. Instead, it is allowing an oil and gas company to trash it.”