Gorgon gas development gets green light

24 October 2007 | 05:59 Code : 15749 Geoscience events
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One of Australia's largest resource developments, the Gorgon gas development....

  One of Australia's largest resource developments, the Gorgon gas development on Barrow Island in Western Australia has been given approval by the Australian Government—with strong measures to protect the environment.The approval for the Chevron development under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 was announced yesterday by the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, Malcolm Turnbull and the Minster for Industry, Tourism and Resources, Ian Macfarlane.“Strict environmental protection measures will be required to protect Commonwealth environment matters, including listed threatened and migratory species and rare vegetation on Barrow Island,” Mr Turnbull said.These measures include the development and implementation of a quarantine management plan, overseen by an expert advisory panel, to protect threatened species on Barrow Island; the development and implementation of a protection regime for the Flatback Turtle; environmental management plans for the operation of the gas field and refining plant; and annual environmental performance reports to the Department of the Environment and Water Resources.This builds on Chevron’s existing commitment to put in place a suite of environmental protection measures, including a $60m commitment by the Gorgon joint venturers to conserve the Flatback Turtle and other endangered species.The Ministers said the development would involve recovering gas from the Gorgon field near the North West Shelf gas fields off the Western Australian coast and constructing a gas refining and liquid natural gas facility on Barrow Island, off the State’s northwest coast.“The Australian Government has also committed $60m from the Low Emissions Technology Demonstration Fund to support the capture and storage of carbon dioxide from the gas refining process—the largest in the world,” Mr Macfarlane said."This commitment demonstrates that we can successfully achieve sustainable development through balancing environmental and economic considerations.“The Gorgon project will inject some $20b into the national economy, with around 6,000 jobs expected to be generated and sustained over the life of the project,” Mr Turnbull said.The proposal underwent a rigorous assessment, involving consideration of the potential environmental impacts involved, and the environmental safeguards that needed to be set in place.

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