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CCWA Supreme Court challenge no issue: O'Neill

THE Supreme Court challenge brought by the Conservation Council of Western Australia against Woodside regarding its development of the Burrup Hub is immaterial, according to its acting CEO Meg O'Neill.

 Woodside Petroleum acting CEO Meg O'Neill.

Woodside Petroleum acting CEO Meg O'Neill.

The CCWA, represented by the Environmental Defence Office, argues that a judicial review for the environmental approvals the company received over a year and a half ago is necessary. 

"Approvals for processing vast amounts of new gas have been given in secret, with no environmental assessment and no consultation with the public or stakeholders,"  CCWA director Piers Verstegen said last year. 

"This includes new gas from the proposed giant Browse and Scarborough offshore gas fields, as well as onshore resources which may require fraccing to extract."

It is also concerned  onshore emissions from the projects could harm ancient rock art in the area, which is estimated to be 40,000 years old. 

O'Neill dismissed this during a press conference on the sidelines of APPEA yesterday and said monitoring of the art had been ongoing for decades. 

"The CCWA has challenged the particular authorisation provided by the state EPA (Environmental Protection Authority) , we pursued that approval in good faith.. We will continue to vigorously defend our case," she said. 

"The claim they've placed actually challenges a number of activities that have taken place on Pluto site already," she said.

What the CCWA is challenging is apparently "a mechanism the state has used extensively".

"We feel very good about our position and the state and EPA also feel they've done the right thing," O'Neill said. 

Separately, she highlighted that Woodside offset carbon pollution from Pluto via planting 3.6 million trees last year. When quizzed on a bushfire mitigation plan by Energy News she had to take the question on notice but a Woodside spokesperson later said the company "understands managing the risks associated with bushfires is important in relation to the carbon industry". 

"Woodside has all relevant approvals in place which include Bushfire Management Plans for our properties."

As Woodside owns the properties it and not any tree planting partners, manage the bushfire plan.

A growing series of reports, each focused on a key discussion point for the energy sector, brought to you by the Energy News Bulletin Intelligence team.

A growing series of reports, each focused on a key discussion point for the energy sector, brought to you by the Energy News Bulletin Intelligence team.

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