Premier of Western Australia Tries To Pass The Buck To The Feds

From: WA-Government []
Sent: Friday, 9 January 2009 10:00
To: Lesley Dewar
Subject: RE: Slaughter of Dolphins in Japan

Dear Ms Dewar

We acknowledge receipt of your email regarding the slaughter of dolphins by the Japanese.

As International matters of this nature are the responsibility of the Federal Government, the State has no authority to intervene.

However, we appreciate you bringing your concerns to the Government’s attention and have forwarded a copy of your email to the Hon Norman Moore, Minister for Fisheries, and the Hon Donna Faragher, Minister for Environment, for their information.

WA Govt

RESPONSE: State vs Federal, Dolphins, Whales, Gas Hub, Environment.

Dear WA Government


Federal vs State obligations


Thank you for your confirmation of receipt of my email regarding the slaughter of dolphins by the Japanese.  While direct correspondence with Japanese authorities over whaling may well be the province of the Federal Government, rather than the WA State Government, there IS a direct relationship between this matter and the WA State Government.


Broome, holds a “sister city” relationship with Taiji and that is a matter in which the State Government can certainly have some influence, if it chooses to do so.


It is understood that senior Local Government representatives in Broome have expressed their concerns to their counterparts in Taiji, but to date I have not seen any suggestion that the “sister city” relationship will be discontinued. 


Hearing politicians “express their concerns” to other politicians rarely gives rise to the perpetrators discontinuing their actions.  The failure of the Federal Government’s “expressed concerns” to have any impact on Japanese whaling is clear evidence of that.  Indeed, the Federal Government has actually capitulated to the Japanese whaling industry in the most cowardly manner by failing to support Sea Shepherd as promised. 


However, the State Government could bring considerable pressure upon Broome, by requesting the City of Broome to discontinue that relationship. Make it plain, that we, as a State, do not feel the relationship is appropriate while the slaughter of dolphins is carried out under such an intended blanket of secrecy and deceit.


 Such a request would make it clear to all that the State Government in no way countenances these practices, nor does it wish any West Australian city to appear to do so.


Response required.


Please confirm that such a request has been, or will be made within the next 30 days – as evidence of the State Government’s abhorrence of this practice. 




The Gas Hub


Mr. Barnett, assuming this response has come in reply to the individual message sent to you as The Premier, both your two named Ministers and yourself  have been widely reported as having serious environmental issues to consider in the vicinity of Broome, itself.  Apart, that is, from the dumping of shark carcasses after the removal of their fins for the (largely) Japanese market.


We cannot be urging the Federal Government to oppose whaling by Japan and then decide to build a huge industrial complex  (1,000 hectare LNG gas “hub” ) in an area where the very same whales come to rest, breed and nurse their calves.


Be assured, the voters of Western Australia are keenly interested in the location of the Gas Hub in the North.  This installation will be in place for many years and every environmental consideration must be given to its best location.  The Premier does not have the right to make that decision unilaterally.


The Broome council requires the greatest due diligence and so do the people of Western Australia. 


 As part of an awareness campaign, we have asked The West Australian to publish a map of the City of Perth, overlaid with a diagrammatical image of a 1,000 hectare area – so that their readers can get a visual image of the size of the proposed gas hub.  We seriously doubt that many have yet grasped the size of the proposed infrastructure and the huge amount of environmental damage that will occur, simply to build the facility.


We will also have such a map published on the internet, for international circulation and discussion, so that the people of Western Australia and the world understand that this is a huge undertaking and needs to be implemented with the strongest environmental controls – to protect both the land and the ocean.  This map will have a facility for viewers to provide direct feedback to your office on the proposed facility.


Yes, we do need clean fuel and to be less reliant upon oil.  Yes, the gas fields of the North will add immeasurably to the prosperity and energy independence of Western Australia.  But the price we pay must be commensurate with the outcome and the profits – financial, social and environmentally.


I urge you to make yourself familiar with the points expounded by Dr. Moss Cass in the John Curtin Memorial Lecture of 1974    and see how the issues he raised over thirty years ago are those with which we still must concern ourselves today – in particular, in respect of this development in the North West.


Dear WA-Government, there is no doubt that The Hon. Premier made statements regarding the preferred location of the Gas Hub in a last minute bid to secure the commitment of Japanese resources company Inpex to Western Australia rather than to their announced decision to use Darwin. Since this option is now no longer available, a great deal of the apparent urgency of committing to a location has evaporated in the Pilbara sun. 


Response required


·         Please confirm when the EPA will be delivering its final report upon the proposed sites, and

·         that no final decision on location will be made until that report has been fully considered, and

·         that all parties will be given the opportunity to respond to that report,

o   before a final announcement is made.


Yours respectfully

Lesley Dewar    Before entering parliament in 1969, Dr Moss was a medical practitioner and a research fellow in Experimental Surgery at the Royal Children’s Hospital of Melbourne.
His ministerial appointments include Minister for the Environment and Conservation and Minister for the Media. He has served on the House of Representatives Standing Committee on the Environment and Conservation and attended the OECD Environment Committee in 1974 and the South Pacific Conference on National Parks and Reserves in 1975.




Response from The Hon Minister for Local Govt.  (please note that this response was received independently of the reply from the Premier’s Office – our reply to The Hon J Castrilli is posted as a comment below)

About Lesley Dewar

Passionate about story telling and getting kids involved with adventures to improve their self esteem and self-confidence Blogger, Author, Networker, Social Media, Activist.
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2 Responses to Premier of Western Australia Tries To Pass The Buck To The Feds

  1. Lesley Dewar says:

    Dear Minister Castrilli

    Thank you for the reply to my email and the advice that action has been taken at a high level of Local Government.
    Your response is heartening because it reports some positive action and is certainly far more pro-active than the “fob off” under State vs Federal story that the Premier’s office tried to foist up us.

    Given the high profile that Broome now has over the proposed Gas Hub and its possible impact on the whale nursery, the Shire of Broome can expect even greater public input into this matter.

    Again, my thanks for your courteous response.

    Lesley Dewar

  2. Lesley Dewar says:

    Minister Porter

    Thank you for your response and for your recommendations.

    Both your suggested courses of actions have been taken. The response from Broome was positive. The response from the Federal Minister for the Environment less so – in fact there was no response at all. Neither was there a response from the Prime Minister – although The Hon Leader of the Opposition and several of his colleagues did respond promptly and positively.

    The response from our own Premier’s office was appalling and prompted us to post his message and our response on our website.

    We await a response from The Premier’s office – particularly given the report in the current press of a possible alternative to the Gas Hub which would be far less damaging than the current proposals.

    Again, thank you for your courteous reply.
    Lesley Dewar

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