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Gas company clears 9000 miles and plans to clear 700 more

Gas company Buru Energy is continuing to lay waste to native vegetation in the Kimberley, lodging plans to clear an additional 1100km in order to conduct seismic surveys.

The latest clearing application comes after an analysis last year revealed the company had cleared 14,000km worth of seismic testing lines* in the Kimberley - roughly the distance between Perth and London.

The company has publicly admitted that since this analysis was conducted, it has cleared nearly 1000 additional kilometres of seismic testing lines.

If it receives approval for this extra 1100km worth of clearing, it would mean that in total, and if arranged in a straight line, the seismic paths cleared by the company across the Kimberley would now be equivalent to the distance between Perth and Narsaq in Greenland.

Buru’s clearing application comes as the WA Government progresses laws to protect native vegetation from logging in the South West of the state. However, these laws will not apply to clearing to make way for petroleum or other mining projects.

Lock the Gate Alliance WA Coordinator Claire McKinnon said the McGowan Government was once again protecting the south west of the state while sacrificing the north.

“While the McGowan Government pats itself on the back for ending logging in the South West, it continues to approve the clearing of thousands of kilometres of native vegetation in the biodiverse rich Kimberley,” she said.

“The Kimberley is part of the most intact tropical savannah remaining in the world. The value of its biodiversity is immense, yet a gas company can submit a form and be granted approval to clear thousands of kilometres with little scrutiny from the government.

“The scale of Buru’s destruction is mind boggling. For a single oil and gas company to have cleared so much native vegetation in a place as precious and fragile as the Kimberley is utterly unacceptable.

“The McGowan Government is also promoting the beauty of the Kimberley in tourism ads being broadcast across the country right now, yet away from glossy TV commercials and billboards on the east coast, it is giving Buru permission to trash the joint.

“Vulnerable species like the greater bilby and northern brushtail possum have previously been recorded in the area Buru intends to clear. Australia’s extinction crisis is well known. 

“Governments should not be granting approvals to oil and gas companies that threaten already struggling species, particularly at a time when the world must transition away from fossil fuels in order to mitigate the most terrifying impacts of the climate crisis.

“Origin’s recent announcement that it will exit its Kimberley tenements shows there is no future in oil and gas for big companies. We encourage Buru to follow its former joint venture partner and also abandon its polluting plans for the Kimberley.”


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