Climate activists continue to block access to the Burrup Hub in Woodside, Western Australia in a protest that has frustrated the company and the workers’ union.
Two women and a man chained each other to concrete barrels in vehicles blocking the road to facilities such as the Karratha gas plant in Woodside and the Pluto LNG plant in the Pilbara area.
A car and trailer were parked on a section of Burrup Road early Wednesday, leaving a line of vehicles unable to pass them.
The protesters have received travel notices but have remained in place and pledge to maintain the blockade as long as possible.
Woodside said he maintains safe and reliable operations at his facilities.
“Overnight, protesters took action that compromised the safety of people working shifts at Woodside and other facilities on the Burrup Peninsula,” a spokesperson said.
“Woodside respects the rights of people to protest peacefully and legally, but actions like these that endanger the safety of others go beyond those rights.”
The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union called on protesters to end the blockade so workers can safely enter and exit their workplaces.
“This is not a fight you have to have with our members, the workers just want to come home or get to work safely and do their jobs right,” WA Secretary of State Steve McCartney said .
The Scarborough Gas Action Alliance said an emergency access road had been left open and there had been “no security risk” from the blockade.
Protester Petrina, mother and teacher, said Scarborough would be Australia’s most polluting fossil fuel project.
“I feel compelled to block Australia’s largest gas hub for as long as possible because we have to support the traditional custodians and shut down Scarborough,” she said.
Woodside proposes to develop the Scarborough gas field with offshore facilities linked by a 430 km pipeline to its onshore Pluto LNG plant.
The Pluto facility will be expanded as part of the development.
Campaigners have warned that Scarborough will produce an additional 1.6 billion tonnes of emissions, “the equivalent of building 15 new coal-fired power plants.”
There is also concern about the impact of the project on heritage-listed Murujuga rock art on the Burrup Peninsula.
Environmental approvals for the project will be challenged in the WA Supreme Court next month by the WA Conservation Council.
But Premier Mark McGowan has signaled his government could step in if the court ruling threatens the state’s energy supply.
“The state government will do what it needs to do to ensure that industries remain open,” he told reporters.
“Other projects have received approvals that may have implications. We want to keep the lights on and we want to make sure our hospitals keep running and we need the energy for that.”
Woodside aims to achieve zero direct net emissions by 2050 or earlier and has set targets for reduction of 15% by 2025 and 30% by 2030.
He insists Scarborough has undergone a thorough review and will provide one of Australia’s low-carbon sources of LNG
The Australasian Center for Corporate Responsibility said this week that Woodside had “declared war on the climate” and that the project posed an unacceptable level of risk to shareholders.
Australian Associated Press