GREENPEACE: Tiwi Islanders’ win against Santos puts WA gas producers on notice

PERTH, Friday 2 December 2022 - Western Australia’s gas producers like Woodside are on notice following today’s dismissal by the full Federal Court of gas giant Santos’ appeal against Traditional Owners from the Tiwi Islands, Greenpeace Australia Pacific says.

The dismissal upholds an earlier ruling that the environmental approval for Santos’ Barossa  offshore gas project was invalid, with Traditional Owners successfully arguing that National Offshore Petroleum and Safety Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) failed to ensure they were properly consulted about the project’s potential risks to their marine environment and spiritual values.

Jess Panegyres, Head of Clean Transitions at Greenpeace Australia Pacific, said that the Tiwi Islanders’ victory has significant implications for Woodside, and sends a clear signal that gas producers can’t get away with poor environmental and community consultation.

“This is a huge victory for Munupi clan leader Dennis Murphy Tipakalippa and the Tiwi Islanders who have now beaten Santos twice in court. Traditional Owners and Custodians should have the final say over what happens on their land, not fossil fuel industries.” 

“This decision means gas and resources companies like Woodside must actually listen to the concerns of communities, and can no longer just ignore people who are saying things they don’t want to hear.”

Woodside is actively pursuing three environmental permits to enable its controversial Scarborough offshore gas project, including seeking approval to conduct seismic blasting that would impact endangered whale habitats and migration routes. Earlier this week, Woodside CEO Meg O’Neill acknowledged that they had been required to consult more widely as a result of the Tiwi Islanders’ legal case.

For more information please contact Head of Communications Nelli Stevenson on 0481 303 815 or email [email protected]