LNG Project reaches significant milestone

Joint Media Announcement: Kimberley Land Council and INPEX Browse, Ltd.

The Kimberley Land Council has signed an agreement allowing INPEX Browse, Ltd. to move forward in proposing a world-class LNG development on the Maret Islands off Western Australia's Kimberley coast.

The agreement was signed on the Maret Islands today, following a smoking ceremony by the traditional owners, the Uunguu people.

KLC Executive Director Mr Wayne Bergmann said the deal provided a basis for further negotiations, with major benefits for Indigenous communities.

"This is a significant step for Aboriginal people," he said.

"It enables us to work together in developing the Maret Islands in a way that provides a framework for addressing Indigenous disadvantage in the region, while keeping the environmental footprint to a minimum."

Mr Bergmann said the KLC would now seek to negotiate employment training, business and joint venture opportunities, land management programs and compensation for traditional owners.

"We are moving foward in good faith and developing a relationship based on trust and understanding," he said.

Managing Director of INPEX Browse, Ltd. Mr Jiro Okada, welcomed the significant step foward in INPEX's relationship with the Uunguu people.

"Our discussions have not always been easy and the relationship has been tested, but today we celebrate moving towards a new beginning," he said. "We are committed to working with both the Uunguu people and the wider Kimberley community to develop and deliver sustainable economic outcomes."

"Together we have finalised a Heritage Protection Agreement that will provide the basis for identifying and managing sites of cultural significance whilst we continue our environmental studies on the islands."

Mr Okada said the project would be one of the largest undertakings in Western Australia's history, with a proposal to build an LNG processing facility to treat gas and condensate from the Browse Basin 200 kilometres away in the Indian Ocean.

"We estimate the life of the project to be 40 plus years," he said.

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