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Opening the Scarborough a climate crime: Greens

Media Release
Adam Bandt 23 Nov 2021

The Greens have slammed the decision to approve a massive new methane gas project in the weeks following the Glasgow climate pact, calling the Liberal & Labor-approved Scarborough project a slap in the face to climate scientists.

Scarborough is the most polluting project currently proposed in Australia. Driven by the WA Labor government, the gas field threatens to release 1.6bn tonnes of carbon emissions - equivalent to 15 coal-fired power stations. 

The project would derail Australia’s chances of keeping our international obligations under the Paris Agreement and Glasgow Pact, and further threatens the millenia-old Murujuga rock art, already extensively damaged due to nitric acid rain from Woodside’s existing Pluto project. 

Lines from Leader of the Australian Greens Adam Bandt MP:

“We’re in a climate crisis, but Labor and Liberal want more coal and gas.

“No sooner is the ink dry on the Glasgow agreement than Labor and Liberal open up a massive methane climate bomb.

“Opening up the Scarborough project is a climate crime. It’s clear after Glasgow that we can’t open up new coal and gas projects. 

“Bit by bit, we’re watching Liberal and Labor make the climate crisis worse. 20 years from now, if anyone’s wondering why we lost agriculture in Australia, why the Murray Darling Basin’s dried up, and why wars are being fought over food and water, we can point to decisions like this.

“We’ve got to leave coal and gas in the ground. We should be arguing over how quick the phase out is and how generous the compensation packages are for workers, not whether we should still be opening up more gas reserves.

“With Labor backing more coal and gas, it’s clear the only way to get climate action is to kick the Liberals out and put the Greens in balance of power.”

Lines from Australian Greens Resources spokesperson Senator Dorinda Cox:

“This is a devastating day for our climate, our planet, our future and for First Nations people who have been protecting Country for 65,000 years,” she said.

“It will be worse than Adani. 

“Over the last few years, modelling has shown that WA is the only state where emissions are rising. It’s no coincidence that WA is the only state with massive exemptions for the gas industry. 

“The vast majority of this gas is for export - not a cent will benefit Australian energy needs. Instead it’s about profits for a company that we know gives huge donations to the Liberal and Labor governments.

“Let’s be clear - the Federal and State Governments are complicit yet again in the destruction of First Nations cultural heritage.

“This is particularly devastating for the nearby Murujuga rock art which is under significant threat from Woodside’s acid gas emissions. 

“The highly acidic gasses will destroy not only the rock art but also the songline of the Seven Sisters Dreaming Story, a women’s creation story etched into the rocks at Murujuga.

“First Nations people have said they don't want this on their country, they don't want to destroy the ancient rock art in the Murujuga peninsula. 

“This acid is slowly eating away at the natural ‘varnish’ on the surface of the rocks that has protected the carvings for millennia, leading to irreversible damage to the petroglyphs. 

“The Scarborough-Pluto project will only make things worse by adding more acid gas into the atmosphere around the Burrup.

“Successive governments have damaged cultural heritage in favour of big corporations like Woodside.

“I am devastated at the thought of this climate bomb going off in my home state of WA. We are witnessing the destruction of Country at the hands of Woodside, enabled by the WA Labor Government.”

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