News about Aboriginal country and culture in Western Australia

24 June 2010

Kuruma Marthudunera sign pipeline deal

The Kuruma Marthudunera (KM) people are this week celebrating the conclusion of negotiations with Chevron Australia for the future construction of a domestic gas pipeline from Barrow Island through the KM’s native title claim area.

KM country covers approximately 15,759 square kilometres of land in the west Pilbara region and comprises part of the Fortescue River and the complete river system of the Robe River, in the most westerly part of the Hamersley Range.

The project involves the construction of a single gas pipeline to connect a processing plant on Barrow Island with the Dampier to Bunbury natural gas pipeline. The purpose of the pipeline is to supply a portion of the output from the gas project to domestic gas users in Perth and elsewhere.

On behalf of the Gorgon Venture Joint Participants, Chevron has been negotiating with KM since mid 2009 to secure their support for the construction of the pipeline. The agreement provides for the payment of compensation to the KM people for the impact on their native title rights and interests and upholds their continued rights to access the area under their traditional laws and customs.

“When we were surveying our country with the company we came across several important sites in the designated construction area. After talking with Chevron the result is that the company will build the pipeline around these areas and not destroy these sites. This type of good working relationship between ourselves and the company will help us to continue to preserve our heritage for future generations.” said KM representative, Cyril Lockyer.
Neil Finaly, KM community member, Colin Beckett, General Manager Greater Gorgon and Cyril Lockyer, kM community member.