Jabirr Jabirr with no economic base as Goolarabooloo ruled not 'traditional owners' of JPP

Written on the 25 November 2017

An Aboriginal group that became the public face of a celebrity-backed fight against Woodside Petroleum's now-abandoned $45 billion plan to build a gas hub at James Price Point near Broome have been found not to be traditional owners.

High-profile members of the Goolarabooloo people commanded headlines in a do-or-die battle with the oil and gas company that divided the WA town, led to long-running protests, made national news and sparked anti-protest concerts.

But in a Federal Court judgement handed down in Perth today, Justice Anthony North found the Goolarabooloo people were not traditional owners of the land.

He said their connection to the area did not go back far enough and only began with the arrival of their ancestors "Mr P Roe" and his wife "MP" in the area in the 1930s.


Instead he said the traditional owners were the Jabirr Jabirr people, who came under fire from anti-hub campaigners when they voted in favour of the industrial precinct and an Aboriginal benefits package worth more than $1.5 billion.

One of the Jabirr Jabirr people who negotiated the deal, Frank Parriman, told NIT today that the scuttling of the gas hub had left a generation of Aboriginal people in the north-west town without an economic base.


Source: National Indigenous Times


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