Climate Change Activist Arrested Amid Protest Against Multi-Billion-Dollar Gas Project

The Disrupt Burrup Hub group have run an ongoing campaign against energy giant Woodside in an attempt to block a major gas project.
Climate Change Activist Arrested Amid Protest Against Multi-Billion-Dollar Gas Project
An aerial shot of Woodside's North-West Shelf gas plant in Karratha, Australia, on April 17, 2008. (AAP Image/Rebecca Le May)
Monica O’Shea

A climate activist has been arrested, and several others issued move-on notices at a protest against a major Woodside gas project.

A group of activists holding signs including “oil and gas collapse,” “climate action now,” and “Woodside ecocide blood on your hands,” gathered outside the company’s headquarters in Perth.

The climate protesters want to see Woodside’s planned multi-billion dollar liquid natural gas project north of Broome scrapped due to concerns about emissions.

Western Australian Police were seen placing handcuffs on an individual on the road in front of the company’s building on Feb. 20.

The rally coincided with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and his federal cabinet travelling to Perth for three days to discuss the economy, cost of living, and housing.

A police spokesperson confirmed with The Epoch Times one person had been charged with obstructing the carriageway, and received a summons to appear in court at a later date. Five move-on notices were also delivered by the police.

Disrupt Burrup Hub, who organised the rally, posted on X that “multiple people” had been arrested amid a “significant police operation” at the rally to ban gas outside Woodside headquarters.

“Hundreds of Disrupt Burrup Hub campaigners descended on Woodside from 9 a.m. amid a sea of drummers, placards, and speeches from politicians and campaigners opposed to Woodside’s Browse Gas expansion of the Burrup Hub in WA’s Pilbara region,” the group said.

“A sit-in outside Woodside subsequently blocked traffic as dozens of police hauled campaigners off the road, including school children and the elderly, and issued move-on notices and arrested a number of campaigners.

What’s the Woodside Browse Project?

Woodside describes the Browse project as Australia’s biggest untapped conventional gas resource. The project consists of three gas fields with the capacity to produce 11.4 million tonnes per annum of gas.

During an investor presentation in Nov. 2023, Woodside CEO Meg O'Neill noted three key attributes the company needed for the Browse project (also known as the Burrup Hub).

“So we’ve said we need three things for Browse—we need a carbon solution; we need kind of clarity on our ability to obtain environmental approvals; and we need commercial agreement to process Browse gas through the North West Shelf,” Ms. O'Neill said (pdf).

“We continue to work with the Commonwealth and state governments on environmental approvals and those applications have been with the regulators for several years now and we continue to try to move them forward but it is a bit of a challenging environment.”

The company states it has included emissions reduction measures in the design for the Browse project. These include waste heat recovery units on gas turbines, batteries for peak power supply, and the use of nitrogen instead of hydrocarbon gas.

A range of emissions reduction measures will save 1 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions on average per year, according to the company’s website.
“Woodside is continuing to work to reduce emissions intensity through improvements in energy efficiency, investments in biosequestration projects, and innovation in our production processes, as outlined in the Woodside Climate Change Policy,” the company states on its project page.