Four Corners - Rush to Riches

Reporter Debbie Whitmont goes to the north-west coast of Western Australia to talk to the people at the centre of a bitter dispute over the location of a gas processing plant the mining company says will be worth $50 billion over the next thirty years. Twelve months ago this appeared to be a deal with something for everyone, now the Premier of the state says if necessary he'll compulsorily acquire the land. How did it come to this and why do some Indigenous land owners feel betrayed by their own people?
It's remote, it's untouched and the land and coast of the Kimberley in north-western Australia makes up one of the last remaining wilderness areas in the world. Now it's the centre of a major battle between the land's traditional owners, a resource giant and the State Government.
The Government and Woodside Petroleum want to build a massive gas processing plant at James Price Point on the Kimberley coast. That would mean a major road to the site, a massive jetty jutting out into the sea and a processing plant that looks like the internals of a refrigerator; so big it can be seen from space.
Many Indigenous people in the Kimberley region support the idea. They point out that over the next 30 years more than one billion dollars will be paid to the community by the company and the Government. Supporters believe that by accepting the deal Aboriginal people can take control of their lives.

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Production Year: 
2010
Duration: 
45 mins
Series Episode
Standard $165
Schools $88
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