An independent analyst has expressed uncertainty about how divisions between local Indigenous groups will affect Woodside’s $30 billion gas project in the Kimberley.
The Jabirr-Jabirr and Goolarabooloo people have had a joint claim over the land at James Price Point since 1994 but last week decided to split into two rival native title groups.
The Kimberley Land Council is yet to determine which traditional owners have the right to authorise access to the land.
Independent analyst Peter Strachan says it remains to be seen how the formal split will affect the progress of the project.
“Well it’s a bit perplexing really because you’ve done a deal, you’ve got approval, and if some splinter group stands up and says we don’t want to do that, well the company can hardly make separate agreements with 768 people or how many people are involved,” he said.
“They’ll have to deal with whoever stands up and says we’re the authorised representatives.”