Please note: This is an extract from Hansard only. Hansard extracts are reproduced with permission from the Parliament of Western Australia.

Introduction and First Reading

Bill introduced, on motion by Ms A.J. MacTiernan (Minister for Planning and Infrastructure), and read a first time.

Second Reading

MS A.J. MacTIERNAN (Armadale - Minister for Planning and Infrastructure) [12.37 pm]: I move -

That the Bill be now read a second time.

The purpose of the Bill is to excise areas from three conservation reserves so that the land can be set apart for the widening of the Dampier to Bunbury natural gas pipeline corridor. Members may recall that an important part of the Dampier to Bunbury Pipeline Act 1997, which provided for the sale of the Dampier to Bunbury natural gas pipeline, was to widen the existing DBNGP corridor where feasible and desirable 30 to 100 metres, thus allowing the construction and operation of additional pipelines for future gas supplies to the south west of the State. This is an essential element of energy policy of the State.
The widening of the pipeline corridor to provide additional gas transport capacity will assist in promoting and maintaining competition between coal and gas in the generation of electricity and the impact of fuel choice on greenhouse gas emissions. Sections of the existing and the proposed widened corridor pass through conservation reserves. The existing corridor already impacts on all the reserved land that is to be excised by this Bill.

Detailed studies and consultation with pipeline operators and negotiations with land-holders, the Environmental Protection Authority, the Department of Conservation and Land Management and native title groups have established the optimum route for the corridor as far south as Bullsbrook. Studies are continuing for the balance of the corridor. For safety and operational reasons, there is a requirement for gas pipeline operators to maintain line of sight through all locations including reserves. This requires vegetation to be kept at a low level. During the construction stage for the additional pipelines, vegetation will be removed and revegetation measures will be introduced for the disturbed areas. The use of this land for gas pipelines is therefore incompatible with the objectives of the Conservation and Land Management Act 1984. Consequently, when it is necessary to acquire state corridor rights for gas pipelines, it is appropriate to excise the land from the reserves. The Conservation Commission and EPA have accepted the proposed excisions of the corridor from the reserves in these locations.

Arrangements have been agreed in principle between the Department of Land Administration and the Department of Conservation and Land Management regarding the reserves that are being traversed by either the existing or widened corridors, including those being excised by this Bill. A memorandum of understanding details Department of Land Administration support for CALM monitoring of the sites on an annual basis to ensure that the conservation values of the reserves are not being compromised more than is necessary by the operations of the natural gas pipelines within the corridor. This will enable any impacts to be determined and appropriate ameliorative measures to be undertaken.

A public strategic environmental review of the 1 300-kilometre corridor expansion from Dampier to Bullsbrook was conducted under section 16(e) of the Environmental Protection Act 1986. This review analysed the areas of the reserves being excised by this Bill and, on balance, agreed that the least environmentally damaging option was to maintain the current alignment and widen the corridor within two of the three reserves.

There are locations on this 1 300 kilometre section of the corridor where it is more appropriate to place a small portion of the previously reserved land into the corridor. Therefore, the land needs to be excised from the following reserves -

Minyulo nature reserve - reserve No 27219: 6.8 hectares or 3.4 per cent of land in the reserve. This reserve is located between Cataby and Dandaragan and extends in an east-west configuration. It is considered impractical to deviate the corridor around the reserve.
Badgingarra National Park - reserve 31809: 12.8 hectares or 0.1 per cent of land in the reserve. This area is already part of the 30-metre-wide corridor. A 70-metre-wide deviation around the reserve has been created to accommodate additional pipelines in this area.

Cane River reserve - reserve 46122: 269 hectares or 0.2 per cent of land in the reserve. It would be impractical to deviate around this large reserve due to the significant extra distance involved.

This Bill seeks to excise a total of 288.2358 hectares from the conservation estate for the purpose of widening the Dampier to Bunbury natural gas pipeline corridor.
Debate adjourned, on motion by Mr J.L. Bradshaw.