Yulleroo Due Diligence – Fracking

Tuesday, 16 June 2015
Glenn Archer
Dean Matthews
Dr Bruce Dorran

This paper will provide a case study of the practical application of the principle of free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) in the context of unconventional gas development in the Kimberley. Yawuru native title holders, like many other native title groups, are facing the prospect of unconventional gas development on their lands. In 2013 and 2014, in the absence of a formal future acts process, the Yawuru PBC embarked on a process to inform and ascertain the position of the Yawuru community on the proposed fracking. 

The Yawuru PBC coordinated a detailed assessment of the proposed fracking program, including engaging independent experts to review the program, making submissions to government and developing maps of cultural values in the area. Several community information meetings led to a decision-making meeting in July 2014, where Yawuru people had their say on the proposed fracking.

The paper will focus on:
• the stages in the due diligence and FPIC process
• the role of cultural perspectives and western science in the process
• the factors that required and enabled the process to be carried out
• the challenges of the legal framework, including lack of veto and lack of procedural rights
• the outcomes and aftermath of the process.