And I thought I had heard everything? Apparently not!

Hands up all those who thought judges were learned people who weigh evidence and make sensible, informed decisions …..

Work on Australia’s most expensive resources project has been halted because of the danger it poses to Spirit Whales. Woodside Energy Group has been ordered to halt work on a $16b gas project off the coast of Western Australia that, if completed, will power 8.5 million homes for the next 30 years. But the Federal Court ordered work to stop after hearing evidence the area was home to mythical whales. The Spirit Whales, according to Indigenous fables, tell the fish of the sea what to eat, when to mate and where to migrate. If the gas project was to go ahead, the Spirit Whales would be endangered. And if the Spirit Whales were killed, none of the creatures of the sea would know what to do.

Short of Aqua Man stepping in to save the day, the planet would be sunk. How did the Federal Court know all of this? Raelene Cooper!

Ms Cooper, or as her activist friends like to call her, the Custodian of Whale Dreaming, speaks to the Spirit Whales. And they speak to her.


This was in evidence presented to the Federal Court.

Apparently, the Spirit Whales aren’t thrilled about the Woodside Energy Group’s project which, coincidentally, puts the Spirit Whales and environmentalists on exactly the same page.

Whoever would have imagined?

The Environmental Defenders Office, a group that received $8m in public money to help it oppose projects benefiting the public, brought Cooper’s Spirit Whale baloney to the urgent attention of the Federal Court.

Even Nemo knows that the greenies at the EDO don’t buy the Spirit Whale crap. But that doesn’t mean they won’t manipulate Indigenous mythology and those who sprout it to stop major projects.

So, the case was put to the court of Australia. ” … but Your Honour, the Spirit Whales!”

And Judge Craig Colvin, whilst not confirming or denying that Spirit Whales existed, ruled that Woodside had a duty to consider “cultural harm” caused by their project.

Now what I think that means is that whilst absolutely no-one believes that Spirit Whales exist, it would be against the law to upset the wild fantasies of a woman who imagines she talks to whales.

Because the woman is Indigenous.

And evidently Indigenous fantasies must be indulged, as a mark of respect.

Woodside argued that they had invested significant time, energy and money liaising closely with Indigenous groups for more than a decade. And yet this was the first it had heard that Spirit Whales were blowing their lids over the project. Woodside had done all of the environmental checks and had been given clearance to begin the project.

Not so fast, ruled Judge Colvin.

He ordered Woodside to conduct a more thorough environmental assessment of the project.  In other words, work out terms with the Spirit Whales.

Oh, and Woodside were ordered to pay Ms Cooper’s costs.


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