Ferguson backs controversial Kimberley gas hub

Federal resources Minister Martin Ferguson has thrown his support behind the controversial James Price Point gas development, despite the rise of ugly protests.

According to The West Australian Ferguson said he hoped Woodside's project "goes to a final investment decision".

While Ferguson said the project would depend on regulatory approvals, he backed WA Premier Colin Barnett's support of the development.

The Browse LNG development plans to commercialise three offshore gas fields and deliver the product to the James Price Point project 60km north of Broome.

Protestors want the gas processed offshore or piped to existing facilities in the Pilbara, and claim the area covering James Price Point is a pristine environment.

Environmentalists say the development will require clearing native vegetation home to endangered species, and disrupt a coastline used by migrating whales and endangered sea turtles.

Under current contracts the partners in the development, led by Woodside, need to be in a position on an agreed investment by the middle of next year.

According to ABC News about 140 police officers have been sent to Broome to help keep the road to James Price Point open and clear from protests.

Police Commissioner Karl O'Callaghan said it was costing $100,000 a day to station the extra officers.

But O'Callaghan said it was a public road and people and companies had the right to travel it unimpeded.

"My job as Commissioner is to uphold the law and we enforce the law, to make sure they can go about their business lawfully," he said.

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