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Exclusive: Woodside activist before court, charged with serious offences

David Prestipino -

Activist Raelene Cooper will appear in Karratha Magistrate's Court on a string of serious charges later this month.

The Mardudhunera woman, who has campaigned to protect ancient rock art in Western Australia's north, will face four separate charges including obstructing police, stealing and unlawful aggravated assault.

Ms Cooper is a former chair of the Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation.

WA Police on Friday declined to comment on the allegations against Ms Cooper, whose house they raided in December 2022.

Ms Cooper late last year argued the offshore gas approval regulator, National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority, had acted beyond the law by granting approval for Woodside Energy to begin seismic testing the ocean floor for its $16 billion LNG project 375kms off WA's north-west coast while it conducted further environmental consultations with Traditional Owners, including Ms Cooper.

This decision forced Woodside to delay its Scarborough survey until NOPSEMA gave the company approval to proceed in early December after protracted Federal Court legal proceedings.

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