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Green & Indigenous Groups Say No to GM Cotton in the West Kimberley

A coalition of local, state and national environment and Aboriginal groups joined forces today to call on the State Government to immediately drop plans for a broadacre GM cotton industry in the west Kimberley.

The coalition includes the Australian Conservation Foundation, the Conservation Council of WA, the Kimberley Land Council, Environs Kimberley, the Wilderness Society and WWF Australia.

In a joint statement the groups said plans to develop a 200,000-hectare GM cotton industry near Broome were unsustainable and inappropriate.

Coalition member Maria Mann from Environs Kimberley said the broadacre cotton proposal currently being considered by State Cabinet would have a disastrous environmental and social impact on the Kimberley.

"Every way you look at this proposal it makes no sense. It is against the wishes of the area's traditional owners, it will double the State's total annual water consumption, it will clear 200,000 hectares of prime bilby habitat and it is based on a genetically modified crop already raising concerns in scientific circles for its environmental impact," Ms Mann said.

"The State Government is currently deciding whether to give the go-ahead for further feasibility studies on this proposal. It is expected to make an announcement within days.

"This coalition of environmental and Aboriginal groups representing well over 170,000 members nationwide calls on the State Government to say no to any further feasibility studies into this ludicrous proposal.

"Rather than continuing with the flawed proposal we call on the Government to initiate a full and open public consultation process to determine a future vision for the Kimberley that is environmentally, culturally and economically sustainable."