Print

News & media

Protecting the Kimberley would boost economy

National Heritage listing for the Kimberley would create local jobs and benefit the region’s economy, according to new research we have released.

With Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke due to make a decision about National Heritage listing by mid-year, our research shows a strong Heritage listing for the Kimberley could deliver more local and ongoing jobs than mining.

While mining is the biggest contributor to the Kimberley’s ‘gross regional product’, our research shows the mining industry is the eleventh largest employer in the region, providing only 500 jobs.

“Mining in the Kimberley is controlled by national and international companies, so the profits don’t stay in the region and the workforce is largely fly-in fly-out workers, not local employees,” said our Economic Adviser Simon O’Connor.

“In fact, mining is a much less important employer in the Kimberley than retail trade, accommodation and food – industries that will grow as more people visit the Kimberley to experience the region’s outstanding natural and cultural values.

“The Kimberley’s values are a direct result of centuries of Indigenous care and management of the land.

“In contrast to the money made from mining, which mostly leaves the region to generate wealth elsewhere, retail trade and tourism generate local wealth.

“These results are echoed across WA, where resource development is failing to deliver on its promise of economic opportunity for local communities. The Pilbara has generated billions in wealth over decades, but this has not resulted in economic development for the Indigenous people of the region.

“National Heritage listing will help protect the globally unique values of the Kimberley from inappropriate development and will help the tourism, retail, food and accommodation sectors to grow supporting real jobs for locals.”