Natural and cultural values of the Kimberley must be protected

WA Premier Colin Barnett’s decision to forcibly acquire land at James Price Point, 60 kilometres north of Broome, for a massive liquefied natural gas hub undermines public confidence in decision making around areas of great natural and cultural value, the Australian Conservation Foundation said today.

“Premier Barnett has today confirmed that he is willing to fast track and cut corners in order to industrialise the Kimberley coastline,” said Broome-based ACF spokesman Paul Marshall.

“Given the significant natural and cultural values of the region and that fact that an industrial precinct has the potential to dramatically impact on the Kimberley, it’s essential to get the process right so all Australians can have confidence in decisions that affect our precious heritage.”

“ACF remains concerned there has been very little effort to find appropriate alternative sites for processing the gas outside the Kimberley.

“The natural and cultural values of the Kimberley are too great to be sacrificed for major industrialisation and all the impacts that will flow from it.

“This could be the thin end of the wedge for further industrialisation of the Kimberley, including bauxite and uranium mining.

“Traditional Owners should not have to allow massive industrial developments on their land in order to receive government help to tackle social disadvantage and protect environmental and cultural values,” Mr Marshall said.