Threats to the Kimberley

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

My recent trip to the Kimberley highlighted just what a wonderful stretch of wilderness the world has in the Kimberley region. Flying across the Kimberley at low altitude in a light aircraft was like a slide show of wonderful views. Then my spell at the Kimberley Coastal Camp took me from aerial views gallery to an Aboriginal art gallery, this region is dotted with fabulous rock art sites.

James Price Point
James Price Point

Unfortunately it’s under threat from an assortment of developments and my visit to the region included a foray with the Wilderness Society up to James Price Point, north of Broome, where there are plans to establish a natural gas hub, right where a recent whale survey has found huge numbers of humpback whales. We saw whales from our light aircraft as we flew up the coast. The Wilderness Society website has information about these threats to the Kimberley.

Admiralty Gulf

Admiralty Gulf, near the Kimberley Coastal Camp

Need proof of the dangers facing this wonderful region? Well check the stories on the recent Timor Sea oil leak to the north of the Kimberley. A well leak far below the ocean floor has been leaking oil from the West Atlas rig into the sea since 21 August 2009 and it’s far enough offshore to have escaped serious media attention. Capping the well has required drilling a relief well and the equipment for that has had to come all the way from Singapore. Slowly.