November 1st, 2013

WELCOME. Environs Kimberley or EK is the peak conservation organisation for the Kimberley region, one of the world’s last wilderness areas.

Our natural habitats are facing unprecedented threats from too frequent fires, feral animals, weeds, broadscale land-clearing, dams and encroaching industrial development. Native mammals are disappearing.

Through its Kimberley Nature Project, Environs Kimberley (EK) is conducting innovative work with Aboriginal ranger groups to better manage the threats to rare and endangered Kimberley ecosystems (click here).

Across the region, miners are exploring 25,000 km²  for coal, over 120,000 km² for shale gas, that would be extracted by ‘fracking’, and more than 10,000 km² for bauxite. (Sydney’s urban area covers 1687 km²). The region is also facing exploration for oil, iron ore, copper, diamonds, rare earths, lead, zinc and uranium.

HELP TO PROTECT THE KIMBERLEY.

Contribute by becoming a member (click here), taking an active role in our activities and/or by making tax deductible monthly donations (click here). $30 a month goes a long way.


November 10th, 2016

Kimberley icons targeted for fracking

EK Media Release

Tunnel Creek

Conservation group Environs Kimberley is calling for newly issued fracking leases in sensitive areas of the region to be withdrawn. One lease covers two national parks – Windjana Gorge and Tunnel Creek – and two conservation parks – Devonian Reef and Brooking Gorge. Another lease covers the Margaret River that flows into the Fitzroy.

Windjana fracking lease

“These parks are world famous for their incredible beauty, and environmental, historical and cultural importance. We can’t believe the Department of Mines and Petroleum have put leases for fracking anywhere near places like this,” said Environs Kimberley Director Martin Pritchard.

“We’re calling on the Minister for Mines Sean L’Estrange to withdraw these leases before companies waste time on putting in bids. There is no doubt that any attempt to frack in these areas will be met with widespread opposition,” Mr Pritchard said.

“We’re also calling on the Department of Mines and Petroleum to hold open public meetings in Broome and Fitzroy Crossing so that communities have an opportunity to ask questions about what’s being proposed for their country. The DMP’s current weeklong visit is invitation only and not advertised so the general public can’t go along.”

 Media Contact

Martin Pritchard

Director, Environs Kimberley
0427 548 075

 

 

Media release DMP

Kimberley stakeholder engagement over latest petroleum acreage release

Six onshore areas within Canning Basin released for bidding

Date: Monday, 07 November 2016

Senior staff from the Department of Mines and Petroleum’s (DMP) Petroleum and Environment Divisions are travelling the Kimberley this week to conduct stakeholder and community information sessions about the latest petroleum acreage releases in the Canning Basin.

Six of the blocks released are located in the Canning Basin ranging in size from 1,770 square kilometres to more than 8,000 square kilometres.

Executive Director of Petroleum Jeff Haworth said that the meetings and information sessions were an opportunity for Kimberley community leaders, government organisations, and business and Indigenous groups to discuss onshore petroleum exploration and development with department experts.

“DMP assesses and regulates onshore petroleum activities throughout the State, ensuring that operators apply world’s best safety, health and environmental practices,” Mr Haworth said.

“We are also committed to effective stakeholder engagement to ensure that the communities which host resource industries and the wider WA community are informed about resource activities locally and throughout the State.

“These stakeholder engagement sessions will also provide an opportunity for the department to learn more about the community and the questions that people have in regard to onshore petroleum exploration.”

During the weeklong visit DMP staff will meet with Indigenous groups, State Government department heads, Chambers of Commerce, pastoralist groups, and shire representatives to discuss various petroleum topics including the processes involved in the latest petroleum acreage release and the state of the industry.

Mr Haworth said title would not be granted until a preferred bidder is selected and they successfully complete native title negotiations.

Mr Haworth said further exploration of these recently gazetted acreage release areas would provide valuable geoscientific information and knowledge for the State.

“The geoscientific data that is collected through exploration is important. It helps provide insights into the petroleum prospectivity and potential resources of the State,” he said.

Petroleum discoveries made from such exploration activities, have the potential to enhance the State’s future energy security.

As part of the approvals process, petroleum operators are required to submit detailed environmental plans.

“Petroleum operators are also required to undertake open and ongoing community engagement activities throughout the life of the project,” Mr Haworth said.

November 1st, 2016

Forrest ramps up onshore oil and gas exposure

Nick Evans - The West Australian

Mining heavyweight Andrew Forrest has staked a claim in WA’s emerging onshore oil and gas industry, staking claims over more than 220,000 square kilometres of the Canning Basin in the Kimberley

While the applications are yet to be granted, Goshawk already controls a number of tenements in the Canning Basin, and was subject of criticism from environmental groups in 2013 when it won a licence allowing the company to explore a permit that included the Broome water supply reserve, and the site of bitter protests over the James Price Point development.

 

more>>

August 10th, 2016

Fears for Kimberley Coast after Oil Ship Grounding

Oil and gas boat grounded

Oil and gas boat grounded

 

Media Release

Fears for Kimberley Coast after Oil Ship Grounding

The grounding of an oil field supply ship in the early hours of the morning at Roebuck Bay in the Kimberley has sparked new fears about the risks that oil and gas drilling could pose to the Kimberley Coast, the world’s last pristine tropical coastline.

“Today’s events are a reminder that no matter how good regulation is, people still make mistakes,” said Martin Pritchard, Director of Broome based conservation group Environs Kimberley, “In the oil and gas industry, those mistakes can mean deadly oil spills with untold damage to the environment, fisheries and communities.”

“The Kimberley Coast is pristine, and it is also a dangerous area for navigation with some of the world’s biggest and strongest tides.  There is a very real risk of damage if the number of supply vessels and rigs operating near the coast is increased.”

“The Kimberley Coast is the last great pristine tropical coastline left on the planet, we can’t afford to put it at risk.”

Environs Kimberley are working with an alliance of conservation groups to secure protection for the Kimberley in a Great Kimberley Marine Park that includes a network of marine sanctuary zones.

“It is vital that the Government urgently implement proposed marine parks along the coast and ensure a world class network of marine sanctuaries to protect the Kimberley Coast.”

Plans for marine sanctuaries in the Kimberley’s state waters are progressing but as yet no protection is in place on the Kimberley Coast.   Plans for marine sanctuaries in the adjacent offshore waters controlled by the Commonwealth Government have been stalled by a Federal Government review.

“The Great Barrier Reef is protected from oil and gas development and has a world class network of marine sanctuaries, the Kimberley Coast is equally as special and deserves the same protection,” said Mr Pritchard.

The worst oil and gas accident near the Kimberley Coast was the 2009 Montara Oil spill that poured oil into the ocean for 74 days before the leak was controlled.  Smaller spills, or the grounding of supply vessels that also lead to damage to reefs or pollution incidents if fuel tanks or cargo are damaged, are also a risk.

Media contact

Martin Pritchard 0427 548 075

Director, Environs Kimberley

Photo credit: Damian Kelly Photography

May 29th, 2016

Kimberley conservation group celebrates 20 years

In 1996, sparked by the threat of dams to the Fitzroy River and irrigated agriculture in the west Kimberley, three people gathered around a kitchen table in Broome and launched the region’s peak conservation group, Environs Kimberley.

Traditional Owner concerns about the future health of the River and the savannah all the way to Bidyadanga, led to the formation of a coalition that eventually put a stop to the dams and the piping of water to Perth.

Environs Kimberley, or EK, is now celebrating 20 years of work protecting the natural assets of the region.

Environs Kimberley Director, Martin Pritchard, said, “It just goes to show what a small, passionate group of people can do when they put their minds to something.”

More…

October 9th, 2015

Crocodiles and environmental protestors a threat to Broome’s prosperity, WA Premier Barnett warns

ABC Kimberley

Ben Collins

Crocodile surfing in waves of Broome's Cable Beach.

Premier Barnett has warned Broome that a crocodile attack on Cable Beach could do “immense damage” to the town’s tourism industry.

Supplied: Sharon Scoble, Cable Beach Broome

West Australian Premier Colin Barnett has singled out crocodiles and environmental protestors as threats to Broome’s future prosperity while attending the Kimberley Economic Forum.

More >>

 

May 22nd, 2015

Woodside gets its way on Browse

Yahoo 7 News

Ben Harvey

Woodside has officially faced down Colin Barnett over his demand that the company build a supply base at James Price Point for the huge Browse gas field.

Documents Woodside released this week confirm the company will not build a new onshore supply base anywhere in the Kimberley and will instead rely on existing infrastructure

More >>

 

April 17th, 2015

Kimberley traditional owners reject fracking as part of oil production deal

The Guardian

Traditional owners in the Kimberley region of Western Australia Australia have vetoed fracking as part of an agreement allowing the oil and gas exploration company Buru Energy to start commercial production at an onshore oil field in the Fitzroy Valley.

The native title agreement with the Yawuru people, authorised by traditional owners at a meeting on 1 April, was the last hurdle to clear before the Department of Mines and Petroleum could grant the company a production licence. The Nyikina-Mangala and Karajarri-Yanja peoples signed a separate native title agreement in March.

More >>

 

March 24th, 2015

Australia’s biggest national park to be created in WA’s Kimberley as mining companies relinquish tenement

ABC

Andrew O’Connor

Mitchell Falls in Western Australia's Kimberley region.

The new agreement will see the Mitchell Falls in WA’s Kimberley region included in the national park.

ABC Rural: Matt Brann

 

A five million hectare slice of Western Australia’s Kimberley region will become the country’s largest national park after the State Government struck a deal forever banning mining in the iconic Mitchell Plateau.

After extensive negotiations, a 45-year state agreement that gave Rio Tinto rights to mine bauxite and Alcoa the right to refine aluminium on the Mitchell Plateau has been cancelled.

No further mining or exploration will be permitted in the 175,000 hectare area, which will be included in the new five million hectare Kimberley National Park which includes a network of land and marine parks.

More >>

 

 

March 20th, 2015

Ranger groups and remote communities vital

Amid the questioning of government support for remote Aboriginal communities and what Prime Minister Tony Abbott called the “lifestyle choices” of those who live there, the growing role of Aboriginal management of large areas of remote Australia has been overlooked.

There are 1,200 small, discrete Indigenous communities in regional and remote Australia with various sources of income, including federal government “Working on Country” funding.

Read more >>

March 15th, 2015

Gas boom running out of steam but consumer price shock intact

ABC

Neal Woolrich

As if the Federal Treasurer did not have enough to worry about, with an economy stuck in the slow lane and ballooning government debt.

Now, one of Australia’s few economic bright spots – the liquefied natural gas (LNG) boom – is coming off the boil as well, thanks to the plunge in oil prices over the past year.

By some estimates, Australia is set to become the world’s largest gas exporter by 2018.

But the LNG price is linked to the oil price, and with benchmark Brent Crude halving since June, that will blow a sizeable hole in Australia’s expected LNG bounty.

More >>