The McGowan Government’s approval of a floating wharf and associated infrastructure for Broome has been received with scepticism by local environmental group Environs Kimberley.
“There has been no community consultation or transparency about this project, and what it could mean for the Kimberley,” said Environs Kimberley Director Martin Pritchard.
“Minister MacTiernan says ‘…Broome [will] benefit from the growing oil and gas industry in an environmentally sensitive way.’
“Talking about the oil and gas industry and building a new wharf being done in an environmentally sensitive way is nonsense. Clearly there will be damage to the coast, and an increase in the number of vessels coming into Broome means the risk of invasive marine species threatening the health of Roebuck Bay is that much higher. Everyone knows that fossil fuel development just adds to the climate crisis” said Mr Pritchard.
“There is a very real risk to the tourism industry from this. It was clear from the debate about James Price Point that the community didn’t want Broome to become a mining town. Tourists are already complaining about the intrusiveness of oil and gas choppers, and people will be put off coming here if Broome starts getting labelled more and more as an oil and gas hub.”
“Minister MacTiernan states that the new wharf will be ‘…opening up new opportunities in the Kimberley agricultural and resources sectors’. There has been no discussion about what this could mean.
“This could be extremely damaging to the environment; industrial agricultural development requires vast areas of land to be cleared and uses huge volumes of water,"
“Instead of pushing the failed economic developments of the past, like industrial agriculture, which are environmentally destructive and provide very few jobs, why doesn’t the government sponsor industries that don’t require bulldozing the Kimberley?”
“There are commercial enterprises in the Kimberley that are crying out for support, including carbon management, bush products, cultural and eco-tourism, the arts and renewable energy. Instead, Minister MacTiernan is pushing destructive proposals, whose profits go elsewhere.”
“We’re calling on Minister MacTiernan to consult the community on this development and lay out what it really means for the future of the region. If the McGowan Government is going down the same path as the previous Premier, Colin Barnett, to industrialise Broome and the Kimberley, it must let the public know so that we can respond,” said Mr Pritchard.