Outside the Kimberley Economic Forum in Broome, community members made it clear they want no new oil and gas in the Kimberley.
The forum's first session was titled ‘Sustainable Development’. Ironically, it featured presentations by representatives of oil and gas fracking hopefuls Buru Energy and Theia Energy.
“These companies have publicly available plans to open up the Kimberley to oil and gas industrialisation, including fracking. This is a far cry from ‘sustainable development’. The International Energy Agency has said that, if we want a safe climate into the future, we cannot allow new oil and gas fields to be developed,” said Martin Pritchard from Environs Kimberley.
The Kimberley will become unliveable if we continue to open up oil and gas fields and burn fossil fuels. CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology projections are that temperatures will increase catastrophically by the end of the century with continued burning of oil and gas. Broome, which currently experiences 6 days over 40C per year, could have to endure more than two months a year over 40.
“The temperature increases from burning fossil fuels would have drastic negative impacts on the environment and make it very difficult to live in the Kimberley, with serious implications for health. It would severely hurt industries like tourism, which is currently a half-billion-dollar industry,” Mr Pritchard said.
The community is calling on the Cook Government to safeguard the Kimberley from new oil and gas, and fracking, all of which would contribute massively to carbon emissions. WA Government speakers at the conference were local Kimberley MLA Divina D’Anna, Minister Stephen Dawson, Upper House member for the region and Minister for Regional Development Don Punch.
Broome Community members call for no new oil and gas in the Kimberley Photo: Damian Kelly
“We’re calling on our political representatives, Kimberley MLA Divina D’Anna and Upper House Member Minister Stephen Dawson, to make sure we have a clean energy future. and to rule out new polluting oil and gas development in the Kimberley,” said Mr Pritchard.