Cook government condemned for opening up proposed Nature Reserve and Martuwarra Fitzroy River in the Kimberley for oil and gas
The Cook government is opening up spectacular parts of the Kimberley to the oil and gas industry at a time when the science says we have to reduce carbon emissions. See petroleum release announcement here.
“We’re calling on the Cook government to withdraw this petroleum release and not put places like the spectacular Edgar Ranges and Martuwarra Fitzroy River at risk from the oil and gas industry.” Said Environs Kimberley Director of Strategy Martin Pritchard.
Edgar Ranges Photo: Environs Kimberley
“It’s like the Premier Roger Cook and Minister for Mines Bill Johnston don’t accept the science of climate change because we know that to have a safe climate, the International Energy Agency is saying we can’t open new oil and gas.”
The petroleum release areas cover the spectacular Edgar Ranges which have been proposed as a Nature Reserve by the WA government since 1991. The Edgar Ranges are of very high conservation value and culturally important.
According to the WA Government –
The Edgar Range is biologically and culturally extremely significant, it has a spectacular landscape and for decades has been recommended for conservation as a Class A Nature Reserve.
It is significant habitat for many mammal, insect and plant species and is known for Brush-tailed Rock Wallaby, Greater Bilby and Forrest’s Mouse, and is the only location for the endangered Edgar Range
Pandanus (Pandanus spiralis var. flammeus)21. It is where Torresian (sub-humid Kimberley) and desert species mix.
One hundred and twenty-one species of birds have been recorded there, including three of special significance to conservation – Princess Parrot, Peregrine Falcon and Major Mitchell’s Cockatoo.
Source: Department of Conservation and Land Management (1991) Nature Conservation Reserves in the Kimberley
Martuwarra Fiztroy River Photo: Damian Kelly
The Martuwarra Fitzroy River is National Heritage listed and is a Registered Aboriginal Heritage site.
“If the Cook government won’t withdraw this petroleum acreage release then the oil and gas industry must take a responsible approach and not bid for these areas.”
We are disappointed to hear the announcement that construction has begun on the Kimberley Marine Support Base in Broome.
“Work started on the floating jetty last week with the company and WA government saying it will boost the region's oil and gas industries as well as tourism and agriculture,” ABC Kimberley reported.
Environs Kimberley’s Martin Pritchard said it was surprising that the reported $200 million investment is based on revenue from projects that have yet to be approved. Report on ABC Kimberley -
We are extremely surprised that the Cook government is facilitating this given that, according to the Kimberley Development Commission, it’s based on revenue from the Roebuck Basin - as yet, no oil or gas discoveries have been made in the Roebuck Basin. Browse Basin project by Woodside – no final investment decision has been made. Cruise ships – already dock at the existing jetty. Live export of cattle – already go through the Port of Broome and are high risk given the potential for the industry to be shut down by disease. Shipping containers – there are no industries using large amounts of containers.
This proposed development, supposedly based on industrialising the Kimberley through oil and gas, comes at a time when we’ve been clearly told that no new fossil fuel projects can be opened if we want a safe planet. It’s also in the middle of the Entrance Point reef platform which bears over 40 species of coral and an intricate web of marine life.