The world famous Kimberley region of Western Australia is under threat from oil and gas fracking. Three thousand people gathered in Broome and called on the new Premier of Western Australia Roger Cook to ban the industry.
The Kimberley has the largest most intact tropical savanna and the oldest living culture in the world. The $620 million tourism industry is based on spectacular unspoilt landscapes, stunning beaches and coastlines and the vibrant Aboriginal cultural experiences.
Oil and gas companies have plans to frack the region and have compared it to places in the US for its resources. Those places in the US have now been transformed by tens of thousands of oil and gas fracking wells, pockmarked landscapes and polluted air and water. Kimberley people and groups are celebrating more than 10 years of successful campaigns to protect the region from fracking; however, fracking companies have proposals that could leave the Kimberley with a landscape like those in the US. Now, a pipeline is being planned, to carry the fracked oil and gas to the Pilbara. This new threat comes as Western Australia’s new Premier Roger Cook begins his tenure.
Musicians from across the country performed free of charge at Cable Beach on Saturday August 12 include rising star Bojesse Pigram, Pilbara Country singer Bradley Hall, Kankawa Nagarra Knight, Kimberley Blues Gospel singer who performs around the world with Hugh Jackman, highly celebrated, ARIA-nominated, award-winning Indigenous singer and songwriter Emma Donovan and WA’s award winning artist John Butler fresh off a European tour.
Emma Donovan on stage at the Frack Free Kimberley Concert 2023
They all sang with one voice calling on Western Australian Premier Roger Cook to protect the world famous region from fracking.
John Butler said -
“I’ve travelled all around the world and the Kimberley is in a league of its own. Big Country with intact nature and vibrant, ancient culture.
I’ve also travelled through the American fracking fields and seen the industrialisation that’s wrecked the environment and communities. The last thing I want to see is the Kimberley industrialised by oil and gas fracking.
The Premier Roger Cook can protect the Kimberley from this nightmare scenario. That’s why I’m involved and when the call for help came from Traditional Owners and the community I gladly joined in. This concert is a launch pad and from here we’ll build the momentum for a ban on fracking the Kimberley.”
Martin Pritchard from Environs Kimberley said -
“The community is united against fracking one of the most remarkable unspoilt regions of the world, the new Premier needs to listen and take action to protect the Kimberley.'
Traditional Owners, national group Lock the Gate also addressed the crowd and Doctors for the Environment Australia were also at the event calling for a Frack Free Kimberley.
Photos: Damian Kelly