James Price (Kimberley coast, WA) gas plant update: the Last Frontier sold out.

April 20, 2009 by  
Filed under Soap Box

hi folks,

it is with great sadness that i make this post.
yesterday a select group of people put together by the kimberley land
council voted to allow the liberal gov of wa to proceed to the next
step of constructing a massive polluting gas hub on a pristine part of
australia’s coast.
trading 60 000+ years of cultural songlines for a billion dollars over
30 years, these particular traditional owners have been told they will
get schools, houses, medical centres… hang on, shouldn’t those
things be a given right to all australians?
i was there 2 weeks ago and bear witness to a living, thriving culture
and ecosystem, the likes that hasn’t been seen by the rest of
australians since 1788. think bourke nsw before the tribes were
trucked to brewarrina from all over west nsw, never to see their
birthplace again, and the cotton industry destroyed the darling river
and the billabongs and waterholes in the entire river system, and if
you doubt this fact then you either own a cotton farm, or they own
you, or you dont know or love anything. i haven’t seen a catfish in
the western nsw area since i was 10 years old.
so i’ve had enough of industry dictating what happens on australian
people’s land. i’ve had enough of people being misinformed by
governments and industry groups, and their buddies in media so they
obtain their support. and i’ve had enough of watching my country
slowly lose what makes it unique and beautiful to the world.
in a nut shell, there is a huge gas reserve under the sea near broome.
james price point, 60 k’s north of broome, has been selected as a gas
hub site, a massive polluting industrial plant. there are reefs there
that are as beautiful as the great barrier reef, teeming with turtles,
dugongs, fish of every description, and a whale breeding ground.
they will be blasted to allow ships to enter, roads constructed,
1000’s of acres of traditional cultural sites locked up from the
locals who continue to sing this land as they have since humans have
been in australia.
recently i performed with the pigram brothers, john butler, kuckles
band, scrap metal, rob hirst (midnight oil), shane howard and others
at a concert in broome where 4500 local people came to show their
opposition to the gas hub.
the liberal wa premier barnett has called james price point a
“worthless fishing spot, a non-descript coastline”.
joe roe, the one man who speaks for that place, calls it walmadany,
like his grandfathers have through the ages.
while the pyramids in egypt, mexico and the great wall of china were
built, rome was burned, judaism, islam and christianity emerged,
before the maoris arrived in new zealand, joe roe’s family have lived
and loved, walked and sung the stories of creation on this land… to
this day he and his tribe continue that tradition, and yearly they
take over 100 white people on a journey of discovery on that very
land, opening and sharing a living breathing, intact and vital
culture, right through james price point, walking a 80 klm songline,
or dreaming pathway. it is a heritage trail, like the snowy mountains,
valued by australians.
if this gas hub is constructed, the whole notion of mabo (australia
was not a terra nulius), heritage, culture must be thrown out the
so i’m asking you to educate yourself about what it is we could lose
if you and me do nothing.
next month in may tiger airways has $60 return flights to perth. i
would encourage anyone with a beating heart to see for themselves what
all of australia must have once looked like: pristine, alive,
thriving, with a strength in culture that has (impossibly) survived
through the ages.
i’m not apologising if i’m sounding a little emotional, it takes a bit
to fire me up, but this is one battle worth fighting for.
there are other options for the gas hub, including building it in
nearby karratha, already a cesspool of human misery and destroyed
country, or floating it way out to sea.
what can be done? well minister garrett has the last say. there is a
two year environmental report underway on the area. despite what media
reports and wa state and commonwealth gov say, it is NOT a foregone
conclusion. there is hope in you, in me, in the people we can educate
about james price point and the battle for walmadany.
these links are not exhaustive, but i hope you get a chance to read
through them, grab a cup of tea, and pass this information on to other
australians and supporters overseas.
much love and respect..



More info at following links: