Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Kimberley's New Best Friend: George Negus

Doubtful Bay (Photo: Save the Kimberley)

The Kimberley environment has a new advocate, George Negus. He has been recruited by the Save the Kimberley lobby group which is campaigning to limit the impact on the region of developments such as a proposed gas processing hub. He was clearly impressed by the group's Sydney promotion recently:
It's not people saying 'hands off', they're not people saying'lock it down', they're people who are saying 'this is how we can go about it'.

It's not your normal rabble-rousing operation, it's a very sane, sensible approach.
(Broome Advertiser 24 January 2007)
Look forward to his promised fact-finding visit, hopefully in the near future.
Another group fighting to protect the region is Environs Kimberley which has been conducting a range of campaigns.

Note: The weekly Broome Advertiser is not yet online. It is part of the West Australian stable which controls most of the regional papers in WA. At this stage only two of their 20+ regionals are on the web.

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Petera said...

Dear Sir,

Back in 1967 I was a young surveyor’s instrument hand and I was thrilled to get a job for a mining exploration company at Mitchell Plateau in the Kimberleys. I was there for nine months laying out a grid for a small tractor-mounted drilling rig to take samples of a rich deposit of bauxite.
It was a fantastic adventure for me. I felt I was at the fore-front of exploration. I knew I was seeing places that very few, if any, white people had seen. Our main camp was at Port Warrender but we also had a small out-post for a month or so quite near Mitchell Falls. A midden there seemed to still be in use. Even then I was in awe of the wonderful place and still vividly remember diving off one of the cliffs into a pristine pool. In the lower reaches of this amazing river I saw the biggest crocodile I’m sure any one has ever seen.
My boss had found some paintings in a low slung cave on the northern coast of Port Warrender. I was given the task of guiding a couple of museum people in a tinnie across to show them these. I only had a bearing to go on and two small beaches to aim at. I was really stoked to find them and they told me they were probably less than fifty years old. Using mod cons like Google earth, I see there is a shed of some sort there now. I wonder if it has something to do with the paintings.
With the nice wad of money I earned, I set off on six years of traveling the world working as a surveyor in Sabah, Israel, Uganda and Tanzania. During this time I “grew up” a lot more.
In those days there was not much, if any, environmental conciousness. I’m sure the “greenies” were invented many years later. Now I am proud to call myself one.
Nowadays, I see there are tourist groups traveling into this area. As long as they tread lightly I support this as the more people who see what a beautiful place it is the better chance we have of preserving it. As an ex miners employee, I am totally against the exploitation of the bauxite and the ridiculous siting of the gas plant further to the south near Broome.

Yours faithfully

Peter Atkinson

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