The first Save The Kimberley public meeting on the east coast of Australia was attended by around 100 people who filled the room and spilled out into adjoining corridors. People from across the Northern Beaches who have visited or lived in the Kimberley and some who had travelled from as far as Wollongong, 150 kms down the coast, gathered to hear presenters including Lyndon Schneider (Campaign Manager: The Wilderness Society), Martin Pritchard (Executive Director: Environs Kimberley), Peter Tucker (Chair: Save The Kimberley) and Albert Wiggan (Save The Kimberley). A range of takes on the proposal to impose heavy industrialisation and mining on the Kimberley were presented and the meeting was charged with emotion and then enthusiasm that Sydney rise up in large numbers in solidarity with the people of the Kimberley to confront the menace of unwanted mining and industry.
Martin Pritchard, whose list of proposed industries for the region stunned the audience and galvanised them to take action.
The message was simple: There are alternatives to forcing unwanted development on the environment and community of the Kimberley region which will not hamper trade or jobs and will permit nature, culture, tourism and sustainable industry to continue to flourish.
Albert Wiggan speaking to SBS TV prior to the meeting.
SBS interviewed Albert Wiggan “We want to know what kind of outcomes their money is going to offer us in 50 years time, because the country will still carry the scars of development then.”, Peter Tucker “If they ruin the Kimberley I think it will be a national disgrace.” and Martin Pritchard “We’ve seen the mining and industrialisation in the Pilbara . . . and we’ve yet to see any benefits flow to the indigenous communities there.”.
Peter Tucker speaking to SBS prior to the meeting.
A number of proposals for establishing relationships with the Kimberley community and building a massive response in the Sydney region to oppose development in the region are now under consideration.