Barnett, Take Note of the Remarkable
For Colin Barnett to announce that James Price Point is an unremarkable part of the Kimberley coast is insulting to the place and to all those who love it. James Price Point has been a haven to me for 20 years. It is a place of great beauty and tranquility. When Colin Barnett set foot there late last year for the first time and decided to destroy it forever, I wonder if he noticed the native bees flying into tiny holes in the dramatic red cliffs, their legs laden with pollen from the purple ipomoea flowers whose creeper hangs like a lace veil from the top of the cliffs to the fine white sand below. The magnificent cliffs, set against a cobalt sky, are filled with sediments creating rich mosaics that rival the Alhambra in Spain or the Blue Mosque in Turkey. Did Mr. Barnett appreciate the geomorphology of the 60 to 145 million-year-old rocks in front of him, their formations not only a visual delight but also home to thousands of marine creatures? If he spent more than half an hour there this month, he would discover that April is when clown-fish babies appear. They are no more than a centimetre in size and can be seen snuggling in close to their anemone homes while their parents fiercely defend their territory. The rich array of corals is the habitat of a vast variety of tropical fish; the patterns and coulours of their skin flash in the sunlight that streams through the clean salty water. Beyond our human vision, phytoplankton and marine diatoms flourish as part of the delicately balanced ecology. If Mr. Barnett camped at Price’s Point for the night he would have the simple, free but priceless pleasure of lying back to view the Milky Way ablaze above him, far from the light pollution created by heavy industry. He would be able to make out Marrala, Emu man and creator spirit, in the negative spaces of the star bursts. If he were very lucky he would find Marrala’s footprints fossilised in the ancient mud all along our coast. For Colin Barnett to announce that James Price Point is an unremarkable part of the Kimberley coast is insulting to the place and to all those who love it. I have visited many places on our Earth, and I must say that Price’s Point is exceptional, and I feel privileged to spend time there. I believe Price’s Point should be given the respect it deserves and I, along with many others, will fight to protect it forever. Kerry Marvell, Broome Kerry’s letter was published in the Broome Advertiser, May 7, 2009.
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