A new study by the Curtin University Sustainable Tourism Centre identifies plans for a massive polluting LNG industrial site near Broome as a serious threat to the Kimberley’s unique and globally-recognised tourism ‘brand’.
The report entitled “Kimberley Whale Coast Tourism: A review of opportunities and threats” by Dr Michael Hughes and colleagues from Curtin University was commissioned by The Wilderness Society, Environs Kimberley and The Conservation Council of WA and launched on 31 August, 2010.
The Report Concludes:
“Large-scale industrial development would devalue the Kimberley brand and adversely affect tourism, a major component of the Broome and Kimberley economy. This impact would flow through to tourism operators, regional employment and business viability. The timing and duration of these impacts is unknown but indications are that LNG plant development would significantly undermine the image of the Kimberley as a nature-based and cultural tourism destination and seriously damage the multi-million dollar tourism sector that has taken decades to build. Any industrial accidents associated with the LNG operations would have a similar impact on the sector …
As a non-extractive activity, nature-based and cultural tourism is a sustainable and profitable industry that is likely to generate greater socio-economic returns to the region than the oil and gas industry, with its limited life span.“
- Development of heavy industry in Broome and the West Kimberley is not compatible with the nature based and cultural tourism that underpins the region’s special status and makes a significant economic contribution to the region.
- Ongoing government support for, and investment in, tourism, particularly Aboriginal tourism ventures, would provide a better regional socio-economic return with a much lower risk to the natural and cultural environment than Oil and Gas.
- Investment in tourism in the region will create more local employment and greater strengthening of social and community wellbeing than investment in Oil and Gas
- Establishment of an extensive and appropriately managed marine park in the Kimberley is vital for the protection of a unique and world-renowned natural area that is also attractive to tourists