The Kimberley - Too Precious To Lose
The Greens understand that the Kimberley's natural environment is the source of its people's well-being and wealth, both economic and spiritual.
In a planet under stress, the Kimberley is unique as a place still largely unspoilt by heavy industry.
However, the region also faces a number of serious, cumulative pressures, including climate change, large wild fires, feral animals and weeds, overgrazing as well as ad hoc and incompatible development.
The Kimberley faces another threat - from policy makers who see it as a new frontier to be exploited with large scale agricultural and industrial projects that will irreversibly alter the landscape and the communities that are sustained by it.
These proposals by other parties treat the Kimberley, and in fact all of Northern Australia as a source of new economic resources to sustain the rest of the nation, without regard for the aspirations of many of the people who are living there right now.
The Greens recognise that the people sharing this astonishing land and seascape are already working for a better future.
Growing industries include aquaculture and horticulture, agriculture, Aboriginal environmental management and the beginnings of the carbon economy, as well as a rich and diverse performance and visual arts community. Over the last two decades there has been an extraordinary growth in tourism and its spinoffs for local businesses. The value of tourism to the region in 2009 was $276M. Compared to other industries (aquaculture $67M, Fishing $9.8M, Pearling $64M), it is a major economic driver that should be further developed through investment, not overwhelmed by industrialization. Innovative agriculture is making the most of the current resources without disrupting existing waterways. Meanwhile, health and social services remain one of the largest employers overall.
There is also unlimited potential in the new and emerging industries such as renewable energy. The national broadband network provides new opportunities in information technology and education. There is also great scope for basing more scientific research centres in the region.
This is where the future of the Kimberley lies and this is why the Greens support and encourage investment in tomorrow's, not yesterday's industries.
Latest on The Kimberley - Too Precious To Lose
09 Aug 2011
The Australian Greens have vowed to continue fighting for Aboriginal communities after an Amnesty International report condemned the Federal Government’s abandonment of remote communities in the NT in favour of ‘growth towns’.
The Amnesty report comes just one day after another highly critical report revealed the expensive gap between policy intent and implementation.
“I welcome the spotlight being returned to examine the state of Aboriginal housing, health, education and disadvantage in this country,” Senator Rachel Siewert, Greens Spokesperson for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Issues said today.
“While these reports highlight major deficiencies in the current delivery of services, the Australian Greens have already been making significant inroads on some of these issues.
Senator Siewert has recently introduced pieces of legislation aimed at reforming the Native Title and re-instating the Racial Discrimination Act in the NT.
“Now that the evidence is beginning to stack up against the past policies of both the Labor Government and the previous Liberal Government, it is impossible for the two old parties to ignore the need for communities to gain control over their own lives.
“The Northern Territory Intervention and compulsory income management was a terrible violation of those principles of self-determination, consultation and partnership, and it is time to unwind these policies and start returning control to communities,” Senator Siewert concluded.
05 Jul 2011
Senator Ludlam questioned the Commonwealth's responsibility for the situation at James Price Point having deteriorated to the degree that Aboriginal are people being forcibly removed from country during NAIDOC week.
05 Jul 2011