The Australian Greens have today released their Kimberley Vision Paper, which sets out a future for the Kimberley that puts people and the environment ahead of exploitative industrialisation.
"The decisions about the future of the Kimberley need to be made by the community, governments have limited understanding of the potential and the limitations of the region so must listen to the community," Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens Kimberley spokesperson said today.
"The Kimberley unique, but it faces a number of serious, cumulative pressures, including climate change, large wild fires, feral animals and weeds, over-grazing and ad hoc, incompatible development. On top of this, people like Colin Barnett are intent on exploiting the Kimberley through large scale industrialisation.
"A better future for the Kimberley is one built on diverse sectors, which means we need to make investments in culture, conservation, renewable energy, research and innovation to underpin a jobs-rich and diverse economy.
"The Greens have a fully costed policy platform to deliver a caring, resilient community and a clean, innovative economy for the Kimberley that will support people to live, work and care for their families.
"We will commit to doubling the number of Indigenous Rangers within a decade, starting with a $100 million investment over four years. We will also provide administrative and operational support for the increase and lengthen Indigenous Ranger contracts to 10 years, provided outcomes continue to be met.
"Indigenous Ranger programs help care for Australia's natural resources, while also improving the economic and social outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.
"We believe that the local community needs to be supported to participate in wider scoping processes on the future of the Kimberley, and would make $2 million of grant funding available to the Kimberley community to facilitate its participation in broader planning processes.
"Our policy platform also includes investments of $376.5m in an agricultural package which includes increasing agricultural R&D funding by 7% per year, a reversal of the recent $470 million cut to the Biodiversity Fund, improvements to education and health care and an important cut to the company tax rate of 2% for small businesses.
"Only the Greens are standing up to the big mining companies in order to care for our land, water and climate for future generations and support developing a diverse regional economy that delivers real benefits to all Kimberley people," Senator Siewert concluded.