The Federal Government should ignore the mining industry’s predictable negativity ahead of the upcoming announcement on the heritage listing of the Kimberley, the Australian Greens said today.
“These are last minute, panicked comments being made by an industry intent on turning the Kimberley into a mining pit with as little impediments as possible,” Senator Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson for the Kimberley & Northern Australia said today.
“With ongoing, widespread debate about the future of the proposed development at James Price Point, heritage listing is an opportunity for the Federal Government to protect precious, sacred and significant areas across the region.
“For once, we can get ahead of development before it occurs, ensuring a better balance between exploitation and protection of important sites.
“The future of the Kimberley is clouded by the threat of industrialisation and development. Heritage listing places an onus on developers to properly
manage and protect areas of heritage and cultural significance.
“This greater burden of responsibility is essential to ensuring any work undertaken in the area does not have an adverse impact.
“By giving important areas of the West Kimberley the heritage listing they very much deserve, the Government can ensure they are protected into the future.
“Over the top allegations by the industry that heritage listing will entrench welfare dependency do nothing for the sector’s credibility and undermine their claimed commitment to protecting heritage and the environment.
“By completing the heritage listing process now, we can ensure important sites are afforded long term protection.
“Heritage Listing provides the opportunity to ensure future development is part of a long term plan for the region to provide strong environment, social and economic outcomes,” Senator Siewert concluded.