Updated: October 29, 2012
Thousands come together at the Concert for the Kimberley
This month’s CONCERT FOR THE KIMBERLEY saw people from across the country and the world stand together to protect one of our most valuable and iconic wilderness regions.
An estimated 8,000 people packed Melbourne’s Federation Square and over 80,000 joined them online to watch some of Australia’s leading musicians and members of the conservation community rally around this important cause.
Families on picnic rugs, office workers, students, and supporters old and young, raised their hands and their voices to oppose the proposed development at James Price Point. Bob Brown took the stage first to express the sentiments of many long-term Kimberley campaigners: this is an important moment. He reminded us that while Woodside are proposing the biggest gas hub in the world, what we already have in the Kimberley as it stands is far more valuable. He described his time there, seeing a mother Humpback whale and her calf breech the surface of the water near his boat and wave. “It was a call,” he said. “A call to us to save them.”
A live cross to 200 people watching in Broome allowed Gavan McFadzean, Wilderness Society campaigner and MC, to speak to the community and the families directly affected by the proposed development. “I am fighting hard to keep my country alive. That’s my spirit country,” said Goolarabooloo Traditional Custodian Teresa Roe of James Price Point. “I don’t want the money. I want my country.”
Clare Bowditch delivered a beautiful set stage to an enthusiastic crowd, and Albert Wiggan followed with songs that celebrated his commitment to his Traditional lands, inviting all Australians to join him. Missy Higgins sent a message from the United States, and added her voice to a growing chorus calling for Woodside to embrace more financially and environmentally sound alternatives to the proposed James Price Point gas hub.
The John Butler Trio took the stage to rapturous applause, pausing to shout out to the community in Broome before launching into their set. John Butler, a long time campaigner for the protection of the Kimberley’s astounding natural and cultural values, played what has become the movement's unofficial anthem, and the crowd raised their voices with his to sing, “ I am what I am, and I am strong because I’ve got my land and I’ve got my song.”
Over $50,000 was raised by the CONCERT FOR THE KIMBERLEY, and we're still encouraging donations. The hashtag #ConcertForTheKimberley was trending on Twitter in Melbourne during the concert on 5 October, with tweets from 21 countries around the world reaching almost 1.5 million people.
“The CONCERT FOR THE KIMBERLEY opened the issue of the proposed gas industrial complex at James Price Point to, not only Australia’s east coast, but also to a global audience with people in more than 65 countries tuning in,” said Wilderness Society Kimberley Campaign Manager Glen Klatovsky.
“For the companies involved, including global oil and gas giants such as Shell and BP, this campaign is starting to establish global momentum. Chevron jumped before it got to this point. It is now time for the big guys to tell Woodside to dump the James Price Point option and go for a more sensible alternative before their reputations are irreparably damaged.”
- Twitter reach: 1.5 million people around the world
- Tweets from: 21 different countries
- Hashtag #ConcertForTheKimberley trending in Melbourne during the concert
- Attended the concert: 8,000 (largest crowd at Fed Square since 2010 Soccer World Cup)
- Watched the concert live online:
- Watched live in Broome: 200
- Donations so far: $50,000
Watch Concert for the Kimberley online for a limited time and donate to the campaign.
For more information, please contact:
The Wilderness Society WA Inc
City West Lotteries House
2 Delhi St
West Perth, WA, 6005
Phone: 08 9420 7255