Stunning landscapes, meandering rivers, vast marine sanctuaries — the Kimberley is home to life found nowhere else on earth. It’s no place for fossil fuel mega-projects.
One look at the Kimberley and you’ll understand why life has long been drawn to its dramatic shores. For millennia it’s been looked after by Traditional Custodians. Now it’s being eyed up by foreign investors.
Our supporters have helped us to protect much of the North Kimberley Coast. Now we need to protect the river ecosystems and vast landscapes atop one of the world’s largest onshore gas reserves — before the life is sucked out of them.
Top photo: Jenita Enevoldsen
The threat to life
It's this simple: If we want a liveable climate for the future, we must leave fossil fuels in the ground. But for the rich natural and cultural diversity of the Kimberley, the threat is greater still.
Here you’ll find Songlines — pathways described in Aboriginal storytelling — that have remained uninterrupted for thousands of years.
You’ll find the adorable Bilby, the charismatic Gouldian finch, the peculiar and critically endangered Freshwater sawfish, and the largest Humpback whale nursery in the world.
You’ll find the mighty Fitzroy River, which gives life to the ecosystems that provide clean water and support ancient cultural connections.
You’ll find some of the world’s best-preserved dinosaur footprints.
And beneath it all, you’ll find the Canning Basin, stuffed to the brim with fossil fuels the world can’t afford to burn.
House Shed Hill and the Ord River
This area is approved to be cleared for irrigated agriculture. Photo: Wilderness Society Collection
James Price Point cliffs
The site of $45 billion LNG terminal, in 2012 Woodside Petroleum was forced to walk away from James Price Point.
Windjana Gorge National Park
Fracking threatens our climate, our water, and this pristine National Park.
Ancient Kimberley rock art.
The Kimberley has supported human life for thousands of years. Rock art depicts Tasmanian tigers, extinct on mainland Australia for 3,000 years, with experts suggesting some art could have been painted prior to the last Ice Age.
Bilbies burrowing in the West Kimberley.
Known as "ecosystem engineers" our burrowing animals keep soil healthy, spreading important mycorrhizal fungi and bringing vital nutrients to the surface. Photo: Damian Kelly
Sunset Boab at North Kimberley
Some Boab trees are over 1500 years old, making them the oldest life forms on our continent. Photo: Jenita Enevoldsen
Octopus hunting on reef flat
Coulomb Point, Kimberley, Western Australia.
Kimberley wet season. Photo: Hugh Brown
East Kimberley. Photo: Wilderness Society Collection
The race for protection.
Back in 1992, The Wilderness Society proposed a series of national and marine parks to protect the intact ecosystems that support life in the Kimberley. Finally, the Western Australian Government is taking action. Since 2010, we’ve helped to secure six new marine parks, including the Great Kimberley Marine Park, to rival the Great Barrier Reef.
The question is: Will it be too little, too late?
The habitats of some of the Kimberley’s most precious species still don't have protection. With plans for large scale bushland clearing and gas fracking on the books, we’re urgently working to change that.
Too precious to mine.
James Price Point is a case in point. Woodside Petroleum was ready to invest $45 billion in the project — a giant LNG gas export terminal. But the economics didn’t stack up.
We helped to unite opposition by supporting Traditional Custodians and concerned locals, and bringing together tens of thousands of nature lovers across Australia to stop this bizarre plan. After eight years of protests and legal battles, the companies involved were forced to walk away.
We may have won that battle — but there will be many more to come.
We want the world to recognise the Kimberley for its rich history — as a place where protections for land and sea interconnect, and ancient cultural landscapes are celebrated.
For our climate's sake, the fossil fuels hidden deep beneath the Kimberley must stay there. Forever.
That's why we’ve joined local groups to forge a comprehensive renewable energy plan for the region. We’re also helping to promote Indigenous arts and culture, eco-tourism, land and sea management, and bush foods and medicines.
With the rapidly expanding local tourism industry already valued at $330 million, the Kimberley is worth more to everyday Western Australians intact.
We support the aspirations of Traditional Custodians to protect their ancient culture and deep connections to country.
What we’re doing:
- Advocating for new laws that support the life our lives depend on.
- Fighting for the highest level of protection for marine and national parks.
- Contributing to a sustainable development plan for the Fitzroy River.
- Warding off the frackers threatening the Canning Basin.
- Challenging large scale irrigated agriculture and land clearing projects.
- Meeting with politicians and stakeholders to build bipartisan support.
- Inspiring grassroots action through Kimberley Custodian Supporter Trips