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 billionaire irrigators and fracking corporations.
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: Danggu (Geikie Gorge) National Park and Martuwarra / Fitzroy River, with Gogo Station. 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 First Nations 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 Martuwarra / Fitzroy River, which gives life to the ecosystems that provide clean water and support ancient cultural connections, whose catchment covers 25% of the Kimberley.
You’ll find some of the world’s best-preserved dinosaur footprints, along the coast from Broome north to Walmanday / James Price Point.
And beneath it all, you’ll find the Canning Basin, stuffed to the brim with fossil fuels the world can’t afford to burn.
James Price Point cliffs
The site of $45 billion LNG terminal, in 2012 Woodside Petroleum was forced to walk away from James Price Point.
House Shed Hill and the Ord River
This area is approved to be cleared for irrigated agriculture. Photo: Wilderness Society Collection
Windjana Gorge National Park
Fracking threatens our climate, our water, and this pristine National Park.
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
Kimberley wet season. Photo: Hugh Brown
East Kimberley, earmarked for better protection.
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 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 and are working towards ensuring fracking corporations—like Texan frackers Black Mountain—exit their plans that threaten the climate, water and globally significant biodiversity of the region.
The Kimberley is an ancient cultural landscape of global significance, and worth far more to everyday Australians intact.
We support the rights and aspirations of First Nations people to protect their ancient cultural connections to Country.
What we’re doing:
- Advocating for new laws and policies 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.