Tag Archives: BP

‘The Kimberley’ Exhibition Online

Hi folks,

The exhibition, The Kimberley – Australia’s Threatened Wilderness has been run and won: they came, they saw…and one person even won (one of Hunter G’s images!). Scroll on for the full series of exhibition images and accompanying text . All images are available for sale. See end of post for sales info.

And for those who were unable to attend Bob Brown’s Closing Address on June 7 (or for those who just want to get lost in Bob’s inspiring words and gravelly tones once again),  a video of his speech can be viewed here

A big thanks to Dave Meagher and Singing Bowl Media for filming and editing this.

But now it’s over to the exhibition artists, Tom Montgomery and yours truly, Hunter G…

Artist Statement: Tom Montgomery – Watercolour Painter.

I am 23 year old conservation artist based in beautiful Broome, Western Australia. My passion is exploring the Kimberley’s pristine environment from its spectacular gorges, waterfalls, cave systems, isolated islands and pockets of lush rainforests. With no recorded extinction, the Kimberley is the Noah’s arch of northern Australia’s biodiversity. A complex and immense landscape abundant with unique wildlife.

Rugged terrain makes the Kimberley largely inaccessible, thus holds the key to its remarkable preservation. Rocky gullies have so far sheltered sensitive areas from most external influences such as raging fires and over grazing from livestock. At the very heart of this pristine wilderness we unearth its greatest threat, untapped resources.

A proposition that comes with a choice that puts the Kimberley’s future on the line. If we say nothing against industrialisation our limitless thirst for resources will decide the verdict.

Walmadan

Walmadan Coast

Shore Bird

Shore Bird

Squirrel Fish

Squirrel Fish

Barramundi

Barramundi

Kingfisher

Kingfisher – work in progress

Pelicans

Pelicans

GreenSeaTurtle

Green Sea Turtle

Work-In-Progress, 'Jamesy'

Work-In-Progress, ‘Jamesy’

Notes regarding the above portrait image:

The tedious work that Tom puts into his watercolours has transferred into the same level of discipline when it comes to creating his own unique portrait style. A style that seeks to capture the real spirit of the Kimberley people and their connection to the land.

This is achieved by collecting ochre pigments from the local landscape to enhance his work. When drawing inspiration from the vibrant colours of the Kimberley, Tom observes the elements as the perfect painter’s pallet

Pindan Technique

He first uses an interesting preparation technique that involves burying the cotton paper in raw pindan earth in specially selected locations. Once the pindan hues are embedded in the paper any excess dirt is rubbed away with a rag.

Dark tones are acquired by using charcoal from the camp fire which is ground up and applied to the paper with a firm brush and smudge sticks. Light values are then brought forth by removing the pigment from the paper with a kneedable eraser. Finally the work is fine-tuned with graphite pencil. Over the following days the pindan is slowly tamed and the Kimberley character begins to emerge from what was once dust.

………………………………………………….

And now…, it’s over to Hunter G’s images from across The Kimberley (nb. all images taken from the main highway except those at Walmadan. Just imagine what you’d get if you got into the wild and tasty innards!)

Electrical Storm

#1            Electrical Storm

Dec 31, 2012: 22:52

Latitude, Longitude: -15.450886, 128.11904

Here, from Five Rivers Lookout, in the Kimberley’s NE, one can see five rivers flow into the Cambridge Gulf: The King; The Durack; The Pentecost; The Ord and The Forrest.

I spent four nights living up here after the local policeman’s wife suggested I do so, despite the ‘No Camping’ signs. On the morning of day five, the ranger asked me kindly to move on.

Five Rivers Lookout has been listed as one of the world’s top lookouts and, for once, I’d have to agree. However, the recent addition of the Kimberley Metals Group’s iron-ore loading yard is a worrying sight. (refer #2)

Iron Ore

#2        Iron-Ore

Jan 1, 2013: 21:19

Latitude, Longitude: -15.44023, 128.114946

Kimberley Metals Group run this iron-ore loading yard, set amidst a sensitive mangrove and mudflat eco-system. Council signs in the area ask people not to drive on the mudflats, yet it is somehow ok to build this industrial site.

The ore is delivered from KMG’s Ridge’s Mine (refer image # 10) about 165km away. Road-trains up to 53 metres in length travel in both directions EVERY 20 minutes for approximately 20 hours per day. And this is a small-scale mine. If the Kimberley becomes the industrial hub Premier Barnett wants it to be, this will be catastrophic.

A few days later I was camping about 30 km from this yard at a spot called The Grotto (a gorge and waterfall) which is a few km off the main highway. Apart from nature I could hear nothing else…except the road-trains.

Tidal flats and mangrove forests are important ecosystems. They usually support a large population of wildlife and are often of vital importance to migratory birds, crabs, molluscs and fish. In the UK mudflats have been classified as a Biodiversity Action Plan priority habitat. The maintenance of mudflats is important in preventing coastal erosion. However, mudflats worldwide are under threat from land claims for development, dredging due to shipping purposes, and chemical pollution.

The Blood-Stained Cliffs of History

# 3       The Blood-Stained Cliffs of History

Feb 5, 2013: 12:07

Latitude, Longitude: -17.466437, 122.152138

These incredibly beautiful coloured sands and stone are just a couple of km north of Walmadan (James Price Point), the site proposed for the world’s largest ever Liquefied Natural Gas Processing Plant – the primary reason I undertook this project. Fortunately the proposal has been abandoned by the main company, Woodside Petroleum. However Premier Barnett is determined to build a massive industrial port in The Kimberley and he is still considering JPP.

If he is successful, a port would open the floodgates to industrial development, providing an export point for companies that cannot otherwise afford to begin mining. It is vital that a port is not built anywhere in The Kimberley. Over the past ten years there has been a 500% increase in mining leases across the Kimberley. Lack of a port is the main thing stopping many of them from beginning operations.

Mining Exploration in The Kimberley

Current Mining Exploration in The Kimberley – an horrific prospect for this incredible wilderness zone.

Ghost Dogs at the Cliffs of Walmadan

#4        Ghost Dogs at the Cliffs of Walmadan

April 10, 2013: 20:04

Latitude, Longitude: -17.489176, 122.142686

This is taken from James Price Point, looking south along what Premier Barnett claims is an “unremarkable piece of coastline” in a cynical attempt to fool the general public based on an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ approach. He knows full well that most Australians will never see this area for themselves.

It’s strikingly similar to former Tasmanian Premier, Robin Gray, who described The Franklin River as “a leech ridden ditch” during his attempts to dam The Franklin in the early 80’s. Post the campaign that ‘ditch’ became part of the South-West World Heritage Area. Post his political career, Gray went on to be Director of Gunns Limited, famous for wood-chipping Tasmania’s old-growth forests. I wonder where Barnett will end up?

And A Lion I Did See

# 5       And a Lion I Did See

April 10, 2013: 20:15

Latitude, Longitude: -17.489176, 122.142686

Rock formations along the “unremarkable piece of coast” at Walmadan. These rocks sit only metres from some of the world’s most significant dinosaur footprints, next to a Humpback Whale migratory path, and on a sacred Aboriginal Songline. The Lurajarri Trail, established by Aboriginal Elder and Order of Australia recipient, Paddy Roe, passes along here. It offers Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people from across the world a chance to learn another way of being, bridges the gap between cultures, teaches bush-tucker and bush-medicine skills, and highlights the Aboriginal understanding regarding the reciprocal nature of the relationship between humans and the earth. All of the above would’ve been destroyed if the LNG plant went ahead.

NB. A songline forms part of The Song Cycle which “…is an oral heritage map. Its songs contain codes of behaviour fundamental to sustaining the balance and well-being of the land and its people.” – Jeanne Brown, artist/environmentalist from Melbourne who has been living with the Goolarabooloo Community intermittently since 1992, invited up initially by the late Paddy Roe OAM to help with the documentation of cultural heritage, including functional plant use, significant sites, language and seasonal knowledge of place. Refer the song cycle for more info.

Advancing Storm

# 6       Advancing Storm

Jan 19, 2013: 20:33

Latitude, Longitude: -17.967657, 122.239082

Looking across Roebuck Bay from Broome. Roebuck Bay is an important migratory zone for waders (shorebirds). The bay’s wader feeding habitats and roosting sites have been identified by BirdLife International as a 928 km2 Important Bird Area (IBA).

Meandering Streams

# 7       Meandering Streams

Jan 5, 2013: 09:21

Latitude, Longitude: -16.793298, 128.28105

These beautiful meandering streams to the NE of Halls Creek will be unrecognisable when the Wet Season storms arrive, turning them into a massive river. The Kimberley has 33 of Australia’s 48 listed Wild Rivers.

Wild rivers are waterways where biological and hydrological processes continue without significant disturbance. The river systems bring nutrients and freshwater inundations into coastal saltwater bays and estuaries and provide nurseries for fish and crustaceans.

Day's End

# 8       Day’s End

April 1, 2013: 19:46

Latitude, Longitude: -17.497987, 122.147021

The sun begins its daily farewell over the monsoon vine thickets at Walmadan. The MVTs are remnant rainforest and were recently listed as ‘endangered’ under the Environmental Protection Biodiversity and Conservation Act. They form part of the sacred Songcycle for the Goolarabooloo people and have one of the highest densities of food and medicinal plants in Australia. They are also a vital source of timber for ceremonial implements and provide habitat and safe passage for the wildlife of the area.

This section pictured would’ve been destroyed by the gas plant. It was taken at the end of a Mayi (bush-tucker) walk run that day by the Goolarabooloo, the traditional custodians of this land who were always against the LNG proposal.

Iron Storm

#9        Iron Storm

Jan 5, 2013: 20:42

Latitude, Longitude: -18.244136, 127.699971

Ten minutes of ridiculously beautiful light, storm clouds and rocks converged here one evening. I was on my way to Caroline Pool, near Halls Creek (known as ‘Hells Crack’ to some), when I rounded a bend and there this was. I came to a sudden halt, shot a few frames and then soaked it up as best I could. This scene will always stay in my mind, like The Kimberley itself.

Off Limits - Ridge's Iron-Ore Mine

#10      Off Limits – Ridges Mine – a Wilderness No More

Jan 4, 2013: 18:04

Latitude, Longitude: -16.652781, 128.24897

This is KMG’s ‘Ridges Iron Ore Project’. The iron-ore is loaded into road-trains and every 20 minutes one then begins the 165 km trip to the loading yard (refer image # 2) where it is stock-piled, then conveyed to barges in Cambridge Gulf, carted upstream to waiting mother-ships and then shipped to the Hong Kong buyer. This is a relatively small-scale mining operation.

Numerous mining companies of much greater size are just waiting for a massive port to be built (by someone with the money, possibly taxpayers) in order to begin large-scale operations across The Kimberley (refer map). These operations will result in massive environmental destruction, habitat loss, species loss, cultural loss, various forms of pollution and social upheaval. Currently the northern section of The Kimberley has NO recorded mammal extinctions (unlike anywhere else in Australia). On the contrary, new species of flora and fauna are discovered on a regular basis.

The Kimberley environment has a right to exist, just as we do. We have other ways and means at our disposal.

Iron Mountain

#11      Iron Mountain

Jan 3, 2013: 20:54

Latitude, Longitude: -15.9598, 128.420048

On passing through a cutting on the Great Northern Highway, this mountain appeared to my left, amidst the savannah plains at dusk.

The Kimberley is one of the world’s last remaining savannah wilderness regions. A savannah is a grassland ecosystem characterised by the trees being sufficiently widely spaced so that the canopy does not close. The open canopy allows sufficient light to reach the ground to support an unbroken herbaceous layer consisting primarily of grasses.

Boab Cluster

#12      Boab Cluster

Jan 4, 2013: 19:16

Latitude, Longitude: -16.69979, 128.252506

On the side of the highway about 200 km NE of Halls Creek this cluster of Boabs huddled together on the savannah before the distant range. I was so taken by this scene that I pulled off onto a roadside levee where I watched them under the setting sun before sleeping there for the night.

Paradise Once Lived Here

# 13     Paradise Once Lived Here

Dec 27, 2012

Latitude, Longitude: -15.77973, 128.740239

Industrial Facility, Kununurra, far NE Kimberley.

The Bastion

#14      The Bastion

Jan 1, 2013: 21:23

Latitude, Longitude: -15.450886, 128.11904

Looking towards the mouth of the Ord River at Cambridge Gulf, far NE Kimberley.

Morning Glory

#15      Morning Glory

Apr 8, 2013: 07:55

Latitude, Longitude: -17.500548, 122.145216

Morning Glory is traditionally used as a bush medicine, a bandage of the ground vine leaves being applied as a poultice. Sections of vine could also be rubbed, bent and bruised, and then tied around the head to relieve headaches and migraines.

I slept out here on the dunes (at Walmadan, the epicentre of the proposed Liquefied Natural Gas processing plant) for about five weeks, under a star-filled sky, sometimes with an Indian Ocean breeze rolling up the dunes to keep the mozzies at bay, sometimes with the breathless humid night air which left me dripping with sweat and made me a feast for the mozzies, and occasionally with a stormy inland easterly tearing at my covers.

…………………………………………….

And here the visual and literary trip ends. That’s all folks. Really hope you enjoyed the show and thanks to you all for your involvement, whether in person or virtually. The more we all get the message out there, bit by bit, the greater the chance to keep The Kimberley wild and free.

Personally, it’s been a massive, massive, massive experience and adventure which has spanned this amazing continent over several months and about ten thousand kilometres, and which has come full circle back to Melbourne where the original realisation that ‘I must go’ occurred nearly one year ago. I’ve learned a few things along the way about nature, humanity, culture…and myself. Hopefully I’ll remember some of the more profound personal lessons and stop falling down unnecessary rabbit-holes.

In closing, I’d like to send out a big thanks to: Elder and Law Boss, Phillip Roe and The Goolarabooloo Mob – traditional custodians of the Walmadan area; The Awesome Foundation for their funding support; Tom Montgomery – the awesome painter; The Bob Brown Foundation for providing Bob; Rathdowne Cellars for greatly discounted plonk.

I’d love to hear your thoughts so please leave a comment if you’d like to.

Thanks for listening and bye for now,

Hunter G

p.s. Keep The Kimberley always in your hearts and minds. The industrial invaders are just around the corner….but before they arrive…think about helping Save The Tarkine which is under immediate threat. The Tarkine is an area of immense natural beauty in NW Tasmania but, as with The Kimberley, it is also an area of immense mineral wealth – and the mining companies are on their way.

Sales:

All Hunter’s exhibition images are available for sale in the following formats:

A) 30 x 40 cm framed prints on metallic paper;

B) 120 x 84 cm unframed prints on 160 gsm matt paper;

C) Special 100 x 70 cm framed Limited Edition prints of ‘Iron Storm’ and ‘Electrical Storm’ on metallic paper (Edition limited to 5). NB. ‘Iron Storm’ and ‘Electrical Storm’ are also available at the other sizes as an open edition as listed in A) and B) above. Please contact Hunter on 0410 757 202 or leave a reply to this post.

Tom’s watercolours are also available for sale. Contact Tom via his blog.

Images and Text Copyright Hunter G, 2013 (except where noted) and available for sale.

English: Location of the Kimberley region in A...

English: Location of the Kimberley region in Australia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

James Price Point

James Price Point Area (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Savage River Mine Pit, Tarkine

Savage River Mine Pit, Tarkine (Photo credit: Greens MPs)

Savage River

Savage River, Tarkine (Photo credit: -jell-)

tarkine

tarkine (Photo credit: howard61)

Looking towards Mt Lindsay and Parsons Hood, T...

Looking towards Mt Lindsay and Parsons Hood, Tarkine (Photo credit: Greens MPs)

Fungi detail, Mt Lindsay, Tarkine

Fungi detail, Mt Lindsay, Tarkine (Photo credit: Greens MPs)

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West Side Story – Kimberley Under Threat.

The following is taken from my colleague’s article published in The Big Issue magazine (Edition #426). Read the unedited version below.

West Side Story

With a state election looming in Western Australia on 9 March, Charlie Sublet travels to an area of The Kimberley that is under threat from a proposed Liquefied Natural Gas processing plant.

 This article contains references to Indigenous Australians who have died.

It’s 6am and I’m sitting on the dunes overlooking the vast Indian Ocean as it continues its ceaseless roll to shore. Morrning Glory, a wild vine with medicinal properties winds across the earth. Jagged rocks, burning amber under the rising sun, litter the beach. Welcome to Walmadan, an ancient and special place lined up for imminent destruction.

The Cliffs at Walmadan (James Price Point)

The Cliffs at Walmadan (James Price Point)

Walmadan (aka James Price Point) is a sacred Aboriginal area on Australia’s north-west coast, 50km north of Broome. It makes up part of the vast and pristine Kimberley region, one of the world’s last great wilderness areas. Named after the warrior, Walmadany, who fiercely protected his people against invaders, Walmadan is home to the Goolarabooloo Jabirr Jabirr Aboriginal peoples, the area’s traditional custodians. It sits on a songline – a continuous source of spiritual, cultural and physical sustenance.

Sixty-three days living in a van and 8460 km via a rambling route from Melbourne leave me here in this critically endangered place. I came because I had to, struck by a profound realisation that left me sleepless for five nights. The realisation was more ‘felt’ than rational, what some aboriginal people refer to as ‘lian’ (gut feeling). And perhaps it also reflected their belief that one’s relationship to the earth is reciprocal.

There is, however, a proposal by WA Premier Colin Barnett to build Browse LNG, the world’s largest Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) processing plant, which will destroy this songline and affect the entire Kimberley region. The plant (a joint venture involving, among others, Shell, BP and PetroChina) would cover approximately 25 square kilometres, require dredging of 34 million tonnes of seabed in a humpback whale calving area, involve 8000 workers and increase the state’s greenhouse gas emissions by 50%. It will tear apart the environmental, cultural, and social fabric of the region. Even so, Barnett has described the plant as simply “a giant refrigerator” (Q&A, ABC TV, 5 Nov 2012) and he has made his long-term intentions clear: the Kimberley will become the state’s mining hub for the next 50 years.

The Kimberley Metals Group Loading Yard at Wyndham. Inappropriately set in a sensitive mangrove and mudflat ecosystem.

The Kimberley Metals Group Loading Yard at Wyndham. Inappropriately set in a sensitive mangrove and mudflat ecosystem.

A recent New York Times article listed the Kimberley as one of the world’s top destinations, while also noting the grave threat from mining. If this proposal is passed, the resulting port will provide a massive incentive to mining corporations to enter the region. In the past decade there has already been a 500% increase in mining applications here.

This is a matter of international significance, like the ‘No Dams’ Franklin campaign of the 80’s which fortunately resulted in that hidden gem being saved and listed as a United Nations World Heritage Area.

The Kimberley is extremely rich in environmental and cultural elements, including geological wonders such as the Bungle Bungle, wild rivers, rainforests, pristine coastline, extensive rock art and incredible wildlife. In the northern Kimberley, unlike anywhere else in Australia, there are no recorded mammal extinctions, and new species of flora and fauna are continually being discovered.

The Kimberley’s beauty and significance go way beyond the visual and verbal. It is profound. It contains a space that enables one to fully relax and to experience a connection to something far, far greater than any of us. There exists a deep sense of belonging and calm in its wildness.

South Central Kimberley

South Central Kimberley

Twenty-five years ago, Aboriginal elder Paddy Roe created the 82 km Lurujarri Heritage Trail, which runs through Walmadan. It was Roe’s vision to share his culture and heritage with non-Aboriginals to foster understanding and reconciliation. Thousands of people have since walked this trail. Roe, now deceased, received an Order of Australia Medal, yet his legacy and many of his ancestors’ graves are at serious risk of being desecrated. Woodside were recently given approval to “excavate, destroy, damage, conceal or in any way alter” the area despite it being recognised under the Aboriginal Heritage Act. Imagine a similar activity at sacred graves of Anglo-Australians – war hero Weary Dunlop, perhaps, or sporting legend Don Bradman. It wouldn’t happen.

If the project goes ahead, the trail, Walmadan and the songline will be destroyed. A songline is a continuous living cycle that cannot exist in divided physical parts. 40,000 – 60000 years of sustainable and ongoing existence, and millions of years of environmental creation, would be destroyed for Barnett’s grand FIFTY-YEAR VISION – to see The Kimberley region become the industrial backbone of WA.

Camping at Walmadan for a week, I discovered it is not the “unremarkable piece of coastline” that Barnett claims it to be. His description stinks of cynicism and ignorance. He’s trying to pull the wool over the Australian public’s collective eye by exploiting the fact that the area is relatively unknown due to its remote location. It is reminiscent of the past Tasmanian Premier, Robin Grey, who described The Franklin River as a “leech-ridden ditch”. NB. Post his political career, Grey became director of Gunns Ltd (famous for wood-chipping Tasmania’s old-growth forests).

Walmadan is overflowing with life and culture. I encountered white-bellied sea eagles, goannas, snakes, petrified trees, infant coral reefs, dinosaur footprints, and a plethora of intertidal sea-life. I walked with traditional owner and law boss Phillip Roe (grandson of Paddy), who pointed out remnant grinding stones, axe heads, red ochre, sea turtle bones, human bones, ancestral graves, middens, and numerous plants providing bush tucker and medicine that helped sustain the world’s oldest living culture for aeons. The environmental and cultural wealth at Walmadan is anything but unremarkable.

Remnant Stone Axehead. Walmadan

Remnant Stone Axehead. Walmadan

There are two alternative options that would save the environment, culture, community AND money. A Citigroup analysis stated it would be $15 billion cheaper to pipe the gas to existing infrastructure in the Pilbara. And the option of offshore processing on a floating LNG plant would save $9 billion. Yet Premier Barnett continues to demand that it go ahead at Walmadan and is now actively campaigning against the floating facility. There is a seeping stench of an unrestrained ego desperate to be remembered for industrialising The Kimberley.

In addition to these issues, there exists a growing list of unethical and possibly illegal practices. Of major concern is the action taken by the WA Environment Protection Authority to change a regulation to enable the EPA Board to make decisions even if only one board member is eligible. When Woodside’s proposal was then submitted, four of the five board members withdrew due to conflicts of interest, and the one remaining member approved the proposal last July. Traditional owner Richard Hunter and the Wilderness Society of WA are challenging this in the courts.

With the state election approaching, the main parties have detailed their positions: Barnett’s Liberal Party is steadfast in his mission; Labor wants Walmadan to be the development site but is willing for the gas to be piped to the Pilbara; the Greens are the only party entirely opposed to the Walmadan option. Woodside is obliged to make a final decision by 30 June.

Walmadany the Warrior once protected his people and the songline. Now it is up to the people of Waldaman, and beyond, to safeguard the Kimberley from the exploitative hand of new invaders.

Lightning Strikes, Cambridge Gulf, Wyndham

Lightning Strikes, Cambridge Gulf, Wyndham

Charlie Sublet, photographer and writer, is a regular contributor to The Big Issue. For more of Charlie’s work, and for information, visit charliesublet.com, environskimberley.org.au, broomenogas.org and goolarabooloo.org.au.

While concerned by some significant editorial changes, the author is grateful to The Big Issue for publishing this piece at such short notice. Charlie Sublet has always chosen to supply his images and text to The Big Issue instead of any other magazines/newspapers because of The Big Issue‘s focus on social issues and its relative lack of offensive commercial advertising which can be found all through most magazines, newspapers, TV and radio stations.

Images and Text, Copyright Charlie Sublet and Hunter G, 2013

Silver City Bits

Hi folks,

finally the car is fixed after some fuel filter issues – although I’ll believe when i see it…..40 kms out of town and nearly a full tank compared to the 1/4 tank i used up during the last attempt to leave!

You’ll be pleased to hear that The Palace (Marios) Hotel of Priscilla fame IS open again…and lookin’ damn fine. And anyone who ever went to The Union Hotel in Fitzroy, Melbourne will be surprised to hear that the world’s best barmaid, Sarah (who worked at The Union and who is always really friendly and attentive) is now managing the joint. I hung there last night for a while but unfortunately no pics (too jacked off with car issues). Was going to leave town today but am tempted to perhaps spend another evening at The Palace. ‘Mmmm.

Anyway, in the meantime I wanted to upload a few pics from The Silver City.

You know when you’ve arrived in The Silver City when you see all the Tonka toys lying around…

Tonka Toys

Tonka Toys

Tonka Tyres

Tonka Tyres

Moonrise over Broken Hill

Moonrise over Broken Hill

Moonrise over Broken Hill

Moonrise over Broken Hill

Moonrise over Broken Hill

Moonrise over Broken Hill

A Tree which Thinks It's a Pole

A Tree which Thinks It’s a Pole

I love the chemical and matellic street names around town: Argent, Iodide, Kaolin, Sulphide, Chloride, Bromide, Mica, Oxide, Cobalt…..

The Main St: Argent St

The Main St: Argent St

Packsaddle - 168 kms

Packsaddle – 168 kms

The road outta town to Packsaddle. I’ll go there one day. I didn’t go there this time – but love the name. Was actually looking for the old abandoned drive-in that I photographed last time I was here. No such luck finding it this night – the big old funky ‘Now Showing’ sign may have been removed.

‘Mmmm, maybe I tampered with this one, below, a little. What’s the missing word? Either way, pretty uninviting façade.

Broken Housewives Association

Broken Housewives Association

Corro Iron Addiction - modern version

Corro Iron Addiction – modern version

On the other hand there are some really characterful houses and buildings around…

Denley Butchers

Denley Butchers

I love this joint

I love this joint

Funky Church

Funky Church

Civic Building

Civic Building

Corro Addiction - Old School Style

Corro Addiction – Old School Style

…and big wide streets, some beautifully gum-lined like this one, and others rolling up and down, up and down…

Gummed-lined Street

Gummed-lined Street

Lots of fun rolling hills around town

Lots of fun rolling hills around town

Broken Earth Restaurant - atop the old slag heap.

Broken Earth Restaurant – atop the massive old slag heap.

Street Scene

Street Scene – with Broken Earth visible atop the slag heap.

And I love towns where there are empty lots and the local kids use them as playgrounds and cut-throughs. Plenty of these around…

Shortcut through empty block

Shortcut through empty block

Stormy Sky

Stormy Sky

Night Storm CloudsOver The Musicians' Club

Night Storm Clouds Over The Musicians’ Club

What an incredible avante-garde exhibition!

What an incredible avante-garde exhibition – Tony Town Ace reflected in the glass!

Moon Rimlighting Clouds

Moon Rimlighting Clouds

Da Moon, Da Moon

Da Moon, Da Moon

…great excuse to include some of The Mighty Boosh….

Unity - Friendship

Unity – Friendship

The Golf Course! Seriously.

The Golf Course! Seriously.

Romance of The Swag

Romance of The Swag

…Haven’t used my swag yet, It’s been too damn hot most nights.

even the tolet block is funky

even the tolet block is funky

Lovin the Lines

Lovin the Lines

Christmas Lights at Dusk

Christmas Lights at Dusk

…This one festooned house was the one and only, overlooking part of South Broken Hill.

Rob ex 'Top End Meats'

Rob ex ‘Top End Meats’

Rob (and daughters??) ex ‘Top End Meats’. Sat morning fundraiser for colleague’s ill daughter. Great fella.

Rob ex 'Top End Meats'

Rob ex ‘Top End Meats’

Old BHP Site-Office Remains

Old BHP Site-Office Remains

…Let’s hope the Woodside proposal for James Price Point (Walmadan) leaves just as little impact. BHP is one of the minor joint-venture partners. Other partners include BP and Shell, who are pushing for the much more appropriate and economically viable floating liquified natural gas processing platform out at sea.

Is this Hunter G?

Is this Hunter G?

…not sure, but this is Andrew, the RAA (RACV) man with the tiny fine-tuning spanner….

Andrew The RAA (RACV) man with the fine-tuning spanners

Andrew The RAA (RACV) man.

Pro Hart's Grave with Dragon Fly

Pro Hart‘s Grave with Dragon Fly

Pro Hart’s grave, with design of Dragon Fly etched into stone, gets a visit from the real thing (hovering in the above pic and landed on the RH wing in pic below). The grave-stone was designed in this way to imitate the sheen and reflections one often finds on still waters over which dragon flies like to explore and hover. Even the real dragon fly itself is reflected in the watery stone in the image above.

Pro Hart's Grave with Dragon Fly

Pro Hart’s Grave with Dragon Fly

The following was part of a long and enjoyable encounter with a local (who will remain anonymous at this stage – if you’re out there and see this, let me know if i can insert your name) who left his mark outside the Anglican church on his wedding day – a set of burn-out marks from one of his many powerful motorbikes. No surprise, the bride’s father (a very religious man) was NOT AT All impressed and demanded the groom clean them off – that was a few year’s ago!

Religious Skid Marks

Religious Skid Marks

Anglican Church

Anglican Church – complete with the infamous markings, an ongoing reminder to the devoted.

Ok, that’s all folks…for the moment. Thanks for dropping in. Bye for now, Hunter G

Images and Text Copyright Hunter G, 2012 and available for sale (FREE for not-for-profit activities – so spread the word widely – just include a link to this blog). All profits from sales will be re-invested in Save The Kimberley activities.

URGENT CALL TO ACTION – ONLY FOUR DAYS LEFT. Please ACT NOW

It’s seriously a disgrace what Woodside has just tried to do secretively. Please read on and do what you can. Thanks.

URGENT CALL TO ACTION – ONLY FOUR DAYS LEFT…

OR ELSE THE WOODSIDE PROPOSAL COULD BE APPROVED BY THE STATE GOVERNMENT WITHIN WEEKS, before the Federal Environment Minister has even had a chance to consider whether or not to to approve the contentious Browse LNG Strategic Assessment.

C/- WILDERNESS SOCIETY…

We have just four days left to appeal Woodside’s sneaky plans to avoid
environmental assessment of the gas hub at James Price Point. Please make a
submission to tell the government “No assessment? No way!”

We were shocked to discover on Wednesday that the West Australian
Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has secretively released a request
from Woodside for its gas plant at James Price Point to be exempt from
environmental assessment!

What’s worse, the EPA allowed just seven days for public feedback on this
request, so we must act quickly.

Make a submission to the government insisting that Woodside play by the
rules.

If Woodside’s application is granted, the project will receive ‘derived
proposal’ status and be allowed to bypass any environmental assessment –
meaning the gas hub could be approved by the state government within weeks, before the Federal Environment Minister has even had a chance to consider whether or not to to approve the contentious Browse LNG Strategic
Assessment.

This latest attempt to circumvent due process is typical of the collusion
and cynicism that has plagued the Kimberley gas hub proposal from the very
beginning. It’s crucial that we show Woodside and the West Australian
government that the Australian people won’t stand for it.

ACT TODAY:

1. Read this simple two-page summary as a guide to your submission.

2. Use this online form to make a submission to the EPA.

3. Share this message via email, on Facebook, or using Twitter.

Thanks so much for your support at this critical time,

The Kimberley Team.

A New World Beckons – Save The Kimberley

Hi folks,

This blog came to life due to an extremely ugly proposal by an extremely greedy and ugly-spirited man, WA Premier, Colin Barnett, and his main partner in crime, Woodside Petroleum. They plan to build Australia’s (and possibly The World’s) biggest LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) processing plant in one of the world’s last great remaining wilderness regions, The Kimberley, in far NW Australia.

But don’t worry, the blog won’t be full of hard-core political pieces – only an occasional rant. Mostly it will be a light-hearted and informative documentation of my crossing of this vast and ridiculously beautiful and varied country, Australia, from Melbourne in the SE to Broome, at the opposite corner in the NW. And here’s  a mud-map for the geographically-challenged amongst you….

Once in Broome I intend to do whatever I can to help out the courageous locals who have been fighting a very draining fight against their State Government and a huge Mutli-National Corporation for the last seven years.

So please join me on the trip and do whatever you can (however small) to help stop this disastrous proposal. Visit http://www.kimberleycampaigner.com for some simple ideas on how you can help stop this madness.

And in the meantime I would love to hear your thoughts and comments about….anything at all, really: Perhaps a response to something I post or maybe one of your random, long-lost epiphanies that suddenly reappear from the recesses of your vast and complicated mind. I’d love to hear them all as it can get a tad isolating out in the middle of a the second driest continent on Earth.

For those that would like a little more serious background before we set off on the adventure, read on below. And for those who start feeling sick in the stomach at the slightest thought of reading anything remotely serious or political, I suggest you skip to the next entry.

But before any of you go, I’d love your help naming my mighty van that is also my  mobile home for the coming months. Here he/she is

It’s a Toyota Town Ace, and boy will it be getting some out-of-town ace action, especially if I take the legendary Oodnadatta and Tanami Tracks as hoped. So far I’ve thought of Tony or Tina as in ‘Tony Town Ace’ or ‘Tina Town Ace’, but I’d love to hear your thoughts. And it’d be great to name my new mobile home soon as I’m actually already 10 days into the trip (won’t tell you where yet, you’ll have to come back) and wouldn’t want it to suffer an identity crisis like me (I went nameless for 6 months post birth….and some of you have seen how I’ve turned out).

So now, farewell to you sensitive folk. Hope to see you at my next post. Bye for now, Hunter G.

Ok, those of you still here for the heavier details, the following is an altered version of a short piece I recently wrote for the Abbotsford Convent newsletter.

‘All Roads Lead to Broome’

“Can you tell me how you would feel if the church you went to all your life, the church that you sang at with your parents, your grandparents, the church that your grandparents and your great-grandparents are buried at, how would you feel if that church was bulldozed and had a gas plant built on it? How would you feel about that because that’s exactly what’s happening to my friend Joseph.” … A question to Colin Barnett from Jon Butler Trio, a well-known music band. Joseph Roe is the Law Boss and custodian for the Northern Tradition and the Goolarabooloo people. Colin Barnett is the Premier of Western Australia.

Shortly, Hunter G will be rolling across our country searching for forgotten things from lost worlds. Cutting a diagonal path across this vast continent, Hunter is ultimately bound for Broome, in Western Australia.

Why Broome? Because it’s just north of there that Woodside Petroleum is planning to build Australia’s biggest ever Gas Processing Plant, equivalent in size to 21 Melbourne CBDs. The exact site, Walmadan (a.k.a. James Price Point), is in the SW of the incredible Kimberley region, a vast wilderness rich in many things, but to the financially powerful with an insatiable appetite, rich in the most prized possessions of all – fossil fuels and minerals.

There are hundreds of sites dotted around The Kimberley that have been earmarked as potentially lucrative in this manner. Woodside’s proposed development at Walmadan is only one of them, but it is a big one, a very big one. It is expected to bring in 6000 – 8000 workers to process LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) and will play a very significant and, in a growing number of peoples’ minds, devastating role in the continued industrialisation of the relatively untouched Kimberley.

For anyone who has not been to The Kimberley, it is impossible to accurately describe its beauty and significance. If this project goes ahead it will destroy Broome as we know it within a very, very short time and in perhaps three decades will devastate the entire Kimberley region due to various flow-on effects. Simply on an environmental level, it is extremely important to protect this region from industrialisation. It is one of the last great remaining wilderness regions in the world and there are many alternative options with respect to building a gas processing plant.

A protest movement has been building over the last 7 years to try to stop this development. In recent months the protests have grown more rapidly as the deadline draws near (Woodside is expected to make a final decision in the first six months of 2013). The protest is about so much more than the already significant environmental concerns. It is about the devastating long-term impacts on the social, cultural and spiritual fabric of the region. If this plant goes ahead it WILL lead to the opening up of more and more areas of The Kimberley to the destructive impact of industrialisation, particularly due to the seaport which is part of this current proposal and which would create huge incentive for other developments due to the export opportunities and cost savings resulting from a pre-existing port.

Saving The Kimberley is bigger even than the Tasmanian Franklin river campaign 30 years ago. Both areas are relatively out of sight and out of mind to mainstream Australia due to their remote locations. And as a direct result, both were opportunistically described by their respective State Premiers in very unflattering and misleading terms: Colin Barnett described the relevant Kimberley coastline as “an unremarkable piece of coastline.”; and the former Tasmanian Premier, Robin Gray (if my memory serves me correctly), described the incredibly beautiful and dramatic Franklin River as nothing but “a leech-ridden ditch.”

But we can all take great hope from the Franklin protest campaign (people of my vintage and older may remember the triangular green ‘No Dams’ stickers. I was 12 at the time.) and the more recent great examples of community protest over many years such as the one that lasted about nine years but saved the Abbotsford Convent in Melbourne and created a public arts precinct instead of a private apartment development.

Please do anything and everything you can to stop this current bout of madness from leading to the destruction of one of the most significant areas of wilderness in the world. Visit http://www.savethekimberley.com/ or The Wilderness Society’s dedicated site, http://www.kimberleycampaigner.com/about/history/ for some background info and simple ideas on how you can help. Please help save this priceless gem.

Thanks for listening. I hope you enjoy the journey. Thanks and bye for now, Hunter G. xo