Worldwide environmental groups threw their support behind Kimberley groups fighting the proposed gas precinct at James Price Point today with a united front in Broome.
A "statement of global support" signed by 25 international conservation groups including Sierra Club, Friends of the Earth and Cetacean Society International, each representing millions of members, warned of "severe and irreversible" impacts on the environment if the project went ahead.
Comparing the Kimberley with the Amazon and the Great Barrier Reef, the group warned of the risk to humpback whales, flatback turtles, dugongs and snub-nosed dolphins, as well as the environmental risks of million tonnes a year of greenhouse gas emissions and destruction caused by dredging.
The group claimed the project risked toxic accidents like the oil spills off the Kimberley coast and Gulf of Mexico and said allowing it to proceed would give the green light to companies keen to exploit the region's coal, bauxite and uranium deposits.
Turtle Island Restoration Network director Teri Shore, of California, delivered the statement in person, after a week monitoring flatback turtle activity in Broome and surrounds.
She said the Kimberley environment was globally significant and warranted long-term protection, not industrialisation. More work was also needed to establish the extent of threatened species populations, she said.
"Clearly, this is an important habitat for marine turtles, whales and seabirds it takes at least several sea turtle nesting cycles to get any idea of a population, so a lot more work needs to be done," she said.
"My goal is to sound the alarm around the world this is just the first step."
Ms Shore said there were viable site alternatives which had not seriously been considered by the WA Government, but admitted she had not finished reading the State's strategic impact assessment for the project.
The coalition would respond to the SAR during the public comment period, she said.
Environs Kimberley spokesman Martin Pritchard welcomed the international support."Companies like Shell, BP, BHP, Chevron and Woodside can no longer get away with threatening magnificent remote places like the Kimberley anymore without the rest of the world knowing," he said.
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