Sunday, February 28, 2010

Walmadan's Coral Reefs and Marine Gardens

“We know more about the surface of Mars than we know about the Kimberley Marine Environment”. Turning the Tide, WA Marine Science Institute 2009.

On 9 February 2010 the Western Australian Marine Science Institution and the Australian Marine Sciences Association WA branch held the Marine science in Western Australia: Show and tell symposium. Over 230 researchers attended the Western Australian Maritime Museum at Fremantle.

WAMSI Chief Executive Officer Steve Blake said marine research was a vital prerequisite to answer questions about the survival of coral reefs, climate change, the future of marine species, food webs, fisheries, tsunamis, extinctions, warming temperatures and ocean acidification.

Speakers discussed the dazzling array of new corals being discovered in the Kimberley region, the presence of heavy metals, tsunami warning systems, ocean temperature and current speed forecasting, the impact of coastal developments, fisheries biology, social uses, dredging of ports, the discovery of new sponges, environmental pests (there are 55 known to impact WA waters), monitoring estuaries, and how particles and larvae are being distributed by the Leeuwin Current.

On the highest tide for Feb 2009, this photo video was filmed on the exact location for the proposed Jetty for the proposed Kimberley LNG and where the mascara of pipe – lines will be laid. One of the amazing things about the Kimberley tides is that there is no need to have access to a boat in order for people to experience the beauty and the biodiversity of the Kimberley coral reefs. On low tides people can view this marine wonderland by foot, by walking around these coral reef pools and ocean ponds.

It is reasonable to claim that there is little too no information about the distributions of perennial sea grass meadows and sponge gardens along the coastal strip from Walmandan - Kundandu and Murdudan.

There is very limited data on ephemeral sea grasses, and mangals, no data on other important benthic communities such as coral reefs, filter-feeders, stromatolites, subtidal reef platforms, beaches, rocky shore or intertidal shoreline reef. Although marine ecological communities are of high conservation value our understanding of their distributions is very limited.

The spatial scale of the existing marine benthic habitat at the proposed LNG location (this will require more study than a day visit to the site on neap tides, in October) needs to be mapped, in an adequate scale in order to provide a convincing argument that the following activities will have no detrimental effects to this marine environment:

• Explosive excavation during construction,
• 24/7 dredging shipping channel: sedimentation, siltation, turbidity & reduced water quality.
• Change to the chemistry local water with construction of breakwater.
• Changes to the bottom topography, composition and nutrient flow due to tidal scoring
• Major alterations of the alongshore current flow, with changes to the available food regimes

Not to mention:
Collected waste water, sewage, grey water, rainwater runoff from contaminated areas, machinery washdown water, brine from the desalination process, marine discharges, terrestrial wastes and discharges, noise and vibration, sediment deposition and turbidity, invasive marine species, vessel movements and massive changes to the coastline.

There is a great need to improve both our understanding of the distribution and diversity not only of this particular coral reef community but the Kimberley coral reef system in total. There is also a greater educational role needed to ensure that people are made aware of their existence and importance to the marine environment.

KLC Executive Director Wayne Bergmann has been quoted as saying “that the coral reef at James Price Point (Walmandam) is dead”.
Redhand would like to suggest he goes with his children for a walk, this coming Tuesday, on low tide, at James Price Point and see for himself, the dead reef, the dead fish, dead crabs, dead corals and the dead people fishing there.

Redhand is very thankfull to Murranji photography,Broome for their photos.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Legal challenge against the "farcical" process of the Kimberley Land Council

Mr Roe, whose Goolarabooloo community are claimants to the area around James Price Point, said Mr Bergman from Kimberley Land Council, was wrong to claim that a majority of the Jabir Jabir group supported the development. He vowed to stop the plant, blaming Mr Bergman for what he claims is bitter feuding over the issue within Kimberley communities. "My own family members are drawing lines between me and the gas plant and I blame the man who is supposed to be representing me,"

"This is not a bluff. I'm talking about my country, my culture, my heritage, my spirituality. "Generations before my grandfather had the body of knowledge to carry on the culture. "I was told to look after it in the best way I can and I will never let that (gas plant) happen.


Albert Wiggan; the voice of Indigenous Australia today, speaking about the future of his country and his people at the launch of the Murray Wilcox Kimberley at the Crossroad in Sydney last week. A father, proud and active in culture, a sound business man bilingual in matters of black and white fellah politics. This is a man of great integrity . Hear him!!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Unremarkable bit of coast line

It is partly to avoid consciousness of greed that we prefer to associate with those who are at least as greedy as we ourselves. Those who consume much less are a reproach.

I believe that the inadequacies of the Western Australia State government are hidden beneath a web of lies of half-truths, and by confusing the public through corrupting official statistics, hollow reports and talk of processes that are inherently fraudulent and biased. Through such measures, the whole of society finds itself dishonored and infantilised by its inability to talk straight.

We have come to expect dishonesty – of which this little lie was an example – at every level of society. The dishonesty is intellectual, moral and financial, and its root is self-interest conceived in the narrowest possible way. In our modern day, probity is seen as foolishness or, worse still, naivety. I believe this corrupts the entire fabric of our community and society. When dignity requires illegality, there must be something really rotten in the state.

Both Federal and state governments and all their authorities have been deceiving the Broome and the Dampier Peninsula communities for the last two years about the size, the location and the true social, economic and environmental damages and real costs associated with the proposed biggest LNG precinct in the world, at James Price Point (somewhere). And the culture of lies, the moral and financial, social and environmental corruption that this proposal has already cultivated, is inconceivable. It started at the top and it spreads downwards. If the state lies, cheats and collects money for services it fails to provide, why can't the average person on the street do the same thing?

I came to the conclusion that the purpose of the current WA government's propaganda on LNG is not to persuade or convince, nor to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponds to reality the better. When people remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity.
One’s standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect as it intended to.

Soon we shall all write in a decaffeinated language: We shall obediently repeat all the benign mantras such as: worlds best practice, comprehensive studies, rigorous investigations, not a tick the box exercise and some of the shorter versions like open dialogue, accountability, transparency, community consultation, reconciliation and of cause equality. Do we really prefer safety above freedom or are we already locked in a state of voluntary bondage?

One could claim that serving the occasional lie or half-truth is the very nature of politics, since human beings frequently prefer to hear pleasant lies over unpleasant truths. Perhaps, but it becomes a serious problem when such lies have become endemic, when every political statement and media report is steeped in them and when the very structure of society will collapse if these lies are not upheld. By then, reality has been reduced to a mirage, faithfully reproduced and projected by the servants of the state on a daily basis out into the public arena of deception.

At the end of the day, the cause matters less than the result: The WA state government’s lies are pushing our community into a direction that we as a community do not wish to travel.

How are we going to deal with this culture of lies and a hostile state? I don’t know. But the residents of Dampier Peninsula will have to find the answer to that question sooner than later.

The earth we abuse and the living things we kill will, in the end, take their revenge; for in exploiting their presence we are diminishing our future.