Friday, December 12, 2008

Missy Higgins sings for the Kimberley

Article from: The Australian,25197,24789726-16947,00.html

AUSTRALIAN pop star Missy Higgins has given an internet-only performance from her new home town of Broome to highlight the threat to the Kimberley region from industrialisation.

Iain Shedden, Music writer | December 12, 2008

The award-winning singer from Sydney moved to Broome a year ago and says her new environment has inspired her songwriting.

Higgins, 25, wrote half of her second album, On A Clear Night, in her adopted home town.

``I know that there are plans for some serious industrialisation up in the Kimberley coast,'' she says in the seven-minute film clip.

On Thursday 500 local residents attended a Save the Kimberley rally in Broome to protest against WA premier Colin Barnett's proposals for the compulsory purchase of land in the Kimberley region for industrial development.

The previous day, Mr Barnett revealed to local business leaders his plan to forcibly acquire land from Aboriginal people in the Kimberley that would provide the site for a gas-processing precinct.

``We can't just let the oil and the gas companies come and destroy this beautiful land," Higgins says. "This is a criminal thing to do to this part of the country. It's just wrong.''

The clip also shows Higgins making her first public performance in Broome, singing her song Going North at a local bar.

She explains that the song is about going to Broome and also about standing up for what you believe in.

``The Kimberley has something really powerful and special about it,'' Higgins says.

``It gets under your skin. I felt a connection there to my country that I didn't feel in the city.

``It has taught me a real respect for the land and for my country that I never really apppreciated before.''

Higgins, who left Australia this week to perform in the US, has been expanding her career while in Broome.

She is one of the musicians with an acting role in director Rachael Perkins's film Bran Nue Day (should be Dae).

The feature film, starring Geoffrey Rush, Deborah Mailman and Tom Budge, is being shot in and around the town.

As Redhand has said before, there are around 34,000 people who live in the Kimberley, 15,000 who live in Broome and less than 2,000 who live on the Dampier Peninsula where North Head and James Price Point are located. We need help from around Australia and from around the world to protest the Western Australian State Government's planned compulsory acquisition of land for an LNG gas hub/precinct which will cause vast environmental damage and social dislocation of community.

Support from more people like Missy Higgins is needed - and appreciated.

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