May 11, 2012
Woodside jack-up barges could be on the verge of destroying National Heritage listed dinosaur footprints on the Kimberley coast today, according to information provided to conservation group Environs Kimberley. Woodside have not referred their proposal to Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke for approval.
The Australian Heritage Council describes the dinosaur footprints as follows:
“The Broome Sandstone tracks along the Dampier Coast are the best record of dinosaurs from the western half of the continent and the large number and variety of tracks in a range of depositional settings provides an otherwise unobtainable census of dinosaur populations and communities.
“The Broome Sandstone tracks are therefore one of the most taxonomically diverse dinosaur track sites known anywhere in the world and certainly the most diverse in Australia.”
A report provided by the company shows that the drilling, which starts today, is to take place right up against the boundary of the National Heritage Listed area in which dinosaur footprints are known to occur. Broome based conservation group Environs Kimberley is concerned that Woodside is drilling too close to the National Heritage boundary, in an area where no surveys have taken place.
"We are shocked that Woodside has not referred this project to the Federal Government, given that they are proposing to drill in such a sensitive site and as far as we know could be right on top of dinosaur footprints,” Environs Kimberley Director Martin Pritchard said.
“The National Heritage boundary consists of the Intertidal Areas between Highest and Lowest Astronomical Tide, according to the government’s maps, and Woodside’s maps show they will be working very close to this area, and possibly within it, which is outrageous,” said Peter Robertson of the Wilderness Society.
“Woodside should stop work and refer this project to the Federal Minister for the Environment, Tony Burke, before any damage is done to a National Heritage listed area,” said Mr Pritchard.
Martin Pritchard Environs Kimberley – 0427 548 075
Peter Robertson The Wilderness Society – 0409 089 020
The National Heritage boundary consists of the Intertidal Areas between Highest and Lowest Astronomical Tide, according to their maps. However, Woodside have redefined the Heritage Boundaries to suit themselves.
National Heritage List Boundary West Kimberley