Saturday, May 24, 2014

Killing The Kimberley, One Coal Mine At A Time |

Killing The Kimberley, One Coal Mine At A Time |

By Anne Poelina

The underground coal mine is to be located on a remote pastoral station, almost 200km south east of Derby, in a region of the Kimberley — the Fitzroy Valley — renowned for its diversity and beauty. It’s also to be situated just kilometres from the banks of the mighty Fitzroy River, or as it is known to my people — Mardoowarra, meaning "living water".

The Mardoowarra is the lifeblood of the Kimberley, sustaining one of the last great wilderness areas left on the planet. Mardoowarra flows from the hill country past the Great Sandy Desert, through the tropical savannah to the saltwater mangroves on the coast. The entire river was added to the Australian National Heritage list in 2011, and the site ear-marked for mining is home to 35 wildlife species of conservation priority, such as the critically endangered Biyal Biyal (giant freshwater sawfish).

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