Development or poverty. What a choice! How do you pick one over the other? Well, some people are green ideologues who think anything humans touch turn to crap, and others are smart, like Warren Mundine.
FORMER ALP national president Warren Mundine and wealthy Perth dealmaker John Poynton are behind a plan to promote indigenous investment by building a $600 million port near the Kimberley town of Derby to service the massive offshore oil and gas industry.
[…]The plan is being driven by an Azure director, indigenous leader Clinton Wolf, and forms part of the bank’s efforts to identify investment opportunities that would benefit Aborigines and involve them as shareholders.
[…]He became a director because he wanted to ensure that any development benefited Aborigines. “This is about closing the gap, it’s about Aboriginal people having skin in the game,” (Mundine) said. “This type of project needs to go ahead otherwise you will keep people in poverty.”
Wonderful! So, what’s the problem?
But the plan could spark a fresh stoush with green groups over the industrialisation of the Kimberley, which boasts vast unexplored deposits of coal, bauxite, uranium and iron ore that could one day be shipped out through a new port.
A supply base at Point Torment, 30km north of Derby, would be aimed initially at servicing Woodside Petroleum’s planned $40 billion Browse liquefied natural gas project near Broome, which has attracted opposition from environmentalists who say the Kimberley should remain undeveloped.
West Australian Greens MP Robin Chapple said any development at Point Torment, which he described as a pristine piece of coastline, would be “another nail in the coffin for the Kimberley”.
Mr Chapple called on West Australian Premier Colin Barnett to reject the plan. “It flies in the face of what the Premier has said — that we wouldn’t have any further industrialisation of the Kimberley,” he said.
In Australia, we have some of the highest living standards in the world. We really are a lucky country. Yet, in some of the more remote communities, there are shocking levels of poverty and disadvantage. Developments such as these provide Indigenous people with the means to escape poverty, and the environmentalists are protesting this. In the past they have resorted to racism to oppose similar developments.
Andrew Bolt notes the size of the Kimberley, which is 18% larger than Germany. Why must we dedicate ourselves to preserving every part of it, especially when so many people are in poverty? It’s not like the whole place is going to disappear. The value in the tourism industry up north, provided private property/Aboriginal land rights are protected, will ensure it is preserved.