What would you do if you opposed a proposed development in your state? Tell your mates? Write a letter? Attend a protest? Cycle from Perth to Broome?
In August last year, that’s what a group of dedicated volunteers decided to do in order to raise awareness of Woodside Petroleum’s plan to build the worlds largest liquid natural gas (LNG) processing plant at James Price Point, located sixty kilometers north of Broome. On tandem bicycles, the group rode non-stop in pairs approximately 2400 kilometres in five days, motivated by their shared desire to protect this area of the Kimberley coast.
Last night was the opening night of a photography exhibition that also aims to raise awareness of this environmental and political issue. ‘The Power and the Passion’, a collection of works by Christian Fletcher (2011 Australian and West Australian Landscape photographer of the year), Ingetje Tadros, Nigel Gaunt, Rod Hartvigsen, David Bettini, Fleming Bo Jensen, Adam Monk, Jim Delios and Jeff Skinner, ‘highlights…the power of the Kimberley landscape and the passion of the people fighting to protect it, taking you on a journey from the passion of the blockade through to…the beauty of James Price Point.’
With speeches and live music from 6.30pm, the Perth Town Hall was transformed into a gallery that mimicked a protest site – yellow and black ‘do not cross’ tape crisscrossed the space and audio and visual footage of the clash between Woodside workers, police officers, environmental protesters and locals was also presented. Portraits of people involved in the fight were exhibited alongside images of the Kimberley coast in its rugged, relentless beauty. Ochre cliffs, turquoise bays, humpback whales, turtles, birds and flora that many West Australians might not have ever witnessed firsthand were a perfect example of how pictures truly can encapsulate a message in a more immediate, emotive way than words can convey.
All the photographs are available for purchase, with all funds raised (less printing and postage costs) being shared between The Wilderness Society, Environs Kimberley and Save The Kimberley, lobby groups fighting fiercely to influence the State and Federal Australian Government to reject the proposal.
Whether you are an environmentalist, like to keep up to date with developments in your state or just want to see some gorgeous photographs, you can view ‘The Power and the Passion’ daily for free from Saturday March 31 until Wednesday April 11 from 10:00am-4:00pm (excluding public holidays).
By Lisa Morrison.