#022 After James Price Point

History Repeating or Watershed, with Environs Kimberley Director Martin Pritchard


Martin Pritchard is Executive Director of Environs Kimberley (EK). He and his team were central to the successful campaign to prevent what could have been the largest LNG plant in the world, at James Price Point (Walmadan) just north of Broome. 

Martin Pritchard & Anthony James at Town Beach in Broome. Pic: Olivia Cheng.

Martin Pritchard & Anthony James at Town Beach in Broome. Pic: Olivia Cheng.

The North Kimberley is the only place in Australia which is still has a full suite of mammals that were here prior to European occupation, you know, it is really a jewel in the Australian landscape. And so, the indigenous rangers there, the Wunambal Gaambera mob, they’re doing an incredible job in looking after that country and they’re making a living from it.
— Martin Pritchard

It was a celebrated outcome around the country, but in many ways was just the tip of the iceberg of ‘old industry’ plans for the region. With 40,000+ fracking wells slated for the area, is the future to be an endless succession of ‘James Price Points’? Or are we headed for a watershed moment that sees a shift to a new, non-extractive, regenerative economy? 

Martin sees the possibilities for the latter in numerous nascent industries, burgeoning Aboriginal enterprise, and a different way of looking at life, country and economy that the Kimberley and its inhabitants inspire. This unique region has massive swathes of country that haven’t experienced a single extinction since colonisation. In so many ways, what happens next here really matters. 

So what’s the vision for the future? What’s working now? How are the various powerful – at times opposing - interests engaged? And what is needed to develop the new economy for this unique region and beyond?



Rain Dancing, by the Pigram Brothers.

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