Environment groups ask Environment Minister Tony Burke to protect National Heritage listed dinosaur footprints in Kimberley from Woodside
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.
Dr. Steve Salisbury from the University of Queensland told AAP on Wednesday that Woodside's proposed geotechnical survey of marine waters off the remote Kimberley coast would be top of "one of the most extensive and diverse dinosaur track sites anywhere in the world".
Dr Salisbury was also quoted as saying:
“"I was able to confirm today that the area in which Woodside is proposing to conduct geotechnical surveys does extend into the intertidal zone where there are dinosaur footprints - the heritage-listed stretch of the coastline.”
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.”
“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 according to Dr Steve Salisbury, Woodside will be working inside the boundary, which is outrageous,” said Peter Robertson of the Wilderness Society.
“Since Woodside have failed to refer this project to the Federal Minister for the Environment, Tony Burke, we have made a formal request to him that he call this project in before the recently proclaimed National Heritage listed area is damaged,” said Mr Pritchard.
Martin Pritchard Environs Kimberley – 0427 548 075
Peter Robertson The Wilderness Society – 0409 089 020
Video and photos available of jack up rigs at James Price Point on request