Tuesday, 15 January 2013 09:44
Western Australia's remote Kimberley has been recommended by the New York Times as one of the best places on the globe to visit.
And while one of the world's great newspapers has raised fears about the industrialisation of the vast area, WA Premier Colin Barnett says they're unfounded.
In the Times' list of The 46 Places to Go in 2013, the Kimberley region was cited as finally being open to the travellers "willing to trade big bucks for land-based access to some spectacular spots".
Naming The Berkeley River Lodge, Kuri Bay, and El Questro as potential spots for the adventurous, the paper also warned visitors "the region was loaded with iron, and mining companies will continue to go after it".
Woodside's Browse joint venture project, which controversially proposes bringing gas and condensate onshore for processing at a planned gas hub at James Price Point, 60km north of Broome, is the major proposed industrial development in the area.
But Mr Barnett says despite vocal opposition, the vast landscape still remains largely untouched.
"I think people are discovering the Kimberley and it is one of the world's great wilderness areas," he said on Monday.
"The Kimberley is twice the size of the state of Victoria. It is a vast area, and this government has created four new marine parks, one new major terrestrial park and also spent around $60 million on conversation protection.
"There has been a lot of debate about James Price Point. I understand that and I respect people's point of view.
"But that is a tiny area of the Kimberley - if the Kimberley was the MCG then James Price Point would be one seat."
BHP Billiton exited the controversial $30 billion Browse LNG project late last year, while legal action has been launched over the environmental approval process surrounding the project.
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