Today I walked along Goode Beach towards Mistaken Island. I adore this walk. The warmth of today, the gentle breeze and the tepid water, all make this such a pleasure. Pure white sand between my toes so fine it squeaks. The waves undulate at my side in a roar that fizzles as it simmers underfoot.
The waters were crystalline today and I could see clearly the ocean floor all the way to the point where turquoise translucency gives way to deep marine blue.
For a moment upon arrival I considered turning around to Frenchman’s bay in avoidance of the boulders of seaweed I initially confronted when heading down the steps to the beach. It was easy enough to navigate around the mountains of weed and I am pleased to have rethought that initial instinct because amongst the paper thin spaghetti like weed were the treasures of a distant reef, in all manner of colour. Not being a diver the lurid orange and cadmium red sponge I happened upon, I would otherwise never have seen.
As I strode the length I thought how lucky I am to stroll a beach where rarely I see another footprint and how exciting that is. I can be my uncensored self on this walk, playing, imagining, talking, singing, moving as I please, without conforming, in even the smallest of manners, in the way we do in the company of others. It is truly freeing. Here I am my most authentic self.
I do this walk often, this being my favourite beach in Albany, so I feel I can say with some authority that it is often deserted but for a few like minded souls and their families, who I occasionally pass with a nod and a shared understanding of how precious this piece of coastline really is. How lucky we are to live in a place where not only are our beaches free to all, they are not eclipsed by a backdrop of high-rise high density housing. The waters are clean and clear, free of pollutants, the dunes are mostly touched only by nature and the sand is so fine and powdery white, it makes for a picture perfect scene.
To keep this for my children is something I would fight passionately for should it ever come under threat. Every visit we make to this beautiful place knits itself into our family history and our sense of connection to where we live, who we are, how we spend our time and the community we are a part of.
This got me thinking about the Kimberley Coast. Vivid turquoise waters and bronzed beaches stretch for miles along undulating rocky outcroppings, that glow with golden warmth like a sunset, in stunning contrast to the deep earthen- red sand of the pindan. Anyone who has ever graced this part of the country knows how awe inspiring this isolated coastline can be.
Having spent part of my childhood living in Broome I feel a deep connection to the Kimberley and wholeheartedly believe the Kimberley coast to be one of the last great majestic coastal wildernesses of the world. It should be a National Treasure and have its indigenous people, who uniquely still have traditional language, culture and law, protected as an ancient people rather than displaced yet again. There are whales and dinosaur footprints and endangered animals and quite frankly there are other solutions for the Kimberley Coast that are well thought out and should be considered. The argument that James Price Point is a piece of coastline rarely visited by only few, does not make the plans for a gas hub OK.
If we allow this to happen, we are responsible for placing a massive, ugly muddied mark on a pristine part of our land and destroying it for future generations of Australians. We can’t get back what has been lost, so protecting this for the people of Broome and preserving this for all Australians should be seen as more vitally important then rushing ahead in pursuit of the next dollar.
There is a political party committed to preserving the Kimberley Coast, however if this election weekend you cannot support that party, please make it a personal crusade to support the people of Broome beyond the election in preserving our magnificent Kimberley Coast.
Follow this link to Save the Kimberley Coast and learn more about what is at stake.
My hope is that in my future trips to Broome and the Kimberley, I and my children and their children will be able to look out to sea and dream and imagine and hope for our world and take in the breathtaking coastline, without gazing upon a massive man made mistake that could have been avoided, will destroy the unique ecology and yet again dispossess an ancient indigenous people. We would want this for the Great Southern coast so its only fair that we support the small communities of the Kimberley in retaining the beauty and heritage of their land.
Image Credit: “Kimberley Coast” Oil on Canvas. Tash Rolfe 2013.