~The Future of The Gibb River Road~
Written and posted on-line 1st March 2011
An over whelming number of people who have contacted us recently, have indicated to us that they believe the changes occurring along The Gibb River Road are seriously disturbing. Of particular concern, is the existence of an undercurrent of certain major corporations that are seemingly trying to “take over” the entire Gibb River Road, and swallow all the major tracts of station land up here.
There is no doubt the bush characters and station families who hold a deep understanding, abiding respect and appreciation for the country up here, are slowly getting pushed out of the Kimberley because of, an apparent insidious corporate greed facilitated by monetary power, and widespread bureaucratic support.
And…Western Australia’s uniquely iconic “Gibb River Road” is entering an age of “industry”.
I spent many an early year as a tour bus driver in these outback areas of Northern Australia right across from The Gibb River Road, to Cape York. I have seen the cultural demise for shallow corporate agenda. I took on Mt Hart to preserve a piece of this great land’s history & heritage whilst still making it available to everyone to enjoy and experience as it was, and should remain.
Make the most of it while you can folks…What’s coming, is not what was of past history, but rather sterile laminex coated rhetorical microphoned tourism, dusted with fairy dust glossy brochures, that are a sparkling attraction, directed at the last moths in your wallet.
For it seems that the genuine bush characters, outback personalities and station families, who make the Kimberley “The Kimberley”, and the REAL, FAIR DINKUM wilderness station experiences you have all come to love and value so much along the Gibb River Road, will not exist much longer...
WHY? Because some of the local folk up here, the people who placed the Kimberley on the map of tourism, are struggling to fight corporate supported bureaucracy. Just like us, other folks up here are finding it almost impossible to compete with deep pocketed corporate entities. Board-room power is sweeping up the extraordinary historical and cultural features of the Kimberleys’ iconic Gibb River Road, just like a team of armored D9 bulldozers.
Millions of tourists from all over the world have already travelled “The Gibb River Road”. These tourists have travelled this rugged outback route over the years, because they have wanted to see and experience the true Northern Outback Kimberley of Western Australia AS IT IS....So that when they return back to life inside a "concrete jungle", they know that parts of Australia are still “REAL”.
So many of you have had the chance to see this part of the Kimberley, and marvel at a very special and unique experience that was then neither desecrated by corporate greed, nor power and monopolisation. So many of you stayed at the family owned and operated tourist attractions along our Gibb River Road. You have seen and experienced how these places symbiotically convey a sense of connection with the land, whilst reflecting each owner’s diligence, dynamism, and perseverance.
So many of you have excitedly told us how the unique ambience & outback hospitality of these “our” places is optimum experience making, and surpasses the indistinctive, expressionless corporate owned and operated “lodgings” which have appeared up here in recent times.
We, the real threatened species of the Kimberleys implore you all to cherish those stored memories, stories & especially, the photographs you have of your trips along the Gibb River Road. Teach your children and your grandchildren about the natural, Indigenous, historic heritage you experienced & the bush characters you met on your epic journey through one of the last wilderness frontiers of Australia.
Lets ensure this chapter of the history of the country up here is cherished forever, regardless of what the future may bring...