Potential Impact on National Heritage Listed Dinosaur Tracks and Loss of Economic Opportunities

MEDIA RELEASE

The Dinosaur Coast Management Group (DCMG) is frustrated the Shire of Broome (SoB) and the WA Department of Transport have changed plans and are now proposing to construct the Broome Boating Facility (BBF) at the Entrance Point first boat ramp — an area where it may impact on National Heritage (NH) listed dinosaur tracks.

In mid-2019, after confidential discussions with the SoB and survey work by Dr Steve Salisbury and Dr Anthony Romilio (The University of Queensland), the DCMG was in support of a plan to locate the BBF close to the Kimberley Marine Supply Base. The survey showed this location would have minimal impacts on known dinosaur tracks in the area. In December 2019, a decision was made to move the BBF to a new location at the Entrance Point first boat ramp area but the SOB did not share details of this decision or any associated design plans with the DCMG.

Following a 2018 survey of the area between Reddell Beach and the southern end of Simpsons Beach, Dr Salisbury advised the area in the immediate vicinity of Entrance Point was of high scientific significance, preserving “one of the highest single concentrations of tracks made by carnivorous dinosaurs that we are aware of in the Broome Sandstone. It basically looks like a dinosaur stompin’ ground.”

DCMG Chairperson Mr Micklo Corpus said, “Over the past two years we have worked in good faith with the Shire and tried to advise how best to avoid any impacts on dinosaur tracks. It is now clear that our advice is being ignored, and to rub salt into the wound, we are the last to be informed and were excluded from seeing the design details before they went public. Moving on, we would like the opportunity to discuss how the proposed development can avoid impacting on important track-bearing reefs.”

Mr Corpus states that, as with ‘Maralagun’ on Cable Beach, the concentration of tracks at Entrance Point forms part of the Northern Tradition Song Cycle and traces the journey of the Dreamtime Creator being called Marala, the ‘Emu Man’.

Broome has a diversity and number of tracks that is unparalleled in Australia or globally. At a time when Broome is experiencing difficult economic times and loss of jobs we should be working together to maximise the benefits of this incredible NH listed asset for dinosaur tourism. Instead, the DCMG has been locked out and the dinosaur tracks are now being positioned as a hindrance rather than the economic opportunity they present. The scientific research has just begun, and the story can only become richer and more interesting both for our community, enterprise and visitors alike but we need the tracks intact.

Media contact: Michelle Teoh (Secretary DCMG) 0400 769 019

Salisbury, S. W. and Romilio, A. 2019. Dinosaurian tracks and related geological features of the Reddell Point—Entrance Point area, Broome, Western Australia; palaeontological survey as part of the 2018 Broome Safe Boat Harbour site assessment process. Shire of Broome, Broome, Western Austraila. viii + 42p.