Protesters make music

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Several thousand people attended a free concert held by the Pigram Brothers on Cable Beach on Sunday, as they rallied together to reject the proposed gas hub at James Price Point.

The Pigrams were joined by other local bands including Kuckles, Stephen “Baamba” Albert and the Naomi Pigram Band and surprise headline act, former Midnight Oil drummer Rob Hirst.

Concert organisers took a unique approach to cut through red tape, as musicians performed on the 70ft Karma IV moored just off the beach.

Crowds gathered along the stretch of sand for hundreds of metres, while boats, kayaks and swimmers swarmed around the concert’s floating stage just off the coast.

The concert’s organisers had thrown down the gauntlet to Broome’s anti-gas movement last week, and said they needed 5000 people on the beach for the Federal Government to take notice.

Alan Pigram said the show of strength from Broome was just what the campaign needed to get the attention of politicians in Canberra.

“This is what we’re trying to hang on to, we don’t want to lose what Broome has, it’s taken too long to get to this point already,” he said.

Pigram said Canberra had pledged to listen to the community’s concerns if enough people showed up for the concert.

“In a democratic society if you have a population of 15,000 to 16,000 and 7000 people show up to say no to this, then that has to be taken notice of,” he said.

“It was very local, a local feeling, it’s not about people from out of here, it’s about the people from here saying, what they felt.”

Pigram said the next step of the campaign would be to make contact with the Federal Government again.

“We just have to wait and see what they say,” he said.

“They can’t say no to this, you need to listen to these people.”

Mick Manolis from Kuckles proclaimed the concern “reminds me of Woodstock”, while Gary Manolis flew from Perth with his family to play the gig.

“It has been both an emotional and powerful weekend. I couldn’t miss it,” he said.

Hirst joined the gig with the Pigrams in an effort to promote the fight against the precinct to national media, particularly in Sydney and Melbourne where he says the issue receives little coverage.

Hirst said the gig was up there with one of the most moving performances he had been involved in, including musical events with the rock band Midnight Oil.

“By sunset there were thousands of people on the beach and the spirit on the boat was a joyful place to be,” he said.

“One of the gigs that I know I would remember forever.” Hirst also performed a song written about Joseph Roe’s fight to protect the area, which was launched on Monday morning with several hundred people on the Manari Road.

“The song describes his (Joseph Roe’s) own campaign to protect the songlines and the trust invested in him by his grandfather Paddy Roe to protect the country,” he said.

Federal Member for Durack Barry Haase said both tourists and locals had been “duped” into boosting numbers for media photos - lured by the promise of a free beach concert as a “celebration of Kimberley families and communities”.

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