MEDIA RELEASE ARCHIVE

 

Media Release, 19 February 2002



Pressure on Government to reject marina resort for Ningaloo as WA reefs named again among the world’s best

 

The global importance of Western Australia’s reefs, particularly Ningaloo, has been reinforced by two important, high profile studies. This will increase the focus on the Government’s decision on a proposal to build a large marina resort at Maud’s Landing, three kilometres north of Coral Bay.

The most recent report for the esteemed journal, Science, has ranked WA’s coral reefs second amongst the world’s top 18 marine biodiversity ‘hotspots’ (places where many different species live in small areas). The Great Barrier Reef was ranked fourth.

Paul Gamblin, spokesperson for the Save Ningaloo campaign, said “As the biodiversity ‘jewel in the crown’ of our coast, Ningaloo Reef is now at a crossroads. A proposal to build a large marina resort for Maud’s Landing near Coral Bay is of great concern to many people, including scientists and local tour operators, who believe it will cause irreversible damage to the ecology of the area and detract significantly from its wilderness character. We have already lost important biodiversity and wilderness on land, so we have to be very careful with this fragile environment.”

“We call on the Premier, Dr Geoff Gallop, to reject this proposal once and for all, and to implement proper planning for the whole reef area.”

The Science report comes just months after the United Nations Environment Programme published research showing that the world’s coral reefs occupy a much smaller area than previously thought - less than one tenth of one percent of the oceans, an area about half the size of France. The report also provided evidence that coral reefs were being rapidly degraded by human activities and highlighted “irresponsible tourism” as a significant threat.

“These reports come as no surprise to Western Australians and others who know Ningaloo to be one of the world’s most spectacular and pristine reefs. We have seen for ourselves just a few of the long list of species that rely on the area (some that are endangered), such as turtles, dugongs, whale sharks, manta rays, corals and many more. The reports just reinforce longstanding calls from large sections of the community to stop the resort and implement sustainable planning,” said Mr Gamblin.

“Why risk this resource when there are much better ways of promoting tourism at Ningaloo – ways of enhancing the wilderness experience for visitors by protecting the environment. These are opportunities to build on WA’s growing reputation for having some of the world’s most pristine coral reefs. We can earn healthy interest from this increasingly rare asset for generations to come, or can we eat into the capital for uncertain short-term gain.
Contact: Paul Gamblin, Save Ningaloo campaign spokesperson, Ph: 9420 7209, www.saveningalooreef.org

For more information on the UNEP and Science reports, see: www.unep.org

 

Paul Gamblin
Save Ningaloo Campaign
City West Lotteries House
2 Delhi St WEST PERTH 6005
ningaloo@iinet.net.au
www.saveningalooreef.org

 

 

 

Conservation Council of WAAustralian Wildlife ConsevancyThe Wilderness SocietyAustralian Marine Conservation Society

 

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