MEDIA RELEASES and CLIPPINGS

 

Media Release, Monday, 3 May 2004



Campaign supports thrust of draft Ningaloo plan

Earlier today the Premier and the Minister for Planning and Infrastructure released the Carnarvon Ningaloo Coast Regional Strategy for public comment. The strategy will establish long-term land-use development opportunities and controls, and sets the tone for the future of the region.

The Save Ningaloo Campaign welcomed the draft plan as an opportunity to consider the ‘big picture’ for this fragile environment. The Campaign supports the key recommendations of the draft which is the most comprehensive plan ever undertaken to protect Ningaloo’s internationally significant environmental values. This is a key ingredient in providing long-term economic opportunities in the region.

Paul Gamblin, Save Ningaloo Campaign spokesperson, said, “The Campaign is very pleased to see a planning exercise for the whole region; from Carnarvon all the way to Exmouth. There is no doubt that Ningaloo will keep growing in popularity so it is crucial that as a community we look at the big picture and find ways to accommodate visitors without putting too much pressure on fragile ecosystems.”

“Tens of thousands of people supported the campaign’s opposition to the large marina development at Mauds Landing which was stopped in 2003. They also supported the call for sensible planning for Ningaloo and hopefully this strategy will see the door shut on ad hoc development in the region.”

“The Campaign believes that the strongest recommendations in the draft report are:

  • that major development be focussed only in Carnarvon and Exmouth;
  • that new planning controls be urgently applied to Coral Bay and that appropriate infrastructure be installed; and,
  • that camping nodes along the coast be better planned and managed.”

“Major initial recommendations from the Campaign include:

  • the creation of a statutory authority accountable for, and focussed on, delivering on the broad objectives of the strategy. The Ningaloo Sustainable Development Authority, proposed in the plan, whilst an important part of implementing the strategy by specifically overseeing development and redevelopment, would not achieve this.
  • extensive monitoring being undertaken before any expansion of accommodation in Coral Bay is contemplated; and,
  • a commitment to consult with campers on how to reduce their coastal impacts.

Other ideas that the Campaign will put forward include:

  • increased scientific study of the whole area;
  • environmentally friendly waste disposal points in remote camping areas;
  • a major program to educate visitors on how to reduce their impacts; and,
  • a booking system to inform travellers when high-use areas are full.


“The Campaign will be encouraging its many supporters to get involved in discussions about the draft plan and to keep a close eye on future governments’ commitments to environmental management of the whole Ningaloo region.”

“Once the plan is finalised, the real test will be government action toward implementing it. Too often plans sit on shelves gathering dust – clearly there will be no tolerance for that at Ningaloo.”

“Investing now in this magnificent place, one of the State’s major tourist attractions, will pay the community back many times over but a failure to invest will not only damage its world-class ecological stature but also its value as a major generator of tourism revenue for the state.”

Notes to editors
The Campaign’s Future Ningaloo project had a seat as a community representative on the sixteen person steering committee (established and chaired by the WA Planning Commission) for the Carnarvon Ningaloo Coast Regional Strategy. The committee included representatives from indigenous communities, local shires, regional business bodies and state government agencies.

The Wilderness Society Conservation Council of WA Australian Marine Conservation Society World Wildlife Fund

 

Media Contact: Paul Gamblin, Save Ningaloo campaign spokesperson,

 

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