What THEY are saying
John Marsden Kate
John Butler Trio




Claudia Karvan 17.7.02

"Congratulations on the momentous job you are doing. Save Ningaloo Reef"






David Wenham

Ningaloo Reef is a stunning playground for turtles, whales and hundreds of species of fish. It is a peaceful place. The proposed development is potentially destructive to that harmonious existence. I appeal to all that have a say in the decision making to think ahead. Let future generations have no regrets. Ningaloo Reef is a gift to treasure and respect.






Gretta Scacchi 6.8.02

I have travelled to many parts of the world and remain convinced that Western Australia is superior for its scope of natural beauty. Developments like the proposed Ningaloo resort will destroy that unique quality for ever and ever. We have no right to let it happen.





Helen Garner 2.5.02

I've never visited a place as wild and as splendid as Ningaloo Reef - but I hope one day I will, and I sure as hell don't want to find a marina resort when I finally make my way there.





H.G. Nelson
June 2002

Rampaging Roy Slaven and I love looking at fish. There is nothing weird about it. We are busy blokes and whenever we get a chance to down the tool at the coalface of sport there is no greater way to relax than pulling on the mask and snorkel, getting wet and staring at fish.

You can drop your shirt on a dud bet, you can rip your hair out with the way your team is travelling, you can have the arse hanging out of your duds but when you slip into the sea and stare at fish, your troubles are washed away with the tide.

Fish don't give a bugger. They just love being fish and being wet.

The Ningaloo Reef is now widely acknowledged around the planet as the home of fish. It is fish central. It's downtown fish no matter what you are after whether it is gar, mullet, flathead or your larger gear like the whale shark and the manta ray. They are all on the lurk at Ningaloo.

Anything that threatens fish and the magic of their world needs to be considered very carefully. After all, Europeans in recent times have stuffed most of the fish sites they have got their hooks into. There are bugger all good news stories when it comes to boofheaded blokes fiddling about with fish habitats.

And my very good friends when it comes to seaside developments it is hard to come up with something new and original. You have seen it all before. This is a future that does not work. Why allow the world to be the same all over? If it is the same everywhere, there is no reason to leave home and then we might as well wander down to the nearest beach, pull a wave over our bonce and end it all.

This Ningaloo Reef development has certainly got me jiggered. After millions of years being perfect there is just one chance to stuff it up. Are we going to allow it?

Well, from my perch in the blue two metres down it looks like we need this development like we need to be bent over the bonnet of the ute and given a swift boot up the date.
Do it for fish. SAVE THE REEF!!!
H.G. Nelson


















Hugo Weaving 20.5.02

I would urge all good People of W.A. to insist your government acts as a role model for the rest of Australia and the World by protecting what natural wonders you have with foresight, creativity and wisdom. Please don't follow in destructive East coast footsteps, but make any step forward low impact and environmentally friendly. Don't destroy your backyard. Save Ningaloo reef.



Jane Campion 8.5.02

I feel passionately about the preservation of our Australian wilderness and marine reefs. It's desperately important to stand up for nature, for our own spirits, for our children and the rest of the world. What exists at Ningaloo is the best kind of treasure, a natural one. Ask the children they understand, nature is the great teacher, the great restorer.










Kate Grenville 30.4.02

The Panthenon in Athens survived for 2000 years, one of the wonders of the world, until the 19th century when it was used as an ammunition dump. It exploded, of course, and the sad ruin we see today is the result. It seems unbelievable to us now that anyone was so unthinking as to destroy this magnificent place for short-term convenience. Generations in the future will look at us in the same way if we let Ningaloo Reef be endangered by massive development close by.

There was only one chance with the Parthenon, and it's the same with this unique and irreplaceable natural wonder. One it's gone, it's gone for ever, and so is the short- term gain.

By contrast, low-impact sustainable management of the reef will mean that it will continue to attract visitors. Long-term, this is a far greater benefit to the local and State economy than a one-off short-term gain.

Our children and their children will thank us for protecting this precious place.














Luc slams Ningaloo proposal (Sunday Times 3 Nov 2002)

BIG Luc Longley has some advice for Premier Geolf Gallop: Stop the proposed marina at Ningaloo. The 213cm former basketball pro has been recruited by the Conservation Council of WA for its campaign to block the controversial Mauds Landing development.

"I think it is important that the Government doesn't yield", Longley said yesterday.
"I would advise them to knock it on the head ...to develop Ningaloo so it can be used as an asset rather than something that is to be raped. This proposal is a clanger from the past."
"There is no question there needs to be infrastructure to handle tourism in that area."
"I'm not saying we should stop people going there. I'm just saying what is being proposed is a relic of the past."
"We can be a flagship, on the cutting edge of eco-tourism and sustainable, sensitive development."
"Or we can not learn from the '70s and '80s and the blunders of the past, march in there and do the same thing."

Longley believes the proposal to dredge the beach to build an inland marina would harm the water quality , as would the present proposal for marine traffic.

He is urging the public to attend a rally in Fremantle on December 1, opposing the marina.













Patrick Rafter 12.8.02

I am very happy to support the fight to save Ningaloo. As a father I want to be able to take my kids to Ningaloo Reef and look them in the eye and know I did everything I could to protect this amazing place.









"After spending hours working on a section of reef you really begin to see the social habits of the fish, " he said.
"Some will use exactly the same route to swim through the reef, while others will stick to certain coral and not venture beyond it."

At his home studio in Fremantle, the 42-year-old transfers the drawing outline onto canvas and paints using the original sketch as a guide. Born in the West Australian wheat belt town of Yealerlng, Swainston has always had a passion for art and fell in love with fish when he began diving at 18.

"In the beginning it was birds and snakes -everything that was In the bush -but the first time I went diving I thought this is for me."

His work is intricate and detailed. Some of his paintings are huge - measuring up to 2.7m x 1.8m -and take up to six months to complete. Having studied zoology and worked drawing fish for guidebooks - he has more than 4000 drawings - Swainston said it was a natural progression to underwater drawing. Swainston, who has dived on reefs in the Red Sea, Papua New Guinea and Fiji, is working on an exhibition of paintings from Ningaloo which he will exhibit in Belgium In 2004.

"There should be some pristine places that are left untouched." he said.
"I would hate to think that one day my books and paintings will record what was lost, like so many other works of natural history."

Roger Swainston

A desire to draw fish in their natural environment meant Roger Swainston had to take his art to new depths.
The modest natural history artist is breaking new ground in his work, which takes him diving around the world
Best known for his drawings In fish guide books, Swainston decided In 1995 he wanted to draw them in their natural environment.

He doesn't know of anyone else who draws underwater and a documentary of his work was recently shown in Europe. Some of his paintings are on exhibition in Fremantle, in a fundraising event for the Save Ningaloo Reef campaign which opened last night. Armed with two extendable camping poles, nylon ropes, graphite and waterproof paper, Swainston dives up to 10m on coral reefs such as Ningaloo to set up temporary underwater art studios.












Stan Waterman 10.5.02

International Hall of Fame Member

In my half century of diving I have encountered a rare few reefs and dive areas that can match the diversity and profundity of marine life found on Ningaloo Reef. This year I will return to Exmouth for the fourth time over a period of years, bringing small groups of divers half way around the world to swim with the whale sharks, experience the extraordinary concentration of life under the Navy Pier and dive the infinitely varied and rich locations on the reef itself. The careful; control of those priceless resources by the responsible environmentalists in Exmouth has made the Ningaloo Reef and the annual gathering of the Whale sharks a sustainable resource. The priceless gift as not been over run, diminished and finally reduced form virgin to hard-used by the impact of unregulated exposure to diving tourism. I have seen it happen in my own back yard, the Carribean and Central America.

I understand that a project is afoot to establish a huge resort adjacent to the Ningaloo Reef. I believe such a mindless growth would be a disaster. The would-be developers would find that the very "golden goose" that attracted them to the area would in time be killed.


Tom Kenneally

The marina resort proposal seems crazy. I lend my support to your task of preserving Ningaloo Reef in a manageable form.


Di Morrissey Byron Bay November 11, 2002

Words� SAVE NINGALOO REEF seem inadequate. My voice is whipped away in the blizzard of bluff and bullshit huffed and puffed by businessmen who should know better but don't care past tomorrow's big buck . . . by a government who knows better but bluster about liability and ramifications and threats of litigation and suffer convenient amnesia about how and why they got into office. By the "infrastructure" who see a way to cash in on this whole ghastly proposed development.

But shout I must. As must you. We have to bloody scream - This is it! This is enough. We've sat down and let the slurry of devious political machinations, corporate greed, obese bored kids, fading ethics, depression, and fear of our future wash around our feet. It's all becoming a tidal wave and before we drown in our effluent could we please all stand up and turn around Australia?

Ningaloo Reef represents everything that is good in our country and the world. A place of peace, of incredible pristine beauty, a place that celebrates nature, a place that restores our belief in beauty and how it all once was.

Never in our lives will we be given a chance to do something as magnificent. To be proud of who we are and what we did, more than anything else we may do. Future generations will look back and say, thank you. They nearly lost it. But when it got down to the wire, families, friends, workmates got together and said stuff the bureaucracy, we will be heard.

(PS I'll be at the Rally December 1.)







Taj Burrow

�Ningaloo is unique and special for so many reasons - its pristine nature is why people are attracted to the region to camp, surf, fish and dive. Solutions are needed for the existing environmental problems in the area to minimise any further damage to the region�s pristine nature but this proposal is the wrong way to go.The proposed tourist development at Maud�s Landing is in the heart of the unique Ningaloo Reef system and is totally out of character with the local area�










John Butler Trio

Butler, who played next to a replica whale shark, said it was good to see so much support for the Ningaloo Reef campaign









John Marsden

'It's no coincidence that as we destroy the planet step by step, so our fear and confusion grow. The astonishing thing is that we are still having debates about these issues. The astonishing thing is that we are not all working together, fervently and lovingly, to save the places that are left intact, and to rehabilitate, as far as possible, all the vast damaged areas.

Ningaloo Reef, in its beauty and diversity, is a microcosm of the way the world once was, and a symbol for the way the world could be again. Even more than that, it is a symbol of the kind of people that we could become, the kind of society that we could have. Alive, healthy, growing and gorgeous: that is the future Ningaloo Reef deserves, just as we deserve it in our own lives, just as the planet Earth deserves it.'





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