Media Release, 10 April 2002

Massive support shown at 'Rescue our Reef' Town Hall meeting in Fremantle

Last night over 1200 people gathered at the Fremantle Town Hall to hear about the damage that a proposed marina development would cause to the Ningaloo Reef and how the community could fight for a positive, sustainable future for the region.

Speakers, including renowned author, Tim Winton, talked about the environmental importance of the Reef in global terms, explained how inappropriate decisions by previous governments had short-circuited the planning process and pointed to a plan for a positive, sustainable alternative.

Mr. Winton, said, "If the Gallop Government gives this resort the green light, then we'll know that they've caved in to the past, that they are captives to old thinking, old procedures and agreements. Just because they inherited a political and administrative tangle, it shouldn't inevitably follow that they bequeath an environmental disaster. This Government needs the guts to resist the call of the past, prove that it's serious about sustainability and govern for the future."

Paul Gamblin, Save Ningaloo campaign spokesperson, said, "The evening was a huge success, with over 1200 people attending. It was standing room only, with a queue 100 metres long stretching down the street. There was a feeling of anger at previous Government mistakes on this issue and a strong commitment to move this Government to get it right."

"This demonstration of overwhelming support was crucial at this time, because a decision from Government on the proposal is expected soon."

Mr. Gamblin said, "Last night was about getting the message out that Ningaloo is at a crossroads. Western Australians are extremely fortunate to have one of the world's last pristine coral reefs in our care. We are now faced with a choice - we can either build outdated and destructive marinas or we can get smart and promote real ecotourism that won't harm the very wildlife that people come to see."

Conservation Council of WA Australian Wildlife Consevancy The Wilderness Society Australian Marine Conservation Society

Contacts: Paul Gamblin, Save Ningaloo campaign spokesperson,


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