Media Release, Fri 3 May 2002

Ningaloo Reef “wildlife” to invade Terrace to deliver thousands of cards to Premier

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

Today at 12.30pm a gang of about 20 colourfully painted people dressed as turtles will deliver 3000 postcards to the Premier’s office at 197 St George's Terrace (corner of Mill Street). The cards ask the Premier to save Ningaloo Reef by rejecting a large marina resort proposal and undertaking proper planning in the region. They have been taped together to form big, spectacular banners.

The action will also feature a boat tearing through giant pictures of a dugong and a whale shark, symbolising the injuries and disturbance that many species, already at risk of extinction, would suffer from the hundreds of power boats that would be introduced by the marina resort. The development would be built near Coral Bay, in the heart of the Ningaloo Reef.

The turtles, known as the “Ninga-turtles,” wear brightly painted outfits and represent the endangered turtle populations that would be impacted by the marina resort.

The cards they will deliver are a fraction of the written support received so far by the Save Ningaloo Campaign. The tally of cards, letters, emails and signatures represents about 30,000 people from all over the world. Tens of thousands more visit the campaign website.

Paul Gamblin, Save Ningaloo campaign spokesperson, said, “The Save Ningaloo Campaign is growing exponentially. Just recently, an enthusiastic crowd of over 1500 tried to squeeze into the Fremantle Town Hall for a public meeting on the issue - hundreds had to be turned away. People there felt the anger in the crowd aimed at the marina proposal but also the excitement about the potential of this remarkable place if Government stops the marina and accepts its responsibilities for the region.”

“More and more people are finding out about the proposal to build a 1980s marina resort near Coral Bay and are horrified by it. They can’t believe that successive governments have let it reach this stage. However, when they understand that it was born in the 1980s when no planning or community consultation had occurred, then the penny drops. Belated planning attempts tied themselves in knots trying to justify the marina when all indications were that it was the last thing the area needed. How can the Premier expect the community to have confidence in a process that is so clearly flawed?”

“This Government has inherited a nightmare but also a rare opportunity to leave its stamp on the future of one of the world’s most pristine coral reefs. It must live up to its positive election commitments on ecotourism, sustainability, World Heritage listing for Ningaloo Reef-Cape Range, genuine community participation in decision making and reform of the environmental assessment process. Ningaloo is at a crossroads and the community expects this Government to show leadership, keep its promises and make the right decision.”


Paul Gamblin, Save Ningaloo campaign spokesperson,


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