Media Release, Wed 22 May 2002

Ninga-turtles join three day parliamentary Reef vigil

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

The campaign to save Ningaloo Reef takes on a new dimension today when the dangers of approving a huge marina development at Ningaloo Reef will be dramatically enacted on the steps of Parliament House this morning at 11.15am.

This will be the highlight of a three day continuous vigil outside Parliament House which aims to creatively and positively encourage the Gallop government to make the right choice in the impending decision on Ningaloo Reef.

"This could well be one of the last sittings of Parliament before the recommendations from the Environmental Protection Authority go to Cabinet for a final decision. We hope that this presence outside parliament reminds the members of Cabinet and the ALP of the enormous community opposition to the approval of this marina."

The vigil started 8am yesterday and will continue through to the end of the sitting of Parliament this week. Twenty Ninga-turtles (people dressed in costumes as Ningaloo turtles), will demonstrate the affect that a marina bringing hundreds of new boats to Reef waters, would have on endangered marine wildlife.

The camp, based at Solidarity Park opposite Parliament, has been visited by many members of parliament who have expressed strong support for the campaign’s aims of creating a sustainable future for this fragile region.

Ningaloo Reef is the longest and most spectacular fringing coral reef in the world and is a sanctuary for threatened marine wildlife such as whale sharks, turtles, dugongs and humpback whales. In the heart of this unique wild place, developers are proposing to build a 1980s-style marina resort to cater for over 2,500 people, as well as hundreds of motor-boats. It would be built on nesting grounds of the endangered loggerhead turtle whose numbers have declined globally by 50-80% over the past decade.

More information: David Mackenzie
Anneke de Graaf
Paul Gamblin


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