Media Release, Monday 27 May 2002

Tim Winton wins WA Premier's Award and donates all proceeds to save Ningaloo Reef

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

Tim Winton has announced that he will donate the $25,000.00 prize money from his WA Premier's Award to the fight to Save Ningaloo Reef. The author, who is in the United States on a promotional tour for the novel, Dirt Music, said from Washington DC that he wanted to give something back to the community and environment which inspired so much of his work.

At the awards ceremony at the Alexander Library, a spokesman for Tim Winton read a brief statement:

"I'm sorry I can't be here tonight to accept this award. As a writer and a citizen I consider myself lucky to be West Australian. My life and my work owe an enormous debt to the State's natural beauty and its people's warm generosity. Out of gratitude for both, as a small gesture of thanks, I'd like to donate this prize money to the community campaign to save one of WA's natural wonders, the Ningaloo Reef."

Dirt Music, which was published here to critical acclaim, is being launched abroad and Phillip Noyce, director of Rabbit Proof Fence, has recently secured rights for a film adaptation of the book.

Save Ningaloo Campaign spokesperson, Paul Gamblin, said, "We heartily congratulate Tim on winning the WA Premier's Award. His decision to donate the prize money to the Save Ningaloo Campaign is incredibly generous, and is just the latest example of his unflinching commitment to the protection of our coastal environment - the place from which he has drawn so much inspiration."

Ningaloo Reef, 1200 kms north of Perth, is the longest fringing coral reef in the world. It 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 resort to cater for over 2,500 people, as well as a marina for hundreds of motor-boats. The resort is planned to be built on nesting grounds of the endangered loggerhead turtle whose numbers have declined globally by 50-80% over the past decade.

Contact: Paul Gamblin, Save Ningaloo campaign spokesperson


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