Media Release, Monday 24 June 2002

Campaigners applaud Labor for rejecting Ningaloo marina but final decision still to come

Yesterday (23/6), the WA Labor Party Conference voted to reject the marina proposed for Ningaloo Reef. It recognised the development’s “potential to impact severely on the value of Ningaloo Reef and adjacent hinterland.”

In addition, the Conference voted for a positive future for the region by supporting “a long-term sustainable conservation and recreational management plan for the Ningaloo and Cape Range region.”

Save Ningaloo Campaign spokesperson, Paul Gamblin, said, “The Labor Party membership should be commended for taking this stance. As a delegate said at the conference yesterday, ‘the people of WA have spoken.’ The party membership obviously recognises that proper planning is the essential foundation for environmental protection, social well-being and economic prosperity.”

“Despite the overwhelming support from the Party membership for the rejection of this development and the flawed planning process that led to it, the Government is still waiting on Environmental Protection Authority recommendations before making a decision as to whether it should proceed.”

“The Labor Party membership’s decision reflects its understanding that the process that spawned the marina proposal is fundamentally flawed. The days of governments promoting developments before undertaking proper planning and consultation should be consigned to the past.”

“Before rushing into an environmental assessment of a development, it is crucial to take a step back and decide what kind of development is appropriate. This must be transparent and must involve the community from the very beginning.”

“An enlightened planning process, reflecting community values of 2002, will identify appropriate sites for developments that won’t damage the environment and the great tourism potential of the area.”

“The decision to reject the marina is consistent with the Labor Party’s own eco-tourism strategy. Strong growth in revenue and jobs is predicted for Ningaloo, but only if the tourism product is right – the destructive 1980s-style marina clearly is wrong.”

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

Media Contact: Paul Gamblin, Save Ningaloo campaign spokesperson


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