Media Release, Thursday 17 July 2002

Ningaloo campaign film wins national award

Western Australian underwater cinematographer, Richard Todd, has been named Australasian Underwater Cameraman of the Year for the short film he made for the Save Ningaloo Campaign. Over 400 people at the awards ceremony in Sydney watched the film and were impressed by the wildlife at Ningaloo and astounded by the proposal to build a large marina there.

The film “Ningaloo at the Crossroads” will be familiar to thousands of supporters of the Save Ningaloo Campaign who have seen it at public meetings over recent months. State and federal politicians have received copies of the film and it has already been cited numerous times in State Parliament.

Produced on CD-Rom for use on home computers, the film contains spectacular footage of wildlife in the Ningaloo Reef area and explains the consequences of a marina resort being approved. The film also outlines the potential for a positive, sustainable future for the area based on real ecotourism.

Mr Todd said “Ningaloo Reef is of such international importance that I can’t believe we still have to fight this marina proposal. You just have to stick your head under the water where the marina would be built to see that it doesn’t make sense – the place is buzzing with life, including many endangered species.”

“So much of the footage I have collected over the years is from that lagoon. We have to stop the marina. Tourists get it – they want to see the place looked after because otherwise we’ll be just like so many other places where wildlife has been impacted by too many boats and insensitive development.”

Richard has been a temporary resident of Coral Bay for many years and recently returned from months of shooting high definition TV footage with Emmy Award winning cinematographer, David Hannan. This will be shown soon at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

Paul Gamblin, Save Ningaloo Campaign spokesperson, said, “The thousands of people who have seen Toddy’s outstanding work won’t be surprised to hear that he has won the award. Ningaloo at the Crossroads summarises the issues very effectively and has spectacular footage of wildlife in the area, including a manta ray leaping out of the water, whale sharks, turtles, dugongs and corals.”

“Soon, international visitors to New York will be watching wildlife from the Ningaloo Reef on giant plasma screens. Imagine their surprise when they learn that much of what they are seeing is threatened by a marina – it just doesn’t make sense. All the trends show that tourists increasingly value wilderness because there is so little of it left in the world. Ningaloo is as good as it gets, but only if we look after it.”

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

Media Contact: Paul Gamblin, Save Ningaloo campaign spokesperson

Richard Todd, cinematographer – 0417 189 323 - Also available are spectacular photographs of Richard filming whale sharks and a fearsome looking whaler shark at Ningaloo.


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