Media Release, Thursday 7 November 2002

Luc Longley throws himself behind Ningaloo Campaign

One of Australia’s most successful sportsmen, basketballer Luc Longley, has thrown his support behind the growing community campaign to stop a massive marina resort proposed for the fragile Ningaloo Reef. The campaign is advocating that genuinely sustainable alternatives should be pursued. This would have a much smaller impact on the environment and tap into burgeoning ecotourism markets.

Luc said, “I’ll never forget my first swim with manta rays right off the beach where the massive marina and seawalls would be built at Mauds Landing. I can’t believe we could be so short-sighted to even contemplate this marina. We’re living in 2002, not 1987.”

“We still have all the options open to us in WA, choices many places lost decades ago. Why follow the mistakes made in other places? Many people overseas would be shaking their heads in disbelief that we’d even consider permitting this development. They’d give their right arm for what we have in WA.”

Luc played basketball in the USA for 13 years and was the first Australian ever to play in the NBA. He was a member of the all-conquering Chicago Bulls team that won three consecutive championships from 1995-96 to 1997-98. Luc also represented Australia three times in the Olympics.

Returning to his home town of Perth recently with his wife and two daughters, Luc is now building a reputation as a responsible corporate citizen. He is part-owner of the Perth Wildcats and a major shareholder of Clinical Cell Culture, a biomedical company that produces treatments for burns victims.

Luc’s time in the United States has reinforced his commitment to the Western Australian environment. Luc said, “I had a great life in the US, but I was also very aware that their environment has already been heavily impacted.”

“Ningaloo is one of WA’s most important environments and is facing its greatest challenge. There is no doubt that increasing tourism demand needs to be managed but that doesn’t mean you need a huge 1980s-style marina and resort there.”

“Let’s do something that we’ll be proud of rather than something we’ll be making excuses for to our children.”

“I hope people will come along to Rally for the Reef on 1 December at the Freo Esplanade to let this government know that they support it making the right decisions about Ningaloo, which means stopping the marina resort and getting behind sustainable development.”

The Wilderness SocietyConservation Council of WAAustralian Marine Conservation Society Australian Wildlife Consevancy

Media Contact: Paul Gamblin, Save Ningaloo campaign spokesperson


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