This part of the site reproduces pages that were used during the early part of the campaign which focused on stopping a proposed resort at Maud's Landing.

The campaign is now concentrated on environmentally sound decision making on any future development and usage of the region.




They wanted to replace:
with this
Richard Todd
Aquarius Productions
Manta Ray near proposed resort
How to Stop It
This extraordinary sequence of a 3 metre manta ray leaving the water
was filmed just 100m from the site of this proposed marina.

The Proposed Resort

Mauds landing as it stands today, a few pylons, vestiges of the old jetty.





Coral BayProposed was a large inland marina resort development at Maud's Landing on the boundary of the Ningaloo Marine Park just north of Coral Bay. If allowed, it would severely impact upon the astonishing and unique environmental values of the area. This huge resort was totally inappropriate to the region. Inland marinas are now banned in NSW.

Find out more about the developer's plans

A Huge Blustering Gamble

Coral BayAn extraordinary suite of ecological values exist right on the proposed marina's doorstep. The developers Public Environmental Review document offers a multitude of environmental management undertakings to mitigate against the negative impacts that they acknowledge they will have.

But they cannot possibly avert or manage the impacts such a development would have on this unique wilderness area. The unique profusion of life that is southern Bateman Bay will be lost.

The resort has been fostered and promoted by past West Australian governments in the absence of adequate planning processes. The developers have not had to generate management plans for scrutiny - just promise that they will if they get environmental approvals.

This is a huge blustering gamble in a unique area that should be approached with great sensitivity and precaution.

Impacts of the Marina - Construction

The developers acknowledge that construction of the marina will impact water quality over an area of 9 sq. km for up to 5 years (including Coral Bay Sanctuary).

Location of proposed resort


RoadworksThe 300,000 m3 of limestone needed to line the inland water body will be sourced from the karst system of Cape Range peninsula, further threatening unique subterranean fauna.
Mining of the karst system for limestone, including in areas proposed for inclusion in Cape Range National Park, must be dramatically reduced. A number of mines exist and expansion of mining activities has been proposed, however some mining approvals are now the subject of successful legal challenge.

Coastal Processes

Anchor damage to coralThe sea walls cutting through the beach to create the mouth of the marina will interrupt natural coastal processes. This often has disastrous and unpredictable consequences. On this cyclone and storm prone coast, long term dredging is likely to be required.

Dredging creates noise pollution and sediment plumes which can carry for kilometres. This will further deter marine animals from remaining in southern Bateman Bay.

Impacts of the Marina - Operational


Beach launchBoating traffic in the area would increase massively (current traffic is limited to beach launches form Coral Bay). In Phase 1 of the resort, daily, we could see 480 or more pleasure craft crossings of the migratory routes of whale sharks and humpback whales and powering over the top of manta aggregations, dugong and turtles. Boat strikes and noise interference will have devastating consequences.

Anchor damage, boating pollution and introduced marine pests are also serious issues.

Boats over 25m are still allowed to use anti-fouling hull paints in WA. These continually enter the water and actively destroy marine life over large areas.

Trawler aground on Ningaloo ReefTrawler aground on Ningaloo Reef


Fishing 'effort' in the area would grow exponentially to a radius of 40km or more, with consequent ecological impacts on marine biodiversity, evolutionary processes and food webs.

Commercial and recreational fishing in and adjacent to Ningaloo Reef (including the Marine Park) and in Exmouth Gulf need to be thoroughly reassessed for their environmental impact and required to meet improved ecological sustainability criteria.


Breeding populations of the endangered loggerhead turtle will be impacted. This species, whose numbers have declined 50-80% in the last decade, use the beach (across which the marina would be built) as a breeding site, alongside Green and Hawksbill turtles. Light pollution (which disorientates hatchlings), 4WD traffic on the beach, boating traffic, increases in feral animals and the risk of beach erosion all spell disaster for turtles.

Plastics and poisons

Increased population in the area will bring increased pollution from plastics, hydro-carbons, toxicants, etc. Plastic bags are a serious threat to turtles and whales who ingest them.

Introduced Species

Turlt nestingResidential landowners will inevitably bring cats and dogs. Cats will impact on birds, reptiles and marsupials. Dogs are an acknowledged problem in turtle nesting areas. Feral animals in the area will increase.

Boats visiting the area risk introductions of marine pests from other areas on their hulls and in /ballast/bilge water.


Proposed sewerage of the the resort is inappropriate to the geomorphology of the area.

Nutrients from lawns, gardens, and wastewater will eventually enter groundwater and flow straight to the waters of the reef.

Demands on groundwater for supply to the settlement will impact negatively on surrounding flora and fauna.


Increased population means an increase in pressure on coastal ecosystems including dune and coastal erosion.

Far from reducing the problems at Coral Bay, the resort would be a substantial addition to the 'cumulative impacts' of existing and planned developments.

Inadequate State Planning Processes

Ningaloo Reef has had only a superficial assessment of its biodiversity and little is known of the area's resilience to disturbance. Major decisions affecting its future are being taken in ignorance. Few baseline studies have been conducted that would enable meaningful measurement of the impacts of the resort, should it go ahead.


The current (state) Ningaloo Marine Park - Management Plan, written 13 years ago, is badly out of date and due for revision through a community consultative process in 2001. Approval for the resort would pre-empt and compromise the community's capacity to decide how it wants to see Ningaloo Reef managed in the future.

The Maud's Landing town site was designated in 1896, before the fragility and importance of the area was recognised, yet this designation is still being used in the planning process to justify approval of the Coral Coast Resort development


Government failure to control development at Coral Bay and manage its impacts properly is being used to justify spilling development over into new areas rather that addressing those inadequacies.


A multitude of plans and policies affecting the area have been developed, but they are disjointed, with different priorities and objectives and with frequently contradictory and inconsistent strategies.


There is an absence of overarching and integrated planning centered on assessment, protection and proper management of the environmental values of the area.

The 1995 Legislative Council Select Committee recommended generally against development on the west coast of Cape Range peninsula. Abundant scientific evidence shows that the area is too fragile to support such development.

The Environmental Impact Assessment process is 'proposal-centered' and does not require consideration of broader regional issues or of the possible cumulative and interactive impacts or existing, proposed or planned developments.

The EPA has no requirement to consider uncertainty of impacts, or uncertainty or incompleteness of scientific knowledge in its deliberations. Given the World Heritage significance of the area, the Environmental Impact Assessment process is deficient for this environment.

A coalition of groups fighting inappropriate development along the Western Australian coastline has recently formed to challenge state planning procedures.


For those who wish to make their own EPBC PER Submission for the Coral Coast Resort development support materials are available here.

Please help to continue the Ningaloo campaignSend a submission