WA Government commits to protect Exmouth Gulf, signalling end to industrial threats!
In a major victory for the WA environment, Premier Mark McGowan, Minister for Environment, Amber-Jade Sanderson and Minister for Fisheries, Don Punch, announced on 3 December 2021 that the WA Government will protect Exmouth Gulf, Ningaloo, with important conservation measures. These commitments include new conservation reserves in areas where major industrial developments have been proposed.
In particular, the Government has committed to creating a class-A reserve in the Qualing Pool area, proposed location of the Gascoyne Gateway port, and a marine park at the eastern side of the gulf adjacent to where K+S has proposed a massive salt production facility.
Protect Ningaloo Director, Paul Gamblin, said, “This is a major step forward for the conservation of Exmouth Gulf, Ningaloo. We commend the Government for committing to protect areas of Exmouth Gulf threatened by inappropriate development. The McGowan Government’s position clearly signals the end to a series of controversial industrial projects proposed for Exmouth Gulf. Common sense is sometimes hard-won but today it has prevailed for Exmouth Gulf.”
Protect Ningaloo is a grassroots initiative by ordinary people who are inspired by one of the world’s last great places and want to protect it.
Who are we?
We are supported by an alliance of community groups and charities. Cape Conservation Group is a volunteer organization based in Exmouth. The Conservation Council of WA is the state’s premier environmental NGO. The Australian Marine Conservation Society is the nation’s peak marine charity. All of these groups were members of the historic Save Ningaloo Reef campaign that ran from 2000-2005. We’re supported by scientists, researchers, tourism operators, rec-fishers, birders and enthusiastic amateur nature lovers from all over the world. We’re short of time and we’re in the fight of our lives but we hope you’ll feel the passion and help us however you can.
What do we want?
We want to put the welfare of the Reef, the Range and the Gulf first in all development decisions. We’re determined to protect and preserve the extraordinary ecosystems that make up the Ningaloo Region. But to do that we need to restore some precautionary principles to coastal planning locally. We need to tell the WA and Commonwealth governments that Ningaloo’s Nursery needs protection not industrialisation. We want to celebrate a wonder of the world and save it from degradation. The only way we’ll achieve that is to get the news out and rally the passion of people like you. Protect Ningaloo supports a sustainable, creative future for the region.
It’s where humpback whales come to give birth and nurse their calves. It’s a playground for humans, too, supporting the sustainable eco-tourism hub of Exmouth. This is where you go to see dugongs, manta rays and leaping whales. But now a number of companies want to open the Gulf to industry. Proposals that would never be contemplated at the Reef are now being actively promoted for Exmouth Gulf.
New threats from deepwater port and industrial salt production
While Subsea 7 has withdrawn its plans to build a large pipeline fabrication facility and towing operation in Exmouth Gulf, the Gulf is still under threat from industrialisation.
Gascoyne Gateway Ltd wants to build a major deepwater port south of Exmouth and on the other side of the Gulf, multinational, K+S Salt is looking to develop a massive salt production and barging facility over a tidal wetlands system which is of great importance for habitat and wildlife conservation. Follow the above links to find out more about the threats these projects pose to the Gulf’s globally significant environment.
Industrial development would damage the region’s natural assets and eco-tourism brand, and threaten jobs in the tourism industry. It’s so important that we do everything we can to protect the vulnerable Ningaloo-Exmouth Gulf ecosystem from one industrial development proposal after another.
“I’m proud to continue supporting the protectors of our precious Ningaloo coastline. If we don’t act NOW, it will be too late. Make sure you tell your grandchildren that YOU stood up for country!”
“Ningaloo Reef is a miracle and a gift. It’s one of the last great wild places left on earth, so why would anyone put Ningaloo’s nursery at risk? Don’t let it happen. Protect Ningaloo!”
“This stretch of the West Australian coast is extremely special. Each of us travelled to Ningaloo as kids with our families. It evokes such warm nostalgia. The magic must be preserved for future generations. Fight for the Exmouth Gulf and Ningaloo!”
“Australians love Ningaloo and they’ll fight for it. 100,000 of them proved that back in 2003 and they made history. Once they hear what’s being planned for Ningaloo’s Nursery they’ll rise up and do it again.”
Australia’s most famous author, and listed as a Living Treasure by the National Trust, Tim Winton has been a conservation advocate for 25 years, and was prominent in the historic Save Ningaloo Campaign in the 2000s.
“I’m proud to support these passionate Australians fighting for a place we all love. I hope you’ll help them out to Protect Ningaloo and save Exmouth Gulf.”