Conservation Proposal for Ningaloo

Field Program
Science: surveys and research

December 2002: Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC) has today released its proposal for the establishment of a non-profit marine research station adjacent to Ningaloo Reef.

The documents released by AWC demonstrate the absurdity of the claim by Norman Moore MLC that AWC is proposing a tourism resort to rival the massive Maud’s Landing development.

AWC proposes the establishment of a world-class marine research station, together with educational facilities and facilities dedicated to the conservation of some of Australia’s most endangered mammals, on the Ningaloo Pastoral Lease. AWC is a part owner (25%) of the pastoral lease.

AWC has submitted the proposal to the State government and its lease partners for consideration. However, the future of the proposal is in doubt after the State Government’s decision that it will not renew the coastal areas of the Ningaloo Pastoral Lease.

If it proceeds, the AWC facility would work in co-operation with universities and museums to conduct desperately needed research on the conservation and sustainable use of Ningaloo’s pristine environment. The proposal would include the establishment of:

  • Wet and dry laboratories and accommodation for visiting scientists and staff;
  • A feral proof fence to exclude foxes and protect endangered sea turtles, black-flanked rock wallabies and reintroduced mammals such as the bilby; and
  • A low key bush camp comprising 10 seasonally removable safari-style tents and an associated visitor’s centre.

AWC is registered by the Federal government as a non-profit organisation dedicated to the conservation of Australia’s wildlife. Funded by donations from the public, AWC now manages for wildlife conservation 10 properties around Australia.

The proposed Ningaloo marine research station and associated facilities would also be funded primarily by donations, with a percentage of costs hopefully recovered from fees paid by visiting scientists and by revenue from the 10 tent bush camp.

Norman Moore’s claim that the ten tent camp proposed by AWC is somehow a ‘rival’ to the mega-resort at Ningaloo, which will host more than 2,000 guests, is absurd. However, his lack of knowledge is not surprising given his failure to respond to an offer by AWC to brief him on our conservation initiative.

The AWC letter dated 5 September 2002 to Norman Moore is still unanswered after 3 months.