South West Greens MLC Diane Evers will continue to campaign on behalf of community calls to protect the South West environment for future generations when she tables a petition in WA Parliament today to halt the controversial resort and housing development proposed for Margaret River’s Gnarabup Headland.
Ms Evers has backed efforts by the local community and protest group Preserve Gnarabup to stop the development from going ahead and has urged the WA Government to protect the narrow strip of fragile undeveloped limestone karst headland from the proposed development.
992 people have signed the petition to protect Gnarabup, with over 20,000 more signatures lending support to the petition through an online equivalent that is, unfortunately, ineligible for consideration by WA Parliament. Despite more than a decade of opposition by the community, the Shire of Augusta-Margaret River had approved the request for a subdivision to allow a hotel, mixed tourism short stay and permanent residential housing.
Ms Evers said that an increased understanding of the impacts of climate change including rising sea levels on the Western Australian coastline, as well as the enormous biodiversity importance of the Gnarabup environment, meant the Government must protect the land.
The tabling of the petition by Ms Evers comes after the Preserve Gnarabup group raised more than $50,0000 in under a fortnight to fund the cost of campaigning to reverse the development, with a $100,000 target in sight. The campaign aims to fund either the reservation of land or a buy-back of land on Gnarabup headland where the housing estate and resort is proposed.
QUOTES ATTRIBUTED TO DIANE EVERS MLC:
“Margaret River is a world-renowned destination, not for its hotel developments, but for its pristine coastal environment and natural landscape.
“Almost a thousand locals oppose the destruction of the Gnarabup headland for the hotel development, with tens of thousands more lending their voice online.
“In July, I joined with others from the Augusta-Margaret River community when more than 400 people attended a rally at Reuther Park to oppose this proposal.
“This development proposal has caused significant angst in the community, who wish to see the land preserved for public purposes.
“While it is important to ensure the local tourism trade is able to cater for visitors, this development would diminish amenity and access to valuable community and tourism assets, such as Margaret River’s only protected swimming and recreation beach.
“The message is clear to the McGowan Government: it is crucial that we do not sacrifice such important regional environmental assets.
“We need to preserve this coastline and encourage development for areas more suited to sustainability and managed tourism growth.
“The impact of this town precinct development, with a multinational conglomerate at the centre of the plans, would significantly erode the natural environment and affect existing tourism businesses working hard to succeed in the region.
“Let’s not pave paradise to put up a Marriot.”
GET IN TOUCH:
Hon. Diane Evers
MLC for South West
(08) 9486 8070