Protect Ningaloo has released a campaign today which is misleading, at best.
It neglects to mention the renewable energy hub that we will build to power our single jetty port and potentially provide clean green power to the Exmouth town.
It fails to mention that we will desalinate water, which could improve the quality of drinking water for Exmouth locals, and replenish local aquifers, which are currently under pressure.
It fails to mention that the primary users of our port are likely to be defence, border force and small-to-medium size tourism vessels, as well as the importing of building materials, food and fuel for locals.
We will also be a properly regulated port, providing a safe, secure, and properly managed place to tie up for the hundreds of ships that already visit the Gulf.
Ships that, without a suitable port, currently drop anchor in the Gulf, with their anchor chains scouring sea grass on the ocean floor and threatening local marine life.
Ships that don’t get a mention in Protect Ningaloo’s anti-development material.
Protect Ningaloo also fails to mention that our project is proposed for a site next to the existing industrial precinct, over the road from the local landfill and tip site. It is far away from the southern and eastern parts of the Gulf that the Environmental Protection Authority recommend for very high protection.
The EPA has said the Exmouth Gulf is not pristine. The World Heritage area, which includes the reef and groundwater systems, was downgraded in the most recent United Nations International Union for the Conservation of Nature report.
The Gulf needs projects like ours that will protect and regenerate the local environment and tackle climate change head-on. Projects like ours, which will create more than 200 direct and indirect year-round local jobs to drive the permanent population growth necessary to underpin government investment in services like health and education.
The Protect Ningaloo campaign is about raising money from well-intentioned people on the north shore of Sydney and in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne. People who are not part of the local community, and who don’t have to worry about future jobs for their kids, or access to health and education services, or quality infrastructure.
If Protect Ningaloo opposes our green port and renewable energy hub, they’ll oppose all projects for the region. And once they stop any future development, they’ll come after existing industry and recreational activity in the Gulf.