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Nice Timing

-         JOE Poprzeczny’s State Scene article ‘Wedged on the Reef’ of January 16 2003 was very appropriate considering the timing of current announcements concerning the Ningaloo Reef developments.

-         While several previous governments have dithered and swayed in regard to committing definite decisions for this area, the Gallop Government’s action in excising coastal land may yet lead to more indecision and hardship for the two local shires as far as management and financial commitment are concerned.

-         I believe the Government should commit itself to the formation of a single management body similar to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, thereby relieving the shires from economic stress while affording them representation – and allowing credit operators such as Ningaloo Reef Outback Coast Association to be licensed.

-         Regarding the submission presented to Dr Gallop by the Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC) in regard to development at Ningaloo Station, there is already concern expressed as to the methods used to acquire that quarter share of Ningaloo.

-         Members of the Lefroy family who have lived and worked the Ningaloo lease for over 60 years have suffered considerable angst as part of their property and livelihood was disenfranchised from them.

-         It may well be an appropriate time to review the actions – or lack of – that the Pastoral Board is generally expected to perform. It is certainly my view that a share of a pastoral lease should be viewed as a portion of the whole – not one that can allow a quarter share to be allocated from the main body.

-         It becomes more difficult to rationalise when the selected quarter share contains all of the most pristine sections of coastline that would be tourist oriented.

-         The question of future development at Maud’s Landing is merely one issue of many and should be viewed in context as to the most beneficial outcome for not only tourists but also ratepayers of Carnarvon and Exmouth.

 

-         John Fischer

-         Member for Mining and Pastoral Region, Perth

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