Friday, February 16, 2007


Ok. Coral. What's it all about? I go back to Coral Bay tomorrow to find out. I leave at dawn, to meet a group of locals who want to fight Alannah. She is the Planning Minister. "Alannah, as in spanner," as she puts it. I had a shouting match with her this week over my last story. Well, she was shouting, i was talking ... "It's not a LAND GRAB!" she said loudly, about the 2km exclusion zones she wants up the Ningaloo coast. "It's not their land! These are pastoral leases! Do you understand LEASE?!" It's also a bit more complicated than that. This coral issue seems more straightforward. The planning department are putting in a $7million boat launching facility at Paradise Beach. Stage One involves putting a whole pile of silt, sand and rubble into the water next to the coral reef. Stage Two involves taking it all out again. Uh, why not just go straight to Stage Two, and save a whole lot of coral?

The access road to Monck Head is being built even as we speak, and the dirt goes into the water on March 7. Grandmothers will be tying themselves to bulldozers, i hear. I don't think that this is good enough. I will be taking some heavy chain and padlocks to secure these grannies properly.


Seng said...

WTF - they're swamping Paradise Beach and the off-shore coral reef to build a boat launching area? Alannah IS a spanner. The worst kind!

Mark Roy said...

Yep, millions of tonnes of rubble. They can't build at the most obvious and best site, Mauds Landing, because of the Save the Ningaloo protest against the resort development, and subsequent commitment of the Government back in 2002. Mauds is a deep water, sandy beach, with the nearby Cardabia Passage going straight out into open water beyond the reef. THE most sensible spot to launch a boat, no question. Except the Government can't touch it. At the moment, people launch straight off the beach at Coral Bay amongst snorkellers and swimmers, then have to navigate a huge U-turn through a treacherous channel around the coral before ending up north of the Bay at Cardabia Passage (near Maud's Landing). DPI charts say the south passage Yolabia "should only be attempted by experienced mariners" but obviously, because of the facility's location, more people will be tempted to use it.
As far as I know, Alannah's heart is in the right place (i.e. on the left side of her body) but her options are limited. It has to go somewhere, but pylons would be infinitely preferable to rubble ... see my article "Paradise Lost", Page 1, Northern Guardian (ha ha - if you can find a copy!)
Where are the Ningaloo protesters now?