WA votes

R4R, Nin­ga­loo sta­tion on agenda

Pilbara News - - Front Page - Tom Zaun­mayr

It is a bat­tle that has drawn strong re­sponses from those who travel to the Nin­ga­loo Coast, and a scrap be­tween those liv­ing on the coastal land-strip and State Gov­ern­ment over who can best look after it.

Man­agers of Nin­ga­loo and War­roora sta­tions have been fight­ing what they de­scribe as a land grab, claim­ing they have man­aged the coastal strip well for the past 100 years, and at no ex­pense to the tax­payer.

The Gov­ern­ment’s cur­rent po­si­tion is that hav­ing De­part­ment of Parks and Wildlife man­age the land would im­prove pro­tec­tion of and ac­cess to the pris­tine sec­tion of the Nin­ga­loo Coast, with im­prove­ments mooted for low-im­pact ac­com­mo­da­tion.

When Gov­ern­ment ap­pears to be taking land from those who live on it they rarely win pub­lic af­fec­tion, but Lands Min­is­ter Terry Red­man has been in­sis­tent this move is in the State’s best in­ter­ests.

On a trip to Nin­ga­loo Sta­tion late last year, man­ager Phil Ken­drick told the Pil­bara News the In­ter­na­tional Union for the Con­ser­va­tion of Na­ture said pas­toral­ists had done a good job man­ag­ing the coast­line in ques­tion.

The plan would in­clude DPaW taking over man­age­ment of the coast and tourism in­fras­truc­ture, which both sta­tions op­pose be­cause they have pro­vided sup­ple­men­tary in­come. Tourism and pro­tec­tion aside, DPaW’s plans also in­clude pro­vi­sions for em­ploy­ment of Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple peo­ple through a ranger pro­gram.

North West Cen­tral MLA Vince Cata­nia said any­one who be­lieved a Gov­ern­ment agency could man­age land bet­ter than a pas­toral­ist was kid­ding them­selves.

“Pas­toral­ists, peo­ple who live and work on the land, are best placed to man­age the land, not a Gov­ern­ment de­part­ment with lim­ited re­sources,” he said.

“They have done a good job to date and are the best ones to do it in fu­ture. We have seen what has hap­pened to pas­toral sta­tions taken over by DPaW, with is­sues around wild dogs, pests and in gen­eral not look­ing after the land.”

Greens can­di­date for North West Cen­tral Carol Green said the Nin­ga­loo and War­roora coast­lines were in need of a clear di­rec­tion to re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion.

“The is­sues con­cern­ing man­age­ment of Nin­ga­loo and War­roora Sta­tion coastal strips . . . must be re­solved in the next term of Gov­ern­ment for the ben­e­fit of all in­vested par­ties,” she said.

“With di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion there must be a com­mit­ment to bet­ter en­vi­ron­men­tal man­age­ment . . . in­clud­ing a pro­vi­sion for strength­ened her­itage pro­tec­tion of Nin­ga­loo her­itage site and in­dige­nous rangers.

“Tourism ef­forts are un­for­tu­nately hav­ing a neg­a­tive im­pact.”

Pic­ture: Tom Zaun­mayr

Phil Ken­drick from Nin­ga­loo Sta­tion.

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