Nothing is sure to fire up the greenies than the prospect of greedy, evil multinational corporations digging around the isolated coastline of WA for that apocalypse-waiting-to-happen: oil. Not surprisingly, when Shell lodged a proposal to drill 50kms away from Ningaloo’s Marine Park, the greenies got on their soap boxes.
Rachel Siewert (WA Greens Senator) condemned the plan, saying that, “Ningaloo is one place which is too important to jeopardise with oil and gas exploration. All the regulations and precautions in the world will not offer the level of protection the area needs.”
Paul Gamblin of WWF said, “Clearly for a place like Ningaloo we should be protecting these areas, and not allowing oil and gas activity so close.” Mr Gamblin reckon tourism is under threat because of this oil rig, which would be a great loss.
Ronnie Fleay, however, burst their little bubble though with this:
The Shire president Ronnie Fleay says the project should not come as a suprise because Shell has kept the community well informed.
She says there are already operations closer to the reef than the Shell proposal.
"I don’t think it will have any impact to be honest, none of the others have, in fact tourists are quite fascinated to stand on our hill where our lighthouse is and to be able to see the flaring out there on the platforms," she said.
"I don’t think the tourists in general will even know they are there."
Oh dear, the hysteria of the greenies is shown up for what it is. It is disappointing that Geoff Hutchison would first go to the WWF and Paul Gamblin, who presumably doesn’t actually live in Exmouth (more likely inner-city Perth), when the president of the Shire of Exmouth could immediately put things into perspective.
Or maybe Geoff wanted to lend his soft-touch interviewing skills to the cause.