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Ningaloo reef under threat from Apache drilling plans

Western Australia’s iconic Ningaloo Reef is at risk from a plan by Apache Energy to drill within 1km of the World Heritage site, the Greens warned today. 

Greens Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam said Ningaloo’s enormous environmental and tourism value must not be jeopardised by reckless industrialisation. 

“Ten years ago the people of Western Australia united to save Ningaloo from a destructive and short-sighted marina development plan.  We can’t let that be in vain by allowing disruptive drilling so close to a precious natural environment. 

“Apache plans drilling at the Ennerdale-1 well at the start of 2014.  The Ningaloo marine park boundary only extends 200 metres beneath the seabed so if Apache were to develop this site they would be able to drill horizontally underneath the World Heritage site for up to 6km – this calls for intervention by the Commonwealth to protect Ningaloo,” said Senator Ludlam. 

Greens Mining and Pastoral MLC Robin Chapple said the State Government has set dangerously low standards for energy and resources projects. 

“With State mines minister Bill Marmion recently threatening to ‘streamline’ the environmental approvals process, there is a serious risk of this project going ahead and then expanding at an unchecked rate,” said Mr Chapple. 

“The Barnett Government’s record of supporting half-baked and dangerous industrial projects – such as the gas hub at James Price Point, the Muja coal debacle and uranium mining at Wiluna – is already dismal. We can’t allow it to get even worse.”



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