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CROWDS RALLY FOR GNARABUP COASTAL PRESERVATION

Augusta Margaret River Mail

Hundreds of people arrived in Margaret River on Saturday afternoon, keen to voice their opposition to the proposed Westin Margaret River Resort development.

Preserve Gnarabup spokesperson Beth Carlessi said the community was “overwhelmingly” against the planned hotel development.

“Construction of this large and imposing resort goes against the wishes of many people in the community. It will erode our sense of place, our community identity,” she said.

Group member and Cape to Cape Lawyers solicitor Clare Gleeson said the initial hotel plans were “just the start”.

“The current proposal of the 120-room resort is only the beginning,” she said. “Many people don’t realise that the Developer is planning to build residential and tourism villas on the lots adjacent to the resort site.”

In a statement released last week, the group said the resort location was poor for a number of reasons including lack of local infrastructure to support major tourism development, fire safety risks, cultural impacts and rising sea levels leading to erosion.

“The large-scale development is in contravention of 40 years of careful planning work by the State and Local Government for this sensitive coastal area.

“Preserve Gnarabup will shortly launch a campaign to raise funds for compensation to give the Developer back his money.”

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