Leaseholders Jane and Billie Lefroy are stepping up their fight to retain wilderness camping at Ningaloo Station, challenging State Government plans to establish eco-style accommodation throughout the region.
The WA Department of Parks and Wildlife wants to seize control of the entire 50,000ha property by June 2015 with a tender process for its redevelopment in the pipeline.
Under the proposed regime, Jane’s Bay will close to campers and operate as a day use area only, with designer eco-style lodgings and vertical campgrounds planned for North and South Lefroys bays.
The Ningaloo homestead will remain as part of a 500-bed tourist epicentre, with a 100-bed eco lodge development earmarked for Winderabandi Point.
Ningaloo Station is one of many properties in the region impacted by the State’s Coastal Tourism Framework, which has allocated no areas on the foreshore for camping or presented any strategies for managing secluded campsites within the region.
Ningaloo Station is a world class provider of wilderness camping, where campers are to leave no trace on campsites that are naturally cleared. There are 311 secluded and semi-secluded campsites on the property available for $35 a week.
In 2009, the Lefroy family travelled to France, successfully overturning a push to have the Station classified as World Heritage-listed after president of the IUCN Tim Badman inadvertently supported the family’s credentials.
“The pastoralists have kept the coast in such pristine condition for the last 100 years we must put it under World Heritage,” Tim said.