Support for Gnarabup in full display

Warren HatelyAugusta Margaret River Times
John Butler played a set at last week's fundraiser.
Camera IconJohn Butler played a set at last week's fundraiser. Credit: Lauren Trickett

A sold-out fundraiser for the Preserve Gnarabup campaign was a roaring success last week, organisers say.

The protest group has lodged a scheme amendment with the Shire of Augusta-Margaret River which includes a potential buyback bid for the land otherwise set to feature a proposed five-star Westin Margaret River Spa and Resort.

Community activists have flagged amenity, traffic, environmental and Aboriginal history concerns with any development at the site, which includes additional mixed-use resort-style villas, residential apartments, new shops and a restaurant.

About $14,000 was raised from the gig at The River which could go back into funding the campaign, spokeswoman Beth Carlessi told the Times.

“It was an amazing night that saw many in our community join together to celebrate the importance of Gnarabup,” she said.

“The support was so great that we could have sold more than double that number of tickets with more room. Unfortunately, we could only accommodate 300 people because of restrictions.

“We thank the generosity of all the performers, the volunteers, those who donated auction and fundraising items and in-kind support, and The River for hosting this event.”

Preserve Gnarabup is planning more action, including an online pledge campaign, simultaneous Perth and Margaret River paddle-outs, a dedicated “burn the phones” campaign in which members will lobby State politicians and Shire councillors, and possibly another concert.

Ms Carlessi urged residents to continue raising their concerns about the proposal with Shire of Augusta-Margaret River councillors.

If the campaign succeeds, the Shire will be on the line for what the group estimates as $5.5 million in compensation to the developer, Luke Saraceni, who has rejected the bid.

Campaign merchandise is still available through the website

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