Vow to fight ‘destruction’

Augusta Margaret River Times
Petition organiser Katie Rowe.
Camera IconPetition organiser Katie Rowe. Credit: Supplied

Mandurah woman Katie Rowe’s petition opposing the proposed Westin Margaret River Resort & Spa project has gathered more than 13,000 signatures in a week and continues apace.

Ms Rowe, pictured, told the Times she started the Change.org petition, despite not living in the region, because preservation of Margaret River’s coastline was significant to all West Australians.

“Because I am an Indigenous woman from the west coast, even though I live in Mandurah, I am still strongly connected to the Margaret River region and I was really upset when I found out the plans for the area,” she said. “I am dedicated to preserving sacred locations, caring for and respecting the land and wildlife in Australia.

“I believe there has not been enough cultural sensitivities or community consultation to allow this construction to go ahead.”

The trainee teacher did cop some flak online for not living in the area, with residents questioning how many signatures were likewise from outside the region.

Resort proponent Luke Saraceni also noted several factual errors in the petition screed, such as reference to tree removal and the amount of land in question.

But Ms Rowe said the issue was important and resonated with many residents. “I have been watching the high levels of destruction taken place all over Australia and want to stop it from spreading to pristine, sacred locations such as Margaret River, especially after so many sacred sites have already been lost to big companies this year,” she said.

“I want to continue to regularly enjoy the natural aspects of what Margaret River has to offer — its sacred locations, campsites, climbing locations, local businesses, hiking trails, pristine beaches and its abundance of forests and wildlife should all be protected from any international multi-billion-dollar companies’ destructive plans.”

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