Using the law to defend the Ningaloo Marine Park

Western Australia’s Exmouth Gulf is a critical biodiversity hotspot, home to marine life including dugongs and humpback whales, and inextricably linked with the nearby World Heritage-listed Ningaloo Reef.

Subsea 7’s proposal would have seen an extensive fabrication facility built on the pristine Exmouth Gulf coastline, supplying massive pipelines for use in offshore oil facilities.

The pipelines, measuring up to 10km in length, would be dragged through biologically-sensitive Ningaloo Marine Park with ballast chains out to oil rigs right next to the protected Ningaloo Reef.

The proposal faced a massive backlash from the local community and people across Australia, with concerns the proposal could put important whale nurseries at risk and impact a marine area up to 1000 football ovals in size.

EDO worked closely with community groups including the Australian Marine Conservation Society to challenge the plan through its environmental approvals process, including its assessment by WA’s Environmental Protection Authority.

The proposal was put on hold in August while the EPA conducted a study of cumulative environmental impacts on the Gulf, with Subsea 7 officially abandoning the project this week.

While this is a great win for the Heritage-listed Ningaloo Reef, the Exmouth Gulf is still under threat from resource development.

EDO will continue to work with the community providing legal advice, support and representation to ensure our climate and precious marine life stays protected.

From boots on the ground to the boardroom – our lawyers are there for communities

Our legal team is at the frontline of the community’s battle against damaging new gas and oil projects.

Driven by the support of people like you, we’re providing urgent, on-the-ground legal support to communities right across Australia fighting new gas and oil developments like those in the Exmouth Gulf.

Below is a map of our work challenging gas developments and exploration across the country.

Click on any EDO logo to find out more on our work in the area and find cases closest to you.