Protect Ningaloo takes gulf fight to German saltworks backer’s HQ 

  • Billboards have popped up all over Kassel, Germany, asking K+S to drop saltworks

  • The ‘postcard’ billboard shows iconic Exmouth Gulf animals – a dugong and a turtle – asking K+S to stop plans to damage their home

Protect Ningaloo has taken the fight to save Exmouth Gulf – Ningaloo’s nursery – from industrialisation to the doorstep of the German-based multinational that’s planning a huge saltworks over nationally listed wetlands on the shores of the Western Australian gulf.

Billboards opposing the development have appeared all over the German city of Kassel, headquarters for K+S, the corporation behind the project. K+S is seeking environmental approval to develop the saltworks that would cover about 210 square kilometres and require extensive land clearing and construction. That’s an area about 52 times the size of Perth’s Kings Park or nearly 12,000 MCG ovals.

The billboards feature a postcard saying “Greetings from Australia” with a post-it note attached urging K+S to stop its plans for the massive saltworks in Exmouth Gulf-Ningaloo before it damages this special place forever.

Australian Marine Conservation Society Protect Ningaloo Campaign Director Paul Gamblin says the billboard campaign aims to persuade K+S executives to be responsible global citizens and reconsider the project because of the damage it would cause to an area of outstanding conservation value. Exmouth Gulf is a vital part of the nearby Ningaloo Reef ecosystem, with UNESCO recommending Exmouth Gulf be considered for inclusion in the World Heritage-listed Ningaloo Coast.

“K+S needs to understand that Ningaloo-Exmouth Gulf is loved by people all over the world, including many German tourists, who have been visiting it for decades,” Mr Gamblin said. “We call on K+S executives to do the right thing and show what it means to be a responsible global citizen in 2024.

“We want the executive and employees of K+S in Kassel to understand the deep concern in Australia for this massive industrial project and for K+S to not proceed any further with it.

“More than 15,000 people have already emailed WA Environment Minister Reece Whitby saying they are opposed to K+S’s proposal. Another 14,000 people have emailed Federal Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek calling for Exmouth Gulf to be granted National Heritage protection. Controversy is building around this proposal and it’s important for K+S leadership in Germany to be accountable.”

The WA Government has committed to strengthening environmental protection for Exmouth Gulf, including a marine park adjacent to the proposed saltworks, and it is hoped this prospect will also deter K+S from proceeding with the project.

/Public Release. View in full here.