Media Release Threatened Species

Conservation sector launches creative campaign to defend WA’s nature

June 27, 2024

Defend WA’s Nature, a new alliance of conservation groups working together to advocate for strong nature laws to protect Western Australia’s outstanding environment, will launch a new multi-channel advertising campaign, starting with a mobile billboard display and press conference featuring key campaign representatives today.

WA’s already stressed natural environment is facing further, intense pressure from powerful corporate interests to weaken existing state and federal government nature laws. If this corporate lobbying campaign is successful, experts warn that it will be easier for corporations to proceed with projects that will harm nature.

Via billboard, social media and full-page newspaper ads, the campaign will send many thousands of messages to the Prime Minister, WA Premier, federal Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek and WA Environment Minister Reece Whitby to demonstrate that Western Australians want strong nature protection laws.

The alliance has worked with an advertising agency to develop a novel campaign to reflect the broad community’s concerns about the future of WA’s wildlife and natural environment. Several national and WA-based conservation groups have contributed substantial funding and in-kind funding to support the campaign.

The first wave of advertising, ‘Animal Defenders’, shows highly realistic, AI-generated,  iconic Western Australian wildlife species using nature-inspired weapons to square up to excavators that are clearing the landscape around them.  While each animal’s response is clearly fantastical, the scenarios they are shown in represent real threats facing animals like the numbat and sea turtle featured in the images.  The campaign imagery effectively illustrates the general plight of animals that are defenceless against habitat destruction and rely on state and federal nature laws for survival.

Australian Marine Conservation Society WA Director Paul Gamblin said: “This major new advertising campaign demonstrates our determination to fight for threatened wildlife that can’t defend itself. The wildlife defender turtle and numbat will be seen by tens of thousands of people across WA. We know that Western Australians identify deeply with WA’s nature and we love our state’s natural places. The broad community expects our members of federal and state parliaments to strengthen nature laws, not weaken them at the behest of vested corporate interests. It’s crucial that strong national nature laws be delivered in this term of the federal government to protect our much-loved natural places like Ningaloo, Shark Bay and the Margaret River region.”

Conservation Council of WA Executive Director Jess Beckerling said: “The nature we love in Western Australia is in serious trouble. Our state emblem, the numbat, is at risk of extinction, along with many other wildlife species facing similar fates due to increasing threats from climate change, deforestation, land clearing, fossil fuel expansion, industrialisation, and pollution. In the midst of the climate and biodiversity crisis, there is an attack on nature laws by powerful corporate interests. We must act now to defend WA’s nature and ensure that our nature laws are protected and strengthened.” 

Environs Kimberley’s Director of Strategy, Martin Pritchard, said: “The Kimberley’s globally important intact landscapes attract hundreds of thousands of visitors every year and underpin the region’s $500 million tourism industry. Strong nature laws are essential to protect the very reason people come here, which is to experience nature and culture that you can’t experience in other parts of the world. We’re calling on the Cook government to strengthen rather than weaken nature laws. The Premier needs to stand up to oil and gas and mining corporations who want open slather here.”