Goldfields Minister Ian Taylor announced today that he would take to Cabinet a recommendation rejecting World Heritage listing of the Nullarbor.
The State Government undertook to consult with local people prior to making a determination whether or not to proceed with voting on the area.
State member for Eyre Julian Grill and Federal Member for Kalgoorlie Graeme Campbell have made representations to Mr Taylor in his capacity as Goldfields Minister, following extensive ongoing consultations with local people strongly opposed to World Heritage listing of the area.
Mr Taylor has also received representations and submissions from the Nullarbor Protection Society and concerned individuals outlining a range of concerns. Many of the arguments are familiar and cover social, economic and constitutional issues.
Mr Taylor's announcement is consistent with the Government's undertaking not to proceed with listing without the support of local people.
"I have already discussed the matter with the Minister for the Environment. I must also stress that there are areas of value and special features which should be protected."
World Heritage listing would not provide more effective protection than was available through existing State Government legislation and management proposals.
"My recommendation to Cabinet opposing World Heritage listing would incorporate an undertaking by the State Government to take responsibility for the protection of special features and that in this work, the State would establish ongoing consultation processes with local people," Mr Taylor said.
"Local people recognise the need to protect these special features, such as the extensive cave system, through proper management. In representations to Julian Grill, Graeme Campbell and myself, the local people have indicated their support and willingness to become involved in these processes," he said.
The Minister said his Cabinet submission not to support World Heritage listing of the Nullarbor would effectively put an end to this divisive issue as Federal Environment Minister Ros Kelly had publicly stated that she would not proceed with World Heritage listing of the Nullarbor without the support of both the Western Australian and South Australian Governments.