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Conservation sector launches major creative communications campaign to defend WA’s nature and call for stronger laws

Defend WA’s Nature, a new alliance of conservation groups working together to advocate for strong nature laws to protect our state’s outstanding environment, will launch a new multi-channel advertising campaign, starting with a mobile billboard display and press conference featuring key campaign representatives on Thursday, 27 June.

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.


Paul Gamblin, WA Director of the Australian Marine Conservation Society, 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.”

Jess Beckerling, the Executive Director of the Conservation Council of WA, 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.”

Martin Pritchard, Director of Strategy Environs Kimberley, 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.” 


Key figures and background:

Biodiversity in WA

15 species that have been made extinct – the highest national figure (along with NSW). 160 species are listed as critically endangered, 140 species are listed as endangered and 129 species are listed as Vulnerable 

The greatest threat and loss of biodiversity recorded nationally is in the south west of WA and this is largely due to deforestation. The largest number of mammal species most at risk of extinction are also in this area. The south west is one of two biodiversity hotspots in Australia. Mining and urbanisation were listed as key threats to endemic species. 

WA’s highly diverse coastline and marine environment are home to iconic and threatened marine life, including whales, turtles, sawfish and sea lions, that are at risk from a range of direct human and climate impacts. WA has already experienced a number of marine heatwaves that have led to coral bleaching and seagrass meadow dieback.

Source: State of the Environment 2021

Forest collapse

WA’s first recorded forest collapse event was in 2010-2011. Averaging across the region’s affected areas, 19% of trees and shrubs died, while the forests of the south-west lost approximately 16,000 hectares of canopy, about 1.5% of the forest. The endangered Carnaby’s black cockatoo population crashed, declining by 60%, while the jarrah forest east of Perth was so hard hit it was categorised at “risk of collapse” by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Scientists are still analysing the scale of the visible 2024 forest collapse event which has had a visible impact across 1,000km, and has come off the back of consecutive heat waves in September 2023, November 2023 and early 2024 as well as below average rainfall.

Source: The University of Western Australia – The Big Dry

People care about nature and protection

There is majority support for strengthening environmental laws to support nature (73%). The majority of Australians indicate that it is important to them to know nature is being looked after (85%) and indicate that nature conservation issues would influence how they voted in future elections (89%). 

Source: 2024 Biodiversity Council Report


MEDIA INFORMATION: The Conservation Council of WA (CCWA) is the state’s foremost nonprofit, non-government conservation organisation representing nearly 100 environmental organisations across Western Australia. For more information, visit:

CONTACT: For any enquiries relating to this release, please call 0413 536 966


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