Media releases

After an 18 month journey, the Shire of Augusta Margaret River has been certified as an ECO Destination – one of four in Australia, all leading the way in ecotourism!

The globally recognised certification saw an independent auditor travel to the region to assess the evidence across 105 criteria that demonstrate Margaret River’s commitment to best-practice sustainable management.

The in-depth Ecotourism Australia (EA) certification covers all aspects of local sustainability, spanning waste and water management, pollution, revegetation, and the way visitors are attracted to and dispersed through the region.    

Chief Executive Officer of Ecotourism Australia, Elissa Keenan, stated on this achievement, “The Shire of Augusta Margaret River is the first region in Western Australia to become a certified ECO Destination and one of four ECO Destinations nationally to be recognised for their commitment to global best standard sustainability practices. The ECO Destination Certification program is rigorous and ensures certified destinations are backed by a strong, well-managed commitment to ongoing improvement of sustainable practices and providing high-quality nature-based tourism experiences within the region.

“We congratulate the Shire of Augusta Margaret River on becoming an ECO Destination, building on their existing climate action projects and their commitment to continuous improvement of sustainable tourism practices within the region.”

As an ecologically rich environment, and nestled within one of 36 international biodiversity hotspots, the Shire prides itself on environmental awareness and action. This is evidenced in the region’s range of high-quality, nature-based tourism experiences and strong conservation ethic. This certification recognises the efforts of the entire community as well as local government and tourism industry initiatives. It’s a result of the hard work of tourism operators, non-profits, volunteers, local businesses, and residents.

Margaret River is widely recognised for its proactive environmental stance. In 2019 the Shire of Augusta Margaret River partnered with community members to deliver a Climate Action Summit at the head of the Margaret River Surf Pro, and following this declared a climate emergency, with a target of net zero emissions by 2030 endorsed in the recent Climate Action Plan.

Shire of Augusta Margaret River CEO Stephanie Addison-Brown said the Shire had worked extremely hard to achieve this ecotourism accomplishment, which will serve to attract visitors to the region who were looking for low-impact travel opportunities.

“This is an opportunity to celebrate the commitment our community has made to sustainability and helps promote our incredible region as a place that expects the best treatment. It is not about increasing visitor numbers but is about increasing awareness of the preciousness of our home,” she said.

“Community members consistently tell us that sustainability is a top priority for the Shire, so being able to announce this achievement just ahead of World Environment Day is an exciting affirmation of our community’s values.”

Margaret River Busselton Tourism Association (MRBTA), has supported the Shire of Augusta Margaret River in pursuing the certification. 

MRBTA Joint CEO, Sharna Kearney, said it was a positive step for the region.

“This is great encouragement on our journey as a destination, and is testament to the efforts of innovative local tourism businesses working hard to deliver high quality visitor experiences in a responsible way.

“This Certification adds to the ways in which we can send a strong signal to high value travellers with a growing interest in destinations which are managed sustainably. We will continue to work with our members to pursue development opportunities which will enable them to increase their appeal to these audiences, to work smarter and create a positive impact in the region where they live and work.”

While working through the certification, the Shire of Augusta Margaret River partnered with MRBTA on an Eco Support Package, providing financial contributions and hands-on mentoring to assist local tourism operators to work through their own certification. The Shire’s ECO Destination Certification coincides with four additional local tourism businesses gaining ECO certification.

Congratulations to Blackwood River Houseboats, Fair Harvest Permaculture, Tanah Marah, and Margaret River Discovery Company, whose hard work has seen them attain ECO Certification right as the region as a whole announces its Destination Certification.
These operators join those with existing ECO Certification, bringing the total number of certified tours and attractions in the Shire to fifteen including:

MRBTA/Capes Foundation attractions: Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse, Eagles Heritage, Jewel, Lake and Mammoth Cave;

Cape to Cape Explorer Tours;

Margaret River Retreat;

Margaret River Surf School;

Surf N Dirt Adventure Tours;

Right Foot Forward WA and

Southern Fire Wellness.

Additional information:

Check out the Shire’s ECO Destination webpage.

Margaret River now features in Ecotourism Australia’s online Green Travel Guide.

Ecotourism Australia (EA) is a non-government, not-for-profit organisation, established in 1991, that promotes and supports the ecotourism industry in Australia through building capacity and actively promoting sustainable tourism operations and systems. Ecotourism Australia is acknowledged globally for their industry standards and recognised by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC). They are recognised as the credible, national peak body for sustainable and nature-based tourism in Australia (www.ecotourism.org.au).

Margaret River Busselton Tourism Association (MRBTA) is a self-funded, not-for-profit, incorporated association with over 50 years’ experience in supporting the Margaret River Region to thrive through tourism (www.margaretriver.com).

For further information please contact: [email protected] or 9780 5673.

Pictured here is:
Front row (L-R): MRBTA's Jenny Lee and Joint CEO Sharna Kearney (MRBTA), Jodie Lane (Fair Harvest), Shire President Paula Cristoffanini and Linda Curtin (Tanah Marah).
Back row (L-R): Pam Winter (Blackwood River Houseboats), Saul Cresswell (Shire of Augusta Margaret River), Sean Blocksidge (Margaret River Discovery Co.), Stephanie Addison-Brown (Shire of Augusta Margaret River CEO) and Rory Curtin (Tanah Marah).

For high resolution images click here.

Community Newsletter

Subscribe to receive Notices and Tenders, Jobs Ads, Media Releases, or the Shire’s E-newsletter

Back to top ↑

Contact the Shire

Postal Address

PO Box 61
Margaret River WA 6285

Margaret River

41 Wallcliffe Road
Monday to Friday
9am-4pm
Ph 08 9780 5255
Fax 08 9757 2512

Augusta

66 Allnut Terrace
Tues, Wed, Thurs
9am-12pm, 1pm-4pm
Ph 08 9780 5255

Emergencies

For contact details for fire, police, bushfire brigades, hospitals, storm damage, power outages, etc please see the emergency contact page

National Relay Service

If you are deaf or have a hearing or speech impairment call us through the National Relay Service

Change of details form

To ensure that you receive your Rates Notice on time we need to be updated on changes. You can do this online.