Friday, March 7, 2008

sanctuaries to remain unprotected

ridgetop tour vehicles on the flanks of mount painter opposite mount gee in the arkaroola wilderness sanctuary - link to the 'arkaroola - would U mine it?' set on flickr Mike Rann's Labor government, and the Liberal opposition, have joined forces to block a bill proposed by Greens MLC Mark Parnell in the state's upper house that would have placed an outright ban on mineral exploration and mining in the state's private sanctuaries

Govt rejects mining ban

ABC news online 6th March 2008

The South Australian Government and the Opposition have voted together to reject a Greens bid to stop mining in the state's sanctuaries.

Greens MP Mark Parnell says he will reintroduce the bill in another form, to stop mining specifically in the Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary in the northern Flinders Ranges.

A mining company was investigated last month over the way drilling samples were disposed of in the area.

Mr Parnell says the Government needs to support his amended bill.

"I'll come back with a specific bill just to prevent mining in Arkaroola," he said.

"It's the biggest sanctuary in SA, it's the most important and that's what we need to protect.

"Sanctuaries comprise only one tenth of one per cent of our state and if those areas aren't too precious to mine then where is?"

As Mark points out, sanctuaries are a tiny proportion of the area of the state - but it seems that nothing is too precious to be excluded from the reach of the all-powerful mining industry - not even these private reserves their owners have attempted to establish solely as conservation areas!

And it's also to be noted that despite recent rhetoric from the Liberal Party at both the state and federal level decrying the absurdity of Labor's having ever allowed mineral exploration in the state's premier sanctuary - Arkaroola - in the first place, when it comes to a test they appear to lack the courage to support the principle that some areas simply should not be mined.

One awaits their response to Mark's revised bill with interest.

I believe that former Liberal environment minister Iain Evans - the man who blocked mining in the Weetootla Gorge and had miners completely excluded from the Gammon Ranges National Park (the sanctuary's southern neighbour) - is also drafting his own bill to fully-protect Arkaroola. One hopes that this is a sign that his party will eventually stand behind its own rhetoric.

1 comment:

  1. We're gunna dig stuff up until there aint no more to dig.



thanks for your contribution - bill - i'm genuinely sorry about having to switch on the 'moderation' process but comment spammers have really been cluttering up this journal!