Wednesday, December 17, 2008

arkaroola - crunch time

magnificent mount painter is right next door to the target area - link to my Arkaroola Sanctuary - would U mine it? set on flickr A critical time has been reached in the fight to protect the Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary.

Almost a year after the waste pits were first discovered near Mount Gee, in the heart of the Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary, Marathon Resources has completed the process of removing the thousands of tonnes of waste, some of it radioactive, it had illegally dumped.

The company has stated clearly and repeatedly that it will now apply to lift the suspension that was placed upon it by the state government after the discovery of these pits. It claims to have turned over a new leaf.

If you click the link immediately above you'll see what I think of these claims - based on the company's own words. And I'm not the only one who simply doesn't believe them - as Marg Sprigg, the Sanctuary's owner told the ABC today -

"We don't want mining... We don't trust them and we don't believe they should be allowed back, we don't believe leopards change their spots."

No-one who cares for the future of the Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary, or of high-conservation areas in general, will believe this, or be content to watch the 'dozers and drilling rigs roll back into the Sanctuary.

It's the responsibility of the state government that foolishly allowed exploration in such a sensitive region in the first place not to compound its original error.

It is vital that Labor understands that to support it by allowing the resumption of drilling will be to saddle themselves with an electoral millstone around their necks. Particularly given that former Labor Senator Chris Schacht has been a proponent of this project.

The way they will know that is from you. It's a great opportunity: the future of the Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary is in your hands.

After all, if this egregious breach of regulations does not result in the permanent removal of the right to mine, what on earth would?

Mike Rann, already electorally over-ripe, cannot afford to alienate those who care deeply about South Australia's wild places. He needs to understand that that is exactly what he will be doing should his government allow Marathon to return.

So please contact him.
And please encourage all your friends to do so. If his office is swamped by messages from concerned South Australians he'll get the message loud and clear.

The Hon. Mike Rann
Premier of South Australia

Postal Address
GPO Box 2343
Ph. 8463 3166

As usual, correspondence doesn't have to be long and detailed, it just has to be on his desk, his screen, or his phone logs. The only real necessity is to keep it polite. I've added the text of my letter as a comment below for an example. Please add yours ( I'm certainly sure that after her long ordeal Marg Sprigg would be glad to see it.)

This is your chance to make a vital contribution to the future of South Australian wilderness.

The ABC news article is attached below -

The clean-up of mining waste illegally dumped in the Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary is now over.

It has been almost a year since exploration company Marathon Resources was caught dumping the waste in the sanctuary.

A spokesman for the Department of Primary Industries says it will now focus on tidying up the areas where the waste was buried.

Marathon must now receive State Government approval before it can recommence drilling in the sanctuary.

The manager of the sanctuary, Marg Sprigg, says she is pleased all the waste is finally gone.

"It is a great relief to have it done, it's been almost 12 months since we discovered that the trenches had been filled with rubbish from Marathon so it's nice to have the job almost complete," she said.

Ms Sprigg says they want assurances this will never happen again.

"We don't want mining, we know that Marathon have done a very good job cleaning up but they should never have buried the stuff in the first place," she said.

"We don't trust them and we don't believe they should be allowed back, we don't believe leopards change their spots."

ABC online 17-12-08



  1. The Hon. Mike Rann
    Premier of South Australia

    Dear Mike Rann,

    I am writing to you to encourage you not to allow Marathon Resources to resume exploration drilling in the Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary in the northern Flinders Ranges.

    The company may well now have cleaned up the site, and will shortly apply to resume exploration activities. But I believe they have forfeited all rights to continue with their attempts to establish this mine.

    I also believe I am among a majority of thinking South Australians who feel that they should not have been granted access to this remarkable, delicate region in the first place.

    This is your government's chance to redeem itself. After all, if the outrageous dumping scandal, that had you yourself describing the company's activities as 'Cowboy', is not sufficient to earn a permanent disqualification, how much faith can South Australians place in your framework of regulatory protections?

    I remind you that the Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary is a stunning ecological and tourism icon, and we are lucky to have it in our state. Please take this opportunity to ensure that this unique natural asset does not suffer any further violation.

    Yours Sincerely,

    Bill Doyle

  2. Sure is something fishy about the whole deal here - apart from your photos which are superb - I sense something is doctored about the rest - the whole thing does'nt quite sit right - the comments from Spriggs - the comments from Parnell - Minchin - something just doesnt add up does it? Like Pierpont said early on these sharks were always going for a feed and it looks like they primarily have taken the chinese investors to the cleaners and any other suckers they can scoop up along the way...a lot of people have benefited from this rouse havent they :)? Oh well, good luck to all the $ hungry bastards that will sell their soul above a sanctuary or traditional lore which once spoke of the land and what it said...seems people have forgotten this havent they but I guess everything will come out in the wash and even if it does'nt those benefiting but playing another game will face their own challenges one day in the bardo.


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!