Thursday, September 17, 2009

arkaroola cyberaction takes off

link to the TWS cyber-actionThe Wilderness Society's cyberaction to defend the Arkaroola Sanctuary has generated an impressive total of correspondence - some 1300 letters at the time of my writing - directed to Premier Rann asking him personally to intervene to save the Arkaroola Sanctuary from the mining lobby.

You can see it - and sign it - online here. You can also see some of the comments people are making in their individual letters, and I've culled a few below to make clear what Australians think of the Sanctuary, and to serve as examples for further correspondence.

liz's message
The Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary is arguably South Australia's premier ecotourism destination and the very model of the type of business we need to be encouraging to develop in response to the increasing threat of global warming.

donman's message
We really do need to save some wilderness areas for our future generations to enjoy. Mining only lasts a few years - then the wilderness does not return.

earthmother's message
I grew up in Leigh Creek...lucky me. Arkaroola is a sanctuary, many camping trips there are in my childhood memories. People always comment on its beauty in photos. This is a very special place, it needs to be preserved and protected.

Leon's message
Apart from the undesirability of mining uranium in general, there is certainly no justification for desecrating the Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary to do so. Surely Olympic Dam mine should satisfy any uranium demand?

gillian's message
I have travelled in Arkaroola and fell in love with its remote and untouched grandeur. It has a wild and harsh beauty unlike any other. Please protect its future.

alex's message
In recognition of Marathon Resources record of disregard for the environment in the Arkaroola Sanctuary, and in recognition of the natural value of the sanctuary in the state with the worst record for mammal extinctions in Australia (the country with the worst record of mammal extinctions in the world), I believe it would be a huge mistake, politically and environmentally, to renew the Marathon Mining lease on the sanctuary.

Mz's message
I personally 100% support this campaign, and believe I am representative of a majority of Australians who would wish to see the power and authority of government acting for an ethical and sustainable shift away from natural resource capitalism.
Our times have changed. Our eyes are opened. Our future matters.

anonymous's message
Arkaroola is a national treasure. I spent many weeks exploring it a few winters ago. This small crumpled semi-arid highland peninsula bounded on two sides by flat hot sandplains and the wilderness of the Mawson Plateau on the third is something I will never forget and yearn to revisit. The startling contours of the landforms, the dryland plants (oh, the beauty of those callitris trees) and secretive animals, the bright desert light and startling blue sky are unmatched anywhere. To scar or excavate let alone road or mine even a small piece of this precious place would be nothing less than desecration. If anything, Arkaroola and the adjoining Mawson Plateau should be permanently protected by law so even the idea of mining will never be considered again.

dick's message
I visited Arkaroola in the mid 1970s when I was living in SA. I was very impressed by the natural beauty and diversity of the area and also by the regeneration efforts of the people managing the sanctuary. Mining exploration would jeopardise all that they have done to restore this area to its pristine condition and would destroy its atttractivenss as an eco-tourism destination.

and, finally, my own message
Mr Rann, your Mineral Resources minister Mr. Holloway has spoken of the current system of protecting wild areas as 'imperfect' and of the need to identify those areas best excluded from mining.

He says he has raised this issue with both the Minister for Environment and Conservation, Jay Weatherill, and the SA Chamber of Mines and Energy, and that he proposed negotiations to this end involving conservation groups and landowners.

As Minister Holloway has said 'By and large, the mining industry as a whole does not want to be involved in mining and issues which create public controversy and which create conditions that are to the detriment of the mining industry as a whole.'

All this is commendable - however, it seems remarkably inconsistent with the notion of re-issuing Marathon Resources exploration licence! Did you not describe their activities yourself as 'cowboy'? What could be more detrimental to the image of both your government and of the mining industry?

Go to to make your own contribution.


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

TWS cyber-action - and where's jay?

link to the TWS cyber-actionThe Wilderness Society has launched a cyber-action targetting the Premier of South Australia, Mike Rann, asking him to intervene directly to ensure full protection for the Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary.

It's available online here. Now it's a very straightforward matter to get your voice heard - please do it, and feel free to circulate the link widely. The Premier must know that he cannot shirk dealing with this matter.

and where's jay?...

Don't you think it's a little odd that the only Minister you are hearing from in regard to the Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary is Paul Holloway, Minister for Mineral Resources Development?

I certainly do! After all, we're talking about one of the state's premier wild regions, and a sanctuary designated under the National Parks and Wildlife Act!

So, where is the Minister for Environment and Conservation - Jay Weatherill - in all this? I've written to ask him (if you are inclined to contact details follow this letter);

The Hon. Jay Weatherill
Minister for Environment and Conservation
Parliament House, South Australia

Proper protection for the Arkaroola Sanctuary

Dear Jay Weatherill,

Firstly, I must say I was pleased to read of your department's recent acquisitions that have expanded the area of parks on the west coast of the Eyre Peninsula. I congratulate you on and your department on taking such important steps to preserve the wild characteristics of this important area.

However it is not, sadly, of good news that I intend to write.

I refer to the Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary, and your fellow minister Paul Holloway's recent announcement that Marathon Resources' exploration lease will be renewed.

I admit I find myself dumbfounded by your government's strategy in this matter. Here we have a world-class wild area, run as an equally world-class eco-tourism facility (so successfully it was inducted into the SA Tourism Hall of Fame in 2007) - and yet, here we also have an avowedly 'environmentally-conscious' state government that seems to going out of its way to facilitate an assault on an area that should have been a clear choice for full protection.

Now, apparently, your government wants to go so far as to provide a 'second chance' to a company that has already disgraced itself at a time there was the option to simply be rid of them forever to hand! This has to lead to serious questions regarding your government's commitment to the protection of wild areas.

I believe that it was patently apparent from the off that this magnificent wild area is not an appropriate target for the mining industry. I would hope that in your role as Minister for the Environment - and the Minister responsible for the Act under which this sanctuary was declared - that you would agree with this assertion. What part of the state is wilder, or more unique, than the Arkaroola Sanctuary?

Shortly after this poor decision to allow exploration in the first place the Premier compounded matters, rather making a fool of himself by insisting that this proposed mine was only 'near Arkaroola', rather than in the very heart of the Sanctuary! This is a delusion I trust no-one in Cabinet still suffers from! This is also sufficient to entitle the public to genuinely wonder where what sort of attention your government was paying to this matter.

Since that time we have had the illegally buried waste fiasco (not to mention the vandalistic assault on a geological monument) which I'm sure I have no need to elaborate on, and then the farce of trying to get any other region in the state to voluntarily re-house the waste. I suggest that this has not left a favourable public impression of either the mining industry or your government as a regulator of it.

Which leads us to what I would argue is the main problem. Why on earth is it up to PIRSA and its minister to make these decisions in this kind of situation? Are you really content that your colleague, Paul Holloway, acts as a de facto Environment Minister for a vast proportion of the land area of the state? Even in the bulk of the area of our designated reserve system your power to prevent mining is pitted directly against his to endorse it - and as for any other wild area that hasn't had the good fortune to be afforded even this meagre protection… well, you tell me what you can do!

Given this bizarre and precarious situation the 'protections' provided by the Mining Act - including the recent proposed amendments - are meagre consolation to those who value the state's wild heritage.

I refer to those recent proposed revisions. The discussion document that was circulated to accompany their publication contains much that is of grave concern in itself. For a start, an apparently timely - in fact, I'd argue, long overdue - provision to allow for an 'Early No' to proposed projects on public interest grounds, including environmental concerns, is described as being unlikely to make its way into the final draft, due, it would seem, to 'industry concerns'. It is then asserted that an 'informal' advice to the applicant should be sufficient to dissuade them from proceeding. Would you call this 'process' adequate protection for areas of the calibre of the Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary? In fact, does it even qualify as a process?

Another seemingly long-overdue provision - allowing the Minister to exclude any 'Special Declared Area' from the provisions of the Mining Act on public interest grounds, thereby halting any exploration or mining - is held in the discussion (again, apparently to allay industry fears) to merely be a provision to allow for the assessment of competing claims in highly-prospective areas! So much for the hope that common-sense protection from outrageous proposals was about to be afforded!

But we must still step back still further here - so it's left up to the Mineral Resource Development Minister to determine from the off whether a proposed project is too potentially threatening to Environment and Heritage to proceed? Would you say that this is satisfactory? You could 'have a word' to him, I suppose, much as he's apparently content to leave himself in a position where he could 'have a word' to a company proposing to, say, sink a shaft into the centre of the Mawson Plateau or dig up some Organ Pipe formations on the Mount Ive station (if you think I'm exaggerating here I suggest you go pay a visit to PIRSA's SARIG geoserver some time!)

Does this strike you as a responsible position for any government that maintains it wishes to do the right thing by the environment to hold? I am gravely concerned that for vast areas of the state any 'presumption of innocence' in conflicting land-use claims effectively rests with the mining industry. Consequently I've had to scramble around for 2 years trying desperately to defend one of the state's most spectacular wild regions from a project that should simply never have been given permission to proceed.

I'll add that Marathon's activities have hardly been a great advertisement for the mining industry in this state, either. No-one gains from bad policy.

This is acknowledged by Minister Holloway, and here I would like to quote him, speaking in Parliament at the time of the defeat of Mark Parnell's bill to ban mining in sanctuaries -

I think what needs to be remembered here is that we have a system of national parks where we try to assess values and set the ground rules where mining, which includes exploration, can and cannot take place. Clearly, that system is imperfect. There are some regions of the state, for tourism and other values, that probably are not in national parks but where we still would want to restrict mining. I have certainly been talking to representatives of the Chamber of Mines and Energy, and I think we also need to involve some of the conservation groups, about identifying them so that we can manage it better

By and large, the mining industry as a whole does not want to be involved in mining and issues which create public controversy and which create conditions that are to the detriment of the mining industry as a whole. They would rather avoid such issues. So, where there are areas of high conservation value or other aesthetic value that are not within national parks or are not within a classification of park that prohibits mining, we need to assess them. I know that my colleague the Minister for Environment and Conservation is aware of that, and we are trying to develop a system where we can ensure that we do not have these issues arise. [emphasis mine in both cases]

Can I ask how the development of this system is proceeding? Might I also suggest that the public is entitled to ask you both; if you won't act to protect the Arkaroola Sanctuary, where will you act?

So, ultimately, my question boils down to this; you, as the Minister for the Environment and Conservation, are the ultimate defender of the state's natural heritage; are you really content to see the magnificent Arkaroola Sanctuary go down to the 'mines and miners must be everywhere' lobby on your watch?

Yours faithfully,

Bill Doyle

contact details for Jay Weatherill

The Hon. Jay Weatherill
Minister for Environment and Conservation

Postal Address
GPO Box 1047

Phone: 8463 5680
Fax: 8463 5681



Tuesday, September 8, 2009

dial M for misinformation?!

leigh creek police make a preliminary excavation into the mount gee east waste pit - photo: ABC online - link to my Arkaroola Sanctuary - would U mine it? set on flickrMarathon Resources director - and former federal Labor Senator - Chris Schacht has an 'interesting' take on the Arkaroola dumping scandal, and one that's surprisingly easy to contradict, even by taking a quick glance at the the company's own 'Waste in the Wilderness' document, a mea culpa they issued in response to it!

But, nevertheless, here he is on local ABC Radio 891 on the morning of Monday the 7th of September -
It was true we made a mistake on the disposal of waste material, none of which was radioactive … I just simply say to Nicky [a phone-in caller - BJD] what happened was instead of tipping the waste out of the bags into a trench and covering it over, which was legal, we left it in the bags and that was illegal...
Firstly; not radioactive? What are they looking for, treacle? As Greens MLC Mark Parnell responded (see below) "Well, they're wasting their time drilling there then!"

To quote the Primary Industries and Environmental Protection Authority joint investigation..
The inspection of sample bags uncovered in the test pits confirmed that a number of the bags containing sample drill material exhibit radioactivity levels consistent with that of ore grade material.

The investigation confirmed that Marathon Resources did not undertake to advise or request approval from any SA Government regulatory authorities (EPA and PIRSA) in relation to disposal of potentially radioactively contaminated sample bags/waste.

just a little light littering?

One does wonder how Schacht can have felt confident making these claims in public; but with the ABC's Abraham and Bevan at the helm it seems he hardly need have worried overly much! David Bevan even persisted in trying to tease out the notion that the company was merely 'done' for littering! -
Bevan: Yeah, so your offence is you left some plastic bags there?

Schacht: Absolutely and that is a breach of the regulation of which we admit our mistake and have changed.

Bevan: It was littering.

Schacht: Yes, of course.

Let's take a look at the relevant documentation, shall we?

Firstly, here's how the PIRSA / EPA report described the waste:

Test pits excavated under EPA supervision confirmed the presence of 2 large trenches and the extensive burial of drill samples contained within plastic and calico bags.

The excavation of test pits confirmed the burial of general waste including, cardboard, plastic jars, pvc pipe, paper, packing material, a food container and wrapper within the two trenches.

The full extent of burial of sample bags and general waste was not investigated on 16 January 2008 but has subsequently been confirmed by Marathon. Marathon advises that the number of sample bags is likely to be around 22,800.
and further -
Marathon representatives admitted on-site and in other documents subsequently supplied to PIRSA by Marathon that:

Two trenches were excavated with approximate dimensions of 35m (length) x 4m (width) x 2.7m (depth) by declared equipment and filled with approximately 22800 sample filled bags together with general waste.

Marathons disposal of plastic and calico bags containing sample material does not comply with the following PIRSA approval conditions for the use of Declared Equipment dated 1 November 2006 [this is about using large bulldozers to excavate big holes when you're not supposed to- BJD ]:

Condition 2 - The work is undertaken in accordance with that described in your DEF (received 20 October 2006) and subsequent memorandum of 31 October 2006. Where there is a variation between your proposal and this approval, the conditions of this approval will take precedence.

Condition 6 - Due care is taken to prevent unnecessary environmental damage.

Condition 9 - Exploration contractors and field staff be advised of the environmental objectives of the program, and have a clear understanding of their environmental management responsibilities.
PIRSA also issued the following instructions to Marathon -
PIRSA directs that all unauthorised buried drill sample material [NOTE: NOT just plastic bags - emphasis mine] and general waste at this site must be safely excavated and removed from EL 3258. The site must be rehabilitated back to as close as possible to original conditions [NOTE: because they were never entitled to excavate these trenches in the first place].

leave it out!

In other words, Schacht's claim that it would all have been OK if they'd shaken the rubbish out of the bags is as absurd as it appears.

Marathon was not entitled to excavate 2 very large trenches in the heart of the Sanctuary and conceal all the waste in it, bagged or otherwise. They were supposed to have promptly returned the drilling waste to the original drill holes or associated sumps and mud-pits, and to have taken the PPE and other materials off-site altogether for proper disposal.

The whole idea was to minimise your impact on the local environment, guys! As the PIRSA / EPA report makes clear.

And you don't have to look far to confirm this. Here's the relevant excerpt from the company's own publication,'Learning From Waste in the Wilderness'

Appreciating the risks associated with uranium exploration and mining

Marathon’s DEF specifies how its drilling program is to be managed. The DEF also specifies safety measures for planning and managing work at the Mt Gee drill sites and for managing the disposal of low-level radioactive materials and mining samples. The DEF specifies measures for the bagging and burial of drilling samples, noting that these were ‘developed and approved by the EPA’ and ‘will be implemented’. Under these safety measures Marathon was to:

Have staff dispose of used filter cartridges, and personal protective equipment (PPE) in sealed plastic bags placed in steel drums to be then removed from the site and disposed of through the general waste system away from the Arkaroola site; and

Have excess bulk drill cuttings returned principally to the drilling hole...

The DEF specifies that the bulk of material will be returned to the drill hole. [emphasis mine] It also specifies that all sampling (assay, archive and PIRSA representative samples) and down hole logging would be completed within 2 weeks of drilling, to allow rehabilitation of drilling sites to be concluded preferably within 4 weeks of drilling...

Marathon’s Radiation Safety Plan, Environmental Program and its operational procedures were not focused sufficiently on the need to exercise care with the disposal of uranium-related drilling and assay samples as well as clothing and other materials used when drilling for and handling these materials...

There were also operational and technical failures that contributed to bringing about allegations of site contamination, investigation by PIRSA and EPA and the consequent suspension of further drilling, namely:

The bagged materials associated with the drill site were not returned to the main drilling hole and adjacent drill sump at the completion of drilling (as prescribed in the DEF and EPA guidance documents)[my emphasis]. This was because of delays of up to 6 months in receiving samples back from the laboratory. Marathon’s DEF states that ‘…rehabilitation of an individual drill site should be commenced and preferably completed within 4 weeks of drilling, all reasonable effort will be made to keep to this time frame’. Due to increased industry activity, there were lengthy delays in the return of assay results and materials. However, Marathon was obliged to store the materials until each drill hole was signed-off by PIRSA and its error in practice was subsequently to dispose of the materials without PIRSA/EPA approval.[my emphasis]

The used PPE was not bagged and placed in steel cans to be taken away for disposal through the normal refuse system away from the Arkaroola site. They were instead disposed of at the Arkaroola site.


Now, the company's done a lot of hand-wringing of late, and makes vociferous claims to have turned over a new leaf after they had strayed so far from the righteous path by illegally disposing of the waste.

And yet here's one of their directors and spokespeople making claims that appear to be an attempt to belittle the scale of their own previous transgressions! How will that affect the public perception of their credibility?

Which leads us to, on a lighter note, well, I can only say... wow! Now it's the second biggest uranium deposit in Australia!

I seem to remember the heady days only a few weeks back when it was the 5th! It's amazing what you can discover when you're not actually drilling!

But I'll let Mark Parnell tease out this discussion in the transcript of the 891 discussion, printed in full below.

ABC 891 discussion part II
Tuesday 8th September 2009

David Bevan [ABC Announcer]: The debate over Arkaroola is set to generate more heat than a nuclear power station. We’ve got an unusual alliance of people wanting to preserve the Arkaroola Station forever, no mining there at all. We had Mark Parnell on the program last week along with conservative MP, Nick Minchin and Iain Evans getting together and saying … leave Arkaroola alone, no mining in Arkaroola. Yesterday on this program Chris Schacht … a Director of Marathon Resources, a mining company that’s exploring that region. He was arguing for the case … for allowing Marathon to get in there and explore and provided they meet all of the environmental requirements that the authorities impose on them be allowed to dig the stuff up, that is uranium. Now, Mark Parnell wants to challenge some of the things that Chris Schacht said to our listeners yesterday … let’s just play you a small portion of what Chris Schacht said yesterday...

Chris Schacht, former Labor Senator, Marathon Board member and lobbyist [speaking [07-09-09]:… this is at least a $5 billion deposit.

Bevan: How do you know?

Schacht: Because already what we’ve explored and what we’ve declared to the stock exchange in both inferred and indicative resource and at roughly the present price it’d be around $5 billion...

Bevan: What, uranium?

Schacht: Uranium. It’s the second biggest single deposit of uranium after Roxby Downs …

Phone -in Caller Nicky: … I wanted to ask Chris why on earth we should allow a company anywhere near Arkaroola, that in your exploration was caught red-handed illegally dumping waste? It’s a disgrace and if you think there’s any credibility for this company after that, you can’t even get the exploration part right, what makes you think that we should believe you about a full-scale mine?

Schacht: It was true we made a mistake on the disposal of waste material, none of which was radioactive … I just simply say to Nicky what happened was instead of tipping the waste out of the bags into a trench and covering it over, which was legal, we left it in the bags and that was illegal and we accept that, we made a mistake. We have restructured the company, there’s been changes to the board, we’ve issued a major policy statement on what we’ve done to change the company as a result …

Bevan: Are you saying Marathon was guilty of nothing more than littering with some plastic bags?

Schacht: No, no we broke the regulation.

Bevan: … is that effectively what you did, you left some plastic bags?…

Schacht: No, no, we left the stuff in the plastic bag and buried it.

Bevan: Yeah, but you could have just tipped it out and it would have been fine.

Schacht: But that’s what the rules allow.

Bevan: Yeah, so your offence is you left some plastic bags there?

Schacht: Absolutely and that is a breach of the regulation of which we admit our mistake and have changed.

Bevan: It was littering.

Schacht: Yes, of course. [End excerpt]

Bevan: Okay, that’s Chris Schacht yesterday … Mark Parnell … why do you take issue with what Chris Schacht was saying?

Mark Parnell: There were two main things but I’ll start by saying Chris said none of it was radioactive. They’re wasting their time, they’re looking for uranium, if it wasn’t radioactive what they’ve pulled out of the ground then what on earth are they doing there?

But really the two things that I take issue with, the first of all is it is $5b. Now, people who hang around the stock market and mining companies understand that there are a number of scales of confidence that you can have when you’re looking for minerals. You’ve got things called indicated resources and you’ve got inferred. Inferred is not much more than a guess. Now, Marathon reported to the stock exchange in July this year and then had to put a correction in because they got their figures wrong. Their latest figures are four mega tonnes indicated, 47 inferred. So that 47 is not much more than guess work based on people sitting at computers screens imagining what the resource might be. So it is a long way away from saying this is a $5b resource.

The other thing I take exception to is this idea of waste, that it was just a few plastic bags … the littering. Well, goodness, there were drums, there were bags, there was a backhoe which was taken to part of the national estate. There was plenty of –

Abraham: What, they buried a backhoe or they used a backhoe?

Parnell: … they basically dug their trenches –

Abraham: Well it was 35 tonnes according to ABC News.

Parnell: - 22,000 bags of waste and it’s not just a question of it being the bags that were the pollution, the core samples are supposed to be put back down the core sample poles.

But the backhoe I referred to was referred to in the EPA and the Primary Industries report, basically it was vandalism of a national estate listed geological monument. And this is the so called fluorite deposit. They’ve never found where the material ended up, it’s worth an awful lot of money. [see the Case of the Missing Minerals]

So it wasn’t just a simple matter of littering, there was incident after incident of illegal behaviour and for Chris Schacht to just say … ‘It was just a minor thing and we’ve changed our ways’, I don’t believe him at all.

Phone-in Caller Anne: … I’m very disappointed with the fact that they’re trying to get mining there. It’s worldwide famous for its beauty. There’s plenty of uranium in the Northern Territory … it’s basically glowing with the stuff and I’m very disappointed in Chris Schacht for supporting it.

Phone-in Caller Peter: … the reason why we allow mining in Australia and let these leases is so that the people of Australia can get access to these minerals … in reality the people of Australia can’t get access to these minerals because the plan is to export it. So Australians don’t need the mining to happen.


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

save arkaroola forum a success!

the save arkaroola forum at parliament house - click to see the set of images on flickr The Save Arkaroola forum - held today in the rather grand Balcony Room at parliament house - was a great success, attended by a healthy selection of media representatives and a few dozen interested observers devoting their lunch time to the SA environment.

The forum was jointly hosted by Greens MLC Mark Parnell, and Liberal MP (and former party leader) Iain Evans.

the save arkaroola forum panel - click to see the set of images on flickr 'Surprising!' you might think. In fact, it was a day of 'strange bedfellows', given that Peter Owen from The Wilderness Society and veteran Liberal senator Nick Minchin were also on the bill! It's certainly not often that Greens, TWS, and Liberal politicians agree, but in the case of the prospect of mining the Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary the message was clear; 'not here!'

As Iain Evans stated “We should simply tell the mining industry… go look elsewhere!"

Or, to quote Senator Minchin "As a conservative I believe there are things that deserve to be conserved …Arkaroola is one of them."

marg sprigg and senator minchin at the save arkaroola forum at parliament house - click to see the set of images on flickr Attendees were also treated to an enlightening short history of the Sanctuary - and a passionate defence! - from owner Marg Sprigg, an excellent short video presentation featuring some stunning time-lapse video photography, and a collection of beautiful large-format photos depicting the region lining one wall.

If you share the concerns of the panel and could spare a few minutes to send a short e-mail to Mineral Resources Development Minister Paul Holloway you'd be doing a lot to help ensure the preservation of the area.

Because - genuinely surprisingly - his department announced last week that it intended to renew Marathon Resources' exploration lease when it falls due on October 10th.

Correspondence doesn't have to be long-winded - believe me, he knows the issues! see the example below - it just has to be on his desk, or his desktop! Because in three weeks the formal notice period ends and the lease renewal is then a certainty.

Please direct it to -

The Hon. Paul Holloway
Minister for Mineral Resources Development
GPO Box 2832
via e-mail -

Example e-mail to Paul Holloway

SUBJECT: I wish to object to the proposal to renew Marathon Resources' lease in the Arkaroola Sanctuary

The Hon. Paul Holloway,
Minister for Mineral Resources' Development
Parliament House, South Australia

Dear Minister Holloway, I wish to formally object to your intention, as stated in public notices on the PIRSA website as of 27th of August, to renew Marathon Resources' (Bonanza Gold's) exploration lease in the Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary.

I call on your government to act decisively to preserve the South Australian environment - just as Mike Rann did last year when he announced that Marathon's illegal dumping was unacceptable and that the company was henceforth suspended from drilling. Please review this decision and permanently remove Marathon's lease, and preserve this unique area from any future depredations by the mining industry.

Yours Faithfully,

Bill Doyle