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.


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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!