Sunday, November 29, 2009

savearkaroola launched! less than 3 weeks to go before formal public comment on the fate of the Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary closes, the Sprigg family have launched, a site set up specifically to put their case in defending the Sanctuary from the combined encroachments of the mining industry and state government departments apparently unwilling to defend it from them.

The Spriggs raise similar concerns to those voiced on this site regarding 'Seeking a Balance,'the state government's proposed blueprint for mineral exploration access in the the northern Flinders Ranges.

They are also unable to understand why it did not at least reinforce (or, in the circumstances, decisively exceed!) existing legislative protections covering the region - the Environmental Class A Zone - which was designed specifically to protect the character of the ranges.

Seeking a Balance - or $eeking a Billion?!

Instead, this document sets up a series of potential access zones that, although they afford some welcome - and long overdue - high-level protections in the north of the Sanctuary, would appear to be not much better than a blueprint for mining access routes into the heart of the Sanctuary itself; the Mount Gee and Mount Painter region!

Subsequent claims from the Department for Environment that the Class A Zone provisions still underlie 'Seeking a Balance' have decidedly not reassured anyone who cares about the ranges.

As I have discussed previously (see link plus the previous post), it is rather hard to reconcile legislation that specifically restricts 'infrastructure' to walkers huts and rainwater tanks and proposes that mining could only be possible in the rarest of circumstances - conditions patently not met in what is now Exploration Lease 4355 - with the SaB's proposed zoning, which includes substantial areas (covering even iconic sites such as Siller's Lookout!) where only the standard access provisions of the Mining Act would apply!

In any case, factor in Minerals Minister Paul Holloway's recent dismissive claim in Parliament that he can choose to treat the Class A Zone provisions as 'guidelines', and you have a situation where all true friends of the ranges can only be on high alert!

from the ark, the Sprigg family have just published a special edition of their 'From the Ark' Newsletter, specifically putting their case for the proper protection of the Sanctuary.

This document is well worth reading; you might, for instance, be bemused - if not a little shocked - to discover on page 3 what method was used to officially determine the 'landscape quality' of the Sanctuary!

But then, the Spriggs have had to suffer much at the hands of both the 'access all areas' arm of the mining industry and its state government enablers. One can only hope their long fight will shortly yield the decisive, and positive, outcome they - and the Sanctuary - deserve!

It's little wonder, then, that the Newsletter contains a little mischief - I've attached it below - a reliable, thorough, and rigorously scientific test calculated to determine if the viewer is suffering from 'Gottamineopia', a fortunately rare hybrid of single-minded myopia and tunnel-vision!


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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!