Saturday, October 9, 2010

crunch time - choose your legacy for arkaroola!

the wilderness society's 'no mine in arkaroola' sticker

Marathon Resources' current exploration lease centred on Mount Gee, in the heart of the Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary, expires tomorrow - 10/10/10.

Following up from my previous post, I have contacted mineral Resources Development minister Paul Holloway's office and was told that the decision to renew the lease will be tied to an imminent decision about the future of mining in the Sanctuary, and that this decision will be made at the state cabinet level.

Additionally, in the state's upper house on the 29th of September Paul Holloway responded to Greens MLC Mark Parnell's question regarding the lease renewal as follows -

There are really two issues here: one is the licence, but perhaps more important is the long-term position the government takes in relation to how mining operations should be regulated or controlled in future in the Arkaroola area. I would like to have that finalised as soon as possible. In many ways the lease issue, while it has a number of important ramifications, is perhaps a secondary issue.

While Holloway may regard the lease as a secondary issue I doubt that the public feels that way!

In fact, six letters to the editor published in South Australia's major daily The Advertiser yesterday all rather underscore this point - whenever public opinion has been sampled on this matter it is overwhelmingly in favour of conservation of this unique area rather than its exploitation.

That these letters requesting premier Mike Rann not to allow mining in Arkaroola came from as far afield as the UK and Germany should also serve as a warning to his government. This issue will not go away. It affects those who care about the preservation of truly wild places across the nation and across the globe.

Any decision to allow the continuation of mineral exploration in the Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary, no matter how it is rationalised, will be seen by the public as a declaration of intent to support a mine in Arkaroola. Full stop.

There will be no wiggle room for Rann and Co. in this matter. I confidently predict that the bumper sticker shown above - whose first print run was exhausted within days - will proliferate across the nation!

your legacy - what's it to be?

Mike Rann must be thinking of his legacy at this stage of his career. Does he really want to be remembered as the man who let the miners into Arkaroola? Because whatever other good things his government may have done on the environment - and there have been many significant steps forward, including specifically in the field of conservation of wild areas - Arkaroola is what Rann will be most remembered for should he allow a resumption of drilling!

mike rann and david suzuki - what would dave say about the mine, mike? - link to my 'Arkaroola  - would U mine it?' set on flickr With Mike's mate David Suzuki due in the state to talk about his own Legacy, perhaps he should be asking the internationally famous conservationist what he would recommend that he do for the sake of posterity?

But, let's face it - in all likelihood we know the answer to that question already!

TWS calls for action

So, what can you do to ensure this magnificent area endures for posterity?

I am echoing The Wilderness Society's current call to the Labor Government not to allow mining in Arkaroola below (edited slightly for brevity's sake - if you are unfamiliar with the background to this issue please explore the extensive links on this blog!) -

The next week will be very important in the Arkaroola campaign.

It is completely unacceptable for Arkaroola to remain open to uranium exploration and mining, and we need to put pressure on the Government to consider the future of this precious place.

What can we do? Now is a really good time to get this issue vamped up. Have your say! You can:

1. Write a letter to the editor. Try sending a letter into a few different newspapers – it doesn't hurt. For tips, click here. Small or local newspapers are easier to get published in if you are writing a general letter that isn't a response to an article. Or try sending yours into bigger newspapers such as The Advertiser, The Australian, The Independent Weekly...

2. Contact a politician to tell them that we should protect Arkaroola. Try..

The Hon. Paul Holloway
Minister for Mineral Resources Development

GPO Box 2832

3. Contact SA Premier Mike Rann:

The Hon. Mike Rann MP

GPO Box 2343
Adelaide SA 5001

4. Make it heard! ... put up a link on your facebook page, tell your grandparents about it, spread it throughout your networks, email friends,call up radio stations, twitter it, share photos, whatever!

And if you get a letter published, let's celebrate! Send me an email or write on our facebook wall to tell us about it.

"Some places are too precious to mine... Arkaroola is one of them."

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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!