Monday, January 31, 2011

TWS : Tell Mike Rann to protect it!

take part in the wilderness society's cyber-action to save arkaroola

The Wilderness Society has launched a cyber-action campaign in a bit to get Premier Mike Rann not to allow a return to active drilling in the Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary.

The state government announced the renewal of Marathon Resources' exploration lease shortly before Christmas. The government and Marathon are still negotiating the conditions of this lease; for more background see they're baaaaack!.... (If you're new to the issue more generally please read around the blog - and to see the area concerned, climb aboard the Desktop Toyota to take a virtual Ridgetop Tour via the link at right!)

These negotiations have now continued for over a month, and the state government had promised strict environmental conditions, including announcing that they were proposing that there be no 'automatic' right of renewal (irrespective of company 'compliance') for the new 1 year lease. After the amendments to the mining act - acknowledged to be inspired by inadequacies highlighted by Marathon's dumping scandal that was brought to light (literally!) in late 2007 - that were passed last year the public comment period for the proposed new amendments to the accompanying mining regulations closes shortly.

So it's a crucial time in the campaign to preserve this wild region forever.

Whenever the issue arises public opposition to any proposal to mine is overwhelming.

In parliament the Greens remain staunchly opposed - state upper house member Mark Parnell has worked tirelessly on this matter.

And the state Liberal Party has also come round to embracing public opinion. While they have not supported any of Mark Parnell's bills to simply ban mining in the sanctuary, as of last year they are proposing their own legislation that would reinforce the provisions of the existing Class A Environmental Zone that apply to the area.

These should, by rights, make any proposal to mine uranium at Arkaroola simply impossible - at least if they are read and comprehended via any sort of common understanding of the English language! I received an e-mail to this effect from the Leader of the opposition, Isobel Redmond, earlier today, in fact -

The Liberal Party is opposed to the government's attempts to water down Arkaroola's Environmental Class A Zone and we will therefore seek to enshrine its protection by amending the Development Act 1993 in this session of Parliament.

If the Labor party is looking to boost its sinking stocks of public goodwill and rejuvenate its image it need look not further than this issue! This may be Mike Rann's last chance to redeem himself in Arkaroola; and the new guard of the Labor party would doubtlessly do well to take note...