Bill to ban mining in Arkaroola passes SA Upper House
The South Australian Government has passed legislation that will ban mining in the state’s Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary after the bill was successfully passed by the Upper House.
Greens leader Mark Parnell, who led the push to require consultation with the Adnyamathanha traditional ownerss over management, hailed the move as a victory in protecting the sanctuary for all time.
"The important thing about this legislation passing through the Parliament is if future generations want to undo the good work that we've done they will have to bring it back to Parliament," Mr Parnell told the ABC.
The bill’s passage comes after the State Government promised $5 million in compensation to mining explorer Marathon Resources, who had previously demanded a judicial review into the move.
However, Mr Parnell slammed the plan to compensate Marathon, describing the move as disgraceful.
“This is a disgrace – Marathon Resources don’t deserve it and shouldn’t get it,” Mr Parnell said.
“This company well and truly lost their social licence to explore in Arkaroola years ago. There is absolutely no legal or moral obligation to pay them a cent."
SA Environment Minister Paul Caica said he expected the bill would be through the Lower House by the end of the week.
"The final passage of the legislation will give a defined 62,600-hectare area, known as the Arkaroola Protection Area, the highest form of protection and put in place a management planning framework to guide the future conservation of its natural and cultural values and its ongoing accessibility for visitors and scientific research," he said in a statement.
"The Arkaroola Protection Area will meet international and national standards for what is defined as a protected area and ensure all forms of mining, mineral exploration and grazing are banned."