Greens (WA) MLC for the South West, Diane Evers, has expressed anger and dismay at the possible approval for a mine at Lake Jasper, a sacred site near the D’Entrecasteaux National Park between Augusta and Walpole.
Ms Evers said the Government appeared to favour approving a lease to Strategic Energy Resources without apparent knowledge of the history of the site, nor any sort of community consultation.
“This sensitive and fragile lake system has been the focus of major social, cultural and environmental conflict since 1988, when the then WA state government decided to excise land from the park to facilitate exploration and a potential mine on the banks of the lake, which is WA’s largest permanent freshwater body,” she said.
“Various mining companies were unsuccessful in mining applications there, principally because of the presence of local acid sulphate soils that could contaminate the water as a result of mining activities.”
Ms Evers said there had been no communication with local and indigenous communities, environmental groups, local tourism associations, Landcare groups or various other stakeholders about the resurfacing of this environmental issue.
A period of public consultation over the mine proposal was poorly publicised and as such received little input. It has now closed.
“In the 90s, the then Minister for Mines, Norman Moore, even promised that the excised land would be returned to its National Park tenure,” Ms Evers said.
“I will be pushing the current Minister for Mines, Bill Johnston, to return the lake into the national park precinct.”
Ms Evers urged concerned people to attend a community meeting at the Denmark Environment Centre next Monday to discuss action to prevent the mining from going ahead.
The meeting will consider all remedial options, including reopening the approval application process for comment, or stopping the process now.
The meeting will be held at 11am at the DEC on Monday, October 29.