Success in a three-decade effort to protect Western Australia’s largest freshwater lake is in sight after the State Government signalled its intention to prevent any future mining at the site of Yoondadadup Lake Jasper.
The Greens (WA) South West MLC Diane Evers will table a petition in parliament today containing almost 1000 signatures supporting the objection of a 2018 mining lease application at the location.
The D’Entrecasteaux Coalition received a letter from Premier Mark McGowan regarding the matter on Thursday and Ms Evers anticipates a victorious outcome for the environmental protection group as a consequence.
“I was pleased to learn of the Premier’s intention to reinstate Yoondadadup Lake Jasper into D’Entrecasteaux National Park,” she said.
“The Premier’s assurance is the culmination of decades of effort and coordinated protest to protect the environment.
“Such a commitment must be credited to the coalition and its co-conveners, Andy Russell and Geoff Evans, who have faced down multiple mining lease applications before this result could be achieved.”
In response to parliamentary questioning by Ms Evers late last year, Environment Minister Stephen Dawson said he would write to the Minister for Mines and Petroleum to suspend consideration of the current application.
However, the Premier’s words last week was his government’s first explicit statement in support of ending any prospect of mining adjacent to the significant wetland.
Ms Evers believed this decision was brought about by dedicated community activism to ensure a crucial environmental asset was preserved.
“The cultural heritage and environmental values of the Gingilup-Jasper wetland system would have been destroyed by mining, which was clearly highlighted by those defending it,” she said.
“I’m very proud to have represented these concerns in Parliament in the form of two Member’s Statements and now, tabling a second petition in the Legislative Council.
“This end result after years of effort will be the protection of this unique ecological treasure.
“Full credit must be given to the driving forces of the D’Entrecasteaux Coalition — although we must now ensure the good intentions of Premier McGowan are converted into reality.”
In 1988 a Labor Government legislated to excise land from D’Entrecasteaux National Park and allow mineral sand mining immediately adjacent to Yoondadadup Lake Jasper.
Then, in 1994, the Court Government promised to return the excised land into D’Entrecasteaux National Park if the mining proposal in this area did not proceed, however, when the mining lease was discontinued a decade ago, the Barnett Government did not honour this commitment.
ABOUT D’ENTRECASTEAUX COALITION:
The D’Entrecasteaux Coalition was established 30 years ago to raise public awareness about the initial application to explore for mineral sands in the D’Entrecasteaux National Park and subsequent mining lease applications adjacent to Yoondadadup Lake Jasper within the D’Entrecasteaux National Park.
ABOUT YOONDADADUP LAKE JASPER
- The Gingilup-Jasper wetland system is a major nursery area for freshwater fishes and frogs, and harbours a unique array of plant species.
- Scientific surveys of the area have ranked Lake Jasper-Gingilup wetlands third among the 27 south coast wetlands for species diversity and abundance.
- Lake Jasper is recognised as one of the most important wetlands for waterbirds in the southwest.
- There are 10 freshwater fish species in the south-west of WA, eight of them endemic.
- Lake Jasper is a major nursery area for the native freshwater fishes.
- Seven of the nine fishes known from the Gingilup-Jasper Wetland System occur at Lake Jasper, which also supports eight wetland frogs.
- The national significance of D’Entrecasteaux National Park has been recognised by the Australian Heritage Commission, which has placed the Park on the Register of the National Estate.
- D’Entrecasteaux National Park and Lake Jasper are the jewels in the crown of wilderness areas in the South West and provide tourism that is vital to south coast communities.
GET IN TOUCH:
Hon. Diane Evers
MLC for South West
(08) 9486 8070