Updated: August 02, 2010
Protecting South Australia
Some of the most beautiful places in the world can be found in South Australia. These areas include the mysterious Coorong, spectacular Nullarbor wilderness, the Lake Eyre Basin and our unique marine environment.
South Australian Campaigns
South Australia contains vast areas of wilderness and has some of the highest quality arid and marine wilderness anywhere. Sharing borders with all mainland states, SA is crucial to any vision of continent wide conservation.
Protecting core areas and connecting processes in and between these areas is a key WildCountry goal. Our work in South Australia involves campaigning for:
- Better Nature Reserves - no mining in national parks and other high conservation value areas
- Wilderness Protection Areas
- Marine Sanctuary Zones
Some of our campaigns run across many of these categories.
On the coast, the Coorong and the lower Murray River Lakes are dying a slow death. Starved of fresh water, the Murray has been reduced to little more than an ineffective irrigation ditch.
Fresh water is desperately needed to bring the Coorong back to life.
Inland, few wilderness areas are more widely known and valued internationally than Arkaroola. Preserved through the efforts of the Sprigg family, this spectacular part of the Northern Flinders Ranges is one of our most significant conservation areas: a place that is too precious to mine.
At sea, the marine environment of South Australia is home to the iconic Leafy Sea Dragon, Australian Sea Lion and a vast array of fish including the Western Blue Devil and the Harlequin.
All of these species are under serious threat. The recently proclaimed Marine Parks Act and subsequent proclamation of 44% of the states waters within the boundaries of the Marine Parks Program is a good first step. Now we need to see Marine Park Management Plans implemented with Sanctuary Zones that cover at least half of the Marine Park area if we are serious about protecting our marine environment.
The South Australian Branch of the Wilderness Society was formed in the late 1970's to campaign to protect the Franklin River in Tasmania. After the Franklin River victory, attention turned to the arid wilderness of South Australia.
In 1992, after a community campaign spearheaded by The Wilderness Society, state parliament passed the Wilderness Protection Act to provide high levels of protection for Wilderness Protected Areas and Zones. Five areas on Kangaroo Island were proclaimed as Wilderness Protection Areas in 1993.
Other significant victories for the South Australian Branch include:
- The proclamation of the Great Australian Bight Marine Park (1995), with further protection gained in 2000, and 2003.
- The stopping of a mine proposal at Weetootla Gorge in the Gammon Ranges National Park (2000), and a permanent ban on mining in the Park in 2002.
- Wilderness Protection Area at Memory Cove, lower Eyre Peninsula (announced 2003).
- Protection of a core area of Coongie Lakes in a National Park, and petroleum excluded from an area surrounding it (announced 2003).
- The state government promoting a WildCountry philosophy (2002) and launching NatureLinks as its WildCountry program (2003).
- Wilderness Protection Area at Yellabinna in the state's West (announced 2005).
- Wilderness Protection Areas in Danggali and Billiatt in the SA Riverland (announced 2007).
- The passing of the Marine Parks Act (2007).
- Proclamation of outer boundaries of 19 Marine Parks covering 44% of SA waters (2009).
- Wilderness Protection Areas for the Nuyts Archipelago and Investigator Group of Islands (2010) .
- Almost 1 million ha Wilderness Protection Area on the Nullarbor Plain (2011)
For more information, please contact:
The Wilderness Society (South Australia) Inc
Postal: GPO Box 1734
Adelaide, SA, 5001
Lvl 7, 118 King William St,
Adelaide, SA, 5000
Phone: 08 8231 6586