Over fifty leading Australian environmental scientists and academics are calling on the Western Australian Premier Mark McGowan and the Environment Minister Stephen Dawson to protect the Helena and Aurora Range as a Class ‘A’ National Park.
The Environmental Protection Authority’s (EPA) strong rejection of a proposal to mine the range in June sends a clear message to the government that the natural and cultural values found in this area should be preserved in perpetuity and for all to enjoy.
The Helena and Aurora Range Science Declaration was released today by Emeritus Professor John Bailey, a past member of the EPA and Chair of the Conservation Commission of Western Australia.
Professor Bailey said that “the Helena Aurora Range is the most significant intact banded ironstone formation range left in the Yilgarn Region of WA”.
The scientists have sent the Helena and Aurora Range Science Declaration, which details the importance of protecting the range, to the Premier Mark McGowan; Minister for the Environment, Stephen Dawson; and the Minister for Mines and Petroleum, Bill Johnson.
“There is growing concern that the science could be ignored in favour of commercial interests. This would undermine the purpose of the EPA and also the commitment of the government to biodiversity conservation,” Professor Bailey said.
The Helena Aurora Range is a refuge for both threatened flora and fauna, including two declared rare endemic flowering plants found nowhere else on earth.
“The Helena Aurora Range is an incredible landscape—one that has been hidden away from the Western Australian community for too long,” said Professor Carmen Lawrence. “I think, as a community, we’re only just starting to really appreciate how unique and rare places like this are. We need to protect this range for future generations to appreciate and explore.”
“The time has come for the WA Government to act responsibly and protect this exceptional feature of our environment for future generations and upgrade its protection to a Class 'A' National Park.”
Professor John Bailey: 0427 188 294
Professor Carmen Lawrence: 0407 377 582
Jenita Enevoldsen, State Director for The Wilderness Society WA: 0405 941 500