Who is committed to the environment this SA election?

Who is committed to the environment this SA election?

The South Australian election was held on 19 March. The Wilderness Society, as part of a 24-organisation environment sector alliance, sent a detailed policy survey out to political parties to assess what they promise to deliver for the environment over the next four year term of government.

Image: Bill Doyle

As well as the policy survey sent out to South Australia's political parties, hundreds of you also emailed the parties to make some very significant policy commitments. And thanks to your support, many commitments have been secured for wilderness in this state, places like the Lake Eyre Basin and the Great Australian Bight.

The table below outlines some of the main policies from the (South Australia: Our Future) Alliance policy survey the Wilderness Society is seeking support for from the four major political parties that contested this election, and what the different political parties would commit to deliver over the next four-year term of government in South Australia.


LaborSA BestGreensLiberal
A clear, legislated ban by the end of 2022 on all mining and other industrial development within South Australia's protected area estate (land and sea).


NoYesDid not respond
Carrying out a wilderness assessment to determine the extent of the state’s remaining large intact ecosystems and a climate refugia assessment to inform an expansion of the protected area estate and the creation of wildlife corridors that allow species to move and adapt to climate change.YesYesYesDid not respond

Working with First Nations communities in SA to care for country, by:

  • expanding and securing initiatives such as Indigenous Rangers, and

  • establishing a First Nations Advisory Group to provide advice directly to the Minister for Environment on matters including the protection of Aboriginal heritage and cultural sites.

YesYesYesDid not respond
Supporting World Heritage protection for the Great Australian Bight.YesYesYesDid not respond
Investigating the possibility of World Heritage protection for the terrestrial freshwater ecosystems of the Lake Eyre Basin catchment.Yes


YesDid not respond
Protecting ecologically important areas of the outback, including through proclamations under the Wilderness Protection Act 1992, such as Goyder Lagoon, the Kallakoopah Creek region and Coongie Lakes Ramsar site.InvestigateYesYesDid not respond
No further extensions to be granted for Petroleum Exploration Leases currently held by Tri-Star within and adjacent to the Munga-Thirri Simpson Desert National Park and the immediate retirement of the leases if/when Tri-Star withdraws.YesYesYesDid not respond

No new gas, coal and oil activity approvals in South Australia, including:

  • an immediate stop to the release of all fossil fuel exploration acreage (including offshore), an end to all gas, coal and oil exploration and the retirement of exploration licences and leases at point of renewal (no further extensions of any kind to be granted),

  • no new gas, coal and oil projects in South Australia,

  • an end to all State Government subsidies for gas, coal and oil-related activity, including Carbon Capture & Storage, and

  • a ban on the use of Underground Coal Gasification.

NoSubject to consultationYesDid not respond

Despite some welcome achievements over the past four years such as the creation of Australia’s largest National Park in the Munga-Thirri / Simpson Desert whilst it has been in office, the Liberal Party decided not to respond to the Alliance survey. Instead, they sent a letter talking more about their achievements in office rather than answering the specific policy questions in the survey.

For more information on the policy survey and work of the South Australia: Our Future Alliance.

Authorised by Peter Owen, The Wilderness Society (South Australia) Inc, 111 Franklin Street, Adelaide, SA, 5000, Australia.