Munga-Thirri/Simpson Desert Awareness Campaign
Over the last 35 years FOS has undertaken many projects that help look after one of the worlds irreplaceable sand dune environments with its unique flora and fauna, as well as assisting with the safeguarding of cultural sites of the traditional owners.
There are many threats to the environment of the desert. Some we can have some control over and some that we have no control over. One of the biggest current threats is one that we can have some influence over, and that is to oppose damaging and inappropriate mining ventures in the Simpson.
Some people say that if it wasn’t for mining exploration in the desert in the 60’s we would not have the tracks that many tourists use to cross the desert. That’s true, but back then global warming and climate change were not on the radar as being environmentally destructive. Oil and gas were the dominant energy sources used by all nations and the science linking the burning of fossil fuels with global warming and climate change was in its infancy.
However, in 2021, despite us having all the scientific knowledge linking the burning of fossil fuels with global warming, there are still plans by one mining company Tristar, who own 4 leases to do seismic testing in the desert for coal seam gas (CSG). If they do that and find gas, they will then extract the gas by fracking, a process that has known significant environmental consequences. The other concern we have is the proposal to build a 900km (approximately) pipeline across the desert to transport gas to a facility for processing and distribution to market.
Allowing a mining company to do exploration in the desert, before they drill the first hole, will do untold damage to the desert environment, and undo a lot of the work that FOS and other people like DEW have done to protect the desert over many years.
FOS don’t have the resources or the skilled people to take on an international mining company like Tristar. So it made sense to us when the Wilderness Society joined us and other environmental groups to fight Tristar’s plans for exploration.
The result is that the Wilderness Society is running a campaign which started this month featuring a mailout to over 14,000 people around Australia and some billboards in various locations around Adelaide and on buses. The mailout includes a flyer featuring our latest working bee https://www.friendsofthesimpsondesert.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/Barrys-Tour.pdf and a letter from Peter Owen the Director of the Wilderness Society in South Australia https://www.friendsofthesimpsondesert.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/September-Appeal-Letter-3-002.pdf
If you feel like we do, you can give direct support to the Wilderness Society, see www.wilderness.org.au so they can continue their good work.
We are also working with the Environmental Defenders Office (EDO). They are also opposing the Tristar proposal to undertake mining in a fragile and sensitive environment.
I have just received the following email from them
Info from Department of Energy and Mining today- Tri-Star have advised us that they are currently reconsidering their plans for the Simpson and until such time that they finalise their decision they will hold off in re-submitting the revised EIR/SEO documents.”
This is great news, but we need to keep the pressure on to make sure they give up and ultimately hand back their leases.