On the 19th of February the Wilderness Society teamed up with the Wildflower Society of Western Australia, Helena and Aurora Range Advocates, Western Australian Indigenous Tourism Operators Council, Perth Bushwalkers, Gondwana Link, the Conservation Council of Western Australia and others to host a very special evening. The evening was dedicated to celebrating and protecting the stunning Helena Aurora range in the Great Western Woodlands, a special place that has been the highlight of my field trips in the area for the last two years.
The range, which is also known by the Aboriginal name for its highest hill – Bungalbin, is currently under threat of mining for iron ore. The Environmental Protection Authority recently ruled that mining the range is ‘environmentally unacceptable’, but ultimately it is up to the Western Australian Environment Minister Albert Jacobs to reject the current mining proposal, and to do this, the public needs to send a clear message of support.
This is not the first time that the Helena-Aurora Range has been under threat of destruction by mining, and in the long run, the many different organisations involved in organising this event are calling for the range and its surrounds to be protected forever in a Class A National Park. It is a jewel in the landscape and worth much more than the amount of iron ore it holds.
I performed a poem entitled ‘It’s us who decide’ and also exhibited a series of photographs with accompanying poetry texts, from and inspired by my extensive trips to the area. Click here to see the images and text.
To sign the online petition to Western Australia’s premier Colin Barnett urging him to protect the range, click here.
Watch this 7 minute story featured on ABC’s landline which summarizes the feelings of the local community wanting protection of the range. As Gary Kenward, local business owner put it –
It’s our Mona Lisa in our backyard – and we need to protect it.
To read more about the Helena Aurora Range, and learn about things you can do to stand for its survival, click here to visit the Wilderness Society’s Helena Aurora information page, or click here to visit Helena and Aurora Range Advocate’s website.
In the meantime, enjoy this youtube video of the range: