Instructions for Petitions
to Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council
People need to physically sign the petition together with their name and address as the petition will be tabled to parliament1,2. The petition is a PDF that you can download and/or print from this website. Each page of the petition must have at least one signature. It is OK if a petition page does not have all the lines filled in with signatures before returning to Helena and Aurora Range Advocates Inc. (HARA). The return address for the petition is given at the bottom of each Petition page.
In each case a member of the Western Australian Parliament will be asked to present the petition. Petitions can be lodged several times.
The Petition to the Legislative Assembly will be lodged and presented to Parliament late in 2016 (was lodged three times during 2015)
The Petition to the Legislative Council is more recent (drawn up during 2015) and has yet to be tabled in Parliament. Date for tabling in Parliament yet to be announced.
Background, Why a Petition?
We need to gain the attention and support of the people in our government to achieve the goal of making Helena and Aurora Range (Bungalbin) a Class A National Park and fully protected from all mining activities. It is up to us to become a strong voice, and petitioning parliament is one way we can do this effectively.
We wish to petition Parliament, on behalf of all Western Australians, for the full protection of Helena and Aurora Range (Bungalbin). Although Western Australia has no mountains, it has many stunning hills, ranges, ridges, mesas and breakaways. They are part of our heritage, and they are being mined, everywhere.
At the same time, very little is happening to guarantee the full protection of any areas, even the most important natural and cultural places, from mining activities. Mining pressure has come about due to four main factors listed below.
First, there are a lot of minerals available to be mined in Western Australia, in particular iron ore, the mining of which impacts on our hills, ranges, mesas and breakaways.
Second, the price of iron ore in the world market is high making the mining of iron ore very profitable (see Mining Iron Ore in WA). Over the last seven to 10 years, the number of active iron ore mines in Western Australia and the level of exploration for iron ore has greatly increased (see BIF Ranges on Yilgarn Craton, Mining Iron Ore in WA).
Third, under Western Autralian legislation, the "right to mine" is strongly supported and takes precedence over any other land use consideration. The right to mine in Western Australia could be compared with the right to bear arms in America. Or the right to make money. Also the WA Government, understandably makes decisions to support and encourage a growing economy.
Fourth, although conditions are often placed on mining companies by the Minister for the Environment (Ministerial Conditions) to help protect environmental values when mining in “environmentally sensitive areas” or "high conservation value areas", to date (as far as we know), the current WA Government has not said no to mining activities based on conservation or heritage values.
We accept mining as a part of life, business and industry. Many people benefit. We simply want to redress the balance to ensure that there are some pristine, high conservation value areas in Western Australia, like the Helena and Aurora Ranges, that are left untouched, and not destroyed by mining.
There is a concept that mining impacts are minimal and limited to relatively small areas. In fact, the area of impact can be extensive on a local scale, have enormous visual impact and is irreversible on a landscape scale. Mining impacts can also be accumulative. The main impact areas include deep mine pits that remove sections of, or entire hills and waste rock dumps that can cover much larger areas than the mine pits.
Currently the highest form of protection of land under the legislation of Western Australia is a Class A Reserve. A Class A Reserve can be a Nature Reserve or National Park. Although mining is still possible in these Class A Reserve vested lands, the approval process requires that any mining proposal (i.e. change in landuse) goes through both Houses of Parliament rather than being simply signed off by the Minister for Mines and Minister for the Environment. If it such a mine is approved it is excised from the National Park or Class A Nature Reserve.
Within a Conservation Park, which allows mining, any approved mine remains part of the Conservation Park.
Full protection can be obtained in Western Australia for specific Class A Nature Reserves or National Parks/Class A Resrves - provided mining companies and financial institutions within Western Australia formerly agree that these are No Go Mining Areas.
There are two Petitions, one addressed to the Legislative Assembly and one addressedto the Legislative Council. Both Petitions call for the full protection of Helena and Aurora Range on its "outstanding conservation and heritage values", which have been described within this website on the following pages: Heritage, Indigenous Heritage of Range, Natural Heritage of Range, Significant Flora List, Fauna List and summary of Conservation values.
- Petitioning Parliament is different from an electronic petition where an email is sent to the Premier or Minister for the Environment via the internet (rather than physically presenting to Parliament and recorded in the Government Gazette).
- The right to petition parliament has been adopted by the Western Australian Government as part of the Westminster system of Parliament. It was in 1669 that the right of citizens to petition parliament was confirmed by resolution of the House of Commons in England.