On the anniversary of Fukushima we travelled an amazing journey from Kalgoorlie to stay with Lawrence at Pinjan Station.
What an incredible person who shared stories of what he is going through with a Victorian gold company, Hawthorn Resources. They are mining illegal only meters away from Lawrence's station and while it is being disputed in court, the company is allowed to continue mining hours and hours each day. It was a classical example of the corrupt mining laws and lack of protection in this State. The following day, we travelled from Pinjan to the proposed Mulga Rock uranium mine site. The country was teaming with life, abundant with beautiful plants and flowers and rich with the fragile red earth.
"Mulga Rock is part of my dreaming. My grandfather traveled through this area for hunting. We have heard Vimy starting up a uranium mining company, already knocking down trees but they haven't asked us, nothing. They need to come and talk to the right people, I am not hard to find, they need to talk to us. Our families have been here hundreds of thousands of years, our families are strong part of dream time stories of this country." Geoffrey Stokes Wongatha Wonganarra Elder
"We are in the Yellow Sand Plain Priority Ecological Community (YSPPEC) at the moment and that’s where the mine is, completely inside that nature reserve. The Department of Parks and Wildlife, listed the YSPPEC as a category 3 community, which is pretty low risk, and the single risk they have put down to this area, is mining.
Mining is the biggest threat to this ecological community. And this area is quiet special as its nearly completely free of weeds and feral animals, there are some but its kind of like a sanctuary in a pretty industrialized part of WA where there is a lot of mines, but this area has remained pristine. Its also listed as a pristine environment.
There are some special creatures out here that are at risk, like the sand hill dunnart, the marsupial mole, the rainbow bee eater which is a migratory bird and the mining industry like most, they come up with plans to how they will protect these species but like we have seen at other mine sites “the promises never last but the problems always do”. So we are concerned that those commitments and promises are not always carried through the way they should", Mia Pepper.
Next Story from the Road: Leonora & Yeelirrie