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Schedule 4 Stock-take – submission – 2010

Schedule 4 Stock-take  (Mining)

Submission from Richard Keller

The protections of Schedule 4 must be preserved and expanded.

Global historical context

Mining is perhaps the archetypal process  for the ideology and ethic of exploitation which has characterized human expansion and associated slaughter over centuries.  Ecosystems are typically wrecked beyond recognition, sometimes beyond recovery, and living populations destroyed.  Equally to the point, the benefits of mining typically give a great rush of easy energy, and easy money for a few, which typically has made it even easier to exploit and more difficult to retain an earthbound humility.  As the discussion of climate change has finally forced us all into the realization that this exploitative approach is no longer sustainable (survivable?) it can be expected that mining would become a flagship initiative for those whose ideology sees exploitation and continual economic growth through capitalism as more important than survival.  It will be seen as a necessary means to continue acceleration toward a grand and glorious climax of the human/capitalist era.

Sustainable future context

The current ACT government, hiding behind a more traditional though inherently unstable National Party facade, appears willing to expose its desperation to avoid change toward sustainability by jumping right into mining in national parks (sitting excitedly alongside its road building frenzy).

Current political context

The body politic does realize the necessity for fundamental change to a more cooperation/conservation ethic.  Importantly, however, there is a desperate attempt to hide from the task of change; hence the election of this ACT government in the last election, and its almost certain reelection in 2011 and perhaps beyond.  But given the fickle nature of political support, this ACT government should keep in mind that mining could become a defining political issue.

Overall response to Schedule 4 stock-take

• Schedule 4 in its current form represents a compromise protecting only a few natural heritage areas; it is desperately cheeky to attempt to pass this “stock-take” off as a rational compromise initiative.

• Our protected areas must remain protected – they are simply too precious to mine.
• All of the areas proposed for mining have outstanding conservation values, which is why they were originally protected – let’s keep them that way.  See next page for detailed proposals.

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