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Following a series of decisions to allow mining in high conservation areas in the Midwest, it is now more urgent than ever that the recommendations of EPA Bulletin 1256 to establish an A-Class reserve over the areas of highest conservation value at Mt Manning be implemented.
Such a move was further recommended as necessary to balance mining and conservation values by the Environment and Mining departments in the Strategic Review of the Conservation and Resource Values of the Banded Iron Formation of the Yilgarn Craton (Strategic Review).
The area of the extended Mt Manning Nature reserve has very high biodiversity value and allowing mining and exploration in this area would threaten the existence of rare endemic plants and animals found nowhere else on earth.
Mt Manning and the surrounding ranges are examples of banded ironstone formation ranges. Acting like islands in the otherwise flat outback landscapes, many of these ranges have high biodiversity values and yet none of them are protected in secure conservation reserves.
The Environmental Assessment process has failed to protect the banded ironstone formation ranges. Three times in the past the EPA has recommended against development, and in each case they have been overruled by the Government of the day. This includes previous Labor Government’s approval of mining at Windarling Range and your current Government allowing two separate mining projects on Mungada Ridge – also recommended as an A-Class reserve.
Mining is important to our state, but so is our unique biodiversity and landscapes. We cannot mine everything and expect to have a healthy environment into the future.