Eyre Peninsula – Too good to risk

As a new resident to Port Lincoln, originally from Adelaide, I am becoming infatuated with the Eyre Peninsula.

The glistening foreshore and rolling green hills of Lower Eyre are wonderfully picturesque and serene, and from these beautiful surrounds a special quality emerges.

It is not simply rural charm that garners my admiration but the combination of aquaculture, fisheries, agriculture and tourism, which ensures the community is never reliant on a single industry.

This multi-faceted economy approaches a self-sustainability that can weather the peaks and troughs of the globalised world much better than mining towns and rural outposts.

The potential Port Lincoln holds now and into the future is what makes me apprehensive about plans for BP exploration in the Great Australian Bight, and equally concerning movements towards nuclear waste storage.

Many would remember six years ago the three-month long spew of light crude into the Gulf of Mexico, annihilating wildlife and bringing local fisheries to near collapse. Similarly remember the numerous nuclear incidents in our lifetimes and their disastrous effects.

None of this means South Australia or Port Lincoln is doomed to suffer the same fate and further.

This is not intended as mere green idealism or city-slicker pontificating, simply, the heritage and prospects found here are too valuable to put on the line for short term gain.

The promises of wealth and prosperity from multinational corporations, foreign powers and our own Adelaide-centric state government are false dawns.

Whether it be oil drilling or nuclear storage, the people of Eyre Peninsula should not sell out their region for the benefit of those who will not suffer if and when it all goes horribly wrong.

I have already begun to appreciate the unique beauty and potential this town has. As I move about the region, I see what could become the jewel in the South Australian crown, with economic and cultural opportunities that support many sustainably.

To allow outside interests to take advantage of our pristine waters and unique outback for mere financial gain is to put in jeopardy all that this community has achieved in 177 years.

I urge all concerned to write your paper, your council and your state and federal representatives advising the idyllic Eyre Peninsula is not up for others’ exploitation.

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