Wednesday, April 29, 2009


For the latest non-news in the unconscionable treatment of Arkaroola and its natural wonders see here. That the SA Government and it's Minister for Mineral Resources should dither around for so long betrays a crippling failure of leadership, vision and basic logic.
Paul Holloway talks legal argy bargy when what's needed is a clear decision to protect one of the State's most significant environmental and tourism assets. Not just that but he also goes for a gold medal in duck shoving: "The challenge for Marathon Resources—in fact, for all explorers in this region—is to show how the mineral and energy resources can be extracted from this region in a manner that preserves the environmental and scenic values."
No, sorry Minister, the real challenge here is for the SA Government is to carry out its duty to defend a properly established and internationally acclaimed wilderness santuary. The idea that any mine could be put within Arkaroola's highlands without affecting their integrity is simply laughable. And besides, don't we in SA already have more than enough mines, alternative uranium deposits, geothermal projects etc, etc to be going on with?
For more on the whole fandango see Bill Doyle's site.

Doug & Marg Sprigg, operators of Arkaroola Sanctuary with a geological mosaic put together by their father and sanctuary founder, the late Reg Sprigg.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Cliff-top Sugar Gums, Cape Torrens Wilderness Protection Area

Every visit to Kangaroo Island adds another twist to my sense of the place. Out west near Cape Torrens we were confronted by a gutsy coastline. Giant cliffs. A vastness of sea and sky. Waves bashing onto the rocks below. But all I wanted to look at were the trees. In most parts of the island the shoreline is wind-blasted and shrubby at best. Here, just metres from the cliff edge, there were stately gums and broad bushy sheoaks. By some quirk of topography these trees are sheltered from the worst of the winds from the south and west, though the prevailing breezes have nevertheless done some fine sculpting. (Above)
This alertness to things arboral was perhaps prompted a friend's win in the Penneshaw Easter Art Show. Michele Lane's painting of Pink Bay is as much a study of passing light as anything else. But the other star of the picture is the dense canopy of narrow-leafed mallee, a species that covers many parts of the island like plush rug. How rich and wondrous are the island's diverse native habitats. With every passing year these expanses of native veg grow in significance. Meanwhile the dreary local tassie blue gum plantations seem more and more problematic.

Evening light, Island Beach