Save Sleaford and Whalers Way
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There will be two major projects occurring about 25-35 minutes out of Port Lincoln, South Australia at Sleaford and Whalers Bay. SA Water has been planning since 2012 and prior to establish a Water Desalination Plant at Sleaford Mere of which they have only carried out local township consultations recently. SA Water plan to run pipes either underground which will require drilling or placing them above ground. The pipes will extend out to the Sleaford cliffs to access the ocean about 2-3km from there property they have purchased at Sleaford Mere. Sleaford is a very important site to us due to it being a culturally significant heritage site. These cliffs are the resting place for the Southern Right Whale and baby every year before they journey onto Whalers Way with other Southern Right Whales, then they journey onto the Great Australian Bight. Due to this site being protected and preserved for many years, there are dolphins, seals and other marine life that is regularly within this area. We have worked together in the past with neighboring property owners to save Sleaford from development and were successful both times. However SA Water has government approval and has commenced surveying since last year without engaging us in the first instance. Since we have protested at Sleaford the community is more aware of this project and they to will be affected. With the proposed Whales Way launching project we were not consulted and only knew about the project because it made front page of the Advertiser. This location is also a culturally significant heritage site of where the Southern Right Whales journey onto the Great Australian Bight.
We need to be united to protect our unique marine life, pristine environment and eco system, because if it were to be developed and destroyed, it will destroy the coastal dreaming. We need to protect and preserve what we have left.
As these are major projects in our region, we have the right to be recognised as local Aboriginal people to be engaged, consulted and to be involved in decision making as it is our inherited right as the Aboriginal people of these lands, waters, culture and traditions. We have been excluded from effective participation in all aspects of government decision making and locally. The only way to be heard was via local newspapers and local news, even to date we have received no requests for engagement.
We ask SA Water, Regional Development Australia, Member for Flinders Peter Treloar MP, the local Councils and other official parties to support us as we want to be engaged about these two major projects before any approvals are granted. As the local Aboriginal people we want to be engaged and involved with decision making. Our elders want to have there voices heard. Is this something you can facilitate? because we feel that our rights to have a say and be involved in the decision making of our lands and waters as the local Aboriginal people have been derailed.
Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation (AAR) we ask that you to work with us as the local Aboriginal people, empower us as the local Aboriginal people to have a stronger voice in government decision-making within our region, encourage government engagement with us as the local Aboriginal stakeholder, partner with us as the local Aboriginal people to protect and preserve Aboriginal heritage.
We also ask Premier Steven Marshall who said 'the facility would serve as an important asset for the state and the nation, driving space capabilities, creating jobs and stimulating the economy'. The Whalers Way facility is to cover about 1190 hectares of culturally significant heritage sites that includes blow holes, we have not been consulted. While this project will be 'providing local and international companies with the opportunity to launch rockets and satellites over the Great Australian Bight,' why is there still a lack of consultation locally and across the region?
This petition is to say no to the locations and we need your support as a united community to show how many people want to save Sleaford and Whalers Way. There is a lot of highlight along this coastline that reaches to the Great Australian Bight Oil drilling and seismic testing. 'Seismic testing involves firing sound waves into the ocean floor to detect the presence of oil or gas reserves. For oil companies, it is the first step to learning more about oil and gas resources beneath the ocean floor, and how they could be developed.'
There are multiple major projects occurring along our coast and in-land, with a lack of consultation across the board. We as a united community need to work together to ensure our voice is heard, that our lands and waters are protected, and cared for. We say no the SA Desalination Plant at Sleaford and no to the Rocket Launching at Whalers Way, and we say no to Oil Drilling and seismic testing at the Great Australian Bight. Water is life.
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