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  • Writer's pictureEyre Peninsula EPA

Online Blog now live! Engage with our community about the importance to Save Whalers Way!

This Blog is aimed at facilitating discussion with community members regarding the ongoing fight to Save Whalers Way. We will notify key updates and planned events on this space.

We also hope to create online discussion about some of the key issues we are concerned about. So please, stay updated, read our posts and leave your feedback in the comments sections!

First Topic: Issues with the Planning Consent - Rocket Launches in a Conservation Zone

Under the Planning, Design and Infrastructure Act of South Australia, and its associated Planning and Design Code, the Whalers Way site is zoned as 'Conservation.'

This is the 'Desired Outcome' of a Conservation Zone: "The conservation and enhancement of the natural environment and natural ecological processes for their ability to reduce the effects of climate change, for their historic, scientific, landscape, habitat, biodiversity, carbon storage and cultural values and provision of opportunities for the public to experience these through low-impact recreational and tourism development"

Southern Launch's Test Launch Campaign was given permission to go ahead in this Conservation Zone, after the State Commission Assessment Panel (SCAP) neglected to respect their own legislation. It is difficult to justify a rocket launch facility as meeting the Desired Outcome, however as the PDI Act does not specifically list "Rocket Launch Facility" as prohibited development, SCAP gave the Test Launch Campaign permission to proceed.

The subsequent result was a failed launch attempt, an explosion and a bushfire.

Southern Launch's planning consent for the Test Launch Campaign lapsed on December 31st 2021. Despite this near catastrophe event in a Conservation Zone, The Liberal Minister Hon. Josh Teague, on Jan 11 2022, acted to again change the legislation to enable an extension of the Test Launch Campaign until December 31st 2022. Note that Josh Teague was acting only as a stand-in Planning Minister at this date, as the previous minister (Hon. Vicki Chapman) was stood down following ICAC investigation. Furthermore, this decision was made with less than 2 months before the Liberals were thrown out of government.

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