Groote Eylandt off the north east coast of Australia has fabulous coral reefs. It forms part of the Anindilyakwa Indigenous Protected Area, with the local indigenous population relying on the ocean, which has a deep cultural significance.
Locals, along with fishing groups and conservationists, have voiced strong opposition to a proposed end to the moratorium on destructive seabed mining in the area, which would wreck coastal ecosystems. It would also desecrate a site of spiritual significance. Although some indigenous people from the mainland support more mining here, the island’s elders do not want seabed mining to go ahead.
The damage caused would far outweigh the short-term economic benefits of allowing mining operations to destroy irreplaceable coastal ecosystems in search of minerals.
Australia must put the needs of its people and its irreplaceable natural heritage ahead of short-term profit. Ask the state government to not consider lifting the seabed mining moratorium.
We the undersigned ask that you not consider lifting the moratorium on seabed mining in the Anindilyakwa Indigenous Protected Area to allow exploitation of the minerals below the area's reefs.
This would could irreparably damage to the reefs and the wider ocean ecosystem and have an immediate impact on the indigenous residents of Groote Eylandt.
Although the short-term profit of seabed mining might be economically advantageous for indigenous people from the mainland for a short time, the island's elders do not want mining to go ahead. Preserving a site of immense ecological and cultural importance (and long-term economic value) should be the priority in this area.
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