Our Story

Lake Jasper, too beautiful to mine
Lake Jasper

Our Story

The D’Entrecasteaux Coalition has been established for over 30 years, initially to stop mining exploitation in the D’Entrecasteaux National Park.

Then in 1996 the state government of the day, excised an area of D’Entrecasteaux National Park, adjacent to Lake Jasper and part of the Gingilup-Jasper Wetlands, for the purpose of facilitating a mining lease application by Cable Sands.

The D’Entrecasteaux Coalition raised public awareness about the uniqueness of the D’Entrecasteaux National Park, the ecological significance of the Gingilup-Jasper Wetlands, the dangers of mining in areas of high Acid Sulphate Soils (ASS) and advocated for the relinquishing of the Cable Sands mining lease and return of the excised area back into D’Entrecasteaux National Park.

In 2010 Cable Sands relinquished the mining lease adjacent to Lake Jasper, due to not being able to comply with the EPA’s requirement to manage acid sulphate soils without impacting Lake Jasper and the Gingilup-Jasper Wetlands. The area was not returned to the D’Entrecasteaux National Park as was promised by Parliament, if the mining lease was relinquished.

The Scott Coastal Plain from Augusta to the Donnelly River, including the Lake Jasper area is classified as a high-risk acid sulphate soils region.

D’Entrecasteaux Coalition has worked with Government Ministers and government agencies to raise awareness of the issue of acid sulphate soils and the dangers that mineral sands mining poses to the environment and agricultural industries in areas of high ASS. The former mineral sands mines at Beenup and Jangardup have left a legacy of sulphuric acid groundwater plumes for future generations to deal with.

Current concerns

We thought Lake Jasper Wetlands were safe, and that no mining company would try again. We were wrong. Strategic Sands P/L a wholly owned subsidiary of Strategic Energy Resources Ltd has a new proposal for a mining lease – M70/1385 adjacent to Lake Jasper in D’Entrecasteaux National Park. The area includes the same excised location described above, which is part of the Gingilup-Jasper Wetland System. The State Government recently suspended the mining lease application, while it considers the environmental, heritage and cultural values of the area.

The mining lease is only 300 metres from the shore of Lake Jasper. Lake Jasper is one of Western Australia’s few large freshwater lakes that is relatively undamaged by human activity. The Lake and the surrounding Gingilup-Jasper Wetlands is a breeding ground to a number of rare, vulnerable and endangered species of waterbird, which includes the Australasian Bittern. The area is a major nursery area for freshwater fishes and frogs under threat of extinction and harbours a unique array of plant species.

The proposed mining lease area is also part of the winter flood zone for Lake Jasper and an important part of the Lake’s catchment area.

It is sacred country, and has a rich archaeological record. Nine sites found upon the Lake Jasper bed and margins, indicate camps were present prior to the formation of the lake some 4000 years ago. These sites were extremely significant to the understanding of the region’s Aboriginal settlement patterns.

The cultural significance and archaeological richness of the lake requires its conservation.

The Shannon and D’Entrecasteaux National Parks Management Plan 2012 notes that areas of high scenic quality such as Lake Jasper are of greatest concern in terms of visual landscape management and are the most sensitive to alteration.

 

The Lake Jasper and the Gingilup-Jasper Wetland System area has been identified as having extensive acid sulphate soils, with the potential for acidification of the lake and a sulphuric acid groundwater plume due to mining disturbance. Past mining attempts on the Scott Coastal Plain have floundered because of environmental risks. The impact of disturbing acid sulphate soils, which resulted at both former mineral sand mines, BHP Beenup and Cable Sands Jangardup both have acid sulphate groundwater plumes moving through the shallow aquifer.

 

THE CAMPAIGN

D’Entrecasteaux Coalition includes Environment Centres/Groups in Albany, Denmark, Walpole, Pemberton, Margaret River, Bridgetown, Busselton and Bunbury along with concerned individuals throughout the South West.

The objects:

  • To ensure that Lake Jasper is protected for future generations and the excised part of the Gingilup-Jasper Wetlands is returned to the D’Entrecasteaux National Park intact.
  • To protect the conservation estate from unsustainable industries.
  • To promote changes to the Mining Act to ensure greater community input at all stages of the application process.

Our actions include:

  • Public outreach programs aimed at disseminating information about the social and cultural importance and ecological magnificence of the D’Entrecasteaux National Park and the likely impacts of any proposed mine.
  • Establish liaison with local Aboriginal groups, Members of Parliament and local community groups to promote the protection of Yoondadadup Lake Jasper and the Gingilup-Jasper Wetland ecosystem.
  • Research and prepare submissions to relevant organisations and campaign through the media to highlight concerns about mining next to Yoondadadup Lake Jasper.
  • Campaigning on the broader issue of mining in National Parks.
  • Lobby the proponent, Strategic Sands P/L- a wholly owned subsidiary of Strategic Energy Resources Ltd – to withdraw the mining lease given the significant dangers such a mine poses to the Gingilup-Jasper Wetlands and Lake Jasper.