Helena and Aurora Range

 
 
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Just six hours north-east of Perth, a little known freak of nature formed 2.5 billion years ago. Rising like a sleeping giant out of a eucalypt woodland the size of England, its ancient black and ochre rocks hold many secrets—a sacred Dreamtime site, a source of shelter, food and water for birds and animals, and an oasis for plant life you’ll find nowhere else on Earth. Known as the Helena and Aurora Range, or Bungalbin by the Kalamaia Kapurn people, this pristine landscape is a spectacular banded-ironstone formation – a biodiversity hotspot home to more than 110 bird species, and one of our national treasures.

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The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has described the Helena and Aurora Range as “one of the more significant biodiversity assets in WA”. The EPA has advised that mining this area would be “environmentally unacceptable”. Despite this, two open-cut iron-ore mines are currently being considered for the second time. Opening up this area to mining will undoubtedly destroy the natural values of the Range. The rocky outcrops are vital to the survival of local wildlife because they retain water, providing a refuge by creating habitats that support more vegetation than the surrounding woodlands.

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The EPA has recently rejected a proposal to allow two open-cut iron-ore mines for the second time. The new WA Government are expected to make the final decision later this year. We are calling for the Helena and Aurora Range to be protected as a National Park.

 

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Photo credit: Rob Neave & Chris Tzaros