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A jewel in the crown of our Great Western Woodlands

 

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.

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A national treasure teeming with life

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. The reasons for protecting this special place are compelling. 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 future of the Range hangs in the balance

 

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 advice, 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.

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How you can help

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. If you think it's worth saving one of WA’s natural wonders, we urge you to meet with your local Member of Parliament. Let them know that the Helena and Aurora Range is no place for mining and that you want it protected in a national park for future generations to enjoy.

 
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  • These beautiful places are for us to treasure. Enough of this buying and selling of our heritage and our future.
    — Jeremy, Bicton, Western Australia
  • The Helena and Aurora Range is the most significant banded-ironstone range in the Great Western Woodlands with the most unique landform and biodiversity values. It provides a sanctuary for birds, reptiles, mammals, and plants, some of which are not found anywhere else on earth - for this very reason alone - Helena & Aurora Range needs security and protection from mining. Its natural assets are worth securing for future generations as an educational & ecotourism hub.
    — Carolyn, Mt Lawley, Western Australia
  • I grew up in the wheatbelt of WA near the rabbit proof fence, the border between paddocks of broadacre farming and the Great Western Woodlands. What a dichotomy. OK we can’t turn back the tide of wheat and sheep but we can and must preserve the Woodlands and the Helena Aurora Range from any further development. We are talking about the beating heart and pulsing lungs of a precious natural resource. Keep it that way.
    — Robert, Busselton, Western Australia
  • It is important to leave some wild places with unique biodiversity values unravaged by the ugly scars of human greed and excess. I believe we need to pay more respect to nature and to enjoy its wonders rather than destroying them in order to accumulate more wealth and material assets. The Helena and Aurora Range is exquisite with deep spiritual and natural significance. Please let us value and protect the area in itself and for itself. We do not have to be an industrial welfare state acting in the private interests of already excessively wealthy miners.
    — Laura, Hamilton Hill, Western Australia
  • Rare biodiverse sites need to be protected for everyone above the profit-driven interests of a few. Save this land for our future generations, for biodiversity, for it's the right thing to do.
    — Melanie, Beaconsfield, Western Australia
  • On a recent visit to the range it was magnificent, undisturbed and protected by nature. The beautiful caves within the rock formations and the under story of plants unique. The vast view of the woodlands not seen anywhere I've been would be unacceptable to even think of mining, given the small amount of iron ore the it would produce. Please leave this lovely peaceful and tranquil land intact for future generations.
    — Lyn, Toodyay, Western Australia
  • I have visited the area. It is so beautiful, pristine and special. The birds, plants, reptiles and invertebrates have not been fully surveyed and there would be so many creatures yet to be found. It is to be left unharmed for those throughout the world to visit and appreciate its special features, its geology, its flora and fauna. Money is not the value here - it is beauty, uniqueness, inspirational and a precious area!
    — Desrae, Toodyay, Western Australia
  • I live in the beautiful karri forests in the South West region of Western Australia. Unique and beautiful as they are (the karri is the tallest living flowering plant in the world), I sort of get claustrophobic in the forests. My partner and I do a lot of camping and birding in remote parts of Western Australia through choice. It is only there, in the expansive areas dominated by the Western Woodlands mallee and scrub, that I feel at home, free, and in communion with our awesome living, breathing planet. The generations to follow deserve to be able to spend time in these more pristine parts of our beautiful state, if only to give them a sense of perspective which is vital for a healthy mental outlook. The Helena and Aurora Ranges need to be protected for all time.
    — Rose, Pemberton, Western Australia
  • The Helena & Aurora offer spectacular and unique flora and fauna. My favourite aspect of visiting this place is the sense of peace the surroundings offer the visitors. It's a truly amazing place that should be proactively protected by Western Australians.
    — Piper, Thornlie, Western Australia
  • I'm looking forward to one day visiting in spring to see the wildflowers and birds.
    — Sherry, Lowden, Western Australia
  • I have recently read a story in the Australian Birdlife about the Great Western Woodlands…What a terrible state of affairs to get from the marvellous article about the last temperate woodland in the world. What a terrible thing it would be to WA and the world and to the birds and plant life and animals that inhabit this area if any of this goes ahead.
    — Margaret, Leeming, Western Australia
  • I love that this most significant place of banded-ironstone in the Great Western Woodlands with unique landforms and biodiversity values, is right on my doorstop. All I have to do to see the largest, highest, and most prominent range is jump in my car. We have a sanctuary for birds, reptiles, mammals, and plants, some so rare they're not found anywhere else on earth and its right here in our backyard. What would I rather spend my dollars to look at - an open cut mine or pristine, wild habitat? I can see an open cut mine any day and they all look the same however you, me and all that come after us will never see this ever - if its mined.
    — Kerry, Beckenham, Western Australia
  • Western Australia already has more iron ore mines than we need. What we need a lot more than another mine is what we already have: a place of unique beauty. Please do not turn this beautiful place of natural beauty into another hole in the ground.
    — John, Perth, Western Australia
  • I've worked on many banded ironstone ranges. They are special places packed with interest, affording, on account of their higher elevation, views, places to sit and contemplate and marvel at nature. I know this is one of the best in terms of its rich biodiversity, social values and remarkable, unspoilt vistas. NO rehabilitation after clearing and mining of such a site can hope to approach what exists there. Plenty of other places to mine iron ores.
    — Douglas, Perth, Western Australia
  • I visited this area and camped there last October to look for and photograph native orchids and wildflowers. I found so much more...fantastic scenery, birds and an amazing eco-system, and feel it would be a travesty to lose this amazing part of our state to mining.
    — Lyn, Narrogin, Western Australia
  • Those who have never experienced the silence and wide skies of such a natural area, have missed out on one of the most profound experiences of life. To be totally immersed in nature, with no mechanical noise or human interference in the visual landscape is to feel your own humanity, both deep and light. Some find this idea confronting at first, but most will ultimately feel it as a most wondrous and spiritual experience.
    — Karen, Darlington, Western Australia
  • The Helena Aurora Range can never be replaced. Once it's gone, it's gone for good. Do we have the right to prevent our children and our children's children from visiting such a magical place? To know about it only from pictures in books? The rocks, the trees, the birds, the vistas are all incredible and should be available to everyone, now and forever.
    — Lizzy, Glen Forrest, Western Australia
  • It was such a surprise. The beautiful stands of salmon gums that lined the road on the way into the Helena and Aurora Range were a hint at the beauty that was about to appear before us. The Range’s convoluted red rock emerged as a majestic stand-out in the landscape - creating intricately connected habitats for so many interesting plants and animals that flourish in that harsh environment – and an awe-inspiring reminder of the ancient nature of the landform. It was just beautiful.
    — Jen, Mount Helena, Western Australia
  • I love all places that give native birds and animals a safe haven. We have destroyed too much of their habitat already plus the destruction by feral cats and dogs. We certainly do not NEED or WANT any mining venture that would put this at risk. National Parks and nature reserves are what we like to visit while travelling Australia. I certainly would not be interested in a mine of any sort, particularly one I know put that habitats at risk. Conserve what we have is the key.
    — Pam, Emu Park Queensland
  • Where else can we go so close to Perth to learn about, explore and enjoy such ancient Banded Iron Formations and ancient hills with such unique wildlife? They have withstood the forces of the earth over billions of years, the ravages of weathering over millions of years and the impact of man over hundreds of years. They must not be totally destroyed in only a few years for so little gain.
    — Richard and Lorraine, Perth, Western Australia
  • I love the Helena & Aurora Range for the stories told in its ancient fractured rocks and in the eroded landforms. I love the light and rich colours of the spectacular landscapes. And the unexpected beauty of Leucopogon flowering from a cliff-face, or the purple Tetratheca. We must protect the unique world of the Helena & Aurora Range for future generations.
    — Suzy, South Perth, Western Australia
  • I've recently retired & as a lover of unspoiled natural environments & the bird & other wildlife they harbour I'd love to gently explore the Helena & Aurora Range & observe its inhabitants. I & others might even spend tourist dollars in WA while we're at it which seems to me would be far more sustainable economically than digging up the Range for short term profit.
    — Adrian, Highland Valley, South Australia
  • I have yet to visit this area but love visiting this type of open dry woodland and sincerely hope to get there one day to experience the landscape and its unique wildlife.
    — Michael, Melbourne, Victoria
  • I am an animal and nature lover. My heart bleeds every time I hear another mine is being considered either in National Parks or in the Barrier Reef. And of course in that unique area of Helena and Aurora Range. It has a natural beauty we should preserve for future generations just like the Aboriginals have done for thousands of years. When an area left them in awe it became a sacred and spiritual area where spirits lived...These pristine areas have become animal and bird sanctuaries. If we destroy them we also destroy plants unique to these areas and probably in the world...I am an optimist and so I hope the Government does the correct thing and leaves this Range alone.
    — Argyro, Sydney, New South Wales
  • I visited there last September at the height of the flowering season, with a superabundance of birdlife (and other creatures). It was astounding! Not only is it a place of spectacular natural beauty, but it has extensive indigenous sites (marker trees, toolmaking and trading sites, waterholes and Dreaming songlines) which also will be destroyed irrevocably. You only have to see the sorry attempts at rehabilitation at nearby mine sites, to know that man can NEVER recreate the habitats. It truly is one of the most special places on our continent.
    — Lindy, Wollstonecraft, New South Wales
  • What I love about the Helena and Aurora Range is that it is still there, in its entirety, as it was formed those millions of years ago, a unique landscape that offers refuge to so many, many species. What a miracle of nature. Why in the world would we want to destroy something this precious. If it is destroyed through mining, it diminishes us as human beings.
    — Leonie, Singleton, Western Australia
  • Helena and Aurora Range is unique and undisturbed so it can still maintain its amazing bird life and beauty. We need to preserve these places of natural wonder for all to see. The pristine country can never be replaced after mining.
    — Jo, Darwin, Northern Territory
  • I love the beauty of Helena an Aurora Range, its large vistas, the view of bush to the horizon where ever I look when standing on top of the Range. I feel inspired, open and in touch with the magnificence of the world and spirit.
    — Shapelle, Margaret River, Western Australia
  • I was gobsmacked by the changes in vegetation as I went from one place to another. Up top of the range itself with its wonderful views, I gazed at the various plants fitting this rare niche and the realisation that some of them are found nowhere else in the world just hit me.
    — Maris, Dianella, Western Australia
  • Helena and Aurora is unique, pristine, and simply wonderful. I'm sure future generations would also like to see it in its current form.
    — Barbara, Gidgegannup, Western Australia
  • I love the Range because it is there! I have heard people who have visited it rave about its beauty and uniqueness. I have seen photographs of it. I have an understanding of its importance in the landscape. I have put it on my bucket list of places to go, and I don’t want to get there to find out it that it has been desecrated by being turned into a minesite!
    — John, Mosman Park, Western Australia
  • The Bungalbin landscape is rugged, red, ancient slopes and ridges weathered into spectacular formations and home to a plethora of plants and animals that form its unique ecology...As surrounding ranges are blasted and stripped to oblivion Bungalbin, the last bastion stands now vulnerable to destruction for paltry gain by a few. How could we allow such a precious asset to be robbed from our heritage and the benefit of future generations? This beautiful place needs to be protected for perpetuity. Any doubt will be dismissed by simply visiting the Range to feel its power, its light and life.
    — Greg and Vicki, Toodyay, Western Australia
  • This is remarkable country and of national significance. I want my grandchildren to be able to visit it. I don't want just another half completed minesites that can never be rehabilitated. I want the wonderful vegetation, the rocky outcrops and the complete ranges left untouched.
    — Alasdair, Mandurah, Western Australia
  • The Helena & Aurora Range is too beautiful & precious to mine. MUST be kept for future generations to be able to experience such natural beauty and to be able to show their children. Once mined, gone forever.
    — Claire, Warwick, Western Australia
  • Having visited the range and viewed the area from the highest point I can only be delighted that it was not found suitable for farming and grazing. It is one of the most pristine views I have seen, only spoiled by a few incursions brought about by mining...It is intolerable that an almost pristine area such as the Helena Auroras should be erased for such a short term gain by a mining company.
    — Rosemary, Palmyra, Western Australia