A little bit of context
The wilderness of Flinders Chase National Park is dear to Kangaroo Island locals - human, and all animals and plants. The park protects vast tracts of intact vegetation and diverse ecosystems - habitat for many threatened species. It's been part of our community since 16 October 1919, when the park was declared as a flora and fauna reserve. We welcome all visitors, local and international, but some remote and fragile areas are best left to themselves.
Since 2016, the 5-day Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail has given adventurers a taste of the wild while walking and staying overnight in 4 campsites next to the trail.
The Kangaroo Island community supports this low-impact trail and 'eco-accommodation' on it. It also wants the wilderness of Flinders Chase to be conserved.
But there’s a problem
The South Australian State Commission Assessment Panel (SCAP) and Native Vegetation Council (NVC) have approved the construction of 2 private luxury accommodation villages kilometres 'off' the trail on wild coastal sites and the associated vegetation clearance.
- has 10 substantial buildings (one an 18 x 9 metre communal dining/lounge), plus water tanks, lookouts and connecting paths
- is located up to 3 km from the Wilderness Trail
- is conspicuously placed on coastal sites overlooking wild, remote beaches
- requires an additional 3 km of service road to be bulldozed through native vegetation.
That’s impact at those fragile sites, impact in the extra trail length they walk to them, impact from the service roads.
What we’re doing about it
Kangaroo Island Eco-Action Inc, supported by its associates in the Public Parks NOT Private Playgrounds coalition, has lodged proceedings in the SA Supreme Court for judicial review of the decisions made by the SCAP to approve the development applications by the Australian Walking Company Pty Ltd (AWC) and by the NVC to approve extensive vegetation clearance in the Flinders Chase National Park on Kangaroo Island.
We will argue that the three decisions by the SCAP (at Sandy Creek, Cape du Couedic and Sanderson Bay) and one decision by the NVC are unlawful or invalid for several reasons relating to the Development Act, Native Vegetation Act, and National Parks and Wildlife Act,
Our objective is to ensure that the laws of South Australia are followed to the letter - with full public consultation on the proposed development, including any long term leases of the National Park, and pristine native vegetation protected from substantial clearance.
Please join us
Good lawyers (and we have good lawyers) cost money. Our previous campaign raised just over $38,000 and we've received generous donations since but the preliminary work to this point means we need to top our coffers for our QC to make our case in court.
Any donation you can make, large or small, will help us fight this stab in the heart of one of the few remaining, and fast vanishing, vast natural places. Other places around Australia are fighting similar battles; our success can give heart to them as well.