Getting into space shouldn't cost the Earth
Would you agree with a commercial rocket launching facility and associated infrastructure being put in pristine, protected coastal vegetation?
Neither does the Nature Conservation Society of SA.
The location for this proposed development at 'Whalers Way', on the very southern tip of Eyre Peninsula, is wrong - it is a protected area under the Native Vegetation Act 1991 and habitat for threatened bird species.
Thanks to those NCSSA members and supporters who opposed the recent proposal to 'test' how much damage these rockets might do, particularly to shy, threatened birds like the Southern Emu Wren, by constructing a 'temporary' facility and firing up to three rockets, ahead of constructing larger, permanent launching pads.
The State Commission Assessment Panel is currently considering the 'test' proposal, and the NCSSA will keep you informed of their decision.
The NCSSA's position remains that the company's focus should be on finding an alternate, less environmentally sensitive, site rather than on "testing" the impact at this site.
- This is a sensitive conservation area which is not an appropriate location for an industrial rocket launch facility, either temporary or permanent
- It is not appropriate to change the land use from "conservation" to "commercial/industrial" given the conservation values of the area, which include protected native vegetation and nationally threatened species
- Survey work clearly shows two threatened bird species (the Southern Emu-Wren and Western Whipbird) in and around the precise sites where the permanent launch pads are planned, and a rocket launching facility will damage and fragment their habitat
- There will be impacts on these two bird species from a permanent facility beyond those being measured by these "tests", including potential for cumulative impacts from repeated launches (i.e. the planned 30 launches per/year from a permanent facility)
- The "tests" do not seek to investigate the impact on two other threatened birds species present at the site - the Sea Eagle and Osprey
- The size of the "test" rockets have not been specified in the "notification package", yet the permanent facility will fire rockets from anywhere between 1 tonne and 100 tonnes, an extremely wide variation
- It's not appropriate development for an area within the Hazard (Bushfire - High Risk) overlay
photo Male Southern Emu Wren Marcus Pickett