Greens MLC Tammy Franks has today moved a motion in the Upper House for a parliamentary inquiry into the decision-making process and impact of approval of a rocket launching facility at Whalers Way at the tip of the Eyre Peninsula.
The inquiry would have particular consideration to the potential impact of the project on surrounding environment, alternate sites, and the interaction between the space industries sector strategy and the State planning system.
The Whalers Way conservation zone, where the rocket launching facility is to be built, is home to dozens of endangered species in an area of extreme bushfire risk. Local residents and conservation advocates have repeatedly raised concerns about how approval was granted for a rocket launch facility in such a sensitive area, and the possibility that it will establish a dangerous precedent for the future development of a space industry in SA.
Yesterday the Eyre Peninsula Environmental Protection Alliance and Nature Conservation Society of South Australia rallied on the steps of Parliament House in support of an independent review into alternative suitable locations for the facility.
Quotes attributable to Tammy Franks MLC:
“While the development of a space industry is welcome, it shouldn’t come with an increased risk of bushfires or at the cost of our precious wildlife when there are so many other options not yet considered.”
“We don’t have any definition or mention of rocket launch facilities in any of our planning and environmental laws and regulations. Do we really want the precedent for space industry development in our State to be defined by environmental destruction?”
“The process has been vague and community questions remain unanswered. It is clear that we need a comprehensive inquiry into the whole project.”