Lake Eyre Basin Rivers 158 the Wild Rivers Act 2005 and declarations (see Chapters 20 and 21), amending the Water Act 2000 to give unlimited water to mining and petroleum exploration and production as a statutory right, and severely curtailing democratic rights to object to mining and resource industry activities. The Western Rivers Advisory Panel, set up by Minister Cripps, was largely a sham, with local stakeholders such as the Cooper’s Creek Protection Group, conservation organisations and South Australian interests denied representation. However, even this panel, containing some pro-development people, advised in favour of strong protection for the rivers of the Lake Eyre Basin (Western Rivers Advisory Panel 2013), particularly protection from unconventional gas extraction (CSG and shale gas). This advice was ignored by Minister Cripps and his Cabinet colleagues when they unleashed their unabashedly pro-mining (petroleum resource development) legislative agenda. The unfortunate consequence is that currently the rivers, wetlands, floodplains and all landscapes, water resources and ecosystems that make up the Lake Eyre Basin are facing their greatest threat ever. This is the threat of shale gas development involving the process of hydraulic fracturing. Conclusion While important protective instruments, such as the Wild River declarations, can be overturned at will by growth-obsessed governments, the future of our natural environment is fragile. Meanwhile, it is vitally necessary to continue the battle: In peace, there’s nothing so becomes a man As modest stillness and humility, But when the blast of war blows in our ears, Then imitate the action of the tiger Stiffen the sinews, conjure up the blood, Disguise fair nature with hard-favoured rage Then lend the eye a terrible aspect Shakespeare, Henry V, Act 3, Sc.1, lines 3–9 References Bate J, Rasmussen E (2007) Henry V The Life of Henry the Fifth. In William Shakespeare: Complete Works. (Edition based on the First Folio of 1623). Random House, New York. Lockyer P (2012) Lake Eyre A Journey through the Heart of the Continent. Harper Collins, Australia. McMahon TA, Murphy RE, Peel MC, Costelloe JF, Chiew FHS (2008) Understanding the surface hydrology of the Lake Eyre Basin: Part 2 Streamflow. Journal of Arid Environments 72, 1869–1886. Noonan D (1996) An ecological perspective on Cooper’s Creek: summary proceedings. Windorah Scientific Workshop, 3–5 September 1996. Cooper’s Creek Protection Group and Australian Conservation Foundation, Adelaide Branch, Adelaide. Western Rivers Advisory Panel (2013) ‘Western Rivers Advisory Panel report’. Queensland Department of Natural Resources and Mines, Brisbane, assets/pdf_file/0015/82500/wrap-report.pdf.
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