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Woomera Prohibited Area review

A contemporary coexistence framework.

WPA Review 2018

Fit-for-purpose coexistence arrangements in the Woomera Prohibited Area are guaranteed into the future following the Australian Government’s support of the findings and recommendations of the 2018 review. The full report and government’s response were released on 29 March 2019.

The review process involved extensive consultation with a range of stakeholders, including the South Australian government, to consider whether the coexistence framework – that balances Defence use with the needs of other users – was suitable for today’s environment and forwards.

Twelve recommendations were made reflecting the enduring critical importance of the Woomera Prohibited Area to national security, while also recognising the considerable value the area holds for Aboriginal cultural heritage, mineral resources, pastoral operations, environmental research and other scientific activity.

The report incorporates the following key recommendations of the South Australian government:

  • Co-designing more flexible access zone arrangements with the resources industry and other stakeholders.
  • Implementing a government-led, contemporary, geological and economic analysis of the resources potential of the Red Zone.
  • Publishing clearer foreign investment guidelines that fully recognise the area’s national security significance and requirements.

The Department for Energy and Mining will continue to represent South Australia’s interest in the implementation of the 12 recommendations for a contemporary coexistence framework ensuring that the Woomera Prohibited Area, which sits in the mineral-rich Gawler Craton, remains open for resource exploration and mining.

Full report: Coexistence in the Woomera Prohibited Area 2018 Review (PDF 5.4 MB)

More about the Woomera Prohibited Area

– Cathy Lacar, April 2019

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