Wild Migration Managing Directors write and give evidence from bushfire recovery space
28 September 2020
Life in the remaining, fire-damaged tractor shed at the Wild Migration Managing Director's Berrymans Road farm at
Gosse on the western end of Kangaroo Island has been busy this year.
Earlier in the year the Geoff and Margi Prideaux's celebrated three separate literary awards for books published
by Wild Migration's publishing imprint, Stormbird Press.
"Coming out of the fires, and being thrust back into the world of business, with good news, was a surprise,"
Margi said. "Doing that work from our shed felt bizarrely separated from the wider world."
As winter set in, the Prideauxs are currently spending their days living in the tractor shed and sleeping in an
emergency pod supplied by the Minderoo Foundation.
From that same shed, Margi has continued interviewing and writing her book about the fires, the community's
experience, and exploring how the Island can reshape our future to reduce the scale of community-level impact
from a future firestorm. She is aiming for a tight release of early January 2021. "It feels right to have the
book released on the anniversary of the firestorm event. I just hope I can make it. It helps to be a publisher,"
she said with typical good humour.
"Wine and words" have been the Prideaux's rebuild life, so it was a surprise to have a call from the past,
asking Geoff Prideaux to provide expert evidence to the Federal Senate inquiry into the Impact of seismic testing
on fisheries and the marine environment.
"When the call came through, I was floored," Geoff said. "The fires had destroyed all my books, papers,
notes, everything. I hadn't thought about any of that world for months and months."
Despite Geoff's momentary reality shift, the Senate inquiry called him to give evidence for good reason. In 2016
and 2017, he led an intergovernmental process to develop Guidelines on Environmental Impact Assessment for
Marine Noise-generating Activities for the United Nations Environment Programme Convention on Migratory Species.
"I coordinated species experts from across the world to provide the latest advice about the impact of noise
pollution on a range of species, including fish," he said. "From that basis we developed the guidelines
for governments to follow. I wanted to deliver a tool that would mean their decisions would be based on
"The guidelines went out for exhaustive comments, twice, including to the offshore oil and gas industry. They
were unanimously endorsed by 126 countries in late 2017."
Despite that process, once again from the fire-damaged shed, Geoff provided evidence about the actions of
Australia's regulator, the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA).
He asserts that NOPSEMA has ignored the United Nations guidelines and Australia's commitment to reduce this
form of harmful noise pollution since 2017.
"A lot of work and good will, from many people, goes into these documents," he said.