Minister approves uranium mine threat to National Park

Leading national and state environment groups have vowed to actively contest today’s decision by Environment Minister Albert Jacob to approve the controversial Kintyre uranium mine proposal in an excised area from WA’s biggest National Park. 

Leading national and state environment groups have vowed to actively contest today’s decision by Environment Minister Albert Jacob to approve the controversial Kintyre uranium mine proposal in an excised area from WA’s biggest National Park. 

ACF nuclear free campaigner Dave Sweeney said “The Kintyre uranium proposal directly threatens the unique desert environment of the Karlamilyi National Park, the intricate water network of the Karlamilyi River water catchment, bush foods and many threatened and endangered species.” 

“This decision sets a poor precedent for an under-performing industry that does not have bipartisan political or wider public support. Uranium is different to other minerals. The history of uranium mining in Australia is one of spills, leaks, accidents and ongoing pollution and there is nothing in this approval that ensures that the Canadian mine owner Cameco won’t repeat this at Kintyre.”

A particular concern is the Ministers suggestion that there should be no rehabilitation bonds. This extremely risky approach could see this one uranium mine compromise the fledgling WA Mining Rehabilitation Fund and leave the tax payers holding the burden of a long-lived toxic and radioactive legacy.

“Cameco cannot be trusted with the protection of our environment, National Parks or neighbouring communities”, said CCWA campaigner Mia Pepper.

The company has an appalling record overseas and is soon to face court in Canada and investigations in the USA over allegations of tax avoidance. For multiple reasons there can be no confidence in this product, proponent or project and the Kintyre plan is a fast-track to failure”.

“It makes no sense to rubber-stamp such a flawed project in such a unique place when the uranium sector is in retreat nationally and the nuclear industry is flat-lining globally”, said Mia Pepper.

The proposal now requires Federal Environmental approval and environment groups will be making new representations to Canberra seeking some checks and balance on Cameco’s plans, not simply a government blank cheque for future damage.

In January Minister Jacobs dismissed appeals from Aboriginal groups, environment groups and other concerned individuals. Issues raised included threats to groundwater, radiological uptake in bush foods, the lack of baseline studies and commitments to monitoring in key areas outside the proposed mine.

 

Media Comment

Piers Verstegen, Director, Conservation Council WA - 0411 557 892

Mia Pepper, Nuclear Free Campaigner, Conservation Council WA - 0415380808

Dave Sweeney, Australian Conservation Foundation - 0408 317 812


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  • published this page in Media Releases 2016-06-01 12:05:45 +0800