Western Australia’s peak environment group along with leading national and state environmental, trade union and public health organisations today vowed to contest Environment Minister Bill Marmion’s decision to give pending state approval for WA’s first uranium mine. The proposed Toro Wiluna uranium mine still requires Commonwealth approval and a number of other state approvals that the EPA has deferred.
Conservation Council of WA Nuclear Free campaigner Mia Pepper said, “Minister Marmion’s announcement confirms that this Government intends to fast track a uranium mine as part of their political agenda.
“This proposal has no complete mine closure plan or costings, it will run out of water in seven years and no alternatives have been evaluated, scientists are still naming a new plant species found near the mine site, and Toro are yet to finalise their transport management plan.
“This is not a credible plan. It is a half-baked, half-assessed shambles driven by a political agenda and is not based on good science or evidence. This irresponsible and premature approval is out of step with both clear government commitments and community opinion.
“We will continue to use every means at our disposal to oppose this plan.”
Australian Conservation Foundation nuclear free campaigner Dave Sweeney said, “Earlier this year WA Mines Minister Moore released an independent report on state uranium regulations that showed shortfalls in skilled labor to work or effectively regulate mines. We can’t ensure safe management of radioactive tailings and there is a lack of government and industry transparency.”
“The state assessment of Toro’s Wiluna uranium mine is a dodgy deal but it is not a done deal. Toro and their shareholders can expect challenges and contests at every stage. In the shadow of Fukushima – a nuclear crisis directly fuelled by Australian uranium – both Toro and the government need to start addressing the concerns surrounding the nuclear industry rather than attempting to fast-track an unwanted and unsafe uranium project. It is a very long way from a Minister’s signature to an operating mine and this project faces significant and continuing hurdles.”
A protest is planned at Toro’s 35 Ventnor Ave West Perth office at 8.30am Thursday 11th October. A public letter responding to the Minister’s approval can be found below.
For further comment:
Mia Pepper – 0415 380 808
Dave Sweeney – 0408 317 812