Media Release: Tarkine two-pronged legal challenge to rainforest mine-waste dump.

Bob Brown Foundation is taking legal action against both the state and federal governments to stop toxic waste from MMG’s Rosebery mine from being dumped across Lake Pieman into ancient takayna / Tarkine rainforest.

“We believe both governments have ignored the law in giving MMG the go-ahead for the rainforest waste dump. Our legal advice is that in granting a mine lease that the company is not entitled to, Resources Minister Guy Barnett has wrongly given MMG control of the Helilog Road into the rainforest to prevent citizens’ right to defend the forests,” BBF Campaign Manager Jenny Weber said in Hobart today.

“We also claim that federal Minister for the Environment, Sussan Ley, has wrongly overlooked the forest’s status as a feeding and breeding site for the Tasmanian Masked Owl which is vulnerable to extinction, according to her own advice. She ought to have at least observed the Precautionary Principle, as required by the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, before agreeing to MMG’s heavy machinery invading the rainforest. MMG plans an initial 15 km of roads and 165 drill sites in the owl habitat forests. It is extraordinary that Minister Ley even turned down the mining company’s offer to protect big trees because they are potential owl nesting sites. This species is vulnerable to extinction.”

“MMG has several good options for a waste dump outside takayna but the rainforest and its wildlife have none. The planned waste dump will kill the rainforest forever.”

“Our scientists have established the forest targeted by MMG as one of the richest feeding and breeding sites for the Tasmanian Masked Owl known to exist. Both governments are needlessly sacrificing the wellbeing of this ancient rainforest, the Masked Owls and other rare and endangered species like Spotted-tailed Quolls and Tasmanian Devils, which the company agrees are in the forest. Ms Ley has been recklessly indifferent to the forest and its wildlife when she could have a win-win outcome by requiring MMG to use one of the available options for disposing of its acid wastes,” Ms Weber said.

“BBF is launching its biggest fundraising drive ever to pay for this two-pronged legal challenge, which we estimate could cost us $500,000. We are at a huge disadvantage as a community group up against the financial might of one of the biggest mining companies in the world, controlled and owned overseas by a nation-state with zero interest in Tasmania’s environment and backed by state and federal governments,” she added.

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  • Adam Burling
    published this page in Media Releases 2022-03-04 13:42:14 +1100