Late this afternoon Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley has permitted Chinese state owned miner MMG’s plans to construct roading drilling and preliminary excavations at its proposed tailings dam in the southern reaches of takayna/Tarkine. The works entail 14km of six metre wide roading and 170 drilling and test pitting sites each requiring cleared areas of up to 25 x 25m.
MMG was forced to cease these same works in July after Bob Brown Foundation foreshadowed legal action over MMG’s commencement of works without approval. 71 people were arrested preventing MMG’s illegal activity. Earlier this week BBF uncovered and reported that some works had proceeded without permits, and yesterday MMG attempted to move a crane onto the site.
“Minister Ley has decided that rogue mining companies should be gifted with permits rather than prosecutions," said Bob Brown Foundation takayna/Tarkine Campaigner Scott Jordan.
“She has placed the whims of a company owned by a foreign state over the verified National and World Heritage values of Australia’s takayna/Tarkine. And has done so without even requiring an assessment
We know where the Minister stands. It now falls to citizens to again take to the barricades to defend the rainforests, the eagles, the owls, the quolls and the devils that call this region home. We urge people to rally now to join us on the blockade to defend this ancient and majestic wild place," said Mr Jordan.
The area to be affected has been verified as habitat for endangered species including the Wedge-tailed Eagle, Masked Owl, Spotted tailed Quoll and Tasmanian Devil.
Bob Brown Foundation re-established its blockade of the access road to the site on Sunday.