The Bob Brown Foundation has asked the Australian Federal Police to investigate the legality of China-based mining giant MMG’s eight weeks of works on a tailings dam in Tasmania’s takayna/Tarkine rainforest without the necessary approvals from the federal Minister for the Environment, Sussan Ley. On Monday minister Ley notified MMG that she required an environment impact assessment of its plans to dump toxic wastes in the forest for the next 40 years before it could proceed.
Yesterday, following a letter to MMG from the BBF’s legal representative, Hobart solicitor Roland Browne, MMG stopped work and began removing heavy machinery from the contentious forest. Sixty-nine peaceful protesters have been arrested for slowing MMG’s earth-moving machinery.
“We believe MMG’s work on this destructive toxic dump proposal has been illegal from the outset, so we have asked the AFP to investigate. Investigations are already underway by Ms Ley’s departmental officers,” BBF Campaign Manager Jenny Weber said in Hobart today. “We want the ROAD CLOSED signs which Forestry Tasmania put there for MMG to be removed so the public, which owns the rainforest, can walk in and see it for themselves. This is part of the takayna rainforest for people to enjoy, not destroy.”
The Morrison government’s inquirer into Commonwealth environment laws called for a green ‘cop on the beat’. MMG’s invasion of the takayna rainforest, which is crucial wildlife habitat, shows why Samuels was right and Ley should not have rejected his recommendation out of hand,” Weber said.