A setback has been dealt to the Chinese state-owned miner MMG’s plans for a toxic tailings dam in the rainforest of the southern takayna/Tarkine as the Department of Agriculture Water and the Environment suspended a decision on their EPBC referral for illegally commenced drilling and roading works.
“In suspending the process the Department has acknowledged that the documentation referred by the company does not meet the standard. We would say the department needs to go further and prosecute MMG for their breach, while the Minister should reject this substandard referral outright”, said Bob Brown Foundation’s takayna/Tarkine Campaigner Scott Jordan.
“Where else in civil society could you break the law, in full sight for two months, and have the Minister rearrange the rules after the crime? This is outrageous. Allowing MMG to prolong this injustice and giving the company a scrutiny-free second chance at retrospective approval compounds the wrong.
MMG should have the grace to apologise to the citizens of Tasmania – particularly those who were charged and arrested preventing the company’s illegality - and withdraw its proposal in favour of the lesser environmentally damaging and jobs positive paste fill option. In the meantime, the rainforests will gain another short reprieve from MMG impending threat," concluded Mr Jordan.
Seventy one people were arrested halting MMG’s illegal works before MMG ceased operations following the threat of Federal Court action by Bob Brown Foundation. Bob Brown Foundation has flagged its intent to revive protest actions on site should work recommence.