Media Release: World's largest barn owl in Tarkine site where miner wants to dump heavy metals waste

Conservationists have recorded the endangered Tasmanian Masked Owl in the takayna/Tarkine high conservation value forests targeted for a toxic waste dump by Chinese state-owned mining company MMG.

Bob Brown Foundation researchers have also confirmed the presence of a critically endangered forest community in the area.

"The world's largest barn owl, the endemic Tasmania Masked Owl is threatened by a toxic proposal to dump 25 million cubic metres of mine waste into a remarkable world heritage valued site in Tasmania's northwest. As the world is suffering from the dual climate and biodiversity crises, here in Tasmania, alternatives must be used for mines," Bob Brown Foundation's Campaign Manager Jenny Weber said.

“MMG surveys of threatened species were grossly insufficient when the company commenced its destruction for the project. It’s high time this project was ruled out. Until it is ruled out, our Foundation is planning to return to frontline protests if the miner returns to continue the destruction of forests and wildlife habitat at the site,” Jenny Weber said.

“The Minister for the Environment, Sussan Ley, recently released a statement of reasons for declaring the waste dump proposal as a controlled action. It said the heavy metals waste dump is likely to be a significant impact on the Tasmanian Wedge-tailed Eagle, Tasmanian Devil, and Tasmanian Forests and Woodlands dominated by Black Gum or Brookers Gum ecological community,” Jenny Weber said.

“We are not going to leave the assessment of impacts to the mining company that wants to demolish 140 hectares of primeval rainforests and endangered species habitat in takayna/Tarkine. Our Foundation has engaged scientists who will lead expert assessments of the flora and wildlife in these world heritage value forests, while also hosting citizen science trips into the ancient forest landscape,” Jenny Weber said.

“The Federal Department of Environment noted that the company referral did not include analysis of potential impacts to listed threatened species and ecological communities as a result of a major dam failure. Our requests to MMG to give us their flood mapping and analysis in the case of a major dam failure went unanswered. The 2020 United Nations Environment Program's Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management, developed following dam failure in Brazil, aims at zero harm to people and the environment. There is no rhyme or reason where a new tailings waste facility in Tasmania's takayna rainforests, with critical habitat for the endangered Masked Owl, and the long list of other endangered species can be measured as zero harm to the environment," Jenny Weber said.

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  • Adam Burling
    published this page in Media Releases 2021-08-18 08:12:36 +1000