Bob Brown Foundation has called on the Federal Environment Minister to explain the shifting of unlawful activities out of the scope of the assessment of a proposed acidic heavy metals tailings dam in the takayna/Tarkine rainforest by Chinese state owned Mineral and Metals Group.
In May, the Bob Brown Foundation sounded the alarm that MMG had commenced activities without federal environment approvals, leading to the company removing machines from the site after 60 days of protests and 70 arrests against the proposal.
"Here we have confirmation that MMG were in breach of national environment laws. But instead of prosecuting MMG, the Commonwealth is colluding with the company to step around inconvenient aspects of our environment laws", said Bob Brown Foundation takayna/Tarkine Campaigner Scott Jordan.
The roading activity and preparation for geotechnical drilling had commenced prior to approval, and as such were unlawful. Approvals have still not been granted. Though illegal the Minster did not intervene after the miner had commenced work.
“MMG did the wrong thing and better not do it again. The Federal Environment Minister needs to take action on the company for their previous damage done,” Scott Jordan said.
"The activity by MMG impacted federally listed Brookers Gum, and we contend impacted on Masked Owl habitat. The Minister is choosing to remove the illegal, unapproved activity from the assessment and then pretending that the activities are not part of the controlled action and therefore not requiring assessment. This is not how the EPBC Act is meant to work," said Mr Jordan
"MMG still faces more hurdles before it can return to destroy rainforests in takayna / Tarkine. We will be back in the rainforests with the public to defend these National and World Heritage value rainforests if MMG attempts to move machines back in. MMG have a solemn commitment to give BBF seven days’ notice before it does any new work in takayna/ Tarkine,”
“Bob Brown Foundation favours paste filling the tailings back into the empty shafts of the Rosebery mine site. We also note that company is raising their current tailings dams to afford it more time,” Scott Jordan said.