The Federal Court has set Friday, 29th April to hear the Bob Brown Foundation’s request for an injunction against MMG’s intention to proceed with preliminary works on a toxic waste dump for tailings from its Rosebery mine to be deposited across Lake Pieman into the Tarkine rainforest.
In the court this morning, Judge Moshinsky set 18th July as the likely hearing date for BBF’s claim, backed by experts, that the waste dump threatens habitat critical to the Tasmanian Masked Owl which is vulnerable to extinction. Foundation experts have made multiple recordings of the owls in the forest which would be devastated by MMG’s proposal and says the owls use the forest for both nesting and feeding.
Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley has given the go-ahead to MMG for preliminary works including 14 km road and 170 drilling sites in the contentious forests but did not require the giant Chinese government-owned mining corporation to present her with information on alternative tailings dam sites outside takayna / Tarkine or with progress on the ‘world’s best practice’ option of grinding the tailings to paste and putting that back underground in disused mine space. These options could give all parties a win-win outcome.
“The minister has thrown good environmental governance out the window and given MMG the nod to invade this rare owl sanctuary. Unlike the Tasmanian Masked Owls, the company has good, rational options. More than 70 good citizens have been arrested for doing the minister’s job and peacefully defending the owl’s forest - the charges were later dropped. It is appalling behaviour by both the federal and state governments when there is no need for MMG to invade the Tarkine,” Bob Brown said in Hobart after the hearing.
“MMG has had a decade to plan alternative waste disposal options but failed to do so. We are seeking this injunction because the company is so unreasonable it wants its bulldozers back in the Tarkine rainforest before the Federal Court hearing in July. This is bullying and unnecessary. We want the court to reasonably have MMG respect the need for the court to hear the matter first,” he said.
Bob Brown Foundation's frontline blockade defending the forests and owl habitat threatened by the proposed heavy metals waste dump has been in place since January 2022 and has had 650 people join the protest.