Monday, January 02, 2006

South Australian Mining Exploration Above State Laws

I found this on the Wilderness Society's website... it says everything about the high-handedness that is being conducted by the mining corporations as they take our children's inheritance:

Documents obtained under Freedom of Information by The Wilderness Society suggests that mining companies in SA set their own conditions for mineral exploration. Documents show that the South Australian Government ignored the advice of its own Environment Department and allowed mining company Adelaide Resources & Inco Ltd to set key conditions for mining in sensitive Yellabinna mallee region in the state's west.

The documents released in a report by The Wilderness Society (pdf, 240k) today show that the Department of Primary Industries and Resources (PIRSA) approved mining exploration licences which rejected environmental controls by the Department of Environment (DEH) after the mining company refused to accept them.

Spokesperson for The Wilderness Society, Jamnes Danenberg said, "These exploration licences are a first step towards mining the Yellabinna mallee, one of this state's great wilderness areas. It is outrageous that the Mining Minister simply ignores the government's own environmental advice when a mining company says that it doesn't want to do something".

The Wilderness Society is calling for the proposed Wilderness Protection Area in Yellabinna, announced by the Premier in July last year, to be expanded to ensure protection of the sensitive areas from mining. It is also calling for significant changes to the way mining is managed in the State.

"This incident highlights that PIRSA, the mining regulator, which has large exploration targets to meet, has a clear conflict of interest and cannot be trusted on environmental management and monitoring. The Department of Environment has no real power in the process. Its advice can be ignored, and mining is not subject to regulation by the Environment Protection Authority. It is like the fox minding the chickens".


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