Thousands of Open, Abandoned Mine Sites Pose Threat to Public Safety

17th of April, 2014

Greens Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region Robin Chapple MLC is calling for urgent action to be taken to ensure abandoned mine sites in WA pose no risk to the public.

“We know that there are more than 17,000 abandoned mine sites in this state,” Mr Chapple said.

“A person can step off any of the gazetted roads in the goldfields, such as the Goldfields Highway from Kalgoorlie to Menzies, and find an abandoned pit.

“They are unfenced and unbounded, and are a death trap.”

Mr Chapple raised several questions in parliament last week regarding the proximity of several abandoned mine sites to schools and residences.

“There are five holes located 70 metres east of Menzies Primary School, in which two shafts are partly covered and the others open, and which also have residences within 40 metres,” he said.

“Despite all the rhetoric from the government about the need to resolve these problems, they are not going away.”

Mr Chapple has said the Mining Legislation Amendment Bill 2013, which the Greens opposed, is minimising the amount of money available to the government to do anything about abandoned mine sites.

“It will take years to build up the environmental bond or rehabilitation fund to a point at which it can actually do anything,” he said.

“If we are not worried about abandoned mine sites and if we do not care about the future, then yes, we should endorse this amendment.

“I think that at some stage in the future we might be going back over the debate on the original legislation and concerning ourselves with the economic plight we have got ourselves into.”

Parliamentary question where the government admits to doing nothing.

 Photo 1, Photo 2.


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