Uranium mining in Western Australia – the Barnett Government’s Betrayal

The Western Australian Minister for Environment has handed down his flawed decision to approve the Toro Energy Wiluna Uranium Project today.

This mine, if not stopped, will be the first uranium mine to open since the change in uranium policy by the Western Australian Government in 2008.

The State Government has failed to place adequate conditions on mine closure for Toro’s Wiluna Project. Toro has not revealed estimates of future mine closure liability and has not submitted a final rehabilitation plan. Despite the scarcity of water in the area, the Minister failed to determine adequate water resource for the life of the mine.

Robin Chapple MLC, Greens WA spokesperson for the Mining and Pastoral Region spoke out about the Wiluna Uranium Project today.

“Not only are Toro a company without credibility, who have in the past tried to sell dubious science to local people and who have no experience in this industry, there are serious deficiencies in the state processes that have been run to assess and approve this mine,” stated Chapple

“This will open the North East Goldfields to a new kind of mining operation, which will have severe impacts on the pastoral industry for many years to come.”

Greens spokesperson for nuclear policy Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam said Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke must intervene to halt the foolhardy project.

“Minister Burke has the power to put an end to this mad scramble. In the same week the nation’s biggest solar power project begins operation in our own state, the Barnett Government reveals its wilful myopia by clinging to the nuclear fantasy.

“The Premier has shown his colours this week by attacking the Renewable Energy Target and supporting a half-baked scheme to mine toxic material and sell it to a dangerous industry that is in terminal decline. The Wiluna project makes no sense whatsoever on an economic level as well as an environmental level.

“The market price for uranium has been in free-fall for almost 18 months, 150 nuclear power plants in Europe alone are set for closure, and several countries including Germany, Japan and Switzerland have committed to shutting down their nuclear sectors completely. While the Greenough River Solar project shows the way to the future, the WA Government has its head jammed firmly in the past.”

For more information please contact Robin Chapple on 0409 379 263 or 9486 8255

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