Uranium royalty rate won't pay for toxic legacy: Greens

Greens MP Robin Chapple has moved to block the State Government from introducing a 5% royalty on uranium exports from WA.

“The Greens oppose uranium mining in Western Australia. It is not like other mining because uranium fuels the nuclear cycle which is inherently dangerous at all its stages. It is destined to become nuclear waste or even nuclear weapons”, Mr Chapple said.

“The Barnett-Grylls government has proposed royalty rates of 5% for uranium. I’ve moved to disallow the regulations and Parliament will debate this in the New Year.”

“5% royalty is less than the royalty on iron ore – less than the royalty on many other mining operations in WA.”

“The argument that uranium should be rated at 5% because it is shipped as a concentrate fails to properly consider the full impact of uranium mining on the State and community of WA. Royalty rates are intended to reflect as assessment of the benefits to the community.”

“Uranium mining leaves a legacy of radioactive waste at the mine site for tens of thousands of years.   It has been proven to be hazardous to workers in the industry and has caused a terrible toll in deaths and health issues throughout its history.”

“This is a legacy which the State of WA will ultimately be responsible for – and the royalty rates should reflect this very significant future liability.”

“The highly radioactive nature of uranium mining requires establishing an expensive new regulatory regime in WA – and the community shouldn’t be picking up that bill. Miners should be covering that cost.”

“I will be working over summer with my colleagues in the Legislative Council to impose a much higher royalty on Uranium when this matter is debated in early 2012.”

“I call on the National Party to consult with their constituents about this matter over the summer. The royalties to regions program will have little to gain from a 5% royalty on uranium – yet it will be regional communities who face the local consequences of uranium mines imposed in their areas.”

For more information please contact Robin Chapple on 0409 379 263

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