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Government’s “consultation” on mining in Woomera more like a ram raid

The Federal Government made a mockery of public consultation by allowing three working days for initial submissions on opening up the Woomera Prohibited Area to miners, Greens Senator Scott Ludlam said today.

"On Wednesday 8 May Defence Minister Stephen Smith and resources Minister Gary Gray released the draft exposure of legislation to increase access to Woomera Prohibited Area to miners, and three working days later on 13 May the submission period closed. It's not good enough," said Senator Ludlam.

"Lawyers representing the Maralinga people, who in addition to being the Traditional Owners own approximately 40,000sqkm of freehold land in the area, advise that they have not been consulted on this legislation despite approaching the Defence Minister on the issue in July 2011.

"It is a relatively short amendment at nine pages but it is high-impact legislation. This area has an estimated 78 per cent of Australia's known uranium reserves. The implications are massive.

"After years of review and the production of an 82 page report, we do not want to see a long process brought to an abrupt and shallow end."

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