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WA Government fails on Toro’s foolhardy uranium scheme

Media Release
Scott Ludlam 20 Sep 2012

The Greens have warned of a poor precedent for uranium mine approvals after the State Government's gave Toro Energy's Wiluna project the go-ahead.

Greens WA spokesperson for nuclear policy Senator Scott Ludlam said the WA Environment Minister's determination on an appeal against the mine set a "dangerously low standard for uranium projects in this state".

"Now the ball is in the court of Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke. Minister Burke must intervene to prevent this half-baked scheme from going ahead.

"Despite the long and sorry history of uranium mines in Australia becoming an ongoing hazard after closure, Minister Marmion has failed to place conditions on mine closure for Toro's Wiluna Project. Despite the scarcity of water in the area, the Minister failed to determine a water resource for the life of the mine. The State Government is pushing ahead with this foolhardy project in the absence of a proper comprehensive study of its impact."

In late May the Environmental Protection Agency defied its name by recommending approval for Western Australia's first uranium mine at Wiluna.

Greens MLC for the Mining and Pastoral Region Robin Chapple said the proposed mine should never have gotten off the drawing board.

"The proposal by Toro Energy is full of gaping holes. Toro has not revealed estimates of future mine closure liability and has not submitted a final rehabilitation plan. This is remarkable given the company intends for post-closure liability to pass to Australian taxpayers only 10 years after mining ceases, though the consequences of the mine will endure for many centuries.

"There must be a full public inquiry - as provided for under the Act - into the wider environmental and public health consequences of uranium mining in our state."


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