The Victorian Planning Minister Matthew Guy has today recommended that one massive mine be knocked back while supporting another.
Friends of the Earth welcomes the Minister’s recommendation not to approve the Stawell open cut mine.
“Great credit must go to the local community, including Friends of Big Hill, who sustained a long campaign to oppose this project” said Friends of the Earth campaigns co-ordinator Cam Walker. “This is the second time that the community has had to fight this proposal. Let’s hope common sense now prevails, and there are no further attempts to impose a massive open cut mine on the people of Stawell”.
The minister noted that the proposed mine could have significant environmental impacts particularly in regard to air quality and public health.
Meanwhile, the Minister has supported the controversial Stockman copper/ zinc mine proposal in Gippsland.
“This project poses some significant risks because of potential contamination of the Tambo River downstream of the tailings dam for the mine. The previous operator at this site went into receivership, leaving the Victorian government to foot the bill for remediation of the tailings dam, which cost the tax payer more than $5 million”.
“This project will impact on remnant sub alpine vegetation (montane swamp complex) and consume large volumes of water. It ill make the Great Alpine Road, a popular tourist access route, a dangerous place as drivers compete with many large vehicles, including the B-double trucks taking concentrate down the Great Alpine Highway to Bairnsdale.
“But probably the greatest risk is the possibility of failure of the tailings dam. The tailing materials must be kept covered in water ‘for perpetuity’. This operation will go for around 10 years. Who will foot the bill for the long term maintenance of the site?”
“It looks like another case of short term gain for a mining company, at the risk of long term cost to the Victorian community.”
Cam Walker 0419 338 047