FIRB changes needed if Woomera exploitation goes ahead – WA Senator
Media Release: Wednesday May 4th, 2011
The Australian Greens have urged the Federal Government to take a strong stand on any proposed mining exploration in the Woomera Prohibited Area.
The Greens spokesperson for mining, Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam, said the plan to open up the zone would demand changes to the way the Foreign Investment Review Board operates.
“This will require a review of the way we define what is in the national interest. It is long past time the Government strengthened the guidelines the Foreign Investment Review Board uses to asses the national interest.”
Senator Ludlam said the plan to loosen restrictions on the zone must include the stringent application of strong environmental and cultural guidelines.
“We are not opposed outright to mineral exploration in the Woomera Prohibited Area, we believe it is critical that the State environmental guidelines for exploration should be strictly applied inside the Commonwealth area as well,” he said.
“If the Traditional Owners have been left out of the planning process, it’s a bad start and one for which the Federal Government must make amends soon. The rights of Traditional Owners must be respected.
“Also, this area has an estimated 78% of the country’s known uranium reserves – and we know that Minister Ferguson is a keen supporter of uranium mining and nuclear power. We are absolutely opposed to mining uranium anywhere in Australia.”
Media Contacts: Giovanni Torre