23rd July 2015
PUBLIC CONSULTATIONS BASED ON MISINFORMATION:
ROYAL COMMISSION ON THE NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE FAILS TO CORRECT FACTUAL ERROR IN ISSUES PAPER
Friends of the Earth Adelaide have recently informed the Royal Commission into the Nuclear Fuel Cycle of a factual error in Issues Paper 1, concerning the regulation of Aboriginal Heritage matters in South Australia. Issues Paper 1, which deals with the exploration, extraction and milling of uranium, states that Aboriginal sites of significance are protected by the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1988.
“The Royal Commission was informed in writing that this is not the case for BHP Billiton, South Australia’s biggest miner,” said Nectaria Calan of Friends of the Earth Adelaide. “Under the Indenture Act, which applies solely to BHP Billiton, the company’s Olympic Dam mine and some
15, 000 square kilometres of the surrounding Stuart Shelf are exempt from the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1988. This exemption would carry through to any future expansion of uranium mining by BHP Billiton at Olympic Dam or in the surrounding area.”
In his recent response to Friends of the Earth Adelaide Royal Commissioner Kevin Scarce insisted that in the event of an expansion of uranium mining Aboriginal Heritage matters would be regulated by the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1988.
“This is simply not the law throughout the state,” said Ms Calan. “Friends of the Earth Adelaide have supplied the Royal Commission with referenced information regarding the Roxby Downs (Indenture Ratification) (Amendment of Indenture) Amendment Act 2011, which amends the current Indenture Act to apply to any expansion formally announced by the company up until October 2016. If it was an honest mistake to begin with, it is negligent not to correct it.”
“At one point, the Royal Commissions reply almost acknowledges the inaccuracy by suggesting that it is the substance rather than source of legal protections that is important. …