13th July 2015
SCARCELY ACCURATE: NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE ROYAL COMMISSION ‘ISSUES PAPER’ INACCURATE
Friends of the Earth have informed Royal Commissioner Kevin Scarce and the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission of a significant inaccuracy in Issues Paper 1, regarding the current and future legal framework for the nuclear industry in South Australia. According to the Royal Commission, the Issues Papers are intended to provide factual information and background to assist the public in making submissions.
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.
“This is not the case for BHP Billiton, South Australia’s biggest miner,” explained 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 also apply to any future expansion of uranium mining by BHP Billiton at Olympic Dam or in the surrounding area.”
“This inaccuracy is significant as it misrepresents existing regulatory and legal arrangements and potential arrangements in the future, issues on which the Issue Paper invites public comment,” said Ms Calan. “The largest of the two operating uranium mines in the state is exempt from the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1988, alongside a further 15, 000 square kilometres of South Australia. BHP Billiton is also the most likely candidate for the expansion of uranium mining, also the subject of Issues Paper 1. It is negligent to omit that this company is subject to a different legal framework than other companies operating in the state.”
“We have requested that the Royal Commission address this mistake, adequately publicise the required corrections, and extend the upcoming deadline for submissions to allow people to consider the new information that the Royal Commission should provide.… Read more >>