Territory and national environment groups have called for public scrutiny and input into Energy Resources Australia’s (ERA) new report detailing plans for the clean up the Ranger uranium mine site in Kakadu.
Welcoming today’s release of the Ranger Mine Closure Plan as a significant step towards addressing the impact of decades of uranium mining, the groups have called for a commitment for the plan to be opened for public review and comment.
“This plan is the key document outlining how mine operator Energy Resources Australia and parent company Rio Tinto intend to meet their rehabilitation commitments at Ranger,” Environment Centre NT Director, Shar Molloy, said.
“People now need a real chance to read, review and respond.
“ERA and Rio Tinto are obligated to rehabilitate the Ranger site to a standard that would make it suitable for inclusion in the surrounding World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park.
“Cleaning up Ranger will be complicated and costly and there can be no corner cutting. We will be examining the closure plan to help ensure it is fit for purpose and delivers the best possible rehabilitation outcomes”.
The release of the Mine Closure Plan follows civil society calls at recent ERA and Rio Tinto company meetings in Darwin, London and Melbourne.
Environment groups are urging a new approach to ERA and Rio Tinto’s rehabilitation work. The mining period was highly adversarial, and ERA and Rio Tinto need to proactively adopt the highest levels of transparency, inclusion and evidence-based decision making.
“It is essential that the new post mining chapter at Ranger reflects a new way of working”, Australian Conservation Foundation campaigner, Dave Sweeney, said.
“The rehabilitation work needs to be based on open communication, public information and input and best practise.
“Australia has a sorry history of poor or failed mine rehabilitation and Ranger cannot be allowed to join this list.
“All stakeholders now share a common goal – to see this important rehabilitation work succeed. The best way to realise this is to ensure all voices are heard.”