The Conservation Council of WA and the Australian Conservation Foundation have welcomed the WA EPA’s recommendation not to approve the proposed Yeelirrie uranium mine.
The decision was based on the unacceptable risks the plan posed to subterranean fauna and also addresses wider environmental and community concerns.
“This is an important decision that prioritises the survival of a number of different species and the health and wellbeing of the local community,” said CCWA nuclear free campaigner Mia Pepper.
“CCWA’s submission to the EPA identified the likely extinction of several species of underground fauna, known as stygofauna and troglofauna if the proposal were approved and it is pleasing to see the EPA has considered that evidence.
“The EPA recommendation has been met with great relief among pastoralists, Aboriginal communities and environment groups who continue to campaign against uranium mining in WA.
“The former proponent of the Yeelirrie uranium mine, BHP Billiton, conducted extensive and systematic surveys of subterranean fauna.
“This is an important decision that highlights the importance of extensive surveying for subterranean fauna and acting to prevent extinctions.”
National environment groups have joined their state counterparts in welcoming the EPA’s call.
“We congratulate the EPA for making this important, clear and strongly evidence based recommendation,” said the Australian Conservation Foundation’s Dave Sweeney.
“ACF expects and looks forward to the Environment Minister upholding the EPA’s recommendation.”