McArthur River campaign goes national

The campaign is protect the McArthur River has widened today with protests planned in Sydney and Darwin. In Sydney the Minerals Policy Institute and the Australian Student Environmental Network will hand deliver a letter to the Xstrata Board at the Sydney Office. In Darwin the Environment Centre NT and Friends of McArthur will deliver a letter to the Chief Minister, Clare Martin.

Below is a copy of the Environment Centre NT media release

McArthur River goes National – Tuesday 13th February 2007

Protestors in Sydney and Darwin today joined forces to protest against the proposed mining of the McArthur River by Xstrata. The mine, approved last year by the Northern Territory (NT) and Commonwealth Governments, will cause the destruction of 5km of the McArthur River and will increase pollution and sedimentation of the river downstream from the mine and out to the Gulf of Carpentaria.

The campaign has been boosted by the Traditional Owners legal challenge to the NT Government’s mining approval in the Supreme Court. Spokesperson for the Environment Centre Northern Territory (ECNT) Charles Roche said “we are at Parliament House today to ask the NT Government to protect the river and to ensure work on the river diversion is halted while the approval to mine is being challenged in court.

“We call on the NT Government to take the only responsible course of action, and act immediately to stop Xstrata from undertaking any further work on the river diversion.

 “The decision to approve the mine demonstrates a failure by Government to understand just how precious our natural rivers are. While the rest of Australia is trying to protect their rivers, the Martin Government is diverting and mining ours.

“Xstrata needs to reconsider the open-cut mine. The community will no-longer tolerate large multinationals raking in huge profits whilst wreaking havoc on our natural environment.

“The actions are part of the wider campaign aimed at protecting the McArthur River.

“As part of the campaign this year we are encouraging people to use the ECNT website to send a letter to Clare Martin and John Howard. A new blog has also been set up to provide information to the public and to give them a chance to get involved

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