Mine challenge begins in court

From the NT News

TRADITIONAL landowners yesterday began court action against the Territory Government’s decision to allow expansion of the McArthur River mine.

 Lawyer Tim Robertson told the Supreme Court the agreement should be overturned because it went against the Mine Management Act.

He said the new operation was, in effect, a new mine.

The Government approved expansion of the giant lead-zinc mine in October.
Swiss company Xstrata plans to convert the mine into an open cut operation and divert the McArthur River for 5.5km.

But not all traditional owners opposed the mine expansion.

Phillip Timothy, 43, said landowners had not been consulted properly.

“This is like a kick in the guts because we didn’t know,” he said.

“Back home there is a lot of frustration and anger.

“They are going to put the mine right in the middle of our river system. There are a lot of spiritual things there.

David Harvey, 43, said he was looking forward to being heard.

“We want to get up and talk. Let the whole of Australia and all over the world know what we’re fighting for _ our rights and our country.

Mr Robertson said the Government failed to consider environmental impacts of the increased operation. The case is expected to run for five days.


One response to “Mine challenge begins in court

  1. Good on the McArthur River Traditional Owners for going to court over the NT Mines Minister’s appalling decision to approve what will in all likelihood become an environmental and cultural disaster zone. I sincerely hope that the NT Supreme Court delivers them the ‘natural justice’ that they have been denied thus far by the company and the Martin Government. I’m also very much looking forward to the former Commonwealth Environment Minister Ian Campbell’s compliant role in all this being challenged in the Federal Court. In a way its a pity he’s already gone down on something that was a far less serious breach of Ministerial responsibility.

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