04/07/2017 - 13:54

CCWA takes court action against uranium mine

04/07/2017 - 13:54

Bookmark

Save articles for future reference.

The Conservation Council of Western Australia and members of the Tjiwarl Native Title Group have taken the fight against Cameco’s proposed Yeelirrie uranium project to the Supreme Court, after it was approved by the previous state government.

CCWA takes court action against uranium mine
Piers Verstegen says there are legal flaws in the way the Yeelirrie approval was granted. Photo: Attila Csaszar

The Conservation Council of Western Australia and members of the Tjiwarl Native Title Group have taken the fight against Cameco’s proposed Yeelirrie uranium project to the Supreme Court, after it was approved by the previous state government.

The two groups commenced proceedings in the Supreme Court of Western Australia today, calling for a review of the decision by former environment minister Albert Jacob to approve the Yeelirrie mine in January, shortly before the state election.

Yeelirrie was one of four already-approved projects to have avoided a mining ban by the McGowan government last month, for legal reasons.

The Yeelirrie proposal was recommended for rejection by the Environmental Protection Authority last year on the grounds that it failed to meet one of the watchdog’s strict conditions – the potential extinction of several species of subterranean fauna.

CCWA director Piers Verstegen said environmental groups could not allow any project that would knowingly cause the extinction of unique species go unchallenged, given the precedent that would be created for other wildlife and communities across the state. 

“We believe there are legal flaws in the way the Yeelirrie approval was granted,” he said.

“The approval also directly contradicts the science, evidence, and advice of the EPA, is inconsistent with the object and principles of the Environmental Protection Act, and sanctions the extinction of multiple unique species.

“The decision exemplifies a flawed approach to environmental approvals that had become pervasive under the Barnett government, and has implications for all major projects and the future of wildlife and communities across the state.”

Tjiwarl native title holder Vicky Abdullah said her family has fought to protect the Yeelirrie site for over 40 years.

“I grew up here, my ancestors were traditional owners of country and I don’t want a toxic legacy here for my grandchildren,” she said.

"We have no choice but to defend our country, our culture and the environment from the threat of uranium mining not just for us but for everyone.

"The last government made a mistake approving the Yeelirrie mine - now we have a chance to make that right through the courts." 

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

Subscription Options