01/08/2008 - 13:31

Mining under threat in WA heritage plan

01/08/2008 - 13:31

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A mining representative body has called on the federal government to reconsider plans to heritage list 17 million hectares of Kimberley land, saying it could seriously damage the future of mining in Australia.

Mining under threat in WA heritage plan

A mining representative body has called on the federal government to reconsider plans to heritage list 17 million hectares of Kimberley land, saying it could seriously damage the future of mining in Australia.

The Association of Mining and Exploration Companies said if the Heritage Council approved Environment MinisterPeter Garrett's request, mineral exploration will dramatically decrease

"Those involved in mineral exploration and mining projects, particularly in Western Australia, are subject to an already burdensome approvals process," AMEC manager of advocacy and public affairs Darren Brown said.

"Adding more red tape by applying National Heritage status to such a vast area would be the last straw for many companies who would consider moving their investments to other jurisdictions.

"This would result in fewer discoveries and the benefits of the resources boom would come to an end when current mining projects were exhausted."

Mr Brown added that to list such a nonspecific area would set a dangerous precedent that does not recognise the value of other contributors to the country.

"While we endorse specific sites of outstanding heritage value being considered, a grab-bag approach suggests a lack of research and understanding of heritage listings and by implication, the contributions that others such as miners and pastoralists make to the economic viability and ultimately, heritage of regional areas."

Mr Brown said he was distressed by media reports that the State Minister for Agriculture had not been consulted and hoped the State Government would call on Minister Garrett for a more focused approach.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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