Wednesday, 28 November 2012
That the Senate—
(i) demonstrations will be held in Adelaide, Perth and Darwin to mark the Toro Energy Limited annual general meeting on Wednesday, 28 November 2012,
(ii) the Toro Energy Ltd uranium project near Wiluna, Western Australia is located within a lake bed that floods periodically, and
(iii) the project poses potential risk to cause extinction of flora species and the extinction of or adverse impacts to stygofauna; and
(b) calls on the Government to:
(i) insist that the proponent and the Western Australian Government provide further information, baseline surveys and studies under section 133 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, particularly regarding impacts to tecticornia, stygofauna, radiological modelling on the risks of contamination of aquatic ecosystems and water supply for the full life of the mine,
(ii) prevent the extinction of any species or sub-species occurring,
(iii) demand adequate assessment of the potential for contamination of Lake Way from seepage from the proposed tailings storage facility, and
(iv) act to ensure the comprehensive protection of the local environment and of future generations of Australian taxpayers by requiring the highest operational standards and comprehensive and costed closure and rehabilitation.
I seek leave to make a brief statement.
I thank the Senate. This motion relates to the annual general meeting of a small Adelaide based company called Toro that proposes to open Western Australia's first commercial uranium mine. Senators will be aware that no uranium mine has ever gone into production in Western Australia, and on this side of the chamber we plan on keeping it that way.
This is project has been waved through by the state EPA and it is now on Minister Tony Burke's desk. I want to put it, in the strongest terms possible, to Minister Burke to exercise his full obligations under the EPBC Act and to be well aware that Toro is telling investors at various briefings around the place and probably also at the AGM that the federal approvals will be in by the end of this year, no worries; it's all in the bag; no problem; it's going to be a pushover. Minister Burke needs to take this proposal very, very seriously—to stop the clock and make sure that it is not waved through. I want to pay tribute to the campaigners around the country who are demonstrating today against this proposal.