ABC News – Mar 18, 2008
A group of landowners from Adelaide River south of Darwin are calling for changes to legislation regulating exploration and mining. Dr Michael Fonda says rural residents are concerned about the potential impact of increased exploration for uranium. He says rural communities should have the same protection from resource development as urban areas.
Dr Fonda says the group is lobbying for exploration to be prevented on larger blocks, as part of the review of the Northern Territory Mining Act, and is calling for the Environmental Protection Board to consider introducing Environmental Impact Statements for exploration licences. “The EPA is at the moment having its legislation revised and we think it would be a good idea to have environmental impact statements compulsory in the process of new mining applications, which they aren’t at the moment.”
But the former chief executive of the Northern Territory Minerals Council Kezia Purick says the suggested changes would prevent access to outback Australia would unfairly compromise the resource industry. “No company would ever actually get on the ground if they had to go through a full EIS, bearing in mind that and Environmental Impact Statement can take upwards of 12 to 18 months to complete and it can cost upwards of nearly $1 million. “Exploration can be a high risk activity and it’s high risk high reward, but it can also be high risk high loss.”
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