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ENVIRONMENT—OLYMPIC DAM URANIUM MINE EXPANSION—APPROVAL

Senator Ludlam, pursuant to notice of motion not objected to as a formal motion, moved general business notice of motion no. 478—That the Senate—

 (a) notes:

  (i) the approval given by the Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (Mr Burke) for the Olympic Dam uranium mine expansion,

  (ii) that the proposal will lead to the dumping of 70 million tonnes of carcinogenic radioactive tailings every year on the surface, with no requirement for isolation of radioactive tailings waste from the environment for at least 10 000 years nor for disposal of tailings into the pit as is required at the Ranger uranium mine,

  (iii) that assessment criteria for the Mine Closure Plan will be drafted by BHP Billiton and conditions for long-term surface management of the tailings are yet to be decided between BHP Billiton and the Commonwealth,

  (iv) that the proposal will create a pit 4.5 km long, 3.5 km wide and 1 km deep with no plans for rehabilitation of this pit at the closing of mine operations,

  (v) that, by 2020, the tailings storage facility will leak up to 8 million litres of liquid radioactive waste a day into regional groundwater,

  (vi) that the project will generate at least 4.2 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per year for decades, and

  (vii) that the sale of uranium in bulk concentrates is not sanctioned under Australia's bilateral uranium sales agreements, a treaty has yet to be negotiated with China, put to the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties for inquiry and thereafter to the Australian Parliament; and

 (b) calls on the Government to reverse this decision in the light of BHP Billiton's decision to proceed with `world's worst practice' uranium mining.

Question put.

The Senate divided—

AYES,9


Senators—
Brown, BobLudlamRhiannonWaters
Di NataleMilneSiewert (Teller)Wright
Hanson-Young

NOES, 38



Senators—
AbetzEdwardsMadiganSherry
AdamsFarrellMarshallSingh
BilykFawcettMcEwenStephens
BirminghamFeeneyMcKenzieSterle
BishopFifieldMcLucasThistlethwaite
BoswellFisherMooreUrquhart
CameronGallacherNashWilliams
ColbeckKroger (Teller)ParryXenophon
CormannLudwigPolley
CrossinLundyPratt

Question negatived.