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ENVIRONMENT—RARE EARTHS PROCESSING PLANT

Senator Rhiannon, also on behalf of Senator Ludlam, pursuant to notice of motion not objected to as a formal motion, moved general business notice of motion no. 1064—That the Senate—

 (a) notes:

  (i) the rare earths miner Lynas Corporation Ltd has established a processing plant at Gebeng in Malaysia to process material from Lynas' Mount Weld mine in Western Australia,

  (ii) rare earths, including radioactive thorium residues, will be transported from Mount Weld to Fremantle, where they will be shipped to Malaysia,

  (iii) a rare earths refinery operated by the Mitsubishi group in Perak in northern Malaysia was closed after news broke of cases of birth defects and leukaemia in some local residents,

  (iv) Lynas plans to dispose of the waste radioactive material near fishing communities in the Malaysian state of Kuantan,

  (v) in early January 2012 the Malaysian press reported severe restrictions on the public's ability to access information about the proposed Lynas plant, and


  (vi) residents who live near the proposed Lynas processing plant and non-government organisations in 2011 marched on Malaysia's Parliament and held a demonstration at the Australian High Commission calling for the processing plant not to be sited in Malaysia;

 (b) expresses grave concerns over the Malaysian Government's approval for a new rare earth refinery in Pahang, and the process by which it has been established; and

 (c) calls on Lynas to process the thorium ore on site at the Mount Weld mine to minimise the risk of damage arising from radioactive waste.

Question put.

The Senate divided—

AYES,9


Senators—
Di NataleMilneSiewert (Teller)Whish-Wilson
Hanson-YoungRhiannonWatersWright
Ludlam

NOES, 32


Senators—
BackCrossinLudwigRuston
BilykFarrellLundySingh
BishopFawcettMadiganSmith
BrandisFeeneyMcEwen (Teller)Stephens
BushbyFifieldMcKenzieSterle
CameronFurnerMcLucasThistlethwaite
CashGallacherParryThorp
CollinsKrogerPolleyUrquhart

Question negatived.