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Statement from Senator Larissa Waters on the Mineral Council's plans to fast-track EIA

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Statement from Senator Larissa Waters on the Mineral Council’s plans to fast-track EIA

Commenting on the Mineral Council’s plans to replace field studies with pre-done desktop research to fast-track the environmental impact assessment process, Australian Greens environment spokesperson and environmental lawyer, Senator Larissa Waters said:

“The Minerals Council is seeking to take advantage of Prime Minister Abbott’s disdain for science, with today’s proposal to reduce on-ground environmental research for big projects that threaten our precious places and species.

“Prime Minister Abbott is already giving big business everything they have asked for with the ‘one-stop-shop’ that will remove the federal government’s role in approving damaging projects. Now the big miners want another short-cut that will risk Australia’s complex and continually changing environment.

“When companies are planning huge developments it is appropriate to collect site-specific information about what species are there and likely impacts on their survival. Desktop studies are not sufficient - particularly with the information gaps in our understanding of Australia’s complex environment.

“The Greens support better collation and sharing of environmental information collected by both government agencies and development proponents, but a database should never substitute for on-ground studies that provide site-specific and current information about the impacts of each individual development.

“The baseless spin about regulatory duplication from the big miners, parroted by Prime Minister Abbott, is all about gutting protection to give the big miners open slather over Australia’s precious environment,” Senator Waters said.

Contact Eleanor McLeod - 0419 626 725