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Tuesday, 24 November 2015
Page: 8785


Senator LUDLAM (Western AustraliaCo-Deputy Leader of the Australian Greens) (15:58): I move:

That the Senate—

(a) notes:

(i) the disaster at the Samarco iron ore mine, owned by BHP and Vale, which claimed the lives of twelve people with 22 still missing, left thousands homeless, and has left 280 000 without drinking water,

(ii) comments by the Brazilian Minister of the Environment, Ms Izabella Teixeira, describing this as ‘the worst environmental disaster in Brazil’s history’,

(iii) the emergence of an independent report from 2013 warning of major design flaws in the waste stockpile and tailings dam which was not included in the application or the granting of a licence to Samarco,

(iv) that the pollution from the disaster has contaminated one of Brazil’s most important river systems, the Rio Doce, and

(v) that estimates of the cost of the clean-up range from US$1 billion to US$27 billion;

(b) offers its deepest condolences to the people of Bento Rodrigues, neighbouring communities, and downstream communities in Brazil affected by the disaster;

(c) calls on BHP and all Australian corporations active around the world to uphold local environmental laws and respect human rights; and

(d) supports adequate compensation for affected communities which should be paid by the owners of the Samarco mine.