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Kakadu delagation unnecessary.



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Media Release

 

Senator the Hon Robert Hill

Leader of the Government in the Senate

Minister for the Environment

 

 

 

KAKADU DELEGATION UNNECESSARY

 

The Howard Government remains committed to protecting the special values of all of Australia’s World Herita ge-listed properties.

 

There have been a number of unfounded claims made about the proposed Jabiluka uranium mine and its potential to impact on the surrounding Kakadu World Heritage Area.

 

The Jabiluka mine site has never been a part of the World Heritage area or the Kakadu National Park. The Ranger mine has operated near the Jabiluka site for almost two decades without any adverse effect on Kakadu. Ranger has been one of the most monitored uranium mines in the world.

 

The government has set down a large number of conditions under which the Jabiluka mine can operate to ensure that it also has no detrimental effect on Kakadu.

 

The mine will operate pursuant to the consent granted by traditional owners in 1982, this consent being recorded in a 1982 agreement under the Aboriginal Land Rights (NT) Act.

 

Opponents of uranium mining, such as the Australian Democrats, have sought to use the World Heritage Bureau as a political means to stop the Jabiluka mine.

 

Despite their intense lobbying to have Jabiluka placed on the World Heritage “in danger” list, the Bureau was not presented with any evidence which would support such an action.

 

The Bureau has instead decided to send representatives to Australia to gather its own information about the current situation at Kakadu.

 

In making its decision, members of the Bureau noted the very high standards set by Australia in the management and protection of its World Heritage Areas.

 

The Australian government believes that this visit is completely unnecessary because there is no evidence that the World Heritage values of Kakadu are at risk.

 

The visit, however, will allow the government to present the range of evidence to support the position that the proposed mine will have no impact on the World Heritage values of the Kakadu region. The Commonwealth will cooperate with the delegation to ensure it has access to the real facts about Jabiluka.

 

Media contact: Matt Brown on 02 6277 7640 or 0419 693 515

June 24,1998 (66/98)

 

 

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