Conservation Council opposes WA mine
By Leon Harrison
PERTH — The WA Conservation Council is preparing to fight the development of the proposed Marandoo iron ore mine in the Hamersley Range National Park. The council says mining would destroy rare plants and animals and permanently scar a wilderness area.
Council president Phil Jennings says the conservation movement will mount a big campaign to convince both the state government and the Environment Protection Authority to reject the mine. Marandoo was excised from the national park towards the end of 1990, and is a test case for ecologically sustainable development, he says.
"National parks are intended for conservation of flora and fauna, not for mining. We cannot stand by and allow the park to be vandalised for a few short-term jobs", Jennings added. "Once they have done it there, they can move onto other national parks."
One of the few surviving communities of the rare and endangered pebble mound mouse would be threatened if the mine went ahead. Also at risk are rich and diverse plant life, including mulga woodlands.
The mine would eventually cover 42 sq km and would change drainage patterns affecting an area of 150 sq km south and east of Mount Bruce.
Hamersley Iron, the mining giant behind Marandoo, has still not yet completed the environmental review and management plan required by the EPA.