New EIS for Jabiluka demanded

May 6, 1998

New EIS for Jabiluka demanded

By Sarah Peart

Energy Resources Australia (ERA) is seeking to shift the milling of uranium extracted at its proposed mine at Jabiluka from the existing Ranger mine to the Jabiluka site. This is despite opposition from traditional Aboriginal owners and environmentalists.

ERA's attempt to mill at Jabiluka instead of Ranger has been met by calls from environmentalists for a full environmental impact statement (EIS). Dr Peter Bridgewater, the government's chief environmental scientist and head of the Australian Nature Conservation Agency, said last August: "If ERA were to proceed with the Jabiluka mill alternative, I would recommend in the strongest possible terms to the minister for the environment that ERA be required to prepare a new EIS, as required by the Environment Protection Act, 1974."

The federal environment minister, Senator Robert Hill, has rejected calls for a new EIS as "pointless and nonsense". He argues that a less rigorous public environment report is sufficient and consistent with the recommendation that a further environmental assessment be undertaken if the option of milling at Jabiluka is chosen.

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