Saturday, February 17, 2007

Halt the Salt: Stop the world's largest salt mine being built in WA's north west

February 15, 2007: The Halt the Salt campaign to stop the world's largest salt mine from being built on the sensitive eastern edge of the Exmouth Gulf continues to attract widespread support. Recently, there have been two major developments in the campaign...
Government authorities examining the proposal have now agreed to extend the public comment period by a further two weeks until March 12.

The Halt the Salt Alliance also organised a successful public forum at which leading scientists expressed grave concerns at the proponents' environmental management plans.

Scientific community calls for cautious approach and further research. Leading experts in wetland systems, hydrology, prawn fisheries, marine ornithology, humpback whale migration and dugong behaviour addressed a public forum held in Perth on February 5.

Several presenters said the current research into the proposal for a salt mine was inadequate and required further detailed review of the scientific modelling and risk assumptions used.

Wetlands expert Dr Vic Semeniuk, environmental hydrogeologist Dr Colin Walker, former Department of Fisheries research director Dr Jim Penn and marine ornithologist Dr Nic Dunlop detailed significant risks to the sensitive environment and the failure of the current proposal to adequately address these risks.

They argued the proponents did not have a full understanding of the Exmouth Gulf environment, had failed to address basic questions and were unaware of the impact they could make.

Humpback whale migration expert Mr Curt Jenner and Department of Environment and Conservation dugong researcher Dr Bob Prince outlined the importance of the area to marine mammals and further research required to properly understand how a salt mine operation could impact on these populations.

Forum presentations support Alliance concerns

The Halt the Salt Alliance has repeated its call for the proposal to be scrapped after scientific experts at the February public forum backed its concerns.

Alliance spokesman Chris Tallentire said the views expressed publicly by internationally-recognised experts were a clear demonstration that the Alliance is not alone in its concerns and Straits is risking damage to an environment that it knows little about.

"Speakers at the forum were asked to provide their own independent opinions based solely on their expert backgrounds and credentials in critical areas of this proposal - their criticism and words of warning were a huge wake-up call for the proponent and the government," Mr Tallentire said.

Public pressure causes comment deadline to be extended

The Western Australian Environmental Protection Authority and Straits Resources have bowed to public pressure and extended the period of community consultation for a further two weeks until March 12.

This decision was a clear acknowledgement that the community does have major, legitimate concerns and they must be properly and fully addressed.

The Alliance expressed its concerns
http://www.haltthesalt.org.au/news/news070102.php to the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) over the badly inadequate consultation period for comment on Straits' proposal.

What you can do to support the campaign

Growing numbers of people from Australia and overseas, determined to help protect this unique environment, are making their views known to the Western Australian Government via the pro-forma submission http://www.haltthesalt.org.au/hts_submission/hts_submission.php .

Personalised letters, faxes or phone calls to politicians are also very important and the Alliance website has a full list of contact details http://www.haltthesalt.org.au/main/what_can_i_do.php#politicians.

Another good way of putting your views across is to write a Letter to the Editor and again the Alliance has details of how to make contact with the State's major newspapers: http://www.haltthesalt.org.au/main/what_can_i_do.php#letters or you can spread the word via your own local community newspaper

If you haven't seen a campaign information brochure you can download a copy from this site: http://www.haltthesalt.org.au/main/publications.php or contact one
of the Alliance affiliated bodies.

You can find out more about the extensive support for the campaign
by visiting the About Us: http://www.haltthesalt.org.au/main/about_us.php
and Links http://www.haltthesalt.org.au/main/links.php sections on the
website.

2 comments:

Tone said...

There is a major project proposal for Australia's actually the World's biggest ever Salt Mine planned with a massive 411 ha and 70km's of land been used for this development. It is planned for the east side of the Exmouth Gulf which is rich in mangrove systems, inter tidal algal mats, migratory birds and loads of other neat natural stuff. Also the low tide area is home to endangered turtles (who nest here in the season which is right now!), dugongs who feed on the sea grasses and is now known to be (recently discovered) as the world's only humpback "resting and healing area". Is is an untouched wilderness! The gulf is also home to an abundance of other sea creatures that use this gulf as a vital source for their habitats. The nutrients found and formed are also suspected to be the life source of Western Australia's most iconic spot..... the Ningaloo Reef!!!

The company, Straits, believe their project is the most environmentally friendly one to date and believe that this structure will have no effect on the Gulf and for that matter from nearby Ningaloo Reef (40kms). They believe that their project will inject a load of wealth into our local economy and we will all benefit from this. The company has also employed ex government employees and ex Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) crew too. Sold our people who once believed that the environment is an amazing place and that it needed protecting. Pocket filling bastards if you ask me!!! This mentality is so yesterday and with all that is happening in the world this is ludicrous


THE RISK IS TOO GREAT!!!

Tone said...

There is a major project proposal for Australia's actually the World's biggest ever Salt Mine planned with a massive 411 ha and 70km's of land been used for this development. It is planned for the east side of the Exmouth Gulf which is rich in mangrove systems, inter tidal algal mats, migratory birds and loads of other neat natural stuff. Also the low tide area is home to endangered turtles (who nest here in the season which is right now!), dugongs who feed on the sea grasses and is now known to be (recently discovered) as the world's only humpback "resting and healing area". Is is an untouched wilderness! The gulf is also home to an abundance of other sea creatures that use this gulf as a vital source for their habitats. The nutrients found and formed are also suspected to be the life source of Western Australia's most iconic spot..... the Ningaloo Reef!!!

The company, Straits, believe their project is the most environmentally friendly one to date and believe that this structure will have no effect on the Gulf and for that matter from nearby Ningaloo Reef (40kms). They believe that their project will inject a load of wealth into our local economy and we will all benefit from this. The company has also employed ex government employees and ex Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) crew too. Sold our people who once believed that the environment is an amazing place and that it needed protecting. Pocket filling bastards if you ask me!!! This mentality is so yesterday and with all that is happening in the world this is ludicrous