Environment & Biodiversity
18 Feb 2011
Sustainability, Environment, Water, Polulation and Communities portfolio
Question No. 1
Senator Ludlam asked:
Senator LUDLAM-Is it the case that the authority distributed copies of the TS2009 public environment report and other materials related to this massive joint military exercise within your domain of the marine park including show bags with balloons?
Dr Reichelt-I am not aware of what sort of materials were involved at that function.
14 Feb 2011
The Australian and Northern Territory Greens have condemned the call from NT Country Liberal Party members for CLP leaders to abandon their opposition to the Angela Pamela (AP) uranium project.
At the Country Liberals Central Council meeting on the weekend, CLP members backed a motion calling on its leaders to support uranium exploration and mining applications and, worse still, to promote them.
Greens spokesperson for nuclear affairs, Senator Scott Ludlam, said the CLP party was demanding its MPs back flip on a promise made at the time of the Araluen by-election to oppose the uranium mine planned for Alice Springs.
10 Feb 2011
The Australian Greens have called on resources Minister Martin Ferguson to make a statement to Parliament on his policy on uranium sales to India, and whether it differs from that of the Australian Government.
Greens spokesperson for nuclear affairs Senator Scott Ludlam said the Government had recently reaffirmed it would not sell uranium to a country that was not a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, but leaked documents suggested that Minister Ferguson had different plans.
04 Feb 2011
The Australian Greens have urged Resources Minister Martin Ferguson to abandon his support for uranium mining.
Greens spokesperson for nuclear affairs Senator Scott Ludlam said that with or without nuclear power generation in Australia, uranium mining itself was an environmental menace.
27 Jan 2011
The Australian Greens have called for better planning and transport infrastructure to help avoid urban sprawl as the nation's population grows.
Greens public transport, housing and sustainable cities spokesperson, Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam, said authorities need to work together to plan sustainable cities.
19 Jan 2011
The dangers of the nuclear trade have been exposed again, this time by a storm breaking open containers carrying radioactive uranium oxide concentrate on a cargo ship and forcing it to return to port, said the Australian Greens today.
Greens nuclear affairs spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam said that on January 3rd a Canadian cargo ship was hit by a storm off the coast Hawaii while loaded with uranium concentrate U3O8 - also known as yellowcake - bound for China.
16 Dec 2010
Question on Notice No. 189- Ministerial Council on Mineral and Petroleum Resources
Question No. 189
Senator Ludlam asked the Minister for Resources and Energy, upon notice, on 10 November 2010:
(1) When will the Ministerial Council on Mineral and Petroleum Resources (MCMPR) Strategic Framework for abandoned mine management be released.
(2) Has the MCMPR abandoned mine working group has been disbanded; if so: (a) when; (b) why was it disbanded; and (c) how will the Government coordinate a consistent and coordinated approach to abandoned mines without a national body.
(3) Why has the Commonwealth ignored recommendations drafted in the MCMPR Strategic Framework for an abandoned mines management paper to set up a national body to develop a consistent and coordinated national approach to managing abandoned mines.
(4) Why do some jurisdictions set the required rehabilitation bond at less than the estimated cost of rehabilitation, for example, in Western Australia the bond is only required to be set at 25 per cent of the estimated final cost.
(5) How can the rehabilitation of a uranium mine site be guaranteed when state jurisdictions do not set the security bond at 100 per cent of the estimated clean-up cost.
(6) What percentage of the projected cost of rehabilitation of a uranium mine site is required to be set down as a bond in the Northern Territory.
(7) What method does the Commonwealth use to ensure available funds for the rehabilitation of uranium mine sites in the Northern Territory.
(8) Has the Federal Government taken an audit of all abandoned mines in the Northern Territory.
(9) Has the Federal Government undertaken an audit of abandoned mines in each Australian state and territory.
(10) How does the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Act 1999 guarantee the rehabilitation of uranium mine sites.
The Minister for Resources and Energy has provided the following response to the honorable senator's question:
(1) Formal approval from the Ministerial Council on Mineral and Petroleum Resources (MCMPR) Ministers for the Strategic Framework for Managing Abandoned Mines is expected by the end of 2010. Once approval has been granted, the document will be published and released in 2011.
(2) The MCMPR Abandoned Mines Working Group has not been disbanded and continues to work towards a consistent and coordinated approach to abandoned mines management in Australia.
(3) The Draft Abandoned Mines Discussion Paper - Towards a National Approach to Abandoned Mines Management developed by the MCMPR Abandoned Mines Working Group recommended that an advisory committee be convened to identify issues and risks common to abandoned mine sites throughout Australia. This recommendation will be examined following release of the Strategic Framework.
(4) The states and territories are responsible for the management of abandoned mines within their jurisdictions. Each jurisdiction has processes and legislation in place to prioritise and manage its abandoned mines and to set the amounts required for rehabilitation bonds. Details of specific standards and processes should be obtained by direct inquiry to the relevant jurisdiction.
(5) Rehabilitation of mine sites (uranium or otherwise) falls within the jurisdiction of the states under their own legislation. The Commonwealth has jurisdiction over uranium mined in the Northern Territory under the Atomic Energy Act 1953. Under this Act, the operating uranium mine, owned by Energy Resources of Australia (ERA), is required to provide the Commonwealth with a security bond of 100% of the cost of rehabilitation.
(6) The Northern Territory requires a 100% security bond for all mines.
(7) Currently, the only uranium mine in the Northern Territory is Ranger, operated by Energy Resources of Australia (ERA). ERA is required to provide the Commonwealth an Annual Plan of Rehabilitation describing the works required to rehabilitate the mine. The Supervising Scientist's Division, the Northern Territory Government and the Northern Land Council need to review and accept the Plan before it is referred to the Minister for Resources and Energy. Once accepted by the Commonwealth Minister, the Commonwealth appoints an independent assessor to evaluate the cost of implementing the proposed plan, and based on this the Minister determines an appropriate amount. The 100% bond figure is adjusted with each subsequent annual plan.
(8) During the 1970s and 1980s, the Federal Government conducted several reviews of the conditions of abandoned uranium mines in the Northern Territory. These resulted in remedial works at Rum Jungle between 1983 -1986 and hazard reduction works at Rum Jungle Creek South, and in the Adelaide River, South Alligator River and Westmoreland uranium provinces between 1990 -1993.
The Northern Territory Government is responsible for managing all other abandoned mines within the Territory therefore the Federal Government has not conducted an audit of these sites.
(9) The Federal Government has not conducted an audit for abandoned mines in Australia this is a matter for each state and territory.
(10) States are responsible for the rehabilitation of mining sites. Each state has built into their respective Mining Acts provisions for a bond to be held to secure rehabilitation in case of sudden mine closure. Under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Act 1999 (EPBC Act) uranium mining is considered a nuclear action. As such, uranium projects must be referred to the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities for assessment under the Act.
24 Nov 2010
Senator LUDLAM (Western Australia) (2:16 PM) -My question is to the Minister representing the Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities. Given that the Kimberley gas hub strategic assessment joint agreement between the federal and Western Australian governments states in its terms of reference that the site assessment should include an analysis of viable gas processing options outside the Kimberley, including locations that already have substantial industrial infrastructure, what work is the minister aware of that has been done to look at alternative sites? Have sites other than James Price Point in the Kimberley been subject to any meaningful technical or economic assessment?
12 Nov 2010
The Australian Greens say so-called "strict conditions" imposed on a proposed new floating gas project today approved off Western Australia's north-west coast are non-existent.
"Minister Burke has given the green light to Shell's Prelude project claiming this high greenhouse gas-emitting, high risk project will go ahead under strict conditions but his own press release goes on to reveal nothing but hazy promises and non-existent conditions," Greens Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam said.