Greens senator Scott Ludlam has questioned the wisdom of developing a uranium mining industry in WA following the second leak of toxic material from a major uranium mine in the space of a few days.
Radioactive slurry from a holding tank at the Ranger uranium mine in the Northern Territory spewed into the environment on December 7 and today it was revealed that Rio Tinto’s Rossing Mine in Namibia was also leaking.
Senator Ludlam said the two catastrophic incidents came as the Mulga Rocks uranium mine, 250km east of Kalgoorlie, was referred to the Federal Government in preparation for its proposed start-up.
Public submissions are currently open into the mine proposal.
“As the federal Government struggles with one leaking uranium mine in the NT they’re now facing new proposals in WA,” Senator Ludlam said.
“The uranium industry has failed to meet public expectations, failed to meet Government regulations and failed to operate safely.”
Senator Ludlam said the Mulga Rocks mine was in an area known as habitat for the marsupial mole, an endangered species, and was adjacent to the Queen Victoria Springs A class reserve.
“The obvious question is: Could what happened at Ranger and Namibia happen in WA?” Senator Ludlam said.
“The probable answer is Yes, given the history of this toxic industry.
“The spill of more than 1 million litres of radioactive slurry at Ranger is just the latest in more than 200 spills, leaks and licence breaches in the Kakadu National Park precinct.
“WA has enough sunshine to develop a sustainable, robust and clean energy future. It makes no sense to be developing a dirty industry that could leave a radioactive legacy for generations to come.”
Contact Jane Hammond: 040 392 6467