The Bob Brown Foundation has lodged an appeal to the full bench of the Supreme Court of Tasmania against an earlier single-judge decision upholding a mine lease granted to Chinese state-owned miner MMG. The lease, on Helilog Road in takayna/Tarkine, was granted to prevent access by protesters, media and the public to forested public land 8km outside the company’s controversial site for a waste dump for its Rosebery mine. The BBF appeal will assert that the Mineral Resources Development Act 1995 does not allow for leases to be granted for such purposes and that His Honour Justice Blow erred in upholding this lease.
“The idea that a company can take possession of one area of public land to prevent public scrutiny of what it does on another leased area is inconsistent with the allowable purposes in the Mineral Resources Development Act 1995. It opens the way for a minister to award public land to any miner who wants to hide their secrets and environmental destruction from public view and scrutiny. We will take this appeal to ensure the right of the public to enter their land and hold mining corporations that seek to destroy that land to account,” said BBF’s takayna/Tarkine Campaigner Scott Jordan.
“We will also be seeking a ruling that His Justice Blow erred in not allowing Bob Brown Foundation to subpoena the former Minister for Resources Guy Barnett. Barnett gave four contradictory accounts of what he had considered in granting the lease. It was impossible for the court to know which of those accounts, if any, were true without proper cross examination.”
The BBF has coordinated a campaign over the past 28 months to prevent MMG from dumping 25 million cubic metres of heavy metals, acid-producing tailings waste into rainforests at McKimmie Creek in takayna/Tarkine. This valley is home to threatened species, including the Tasmanian Devil, Spotted tailed Quoll, Tasmanian Masked Owl and Critically Endangered Swift Parrot.