In the wake of the Federal Court win by Bob Brown Foundation against Chinese state-owned miner MMG, Bob Brown Foundation has identified Tasmanian Masked Owls present on another proposed mine site in Tasmania’s north west. The site is for the proposed Hawkes Creek silica mine operated by Tasmanian Advanced Minerals.
BBF notified the EPA of the presence of Masked Owl and provided data verifying the presence in an area that the proponent’s consultants had dismissed as not being suitable habitat. The consultant was the same consultant used for the now discredited MMG fauna and flora reports. The BBF’s data also showed the consultant’s report to be inaccurate on other threatened species Brookers Gum and White Goshawk.
Last week the EPA advised BBF that additional information was being sought from the proponent and sought permission to pass on BBF’s data to the consultant.
“When your data’s bad and your report’s no good, who you gonna call?” said Bob Brown Foundation’s takayna Campaigner Scott Jordan.
“Well, it’s not our job to help the destroyers of threatened species’ habitat. Why is the EPA allowing the proponent a second chance after the submission of false and substandard information? What does it take to fail?”
“Yet again the Bob Brown Foundation has to do the job of the regulator and the proponent in conducting proper site surveys required under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and Land Use Planning and Approvals Act 1993, and are now forced to do it when the Tasmanian Government wants to gaol those who enter mine leases?”
The consultant has made the same erroneous claim that Tasmanian Masked Owl does not breed in wet forests in reports related to mining projects at Mt Lindsay, Livingstone (Stanley River) and Blackwater Creek, and the Robbins Island wind farm. Earlier this year the Federal Court heard evidence from leading experts that the species does utilise wet forests, including rainforests for breeding.
BBF has agreed to allow access to data subject to a data use agreement. BBF has also written to the Federal Environment Minister requesting she reconsider the previous Minister’s decision that the proposed mine is ‘not a controlled action’ in light of the new information.