Rainforest destruction looms under Minister Plibersek’s watch

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Bob Brown Foundation is ready to head back in to occupy the threatened rainforests of takayna as the Federal Environment Minister’s department opens a public comment period for proposed destruction in Tasmania’s takayna for new roads and drilling for miner MMG’s tailings waste dump.

Chinese state-owned MMG’s latest attempt to gain approval for its proposed toxic tailings dam in the World Heritage value takayna has failed to address the data deficiencies that led to the previous approval being overturned in the Federal Court in July 2022. Rather than conduct rigorous surveys into vulnerable Masked Owls’ breeding at the proposed tailings dam site, MMG has compiled a list of studies it might conduct after approval of the project.

“MMG is again showing contempt for our environment laws and the wider public,” said Bob Brown Foundation takayna / Tarkine Campaigner Scott Jordan.

“The assessment process is MMG’s opportunity to back its claim that it could drown the McKimmie Creek valley in acid sulphate tailings without impacting the threatened and endangered wildlife that lives and breeds there. Instead, they propose that the government just hands them permits, and they will tell us how bad it was after the event.”

“They have had thirty-one months, including thirteen months since the Federal Court overturned the previous unlawful approval, to do the appropriate studies and we have seen nothing. The truth is they don’t want to do the studies because the evidence tendered in court definitively showed that this project will impact species like the Tasmanian Masked Owl.”

“Regardless of the lack of environmental assessments, the Masked Owl breeding territory and rainforested takayna is no place for this toxic tailings dam.”

Over the summer of 2022-23, critically endangered Swift Parrots were recorded and verified breeding on the site. MMG has dismissed these verified recordings.

“We are urging Minister Plibersek to reject this substandard and destructive proposal and act to provide real protection of takayna’s heritage values as a World Heritage Area.”

The public has until 30 August to comment on the referral and Bob Brown Foundation will be ramping up the call to action for people to make a submission and prepare for takayna’s biggest showdown if the destruction of these rainforests is approved.

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