Aboriginal elder takes legal action against new Olympic Dam uranium mine
‘Tiny voice’ of elder takes on Olympic Dam BY: SARAH MARTIN, SA POLITICAL REPORTER The Australian February 22, 2012 BHP Billiton’s proposed $20 billion Olympic Dam mine expansion, to create the world’s largest open-cut mine, will be challenged in the Federal Court after an application was lodged by Aboriginal elder Kevin Buzzacott.
Mr Buzzacott, who is known as Uncle Kevin, is being represented by the Adelaide-based Environmental Defenders Office. The office claims the mine expansion has been approved unlawfully under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act by federal Environment Minister Tony Burke.
Among the claims are that much of the environmental assessment and decision-making was based on plans and studies that have not yet been prepared and that the minister did not properly consider impacts from the above-ground storage of radioactive tailings waste, the export of uranium and on groundwater resources, including the Great Artesian Basin.
Mr Buzzacott, an elder from Arabunna land in South Australia’s remote north, is known for his anti-uranium campaigning, and in 2007 was awarded an Australian Conservation Foundation award recognising his protest work. The EDO filed an application on his behalf in the Federal Court yesterday, saying his “tiny voice” was prepared to take on the giant……
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