Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Unique Australian species – the giant cuttlefish now more threatened by Olympic Damn expansion.

It has also emerged that subtle changes to the wording of the Olympic Dam mine’s approval watered down recommended protection of the giant cuttlefish. 

 following a meeting with Mr Burke, the department [had] backflipped.

Greens SA leader Mark Parnell, who obtained the documents under Freedom of Information, said it would be much harder for the department to prosecute BHP Billiton if anything went wrong.

Cuttlefish population in decline: BHP, Heather Kennett | Brad Crouch, 4 June 12 http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/cuttlefish-population-in-decline-bhp/story-e6frea83-1226381517382 June 02, 2012   A NEW study has found a serious reduction in giant cuttlefish numbers in the region around Whyalla.  Research commissioned by BHP Billiton – which wants to build a desalination plant near Whyalla – has found the cuttlefish population is already in serious decline ahead of hyper-saline brine being pumped from a future plant into Spencer Gulf….

. Tens of thousands of giant cuttlefish head to the Whyalla region each
winter to breed, which has become a tourist attraction. Their annual ritual has also become a pivotal environmental argument against BHP Billiton’s coastal desalination plant, which is part of its planned expansion of the Olympic Dam mine. …..

It has also emerged that subtle changes to the wording of the Olympic Dam mine’s approval watered down recommended protection of the giant cuttlefish. The Federal Environment Department wanted the cuttlefish
given special status with a recommendation that any approval for the
plant protect the creatures against “any adverse impacts”, rather than
against “significant adverse impacts”, as was the case for other
species.

While it is only a one-word change, the difference means BHP Billiton
will be prosecuted only if the impact of the plant on the cuttlefish
population is considered “significant”. A brief on the desal plant
prepared for Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke on October 7,
2011, shows the department wanted the wording about protection for
most marine species to be made standard to help BHP Billiton comply,
but recommended the giant cuttlefish be considered a special case.

Three days later, and following a meeting with Mr Burke, the
department backflipped.

Greens SA leader Mark Parnell, who obtained the documents under Freedom of Information, said it would be much harder for the department to prosecute BHP Billiton if anything went wrong.

“Under the new watered-down environmental conditions, only the most
serious of toxic leaks or spills would trigger a response from the
Commonwealth,” Mr Parnell said, adding: “One major incident could wipe
out forever this unique event.”

June 4, 2012 - Posted by | politics, South Australia |

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