Minchin's Final Nuclear Legacy

November 26, 2001

Friends of the Earth (FoE) has today called for an independent review of the Honeymoon Uranium Mine's environmental assessment. The call comes as outgoing Industry Minister Nick Minchin announced final approval of the controversial project. There remain significant gaps in the assessment process with kept key information on radioactive contamination of groundwater still out of the public realm.

"The approval is outrageous, radioactive waste disposal to groundwater is a fundamentally unacceptable impact on the environment" said Bruce Thompson, nuclear campaigner.

Neither the company, Canadian owned Southern Cross Resources, nor the Federal government has released any data to prove claims that waste re-injection into groundwater is safe. The company failed to provide any detailed work in its Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). Concerns over contamination of ground water have been a key issue for environmentalists.

"The Honeymoon project was halted in 1982 due to concerns over groundwater contamination and public opposition to the nuclear industry. Both issues remain unchanged yet we now have a government willing to override these concerns," said Mr Thompson

"The election result was by no means a mandate for nuclear expansion; clearly the community remains opposed" said Loretta O'Brien.

The South Australian ALP have voiced concerns over the mineís assessment process ahead of a state election early next year. The Shadow Environment Minister stated last week that approval should not be given until 'crucial information' on groundwater contamination was released. The state election may effect several nuclear proposals in South Australia. Nuclear issues were a key plank of Federal ALP environment policy, with the Honeymoon project to be halted if in government.

"The final public duty of both the outgoing Environment and Industry Ministers' was to approve a uranium mine - an ironic end to their obsession with an outdated and unwanted industry."

"While both Robert Hill and Nick Minchin have moved on, environment groups and the community remain committed to stopping this project," concluded Bruce Thompson.

For more information contact:

Bruce Thompson
Nuclear Campaigner
Mob: 0417 318 368

Loretta O¹Brien
Nuclear Campaigner
Mob: 0418 178 053

Dr Gavin Mudd
Mob: 0419 117 494