Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader and Mining spokesperson
In the wake of news that Shree Minerals has failed to clean up its acid producing waste after fifteen months, it's reasonable to ask why the company's once biggest cheerleader, now Mining Minister, Adam Brooks, is missing in action.
In Opposition, he relentlessly talked up the mine and dismissed legitimate environmental concerns which have now been proven.
Not that long ago, Mr Brooks couldn't talk highly enough of Shree's plans. He let the people of the North West believe the mine would be a jobs' bonanza. Instead, it has never been fully operational and has turned into an environmental mess.
No doubt, he will blame environmentalists for Shree's failures but the truth tells a very different story and the Minister needs to wear some of the blame.
Mr Brooks needs to admit he got it badly wrong and Shree's permit should be cancelled. The company is on the brink of financial collapse and it doesn't deserve another chance at the mine.
It remains to be seen whether Shree will clean up the acid producing waste it has created, and whether taxpayers will be left with the cleanup bill.
We need policies in place requiring mining companies to pay enough money up front as bond to ensure any clean up costs are not borne by Tasmanians.
Future long term jobs' growth in the North West won't come from the boom and bust mining industry. It'll come from protecting the Tarkine wilderness, promoting it globally, encouraging small business, developing skills in sustainable food production and in advanced manufacturing.
The Liberals are letting down communities on the North West and West Coasts by not working hard to create this diversified, jobs' rich future for the region.