Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader and Mining spokesperson
Resources Minister, Guy Barnett, has some questions to answer over Venture Minerals’ announcement today that the company is suspending all operations, due to falling iron ore prices, until further notice.
So too does the Federal Environment Minister, and the State’s Environment Protection Authority, who bent over backwards to change Venture’s permit conditions, despite the increased threat to the endangered Tasmanian Devil.
Now the company has called it quits, with a final shipment of iron ore on its way to China, leaving behind a mess at the Riley Creek site.
Minister Barnett needs to tell Tasmanians whether Venture has paid its full royalties, and whether the bond it placed for environmental remediation will be enough to restore the Riley Creek site.
We already know Venture, like every other mining company operating in Tasmania, pays the lowest royalties in the country.
UTAS research confirms environmental bond requirements placed on mining companies operating here are about a tenth of what they need to be.
This is yet another example of a Tasmanian major party government exposing Tasmanian taxpayers to risk, at increasing environmental cost.
Mr Barnett has been one of Venture Minerals’ most ardent cheerleaders. What has he got to say for himself now the company has done a hit and run on its Tarkine mine?