LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Sir – The mining lobby and its supporters are escalating their attacks on the NT Government’s raft of reforms to strengthen environmental protection in the Territory.
Media releases sent by the Minerals Council Australia are spreading myths about the new laws.
However, we know that these laws are necessary and are supported by Territorians. Territorians have had enough of mining companies doing as they please with the pristine and unique environments of the NT that we all enjoy.
The mining industry are not the economic saviours that they make themselves out to be.
They employ a small proportion of the NT workforce and are consistently propped up by government subsidies, while only ever offering boom and bust cycles of economic activity.
Yet now they are trying to hold the economy to ransom with tired big business talking points.
The NT is stronger and smarter than that and we will ensure that these laws come into effect to provide a strong, accountable and open framework of environmental protection.
This will ensure we can continue to enjoy the environments of the NT and protect them for our future generations. Without a healthy environment, there is no economy.
The minerals that are mined are owned by all of us.
The resources that come from the environment should be used to provide the services we all need, rather than simply lining the pockets of a greedy few.
Territorians are tired of footing the bill to clean up the mess left by mining companies.
Millions of dollars of public wealth are still being spent cleaning the land and water contaminated from the toxic legacy of past mines. These laws can reduce environmental harm and ensure that companies pay for the cost of necessary rehabilitation.
Ultimately the new laws will ensure that a condition of development in the NT is environmental protection.
The Environment Protection Bill creates a strong framework of transparent and enforceable rules that will ensure mining companies protect human and environmental health.
By opposing the laws, miners are effectively arguing they can’t afford to protect the people and the environment of the NT. Fortunately the laws have broad support, from Land Councils, health organisations, scientists, fishers and the general public.
Jimmy Cocking (pictured)
CEO Arid Lands Environment Centre
LETTER TO THE EDITOR