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NLC welcomes EPA decision

Posted: Wed, August 05, 2015

TO Wilton Timothy (white shirt) at Hanrahan’s Creek

THE Northern Land Council has welcomed the decision of the Environment Protection Authority to lay a complaint against Redbank Operations Pty Ltd which operates the Redbank copper mine at Wollogorang Station, near the Queensland border.

The complaint details 26 counts of breaches by Redbank of its Waste Discharge Licence, between April last year and June this year.

The breaches relate mainly to failures of reporting and monitoring requirements.

The first count against Redbank notes that the company knew in April last year that water in Hanrahan’s Creek, downstream from the mine, had been significantly impacted by metal toxicants. But the EPA did not become aware of the pollution until three months later.

NLC CEO Joe Morrison said Traditional Owners and the NLC have for many years been voicing concerns about environmental damage caused by the Redbank mine.

“Waste water from Redbank Mine has had disastrous impacts downstream, and Aboriginal Traditional Owners have been distressed by the damage to their land and waterways,” Mr Morrison said.

“Places that were once favoured for customary and recreational activities are now totally unusable. The pollution has stopped Traditional Owners from enjoying their traditional activities.

“The NLC hopes that this prosecution will put other mining companies on notice; they need to realise that it’s an offence to disregard the terms of their licences. They need to know that enforcement is being taken seriously.”