We have been discussing the horrific environmental record of the administration of Prime Minister Tony Abbott. This includes the decision to dump millions of tons of waste into the Great Barrier Reef. The move that led to international outcry including official condemnation from UNESCO. Much of the criticism has been directed at Abbott putting industry officials in charge of environmental decision-making with predictable results. This week saw the latest such controversy after Western Australia mining minister, Bill Marmion (left) declared categorically that official protection of the Great Western Woodlands, the largest remaining temperate woodlands in the world, will not be supported if it impinges on mining. Period.
The woodlands cover 39m acres and is home to 3,000 species of flowering plants. That amounts to about 20 percent of all those identified in Australia and 25 percent of all known eucalypt species. Yet, only 12 percent is currently protected.
Marmion made his declaration before a local chamber of commerce and industry that
“The Great Western Woodlands is a vast area, a vast area and any sort of recognition which would put constraints on mining in the area would be absolutely devastating for Western Australia.
. . . Of course there is the danger that when you give something greater recognition, that recognition gets bigger and bigger and bigger. So I can’t see any government, of any persuasion, ever supporting that sort of approach. . .
Admittedly I’m sure there are some green groups that would. Hopefully they’ll never get into government.”
Well, not in the Abbott government, this is for sure.
Marmion is trying to force through a proposal by Polaris Metals to dig two open-cut iron ore mines in the Helena and Aurora range — a proposal deemed in January 2015 by the EPA to be “environmentally unacceptable.”
Source: The Guardian