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Toxic spill report critical for Ranger uranium mine

23 Oct 2014

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Gundjeihmi Aboriginal Corporation was disappointed to learn that Ministers Ian MacFarlane and Willem Westra van Holthe had released a summary report of the investigation into the collapse of a leach tank at the Ranger uranium mine within the bounds of Kakadu National Park late last year without consulting all members of the investigation taskforce.

Gundjeihmi, which represents the Mirarr Traditional Owners of the Ranger mine site, has a position on the taskforce which was established to investigate last year’s radiological accident but was not informed of the intention to release the report yesterday.

Justin O’Brien CEO of Gundjeihmi Aboriginal Corporation said “We are bitterly disappointed that the investigation taskforce process has broken down, not for any want of trying on our part. It is critical that the recommendations of this report are fully implemented with highest priority given to a comprehensive review of the regulatory framework at Ranger, a point which the ministers have acknowledged but up to this point have not committed to act on.

“The tank collapse which sent over a million litres of radioactive acid spilling across the mine site was yet another example of the poor management and failed systems at Ranger. For Traditional Owners to have any confidence in the capacity of the Energy Resources of Australia (ERA) and the regulators to manage this mine the recommendations of this report must be acted on swiftly and completely.

“ERA wants to expand the Ranger mine underground. Without a comprehensive regulatory review and implementation of the remaining recommendations it would be ludicrous for the Federal Government to even consider such a proposal.” Mr O’Brien concluded

For further information Kirsten Blair: 0412 853 641