The Hon Tony Burke MP
Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities
Tarkine mines to undergo rigorous environmental assessment
25 July 2012
Two mine referrals in the Tarkine in Tasmania will undergo a rigorous environmental assessment under national environment law.
Environment Minister Tony Burke said the two referrals from Venture Minerals for the Riley and Livingstone DSO hematite mines in north-west Tasmania will require a full federal environmental assessment under the Environment Protection Biodiversity and Conservation Act 1999.
“This assessment process for the Venture Minerals’ Riley and Livingstone mine referrals will look at each project’s potential impacts on nationally protected matters, including threatened species such as the Tasmanian devil, wedge-tailed eagle, spotted tailed quoll and white-bellied sea eagle,’’ he said.
“Members of the public will have the opportunity to comment during the assessment process.
“In making my referral decision I also considered whether the proposals constituted a larger action and whether there are any other activities in the region that could be considered part of the same action.
“Based on my department’s advice I have determined that the Venture Mineral’s two hematite referrals are to be assessed as single actions.
“The two Venture Mineral hematite mines that are close to Mount Lindsay in the southern part of the Tarkine region are not co-located, involve two different mining methods and will be mined at different times.
“An assessment for a single action still allows for a project’s cumulative impacts on nationally protected matters to be considered as part of the assessment.
“By taking this approach I will be able to fully understand the likely impacts of each proposal on relevant protected matters, including where there are potentially cumulative impacts.”
Mr Burke said subject to agreement by the Tasmanian Government, it is likely the two referrals will be assessed under the bilateral agreement between the two governments.
“The Government has recently agreed on new administrative arrangements with the Tasmanian Environment Protection Authority, for the environmental assessments of major development proposals in Tasmania,’’ he said.
“This confirms the existing strong commitments made under the bilateral agreement between the federal government and the Tasmanian government, and helps to ensure that the impacts to all nationally protected matters will be carefully considered.
"This agreement has been updated to cover the areas where the bilateral agreement with Queensland was recently amended.”