Concerns raised after mining bill passes Lower House

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  • Jarrad Delaney
    JULY 5 2019

Local News

A lack of consultation and limited benefits for farmers are some of the concerns from the Stop Invasive Mining Group in response to the passage of Statutes Amendment (Mineral Resources) Bill through the state House of Representatives.

The bill was moved through the House on Wednesday evening and looks to replace the previous Mining Bill from 1971.

Stop Invasive Mining Group chairman Bronte Gregurke was in the gallery when the vote happened and said while he was not surprised about the bill’s passage, it was still a disappointing result.

“We’d seen no consultation on Eyre Peninsula,” he said. 

They’ve consulted with the Yorke Peninsula Landowners Group, GPSA (Grain Producers SA) and PPSA (Primary Producers SA)…they haven’t gone out and consulted with a lot of actual landowners.”

Member for Flinders Peter Treloar, who declared an interest before the vote due to a tenement sitting over sections of land he owned at Hundred of Mortlock, said he was pleased with bill had finally passed after debate was adjourned last November.

He said while the bill was not perfect there were increased benefits for landowners, including exempt land legal advice increasing from $500 to $2500 per landowner and a new right for landowners to apply for an exempt land negotiation.

“There are many other improvements relating to the environment, compliance and enforcement, and increased investigatory and presecution powers,” he said.

However Mr Gregurke argued there were few benefits for landowners and what was there were token gestures.

He said using Roxby Downs as an example of mining and farming coexisting did not translate well to the Eyre Peninsula, which was an agricultural area rather than a pastoral area.

“Referrals to BHP and Roxby Downs about how mining and farming had coexisted for years, I question that because it’s a pastoral area,” he said.

Grain Producers SA also criticised the passage of the bill and chairman Wade Dabinett said the bills changes meant the state’s landholders would be saddled with some of the worst legal framework in the country.

However the South Australian Chamber of Mines and Energy welcomed the passage of the bill but has called for a structural review with a focus on reform of the approvals process.