Northern Territory Traditional owners and conservationists are afraid a recent legal challenge may set an unwanted precedent for the regions lands and rivers.
Two weeks ago, Gudanji woman Josephine Davey Green and her husband, Garawa Elder Jack Green, lost a legal challenge against the reduction of the $520 million security bond for the McArthur river mine,1,00KM southeast of Darwin in the Gulf of Carpentaria.
They Argued former Northern Territory environment minister Nicole Mansion made a mistake when she slashed the security deposit needed for the mine by more than $120 million.
They also found fault in the minister’s approval of an expansion to Glencore-owned mine which had no long-term plan for its closure in 2037.
Justice Judith Kelly disagreed, saying all decisions made by the minister were in line with legal processes.
Mr Green says he is disappointed with the decision.
“We need the bond to be bigger to protect the river and our country if something goes wrong.
“Today’s decision will not stop us,” he said.
Ms Green , who is a native title holder of the lands covered by the mine says it will impact her people for thousands of years.
Environmental Defender’s Office Chief Officer David Morris says the decision says the mine will have a toxic impact on the local community.
“This is perhaps the worst case of a local community having to live with the government’s failures, long after the companies and government decision-makers have moved on,” he said.
Image Credit: Carole Mackinney