MAC/20: Mines and Communities

Greens call for ERA to lose Ranger licence

Published by MAC on 2004-09-30

Greens call for ERA to lose Ranger licence

Thursday, 30 September 2004

ABC Network

The Australian Greens are calling on the Federal Government to revoke the operating licence of Energy Resources of Australia (ERA) to run the Ranger Uranium Mine.

Senator Kerry Nettle welcomes the Northern Territory Government's decision to prosecute ERA for a water contamination incident in March.

She says the Resources Minister Ian Macfarlane has the power to stop mining at Ranger without financial consequences for the Government.

"If ERA breaches the conditions under which it is allowed to operate then the Minister can revoke the operating licence for Ranger uranium mine and my understanding is that there's no compensation involved as a part of that," she says.

The Australian Conservation Foundation says ERA and its parent company Rio Tinto should wind-up operations at Ranger.

The foundation's Dave Sweeney says the maximum fine of $165,000 will not put a dent in Rio Tinto's bottom line but the company should recognise it is time to pull out.

"This is a signal, and it's the beginning of the end of the operations at ERA's Ranger mine, and if the company's smart, if the company is responsible, if the company has a real understanding of shareholder value it'll begin now the process of closure, the process of clean-up, closure and exit," he said.

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