Victoria the promised (mining) land

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Mining in Australia is a rogue industry that feels it can ride roughshod over the people of regional Australia. The Australian mining industry has sold out their own nation, they have picked clean the easy to get mineral deposits, they have destroyed communities and environment and have pilfered away and sent offshore the wealth of all Australians.

The near surface rich deposits are depleted and an accelerated decline of resource quality is expected, there are no new discoveries on the horizon and they are looking at deep earth mining through the ‘Uncover initiative’ (a government funded research initiative with the Australian Science Academy attempting to map the deep earth and find ways to dig bigger holes cheaply while using taxpayer money), but would require more taxpayer handouts to make this feasible and profitable to them, many are not prepared and too lazy to look at the “deep end of the pool” as they call it.

These truths make them desperate for the next tier 1 discovery and they are attempting to focus on junior companies and “greenfield” investments lobbying government for tax payer funded initiatives scurrying around trying to bolster the industry and attract investment.

It is clear that Victoria and East Gippsland in particular has become a “target” as part of an ongoing drive to open the area up to resource extraction while holding back development in renewable energies. They are signing off on mining and exploration licenses right across Gippsland and handing out promises in the hope for the next big discovery and return Victoria to the bygone days of its mining heritage.

The Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) continues to lobby government for less red and green tape, easy-to-get licenses, and its vision of coal seam gas fields stretching across regional Victoria, occasionally broken by a new coal fired power plant, extended coal mines, while exploring our high places looking for that next tier 1 discovery.

“Victoria has much wealth potential in gold, copper, base metals, mineral sands, brown coal, and also onshore natural gas. The MCA Victorian division urges the new Victorian government to get its legislative and policy setting right to turn the state into an attractive resource investment destination”

The below extracts outline some of the attitudes that form the rogue culture that has been invited to partake in the promised land of Victoria having been encouraged into our back yards to explore, dig, drill and extract all in the name of investment and for the good of all regional Victorians.

They are from a public hearing enquiry into greenfields mineral exploration, Melbourne 26th September 2011. Rod Jacobs is approvals  manager for the Western Australian company independence group wanting to reopen the failed Benambra mine  and add to the existing and extremely dangerous tailings dam sitting at the headwaters of the Tambo river.

Extract from MCA Victorian Division pre budget submission 2015-16

The MCA continues in recent submissions to urge the government to:

  • show a recommitment to the TARGET co funding drilling initiative
  • restart the stalled reforms of the Environment Effects Act 1978 and review of the environmental impact assessment process
  • announce a coal tender and engage with industry on associated infrastructure needs
  • repeal section 5 of the nuclear activities(prohibitions) Act 1983 which prohibits exploration for uranium and thorium in Victoria

These are just a few of the ongoing recommendations that the MCA Victorian Division continues to make, putting our wild places at risk; taxpayer funded incentives, less red and green tape, new coal mines, uranium exploration and a one stop shop for minerals extraction. Victoria needs to remain protected from these mining corporations, their culture, destruction and broken promises they bring.

We should all be opposed to the social, cultural and environmental risks that continue to emerge surrounding the web of vested interests behind the push for Victoria’s resources and short term self-serving agendas.

East Gippsland is unique and needs protection from the threat of mining and projects like the Benambra Stockman Mine, the Nowa Nowa Iron Mine and the Kalbar Mineral Sands Project. These projects should not be viewed as a possible competing land use; mining has no future in or around East Gippsland’s prime agricultural land or wild places.

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