Energy Resources Australia (ERA) has been warned against cutting corners in on environmental protection during the emergency shutdown of its Ranger uranium mine in the Kakadu National Park.
The Northern Land Council has requested ERA guarantees monitoring of the mine would not be reduced during the emergency.
The mine was shut down last week, amid fears of contamination into waterways used by an Indigenous community and surrounding wetlands.
The Northern Land Council is the largest Aboriginal organisation in northern Australia and its chief executive Kim Hill told the Sydney Morning Herald the decision to stop mining, in addition to the company’s falling share price and less than ideal environmental record may lead to ERA looking for ways to reduce costs.
"The World Heritage-listed environment which surrounds the mine mustn’t suffer further as the company looks to protect the bottom line," he told the Herald.
Hill said the latest situation at the Ranger mine further proves his argument that self-regulation in the Northern Territory resource sector is not working.
"Mining companies have consistently shown they can’t be trusted to monitor themselves and the government needs to step in and end this ridiculous situation immediately.”
The suspension at the Ranger mine was extended last week due to flooding across the region.
Image: Australian Towns