Greens move to stop Olympic Dam Expansion defeated

The Olympic Dam Expansion Indenture will go ahead after the Green’s attempt to block works has been defeated.

South Australian Greens member, Mark Parnell announced earlier this month they would move to stop any extension on the Olympic Dam Expansion Indenture Agreement after the South Australian Government granted BHP Billiton four more years to finalise the project.

The Labor and the Liberal parties joined forces to defeat the motion and ratify the 4 year extension in Parliament last night.

Parnell said extending concessions granted to BHP Billiton was not in South Australia’s best interest at this time.

“We shouldn’t be extending the enormously generous concessions granted to the world’s richest resource company when it is abundantly clear BHP Billiton has no intention to start the Olympic Dam expansion for years.

“It’s in South Australia’s best interests to negotiate a better deal if and when the project gets resurrected,” he said.

Parnell’s bid to stop the Olympic Dam extension gained public support from ex-treasurer Kevin Foley and former Premier, Mike Rann who in August said “we don’t believe there is a basis for an extension of the indenture arrangements”.

“It’s not often I agree with Kevin Foley, but he is dead right on this one.” Parnell said.

BHP cancelled its $US20 billion expansion plans in August, blaming weak commodity prices and rising costs.

In announcing the cutback BHP said it was looking at a different plan "involving new technologies" to make the project cheaper.

BHP Billiton has agreed to spend $650 million during the next research phase of the project, $110 million of which has been earmarked for community-related activities.

The Greens yesterday also moved a motion to prevent the transportation of uranium from Western Australia through South Australia after Toro Energy released a proposal to mine uranium in Western Australia and ship the material to either Port Adelaide or Darwin via SA.

“It’s bad enough that SA uranium is being exported to facilities such as the crippled Fukushima reactor in Japan and hence into the broader environment through contamination.  We shouldn’t be the conduit for WA uranium either.  In both States, it’s best left in the ground.” Parnell said.

The uranium debate spilled over earlier this week after protestors stormed the office of Toro Energy.

Anti-uranium protesters targeted the company’s office in a bid to halt the production of uranium in South Australia.

A statement released by Toro Energy said 6 to 7 protestors were allowed into the company’s reception area of its West Perth office where the damage took place.

"The protestors then emptied three bags of dyed yellow sand onto the floor and proceeded to spread it throughout the office,” the statement said.

"During this time, protestors intimidated and filmed Toro staff, and refused to cease filming when requested to do so.

"Police were called and the protestors were escorted from the building.”

Protesters were also at the mining company's annual general meeting in Adelaide today to try and change the mind of shareholders regarding uranium mining,

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