Marathon brings in politicos for Arkaroola fight

Marathon Resources has brought in five former ministers to fight its Arkaroola compensation battle.

The miner now has three former Labor ministers, a former state Liberal MP and a former federal Liberal minister associated with it as lobbyists or sitting on its board, AdelaideNow reports.

Marathon is seeking compensation after the South Australian Government announced the Arkaroola Wilderness, where the miner has a number of uranium tenements, a protected zone.

This will see mining and exploration banned in the region.

The miner announced it would fight the ban, or at the very least, seek compensation for the move.

South Australian resources minister Tom Koustantonis said he had discussed with Marathon how much it had spent exploring the Arkaroola region; there is no obligation for compensation.

“However, in the interests of fairness, we will look at the company’s cost in terms of exploration and consider where we go from there," Koutsantonis said.

However, the Greens believe that Marathon should receive no compensation whatsoever.

South Australian Greens senator Mark Parnell called on the government to “not succumb to pressure to pay compensation when it doesn’t need to, to a company that simply doesn’t deserve it”.

Marathon will retain the services of law firms Kelly & Co. and Arnold Bloch Liebler to assist the miner in exploring its options following the ban.

It has added ALP lobbyist John Quirke, former Liberal MP Graham Gunn, and Bespoke Approach (which is comprised of ALP personality Nick Bolkus and Liberals Alexander Downer and Ian Smith) to its list of support.

Former ALP minister Chris Schact also sits on the board of Marathon, but is not representing the miner as a lobbyist.

The miner says it has been forced to write off $15.8 million of exploration expenditure.

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