Traditional owner to take Govt to UN

A traditional land owner has said he will take the McArthur River Mine expansion to the United Nations if the Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett's ruling does not include river care.

A traditional land owner has said he will take the McArthur River Mine expansion to the United Nations if the Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett’s ruling does not include river care.

Last month Garrett made an interim decision to reapprove the expansion of the mine- which has diverted the river more than five kilometres – after the Federal Court ruled that the initial approval was flawed.

Traditional owners, politicians and mining company Xstrata were given until February 6 to comment

A final decision has not yet been made.

The Yanyuwa man David Harvey said his people wanted more consultation with the government, criticising the lengthy decision process that has been undertaken to date.

“If this mine and this Government doesn’t come and talk to us and make an agreement about what they’ve done – they’ve mucked the river up and everything,” he said.

“We’re going to take them as far as we can go – we’re thinking of taking them to United Nations.”

Harvey said Garrett knew about his concerns for the river, including the survival of swordfish.

“That water goes straight through this whole township,” he said.

“Now if something goes wrong up there – which it did – we … [see] dead fish floating down.

“We just heard from our lawyers that [the] diversion they made … hasn’t [got] any oxygen for fish to survive.”

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