Public responds to Olympic Dam expansion

Public submissions for BHP Billiton’s Olympic Dam expansion environmental impact statement (EIS) closed last Friday afternoon, with the South Australian Government receiving almost 4000 submissions.

BHP Billiton released its initial Environmental Arial Statement on 1 May, allowing a fourteen week public consultation period.

South Australian Premier Mike Rann said the Government plans to consider all public submissions before finalising and making its own submission publicly available.

According to Rann, the size and scale of the Olympic Dam project demands the Government consider all submission from South Australian people.

“The EIS has generated a significant public response and we believe the Government should take into account those views before making its own final submission,” he said.

“So we will listen and, where appropriate, take into account those public submissions before lodging our own submission in the coming weeks.”

Rann said that the South Australian Government remains positive about the Olympic Dam expansion, but given the size of the project it must scrutinise each step of the process very carefully.

“We want this mine to go ahead because of the long-term future benefit to the State that it will bring in terms of jobs and investment in South Australia, but we need to ensure that our environmental concerns are addressed satisfactorily first,” he said.

“This is the biggest project, public or private, this State has ever seen, so it would be extraordinary if we did not find issues that we wanted to be further investigated.”

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