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Kevin Buzzacott challenges Tony Burke in Federal Court over Olympic Dam mine expansion approval

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Published on Mar 23, 2012

http://cuttlefishcountry.com Arabunna elder Uncle Kevin Buzzacott discusses his decision to challenge Australia's Commonwealth Environment Minister, Tony Burke, over his 2011 approval of the Olympic Dam mine expansion. Kevin describes (in part) his criticisms of the assessment, particularly the level of uncertainty the approval has permitted, by consistently referring to management plans and documents yet to be drafted. The Olympic Dam mine expansion is trumpeted as a 30 billion dollar development, promising to unlock a trillion dollars worth of copper, uranium, gold and silver. If the expansion proceeds, it is destined to employ thousands and generate billions in royalties as the mine is expanded from it current underground operation to the proposed world's largest open pit. Principally a copper mine, 20% of the mine's profits will come from the sale of uranium, the contentious fuel of nuclear power plants, and an ongoing threat to the further proliferation of nuclear weapons. The desert country near Lake Eyre, where the mine is situated is Kevin's traditional land, and he has inherited the cultural responsibility of looking after the environment there. It pains him to see the damage already done through the poor management of tailings, the extraction of water from the Great Artesian Basin and the export of uranium to fuel nuclear disasters like Fukushima. BHP Billiton's lies suggesting the company will employ 'world's best practise' simply rub salt in his wounds, and those of many more indigenous and otherwise environmentally aware Australians. This story will be further explored in the danimations documentary feature film Cuttlefish Country, due for release in mid 2012.

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