Lynn MacLaren (right) from the South Metropolitan Region and Robin Chapple for the Mining and Pastoral region, in their joint statement, said the history of the Lamp plant has been fraught with difficulty and opposition from Malaysians.
“They are unwilling to be recipient of Australia's contaminated wastes and have consistently protested the plant in various gatherings of up to 15,000 people. Despite the widespread concerns on the plant and its disposal of its radioactive wastes, a two-year temporary licence has been issued,” they said.
Chapple further added this approval seems like the sanctioning of an Australian mining company making use of lax environmental controls and governance arrangements in a developing country.
“To my mind it has not gone through a rigorous environmental process and should not have been issued. This is a poor representation of Australian notions of ‘fair play’ and good corporate citizenship and one that it seems our state government is paying little mind to,” he said.
On Sept 5, it was reported that Lynas (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd wasawarded the temporary operating licence by Malaysia's Atomic Energy Licensing Board for a period of two years.
The City of Fremantle has one of the most environmentally-proactive councils in the state, they said, and its ability to represent its constituents, many of whom would be opposed to having these ores come through their city, has been severely hampered by the deficient governance processes of Lynas.
Fremantle-based MacLaren added that just as the Fremantle community resoundingly rejected the risk of exposure to lead carbonate, they also oppose shipping this material through their city.
“We don’t want to be a cog in the wheel of subjecting innocent men, women and children in Malaysia to exposure of toxic waste.
“It is unacceptable for the Australian government to wash its hands of responsibility for the effects of unsustainable mining, whether they are in our own backyard or that of our neighbours,” she concluded.