The Environmental Protection Authority has released its advice to the Minister for the Environment on:
- the location of the highest conservation values in the proposed extensions to the Mt Manning Nature Reserve;
- surrounding areas which require protection from extractive industries as well as those areas in the proposed extensions to the Mt Manning Nature Reserve for which there is a potential for environmental offsets; and
- consideration of the details of Environmental Conditions applied to Portman Iron Ore Ltd Koolyanobbing Expansion. Ministerial Statement 627.
14 May 2007Details:
EPA Deputy Chairman Dr Andrea Hinwood said that the Banded Ironstone Formation ranges, which are a focus for much of the rare and endemic flora and plant communities in the region, are also the focus of mining and mineral prospectivity, particularly for iron ore.
"The Mount Manning region is worthy of recognition as a biodiversity hotspot,” she said.
“In the absence of secure protection, exploration and mining impacts represent significant threatening process to species that only exist on one or two small Banded Ironstone Formation ranges.
“Intact Banded Iron Formation ranges are important to maintain the genetic diversity within populations of endemic rare flora and to allow survival during periods of adverse climate.
“The entire Mount Manning region has exceptionally high landscape diversity, including interconnected intact sandplain, woodland and salt lake habitats of critical importance for fauna and flora that are not represented in other reserves or have declining populations in the wheatbelt.
“These areas are also worthy of conservation for Aboriginal heritage, geodiversity and tourism.
“Since the Koolyanobbing mine expansion was approved, it has become apparent that further mining of Banded Iron Formation ranges of highest conservation significance in the Mount Manning Range region is likely to result in major impacts to Banded Iron Formation endemic threatened species and communities.
“Thus, it is unlikely that further mining in the areas of highest conservation value, proposed as an A Class Nature Reserve could be justified.
” The EPA’s recommendations include that:
- an A Class Nature Reserve to include the highest priority conservation areas be established;
- proponents be advised that proposals for further mining in areas of the highest conservation value are unlikely to be found environmentally acceptable;
- renewal of mineral tenements and granting of new tenements should not be supported in the proposed A Class Nature Reserve; and
- the precautionary principle be applied in relation to proposals to offset loss of highly habitat specific Banded Iron Formation endemic species through translocation to other sites, as each Banded Iron Formation range generally has its own endemic species occupying equivalent habitats.
The EPA’s report is available at www.epa.wa.gov.au.
Advice issued by the EPA under Section 16 of the Environmental Protection Act 1986 does not constitute a formal assessment or approval by the EPA. There is no right of appeal against Section 16 advice.
The EPA is a five person board providing independent overarching environmental advice to the Minister for the Environment through the preparation of environmental protection policies and the assessment of development proposals and management plans, as well as providing public statements about matters of environmental importance.
The EPA is supported by the EPA Service Unit. This Unit sits administratively within the Department of Environment and Conservation but for EPA matters is under the control of the EPA.
Media contact: Charlie Maling 6467 5415 or 0400 866 450Status: