Posted on 08. Aug, 2012 in Greening Victoria
Environment Minister Ryan Smith must rule out mining of Victoria’s world renowned national parks, Shadow Environment Minister Lisa Neville said today.
Ms Neville said the Baillieu Government had called on the Victorian Environmental Assesssment Council (VEAC) to investigate an expansion of small scale mining in national parks.
Ms Neville said parks under consideration for small scale mining included Alpine, Baw Baw, Croajingolong, Errinundra, Lake Eildon, Lind, Mitchell River and Yarra Ranges national parks and Lerderderg State Park.
Ms Neville said the Baillieu Government had made it clear to VEAC that its overall objective is to increase the number of parks to be dug up.
“First the Baillieu Government wanted to turn our pristine national parks into cow paddocks and now they want to open them up for small scale mining,” Ms Neville said.
“This is yet another example of the Baillieu Government abandoning the protection of our iconic national park system.
“The Baillieu Government has sat on its hands for nearly two years, what are they trying to hide by limiting a proper and appropriate consultation process and timelines that exist under the VEAC legislation.
“The Baillieu Government has essentially directed VEAC to approve small scale mining,” she said.
“This is a sham process and Environment Minister Ryan Smith should allow VEAC to run an independent assessment of the proposal with full community consultation.
“Mr Smith has completely vacated his responsibilities to protect Victoria’s environment and is now known as the Minister for cow paddocks and mining.
“Mr Smith needs to take a stand for the sake of Victoria’s environment against his Cabinet colleagues and rule out the expansion of mining in our national parks.”