Article – Mines minister pushes Top End uranium projects

by 20 November 2013

19 November 2013
Marty McCarthy
ABC

Northern Territory Mines Minister Willem Westra Van Holthe says he will meet his federal counterpart to discuss ways to streamline environmental approvals for uranium exploration.

The Federal Government has already drafted a bilateral agreement with the Queensland Government for more localised assessment of environmentally sensitive projects.

Mr Westra van Holthe says he will discuss ways in talks this week for the Territory to cut red and green tape, to encourage uranium projects in the Top End.

“I will be pushing for the NT to have more say and more control over the process of uranium mining,” he said.

“What we want to avoid is duplicity (sic).

“We do not need mining operations to have to go through multiples stages of approval in order to get these mines up and running.

“We are looking at streamlining these processes, and I am glad the Commonwealth has brought this up as a discussion point.” Mr Westra Van Holthe says streamlining uranium mining approvals will not result in environmental considerations being ignored.

Greens Senator Larissa Waters has already raised concerns about the impact of changes to uranium approval processes.

But Mr Westra van Holthe says environmental practices will be adhered to, regardless of whether the federal or Territory governments oversee them.

Courtesy of the ABC

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