Release Roxby EIS Now

Greens MLC Mark Parnell has called on BHP Billiton to release the
Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the hundred year multi billion
Olympic Dam expansion, after it was revealed that “the largest document
ever printed in this state” which was “being printed as we speak” would
not be released until May 1 for only an 8 week consultation period.

“Although it has taken years to prepare, BHP Billiton and the SA
Government expect interested South Australians to read and respond to
the largest document ever printed in this state, describing a hundred
year project with thousands of pages of detailed analysis, in just
days,” said Greens MLC Mark Parnell.

“In fact, the SA public were given a longer time to have their say on
changes to caravan park zoning, or a new shopping centre in Victor
Harbor, than for the biggest development by far in South Australia’s
history,” he said.

According to BHP Billiton’s website, the Olympic Dam expansion EIS
public consultation period will be only 8 weeks. To put that into
perspective, recent SA Government public consultation periods include:

  • Encounter Bay Shopping Centre nine weeks
    (19/11/08 to 22/01/09)
  • Caravan Park Zoning ten weeks
    (13/12/07 to 21/02/08)
  • Victoria Park Grandstand three months
    (20/12/06 to 30/03/07)
  • Port Augusta Draft Structure Plan three months
    (closes 20/03/09)

Last night in State Parliament, Mineral Resources Minister Paul Holloway

There is currently an environmental impact statement (which is being
printed as we speak) by BHP Billiton……I believe that will be
released on 1 May and it will be the largest document ever printed in
this state when it is prepared.

In response, Greens MLC Mark Parnell will introduce a Private Member’s
Bill into State Parliament to increase the public consultation period to
a minimum of 12 weeks.

“The SA Government has had the EIS since Christmas. BHP Billiton has
been actively working on this project for years, yet South Australians
will only have 40 working days. What’s the point of public consultation
if it is so rushed that no-one can properly respond? Frankly, it’s
insulting to the many experts in SA interested in this project,” Mr
Parnell said.

“The Olympic Dam expansion will have an extraordinary ongoing impact on
SA’s job market, water and energy supply and social fabric. I call on
the Rann Government to treat the SA public with respect and give them a
decent chance to have a say in their future,” he said.

For further comment contact Craig Wilkins on 0434 007 893