Miners fury over laws for ‘nature’

Article by Angira Bharadwaj courtesy of the Daily Telegraph.

The mining sector is up in arms about Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek’s “nature positive plan” with claims it will derail mining projects and halt the government’s own clean energy revolution. Ms Plibersek is seeking to push changes in Australia’s environment protection laws, as part of the government’s nature positive plan.

The draft changes are being discussed behind closed doors with select stakeholders in confidential briefings. The proposed changes have prompted concerns from the Minerals Council that the laws could delay the mining of critical minerals needed for federal minister Chris Bowen’s clean energy revolution while the state body claims it will add even more red tape to projects.

The plan aims to create an environment protection regulator and legally enforceable environmental standards. The changes are also expected to protect threatened species and biodiversity offsets. Minerals Council of Australia boss Tania Constable said the laws could also “put a handbrake” on the production of critical minerals required for Australia’s transition to clean energy.

Many clean energy sources require minerals like cobalt, nickel, lithium and copper to be mined. Gina Rinehart’s right hand man, Hancock Agriculture boss Adam Giles, blasted Ms Plibersek for running the meetings behind closed doors and without input from farmers and smaller operators. “Any substantial delays on approvals of those critical mineral assets will slow down the nation’s transition to Net Zero,” Ms Constable said.

“We need those critical minerals out of the ground, given they form major components of the renewable energy infrastructure that will take us to Net Zero.” Ms Plibersek said she will take “everyone’s feedback into account” and the government was working “methodically” to balance the needs of business and nature.

HanRoy is part of Hancock Prospecting

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