Mine project opponents unhappy at prospect of having to pay for hard copy EES document

OPPONENTS of the Fingerboards mine project at Glenaladale are outraged Kalbar will charge a fee for its long-awaited Environmental Effects Statement, and have asked the Planning Minister and the Department of Land, Water, Environment and Planning to intervene.

A Minefree Glenaladale spokeswoman said the group felt it would be “unfair” for the community to have to pay for hard copies of Kalbar’s EES, as it could be a financial barrier to reviewing the project and making submissions.

Under the current COVID-19 restrictions, Kalbar has announced that it was “unlikely” there will be hard copies of EES documents available to view at local libraries and government offices, as was normally the case during EES exhibition.

However, a Kalbar spokesman said fees charged for EES documents were not a Kalbar decision, but were up to Planning Minister Richard Wynne.

He said the company was waiting on the minister’s advice on any costs associated with EES hard copies and as soon as it was received, Kalbar would notify the public of the details.

“We continue to work with the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning to finalise the details and procedures for the EES public exhibition and public access to copies of the exhibited EES documents,” he said.

The Minefree Glenaladale spokeswoman said AGL had not charged a fee for the EES documents on the gas import jetty at Crib Point, which was more than 8000 pages.

Kalbar told ABC radio recently that the EES statement would be released for public submissions in July, but the documents have not been released.

In a statement, Kalbar’s chief executive Jozsef Patarica said releasing the EES this month was “looking highly unlikely”.

According to Kalbar’s Bulletin emailed on Thursday night, the EES hasn’t been finished yet, and the adequacy review by DELWP was still underway.