The Amateur Fishermen’s Association of the NT (AFANT) today welcomed the Independent Monitors Environmental Performance Annual Report on the McArthur River Mine.
“The report has highlighted a number of concerns that AFANT has had with the McArthur River Mine and the Department’s management and regulation of mining activity over recent years.
We also welcome both McArthur River Mine and the Department of Mines and Energy accepting the report and committing to address what are significant shortcomings in both the management of the mine and the regulation of their operations.
The report has highlighted some serious risks and issues of concern with the risk of acid mine drainage and other pollution from the site.
The company made a significant underestimation on the percentage of waste rock that was potentially acid or metalliferous drainage producing on site which is causing serious challenges to the management of the mine site and the waste rock dump.
In their EIS MRM argued around 10% of the waste rock on site needed special management; this has now been raised to 80% of all the waste rock on site that could cause long term pollution problems if not managed properly.
The report also highlights problems with pollution seeping from the tailings storage facilities on site as well as poor water management in these facilities.
The report has also outlined that in 2013 – 9 out of 10 fish sampled in Barney Creek were above the ANZFSC guidelines for the permitted lead levels in the same site; in 2012 – 2 out of 4 rainbow fish and one Cherabin were over the ANZFSC guidelines for the permitted lead levels.
A number of high readings in fish and shell fish were reported across the region raising other issues of concern regarding high background levels of lead and other metals in the area.
The Department of Mines and Energy came under particular focus in the report, highlighting poor performance as the regulator and manager of mine sites and operations.
AFANT has had concerns for a number of years regarding that apparent lack of action by the Department when mines operate in a manner that either pollutes or puts our waters at risk and it seems that only when these issues are publicised that any action is taken.
The recommendations of the report must be implemented by both the company and the government if the community and recreational fishers are to have any confidence in mining operations in the Territory in the future.”Warren de With said
The Amateur Fishermen’s Association of the NT (AFANT) has provided comments to the Mary River National Park Joint Management Plan.
“The Mary River National Park and surrounding waterways contain one of the Territory’s most important recreational fisheries which offers the full diversity of landscapes and fishing experiences available in the Top End. ” AFANT President Warren de With said today.
“In our submission AFANT has provided comments on a range of issues including weeds and pests, floodplain barrages, crocodile management and improving access.
AFANT strongly supports the protecting and improving fishing access rights in the Mary River National Park. AFANT has made it clear that the plan needs to provide increased and improved access to the park and its waterways. With increased population pressures around Darwin it is important that fishing pressure on popular fishing sites is well managed. One way of achieving this is increasing access and spreading the recreational fishing effort in the NT as this adds to the fishing experience and opportunities.
We have specifically noted the opportunities that exist within the park for opening up new areas to fishing, particularly on the areas currently leased by Marrakai Station in the Mary River conservation reserve. As the lease will expire during the life of the plan we are strongly of the view that the licence to graze this area should not be re-issued without access arrangements for the important recreational fishing areas.
We welcome the acknowledgment on improving access in the draft plan particularly the proposal to upgrade the Point Stuart road access as well as identifying the need for a new boat ramp on the lower Mary River. Improving access to these areas would be welcomed as a real positive for recreational anglers and will significantly improve access to both Chambers and Finke Bays.
AFANT looks forward to working with traditional owners and parks management on the implementation of positive outcomes for recreational fishers.” AFANT President Warren de With said.