Halt the salt campaign launched in Exmouth
By Kate Matthews
ABC Rural original article http://www.abc.net.au:80/rural/wa/content/2005/s1490473.htm
The mining industry and environmental groups are bumping heads
again in the North West, this time over a proposed solar salt project
off Exmouth. In fact, the fishing sector, both amateur and professional,
have also joined forces with the green lobby to fight the project.
"Halt the Salt" is a catch phrase you may be hearing a
lot more of in coming weeks.
The catchy slogan is the name of a campaign that's been launched
by the WA fishing industry to oppose a proposed solar salt project
off Exmouth in the state's north west. Perth-based miner Straits
Resources is proposing a 10 million tonne per year salt operation
off the eastern shore of the Exmouth Gulf. The proposed project
would cover an area of 25,000 hectares and those in the region's
fishing industry say the size of the project is of big concern.
Rhett Brans is the project manager for Straits and says opposition
to the development is based on fiction and the impact on the Gulf
will be minimal. He says Straits has engaged some of Australia's
leading environmental experts in the project and says when the environmental
management plan is put forward the public will see an environmentally
sound project. The 'Halt the Salt' campaign is the work of an unusual
The Conservation Council of WA has joined forces with fishing bodies
the MG Kalis Group and RecFishWest to oppose what they say is a
huge threat to the government and the social fabric of the region.
Frank Prokop from RecFishWest says recreational fishers contribute
$10 million to the region annually and if the salt project goes
ahead both recreational and commercial fishing areas will be minimised.
Straits will present its environmental protection authority for
review next week.
After examination by the EPA the plan will become available for
In this report: Rhett Brans, Straits Resources;
Frank Prokop, Rec Fish West.