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Further update on this issue


The Environmental Protection Authority and Straits Resources have bowed to public pressure and extended the period of community consultation on the Yannarie Solar Salt Project for a further two weeks until March 12. See our letter of 2 January 2007 below.

The decision to extend the deadline is a clear acknowledgement by the EPA that the community does have major, legitimate concerns over the environmental risks associated with this massive project.

The short extension will provide more time for the community to compile and present its detailed, scientific arguments to the regulatory authority.

Tuesday, 2 January 2007

Letter to:

Dr W. Cox
Environmental Protection Authority

cc: Minister for the Environment

Dear Dr Cox,


The partners in the Halt the Salt Campaign are somewhat perplexed by the EPA’s management of this assessment.

The Authority has set 12 weeks for public comment on the ERMP from 4 December to 26 February. This effectively removes about 6 weeks from respondents given that the public service, universities and other sources of official or expert assistance are functionally inoperative through Christmas, New Year and most of the school holiday period.

The Authority then allows the proponent to delay submitting three supplementary reports to the first half of 2007 and then allows a separate 4 weeks public comment specifically on these.

One assumes the supplementary reports contain material supporting assertions made about environmental impacts in the ERMP, otherwise there would be no point in having them.

If that is the case these documents should have been provided with the ERMP at the time of release so that the ERMP could be properly assessed. These documents apparently don’t relate to a supplementary project but are reports related to the project being considered in the ERMP.

One assumes that it would not be efficient for the EPA to assess the ERMP until it has the supplementary reports it has called for. Therefore the EPA would not be ready to commence its assessment until mid-2007. Why then must un-resourced respondents, with families and day jobs, be required to provide submissions for the 26 February 2007 necessitating having to work on it over the Christmas break. Indeed this very correspondence has been finalised on Christmas Eve!

In our view, the practice of allowing unprepared proponents to provide 'supplementary reports' that are relevant to their assessments after the main submission periods have commenced is unacceptable and should be stamped out. The power balance between proponents and respondents continues to be unfairly skewed in the favor of proponents more than a year after the State Government was clearly critical of such an approach in the context of the Gorgon assessment [1]

The Halt the Salt Alliance requests that current public assessment period be cancelled and replaced with one of 10 weeks post the release of the 'supplementary reports' .

[1] See Minister Ravlich’s answer (on behalf of the then Minister for Environment, Dr Judy Edwards) to Giz Watson MLC’s Legislative Council question without notice (of which some notice was given) number 584 of 2005

Yours sincerely

John Baas, Convenor – ‘Halt the Salt’

(Contact: [email protected])


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