3 March 2007
The Halt the Salt campaign to stop the world's largest salt mine
from being built on the sensitive eastern edge of the Exmouth Gulf
continues to attract widespread support.
There has been a high level of backing for the Alliance from members
of the public, during the Environmental Protection Authority’s
public comment period which closes on March 12.
To date 1220 submissions have already been made to the EPA, which
demonstrates the community is significantly concerned about the
impact of Straits Resources’ proposed project on the delicate
environment within the Exmouth Gulf.
Straits recently announced to the Australian Stock Exchange that
its proposed salt mine would have a minimal impact on the environment
– a statement the Alliance views as seriously misleading.
The Alliance also recently released a media statement with regard
to the devastating impact the project would have on existing, valued
industries in the Exmouth region.
Sustainable industries worth $165 annually threatened by
proposed salt mine.
The Halt the Salt Alliance has expressed concern that Straits proposed
salt mine could threaten Exmouth’s $165m a year income generation
from its existing eco-tourism, aquaculture, commercial and recreational
The Alliance said the pristine nature of the marine environment
at the Exmouth Gulf – which currently creates 300 jobs –
could be at ‘risk’ if the project received approval.
The proposed salt mine would potentially secure an average ten-year
salt price of $23/tonne, which is seen to be a poor return compared
to local products such as pearls and prawns which relied on the
existing environment for their ongoing viability.
The millions of dollars spent each year by Australian and international
visitors to WA’s unique coral coast would also be under threat
by the proposed salt mine.
Fishing and aquaculture are highly dependent on the maintenance
of high water quality and of the natural ecological processes driving
marine productivity and these activities would also be placed at
risk by the proposed project.
The Alliance also questioned if it was worth the risk to existing
industries to possibly gain a net economic benefit of $65 million
in 25 years time when Straits' proposal may reach full production.
Public comment deadline fast approaching
Public submissions on Straits Resources ‘Environmental Review
and Management Program’ (ERMP) for the proposed salt mine
will close on Monday March 12.
The Western Australian Environmental Protection Authority and
Straits Resources recently bowed to public pressure to extend the
community consultation period for an extra two weeks.
The scientific community has previously showed its concern with
regard to the various proposals contained in the ERMP.
Many individuals, research bodies, educational institutions and
commercial ventures have close associations with the region and
have worked in and studied this unique marine environment for many
It is equally important that scientific arguments are supported
by the concerns of members of other community groups and the general
public who live or visit the region, have an affinity with it or
simply care about the environment we will be leaving future generations.
So if you are keen to comment on the project, please ensure you
submit a submission to the EPA before Monday March 12.
We have made this easy for you by providing a pro-forma submission
to which we encourage you to add your own comments.
Campaign brochure still available
The Halt the Salt Alliance information
brochure is still available for interested members of the public
and continues to be widely distributed throughout the State.
The four-page brochure features a striking image on the front
of floodwaters from Cyclone Bobby in 1995 which clearly illustrates
that the eastern side of the Gulf is one delta system that relies
on these heavy rainfall events for vital nutrient flow.
The failure to understand and acknowledge the linkage between
its project footprint and the natural nutrient system recharging
the Gulf is one of the fatal flaws in Straits' plans.
The brochure explains how the productivity of the Gulf is achieved,
what the impact of the massive project would be on the marine environment
and how you can become involved in the campaign.
The brochure can be viewed
or downloaded or you will be able to pick up a copy at many
locations around the State or through any of the Alliance's affiliated
What you can do to support the campaign
Growing numbers of people from Australia and overseas, determined
to help protect this unique environment, are making their views
known to the Western Australian Government via the pro-forma
Personalised letters, faxes or phone calls to politicians are
also very important and the Alliance website has a full list of
Another good way of putting your views across is to write a Letter
to the Editor and again the Alliance has details of how to make
contact with the State’s
major newspapers or you can spread the word via your own local
If you haven’t seen a campaign information brochure you
can download a copy from this
site or contact one of the Alliance affiliated bodies.
You can find out more about the extensive support for the campaign
by visiting the About
Us and Links
sections on the website.
Email your friends and
associates asking them to participate.