The Review of Environmental Factors is on public display and we recommend that any one interested in the future of the opal industry should have a look at it and advise the government of their comments before the end of the month. We believe it is available for viewing at the local Mineral Resources office.
There are several recommendations contained in the report that will have dire consequences for the industry. One of the major recommendations is that additional studies on flora and fauna are required prior to opening up OPA 4. This is based on the consultantsí incorrect assertion that miners have heavily cleared land and the obvious plug for the continuing employment of environmental consultants.
Other recommendations include revegetating mineral claims prior to being cancelled and not receiving the security bond back until 75% of the plants have survived; planting ten trees for every one knocked down; appointing an environmental/aboriginal liaison officer paid for by a levy on miners; completing an environmental checklist prior to having a mineral claim granted which includes such things as counting the number of trees on the claim and measuring the trunk diameter; increasing the size of a mineral claim; increasing the security bond; and a no go area of three kilometres from the boundary of the Narran Lake Nature Reserve.
The LRMA office is happy to supply a copy of the summary to members. So we suggest you have a look at it and if you are not happy please write to the Minister.