Offshore mining appeal withdrawn

Friday, 12 December 2014, 5:38 pm
Press Release: Environmental Defence Society
Media Release: Offshore mining appeal withdrawn

The withdrawal of the High Court appeal by Trans Tasman Resources is not unexpected, according to the Environmental Defence Society.

“Trans Tasman Resources has obviously made a call that the appeal had little or no merit and has decided to put its resources into a fresh application,” said EDS Chairman Gary Taylor.

“This approach is consistent with our own view.

“The company’s High Court appeal was very broad which indicated an absence of a clear focused error of law. It seemed very much a “have a go at everything” appeal, in the hope that something would stick.

“The key point, which was apparent to many participants in the hearing, and to the decision-making committee, is that the ground work necessary to justify approval just hadn’t been done.

“There is nothing wrong with the legislation. It worked in the sense that an inadequate application got refused consent.

“TTR spent a lot of money, some of it not well directed, but in the end the evidence it produced at the hearing under the EEZ Act was not sufficient. More baseline research will be required to satisfy the Environmental Protection Authority that the environmental effects of what is a very large scale mining venture are acceptable if a fresh application is made.

“The decision-making committee made the right decision and indicated itself that more work was required.

“EDS is not opposed in principle to sand-mining provided it can be done responsibly and without significant harm to the marine environment.

“So we think that the company has made the right decision and we will follow its progression towards a fresh consent application with interest. At this stage our advice (for what it’s worth) would be not to rush it: the job ahead will require careful scoping and implementation and leave no gaps.

“Having sound baseline information and a full understanding of the environmental impacts is an essential pre-requisite for approvals under the new EEZ Act,” Mr Taylor concluded.

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