Environmentalists and Aboriginal activists gathered at the steps of Parliament on Thursday to protest against the upcoming uranium mining projects approved by the previous government.
Despite the Labor Government honoured its promise of banning uranium mining, four projects that were approved by the former Barnett Government will be going ahead despite the change.
Anti Uranium mining protester, Kerrie-Anne Garlick from the Conservation Council of WA, argued that the decision to allow uranium mining in WA is a broken promise.
She labelled the move as a disappointment for the environment and aboriginal communities who were not consulted prior to the mines approval.
“Our major concern is that this is a large environmental issue and it’s a big concern, not only because of the risks involved, not only environmental risks but economic risks,” she said.
Minster for Mines and Petroleum, Bill Johnston, says the ban supports the Labor election promise to block future applications to mine uranium in WA.
“No it’s clearly not a broken promise, this is exactly what we said we would do,” said Mr Johnston.
“We’ve had advice that we are unable to prevent the four projects that were approved by the last government for proceeding, if they are financially viable to do so,”
Mr Johnston also said if the government cancelled the approvals, they would be able to take legal action against the government, which could include uncapped damages.
“The government has acted that all new mining leases issued will have a no uranium mining clause, so there will be no other uranium mines proposed in western Australia while there’s a labor government,” he said.