Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Great Aussie Hope

I just read that residents opposed to the Lynas Corp project will seek a court order from Australia to stop the refinery from operating. They were in Australia last week and had found lawyers to prepare the case to be brought to court on behalf of the Kuantan residents.

This comes after the government concluded that the project posed no radiation threat following a review by the IAEA although the nine-man panel made 11 recommendations to be met before the plant is given the green light.

The Save Malaysia Stop Lynas (SMSL) group said they were advised by Australian environmental NGOs on preventative laws that could apply against the Sydney-based mining company. One such law is the Protection of the Environment Administration Act 1991.

“Unlike Malaysia, we can take action before damage is done if we can prove that the Lynas plant will harm the environment or infringe on human rights,” their chairman Tan Bun Teet told The Malaysian Insider.

This comes on the heels of news that Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) is questioning the IAEA’s credibility, saying that they also previously approved the Asian Rare Earth (ARE) plant in Bukit Merah which was linked to a surge of birth defects and cancer in the said area. After all, the IAEA have a vested interest in the matter because they are “an agency that was set up to promote nuclear energy and lend support to the nuclear industry”.

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