David Templeman

David Templeman

Minister for the Environment; Climate Change; Peel

Tough conditions mean more work before proposal gets green light

17/01/2008 4:00 PM

Environment Minister David Templeman today announced that Magellan Metals must implement a raft of tough conditions before the shipment of containerised lead through Fremantle could proceed.

Mr Templeman accepted the recommendations of the Environmental Protection Authority in December last year that the shipment could proceed under a number of strict conditions, but considered that extra conditions were needed to ensure the protection of the community.

“As a result I have demanded the company accept and comply with a number of conditions before I will allow the proposal to proceed,” he said.

“These conditions are unprecedented for any proposal and are beyond world best practice.”

They are:
  • lodgement of a $5million bond;
  • the appointment of an independent auditor approved by the Minister and funded by Magellan to inspect each bag and container at the mine and the port;
  • the completion of a comprehensive health, hygiene and environmental management plan to be prepared to the requirement of the Minister, on advice from the Department of Health, the Department of Consumer and Employment Protection, the Department of Industry and Resources and the Department of Environment and Conservation; and
  • baseline testing to be conducted along the route prior to the first movement of lead and then regularly after that.
In addition, the following conditions must be adhered to:
  • the lead must be sealed inside double-laminated bulk bags at the mine site, vacuumed to remove any dust and then locked inside shipping containers;
  • every bag and container to be inspected and verified at the mine and the port;
  • the installation of dust monitors in randomly selected containers by the independent auditor at the mine and checked at the port for the presence of dust;
  • monitoring reports and independent auditor reports to be published and reported to the Fremantle Port Authority’s Inner Harbour Community Liaison Group;
  • Magellan subject to a full performance review after the first 18 months, to determine whether the shipments can continue; and
  • Magellan’s chief executive must personally sign off on environmental compliance under the State Government’s tough accountability measures.
Mr Templeman said he would not allow the proposal to proceed until these conditions were met.

The Minister also made it clear that, given the company’s record, he and the Director General of the Department of Environment and Conservation would not hesitate to use the powers available under the Environmental Protection Act 1986 to require the operation to cease at short notice.

Mr Templeman said these conditions would ensure that what occurred in Esperance would not be repeated.

“We have learned our lessons from what happened in Esperance and the differences between this proposal and what occurred there are stark,” he said.

“At Esperance there was bulk loading of a drier material in an open conveyer system. The material was transported in loosely covered bins. Such a proposal would never be approved today.

“This proposal means the lead is locked away at the mine site and it stays that way.

“The Carpenter Government has also provided additional annual funding of $1.3million to the Department of Environment and Conservation for compliance monitoring to ensure projects like these are subject to the scrutiny the community expects.

“I concede that DEC and this company have a huge task ahead to regain the confidence of the community and I am satisfied they will be able to do that through the proper management of this project.

“These tough conditions take into account the concerns expressed by the local member, the Mayor and the community and they will ensure that what happened in Esperance cannot happen again.

“This is a decision I have not taken lightly but I am satisfied that if these conditions are agreed to and adhered to that this can be done safely without any risk to the community.”

A relevant fact sheet is attached.

Minister's Office - 9220 5050