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Greens' hearing against Tarkine mine begins

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A hearing for Greens group Save the Tarkine’s legal bid against mining in the Tarkine has started in Hobart.

The challenge is against the approval of Venture Minerals’ Riley Creek mine proposal by the Environmental Protection Authority.

The conservation group, officially known as the Tarkine National Coalition, claim the approval was unsound and void, the ABC reported.

The group has appealed to the Planning Appeals Tribunal.

Save the Tarkine lodged the appeal against Riley Creek near Tullah with the Resource Management and Planning Appeals Tribunal in early June.

Save the Tarkine recently won an appeal to stop Shree Minerals’ controversial Circular Head mine in a Melbourne court.

This decision could have essentially ended Shree’s Nelson Bay River iron ore mine.

The group lodged a case in the Federal Court in April demanding Burke review his decision of approving the mine.

The court proceedings commenced earlier this month. The Federal Court handed an injunction against Shree Minerals at the proposed mine in May.

Spokesman Scott Jordan said the EPA failed to fully gauge the effects of the Riley Creek mine.

“What it actually did was only assess the Riley Creek impact and we’re arguing that they breach their own project assessment guidelines in this project and the whole thing should be sent back.”

Biologist Nick Mooney undertook a threatened species survey for Venture Minerals. He told the tribunal the devil facial tumour disease may be evident at Riley Creek but it has not been proven.

He added the endangered devils would be able to tolerate a 10 per cent rise in their natural mortality rate.

The Riley Creek iron ore mine is on the verge of obtaining two other mining leases. It will generate 60 jobs and the mine’s natural life is two years.

Jordan said previously that while environmental groups did not create environmental laws, they would ensure it was enforced.

"It shouldn't be up to environmental groups to force the nation's environment minister to comply with the Act," Jordan said.

"Let's hope the message has been received that it is not OK for Minister's to take shortcuts to push through mining in the Tarkine and if they do the decisions will be challenged."

A pro-mining rally to show support for the mining industry was held in May, drawing over 2000 people in Tullah.

Premier Lara Giddings said the rally was ‘the biggest pro-mining rally ever in Tasmania’.

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