The Greens have asked the Auditor-General to investigate the approval of the Yeelirrie uranium mine in Western Australia by former federal environment minister Melissa Price, after a damning ABC report this week showed a deeply flawed approval process.
Greens Environment Spokesperson Senator Sarah Hanson-Young wrote to the Auditor-General Grant Hehir on Thursday and requested his office consider the matter (letter attached).
“The Morrison Government’s conduct when it comes to approval of this uranium mine stinks. Former environment minister Melissa Price, ticked and flicked the night before the 2019 federal election against the advice of her own department,” Senator Hanson-Young said.
“The environmental approval of this mine smacks of political interference and cronyism.
“FOI documents show that somehow between 9.31pm and midnight, the minister managed to examine hundreds of pages of the decision package she had just received, remove key protections for threatened species and grant approval.
“The minister went against her own department’s advice and did so after the company had asked her to expedite the process together with former resources minister Matt Canavan who also intervened to get the approval across the line.
“It seems we have yet another case of an environment-wrecking project riddled with improper process, going against department advice and with political interference all on PM Morrison’s watch. The Auditor-General’s scathing report in June last year showed potentially hundreds of cases such as this exist. It is no wonder we are in an extinction crisis.
“The Morrison Government cannot keep getting away with doing favours for its mining and development mate or our wildlife and wild places will all soon be gone.”