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Assessment of the Jabiluka Project : report of the Supervising Scientist to the World Heritage Committee



Assessment of the Jabiluka Project : report of the Supervising Scientist to the World Heritage Committee


Johnston, A.; Prendergast, J. B.; Bridgewater, Peter


E-Publications; E-Books; PublicationNT; Supervising Scientist Report; 138




Alligator Rivers Region

Table of contents

Main report--Appendix 2 of the Main Report. Submission to the Mission of the World Heritage Committee by some Australian Scientists ... --Attachment A. Johnston A. and Needham S. 1999. Protection of the environment near the Ranger uranium mine--Attachment B. Bureau of Meteorology 1999. Hydrometeorological analysis relevant to Jabiluka--Attachment C. Jones, R.N., Hennessy, K.J. and Abbs, D.J. 1999. Climate change analysis relevant to Jabiluka--Attachment D. Chiew, F and Wang, Q.J. 1999. Hydrological anaysis relevant to surface water storage at Jabiluka--Attachment E. Kalf, F. and Dudgeon, C. 1999. Analysis of long term groundwater dispersal of contaminants from proposed Jabiluka mine tailings repositories--Appendix 2 of Attachment E. Simulation of leaching on non-reactive and radionuclide contaminants from proposed Jabiluka silo banks.




Uranium mill tailings - Environmental aspects - Northern Territory - Alligator Rivers Region; Environmental impact analysis - Northern Territory - Jabiluka; Uranium mines and mining - Environmental aspects - Northern Territory - Jabiluka; Jabiluka - Environmental aspects

Publisher name

Environment Australia

Place of publication

Canberra (A.C.T.)


Supervising Scientist Report; 138


1 volume (various pagings) : illustrations, maps

File type






Copyright owner

Environment Australia



Parent handle


Citation address


Related items

https://hdl.handle.net/10070/462403; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/462400; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/462405; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/462406; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/462408; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/462409; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/462411

Page content

98 8 Conclusions This report has been prepared in response to the request of the World Heritage Committee that the Supervising Scientist conduct a full review of scientific issues raised by the Committees Mission to Kakadu National Park in OctoberNovember 1998. Perceived scientific uncertainty with respect to these issues had led to the Missions conclusion that the natural values of Kakadu are threatened by the Jabiluka project. It must be emphasised that this report does not purport to be a complete environmental impact assessment of the Jabiluka project. There are many environmental protection issues related to the development of Jabiluka that were not raised in the Missions report or in the decision of the World Heritage Committee. These broader issues have already been addressed in the environmental impact assessment process to which the Jabiluka project was subjected and are covered by the requirements that the Commonwealth Government imposed in granting its approval for the project to proceed. This report includes a thorough review of all of the issues raised by the World Heritage Committee and provides a detailed assessment of the risks to the wetlands of Kakadu arising from the storage of uranium ore at the surface at Jabiluka, the management of water and the storage of tailings. Before summarising the reports conclusions, it is pertinent to a provide brief comment on the environmental impact assessment process in Australia. For a project of environmental significance, any Commonwealth approvals may only be given following environmental assessment under the Commonwealths Environment Protection (Impact of Proposals) Act 1974, the EPIP Act. A similar process is also required under State or Territory legislation and, where both are required, these processes may be carried out jointly under Commonwealth and State or Territory law. The intent of the EPIP Act, and its State/Territory counterparts, is to ensure that matters affecting the environment to a significant extent are fully examined and taken into account in decisions taken by the Commonwealth and State/Territory governments. The proponent must describe the design of the project in sufficient detail that the likely environmental impact arising from the project can be adequately assessed. However, the detailed design of the project may not have been completed prior to submission of the EIS. The detailed design of the project would normally be completed after approval has been given for the project to proceed under the EPIP Act process so that any environmental conditions can be included within final design parameters. Recognition is given to the fact that each State and Territory has in place a regulatory regime under which detailed aspects of a project are assessed and specific authorisations and approvals are granted. In the case of uranium mining in the Alligator Rivers Region of the Northern Territory, specific authorisations and approvals are granted by the responsible Northern Territory Minister under the Uranium Mining (Environmental Control) Act 1979. Under the Working Arrangements agreed between the Commonwealth and Northern Territory Governments, the Supervising Scientist reviews the environmental aspects of all detailed proposals that might be the subject of such authorisations and approvals and provides advice to the Northern Territory on the environmental consequences. It is through this process that the detailed design of the Jabiluka project would be assessed and approved. Many of the issues that were raised by the report of the Mission of the World Heritage Committee come into the category of detailed design. That is, many of the issues had been identified by the Supervising Scientist and others as being issues that would need to be