The Australian Government is prepared to abandon all responsibility for regulating the uranium industry, in direct contradiction to written commitments given by Environment Minister Greg Hunt.
In May 2013, then opposition environment spokesperson Greg Hunt said the Commonwealth would retain control over decisions involving nuclear matters and projects for which state governments are likely to have a significant conflict of interest as the proponent - both of which would cover uranium mining.
"This morning his views were flatly contradicted by his own Department. Either the Minister lied to the public, or his Department didn't get the memo. Which is it?" asked Senator Ludlam.
"There is a reason why the Commonwealth was given the power to protect communities and the environment from the uranium industry - it is because the states don't have the capacity to manage the extreme contamination risks."
"In WA, the Esperance lead contamination scare and the EPA's conflict of interest debacle over James Price Point has destroyed confidence in the EPA.
"The Greens will take all necessary actions in the Parliament to ensure that oversight over this most dangerous of industries is increased, not watered down."
VIDEO - Senator Scott Ludlam at today's Senate Estimates questioning the Department of Environment on uranium mining approvals: http://scott-ludlam.greensmps.org.au/content/estimates/wa-uranium-mining...