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    Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection and Minister for National Parks and the Great Barrier Reef
    The Honourable Steven Miles

    Queensland Nickel environmental authority approved

    Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection and Minister for National Parks and the Great Barrier Reef
    The Honourable Steven Miles

    Friday, March 11, 2016

    Queensland Nickel environmental authority approved

    The Queensland Government has approved the transfer of Queensland Nickel’s environmental authority (EA) to Queensland Nickel Sales Pty Ltd, the new operator of the Yabulu nickel refinery north of Townsville.

    Environment Minister Dr Steven Miles said the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection approved the transfer of the EA today (11 March) at 11.30 am.

    “I asked the department to expedite the application to have the EA formerly held by the refinery’s administrators transferred to Queensland Nickel Sales so there were no environmental impediments to the plant’s continuing operation,” Dr Miles said.

    “I trust Mr Palmer now does the right thing by his workers and ensures their employment is as protected as it can be in the circumstances.

    “EA transfers can be a relatively simply process if done correctly and are not uncommon in the minerals sector – and I say again that I am surprised Mr Palmer either was not aware that the EA transfer was needed or did not care to ensure it was in place before having a new company take over the refinery.

    “It is also a pity that because of this oversight refinery workers had additional cause for concern about their livelihoods.”

    EHP contacted Queensland Nickel Sales earlier this week to make the company aware of its legal responsibilities in obtaining an EA to operate the refinery.

    EA transfer applications are made in accordance with section 253 of the Environmental Protection Act 1994.

    An EA holder is also required to be a registered suitable operator in accordance with the provisions of the Act.

    On 09 March Queensland Nickel Sales made the necessary applications for such registration and the transfer of the existing EA to occur.

    “Among other things, the EA transferred to Queensland Nickel Sales sets environmental standards for air, water, regulated structures, noise, land and rehabilitation.

    “The EA imposes strict conditions on the refinery’s operations that ensure the safety of the surrounding environment, including the Great Barrier Reef.

    “As with all businesses in Queensland that hold EAs, monitoring and reporting systems are in place to ensure these standards and conditions are complied with,” Dr Miles said.

    ENDS

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