WRAP media release - 15 October 2020
Prison proposal predictably stalls at first hurdle
The Government's proposed drilling on the reserve near Westbury has hit its first stumbling block with the Commonwealth Government stepping in to put a halt to geotechnical drilling on the site until a proper assessment on the nearby wedged-tail eagles has been done.
"We have repeatedly warned the State Government that they need to be 100% certain that there is zero impact on wedged-tail eagles when undertaking any activity on this site. Unfortunately, it has taken Commonwealth intervention to ensure a more robust process."
The intervention of the Commonwealth comes after the proposed drilling was referred to the Department of the Environment by a member of the public as a matter requiring Commonwealth assessment.
"If the Department of Justice had turned its mind to the applicable Commonwealth legislation, it would have known that this type of activity in eagle breeding season ought to have been something referred to the Commonwealth for guidance. It chose not to do so, leaving it up to the public to alert Minister Ley.
The Commonwealth's call for a proper environmental assessment shows that the Tasmanian Government has failed to take all necessary precautions.
The Department of Justice will now be forced to ascertain whether wedged-tail eagles are in fact using the nest to properly assess the proposed impact. This should have been done before the drilling was even contemplated.
We are very relieved at the Commonwealth's intervention which is obviously necessary given the utterly reckless and shambolic approach the Government takes to everything it does in connection with this prison.
President, WRAP Inc