RESPONSE FROM SAVE OUR JARRAH to the EPA Pinjarra Alumina Refinery Revised Proposal
The proposal involves further expanding the Huntly Mine over sections of high-quality upland Jarrah forest east of Dwellingup (Holyoak) and South East of Jarrahdale (so-called “Myara North” – the area that the Jarrahdale Forest Protectors protect).
The proposal is to clear “no more than 6700 hectares of native vegetation.” This is a massive clearing of beautiful, biodiverse forest and habitat on Perth’s doorstep and would be in addition to the dozens and of hills over a large area that has already been mined at Huntly over previous decades, and also the mining further south at Willowdale, to the east at Mount Saddleback and the Marradong “Timber” Reserve, as well as at the original mine north of Jarrahdale.
The Huntly Mine clearing is extensive and is visible from Google maps satellite view. Some of the clearings are kilometres wide and many people do not realise how big an issue this is. The fact that their lease area covers such a huge area should not be used to hide the fact that they mine, or intend to mine, a high proportion of the best of our Jarrah forest. But it does not have to be that way and it hasn’t happened yet.
Jarrahdale is an increasingly popular recreation destination close to Perth and an expansion of mining into this area would destroy and fragment Jarrahdale’s remnant beautiful and biodiverse high-quality Jarrah forests, severely limiting the quantity and quality of recreational opportunities like hiking and just being out there. This area is already bounded by the very large Huntly Mine to the south of the Serpentine Dam, and the historic bauxite mining to the north and northeast,some of which has been revegetated either with non-native species or are the result of early experimental attempts with native species which are too dense and are rough post-mining terrain.
This expansion would be relatively small compared to the current large size of the Huntly Mine but for Jarrahdale it would mean the destruction and fragmentation of the remaining forest which has been a vital part of its history.
The proposed area is also home to threatened species as which are subject to cumulative impacts of frequent fire in an altered ecosystem, logging, mining and climate change.
Public Environmental Review is the only logical published option versus the “no public review” and lesser option the profound changes and scaling up of the overall project since inception years ago – especially the shift to direct exports and much-increased rate of mining – the appropriate course now should be a full new Environmental Review & Management Program (ERMP).