Weatherill happy to widen Olympic Dam mine bill scrutiny, ABC News October 28, 2011 South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill says he would be happy for groups opposed to the planned Olympic Dam mining expansion to put evidence to a special parliamentary committee.
It sat on Thursday to examine legislation which will enact the Olympic Dam indenture. The Greens say they managed to get the proceedings opened to the public, but said the committee was a farce because the three witnesses who appeared were all in favour of the mining expansion near outback Roxby Downs in South Australia.
Mr Weatherill said he would not be opposed to other groups having a say.”That’s a matter for the committee but I think we want to make this an open process as we can,” he said….
Greens leader Mark Parnell was upset the only parties invited before the parliamentary inquiry were proponents of the expansion; BHP Billiton, the Chamber of Mines and the Olympic Dam task force. He accused the SA Government and Opposition of colluding to make sure the committee only heard from those who favoured the mining project.
After the hearing, the Greens said BHP Billiton had been given an easy ride. Mr Parnell says it was a one-sided affair with little real scrutiny.
“The questions asked of BHP Billiton were about as soft as they get,” he said. ”This is a multi-billion-dollar project that will go for 100 years or more and a lot of the committee’s time was wasted talking about boggy roads and grey nomads.http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-10-27/conservationists-to-testify-over-olympic-mine/3604936