Jim Green, 14 May 12, The Ben Lomond uranium (and molybdenum) deposit is located 50 kms west of Townsville. It is owned by Mega Uranium, which purchased it in 2005
As at May 2012, Mega Uranium was undertaking prefeasibility studies with a view to determining the project economics, the preferred mining and processing options and the key steps in mine development. The recently-elected Liberal National Party state government has thus far maintained previous government policy of banning uranium mining, but Mega Uranium is betting on a change of policy.
Far-right pro-uranium federal MP Bob Katter had this to say in Parliament on 1 November 2005:
” there is a limit to the dangers we will accept. In the case of Ben Lomond, the company said that there had been no spill. The government agency—the forebears of what we now call the Environmental Protection Agency—also said that there had been no spill. That was for the first three or four weeks. When further evidence was disclosed, they said, firstly, that there had been a spill but the level of radiation was not dangerous and, secondly, that it had not reached the water system from which 210,000 people drank.
For the next two or three weeks they held out with that story. Further evidence was produced in which they admitted that it had been a dangerous level. Yes, it was about 10,000 times higher than what the health agencies in Australia regarded as an acceptable level. After six weeks, we got rid of lie number 2. I think it was at about week 8 or week 12 when, as a state member of parliament, I insisted upon going up to the site. Just before I went up to the site, the company admitted—remember, it was not just the company but also the agency set up by the government to protect us who were telling lies—that the spill had reached the creek which ran into the Burdekin River, which provided the drinking water for 210,000 people. We had been told three sets of lies over a period of three months.
So I say to the people of the Northern Territory: make sure that ordinary people have some sort of oversighting mechanism. Do not leave it up to the government or its officials. They will dance to the tune played by whatever piper is in charge money-wise or politically. They will not answer to the tune of protecting the people. That has been my experience.”