DRAT Says "Drat" To Property Policy Postponement

Posted by on 29/02/2012

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Drat spokesperson Collette Spalding says HDC Mayor John Tregidga was asked by a group of Waihi residents yesterday to approach Newmont Waihi Gold and ask them to disclose their final property policy as soon as possible as residents who've been engaged in a series of meetings with the second largest mining company in the world have done so in good faith and want to know what the final draft of the property policy is.

She says "Newmont have confirmed that they have the budget necessary to implement their property policy however they now refuse to share this document with the community". Newmont Waihi Gold has instead decided to release their policy after they have lodged another application to mine under Waihi properties which means affected parties have no idea if the policy will provide protection for them, she says.

A media release sent out by Ms Spalding says residents who've been actively seeking information and expressing concern about the Correnso proposal are also surprised about the delay as they felt negotiations with Newmont had been going well, and that the property policy concept came about thanks to residents counter proposals to the company regarding their expansion plans.

Results from a survey DRAT carried out over the Christmas period confirmed the overwhelming feeling in Waihi is "we are not anti mining, if NWG are prepared to purchase the homes they effect (sic) at fair market price plus costs associated with moving, people will be comfortable with what has been proposed", however the overwhelming majority of the 160 persons surveyed by DRAT over Xmas claim that they do not want to live anywhere near underground mining, she said in her press release.

"To ask people to continue to invest in this community while a major multi national corporation sucks profits and household equity from our town is outrageous" she said. DRAT has been raising issues for the past 12 years on behalf of mine impacted residents many of whom have been advised that "the company is only doing to our community what the government has consented them to do".

"This company has itself proven over the past 12 years they cannot be trusted, they say one thing and do another, it's no wonder most of them live out of Waihi with all major decisions being made for the Waihi community in Perth or Denver, in homes that are no doubt safe from the effects they impose on others", Collette said. "Many are now further burdened by the process of having to appeal to the environment court".

Collette also said DRAT have been informed by the Environment Court that concerned residents are now able to issue a Form 33 "notice of persons wishing to be party to proceedings" with the environment court, section 274 of the RMA 1991, if they did not manage to lodge formal objection to the Martha Exploration Project.

"Lodging this notice will allow the environment court to consider your experience with current consent conditions before they are allowed to continue before making it's decision about future acceptable consent conditions for this and any future variations to the Martha mine license" said Distressed Residents Action Team spokesperson Collette Spalding.

"It is vital residents provide as much information to the court as possible at this stage about how the current consent conditions have failed in the past so as the court can ensure the types of concerns residents have raised to date do not continue to occur in the future said Collette, who claims many people still do not fully understand the proposal or the processes required to influence the decision. DRAT's workshop will ensure residents concerns can finally be heard by the people (environment court) who can actually help, but they cannot make fully informed decisions if we the community do not fully inform them of how this industry has effected the residential environment and now future security" she said.