Saturday, 3 December 2011

Sydney : Lynas Out Of Malaysia, Stop Exporting A Toxic Legacy !

MEDIA RELEASE
Wednesday 30 November  2011

Lynas Out Of Malaysia: Stop Exporting A Toxic Legacy
SYDNEY. In this morning, a protest in solidarity with the Save Malaysia, Stop Lynas! Campaign took outside Australian rare earth mining company, Lynas' Annual General Meeting in Sydney.
The protest voices concerns about the potential toxic and hazardous impacts on the lives and livelihoods of local communities in Malaysia which  would include a waste stream containing 106 tonnes of radioactive thorium and 5.6 tonnes of uranium and the fact that there has been no consent from the local communities surrounding the plant for the operation to go ahead.

Aimee Bull-McMahon, from Friends of the Earth Sydney said, “We are outside the Lynas shareholder meeting today to demand Lynas to get out of Malaysia.” 
“Communities should have access to free, independent and accessible information before a decision is made about mining or any other developments that threaten their lives and livelihoods and also have the right and freedom to say yes or no.”
On 4th August 2011 Lynas opened their Mt Weld rare earth mine in the Northern Goldfields of Western Australia. Lynas wants to export the rare earth ore out of Fremantle to Kuantan, Malaysia. The controversial Lynas Advanced Materials Plant (LAMP) is the target of the largest environmental justice action in the history of Malaysia with opposition from thousands of local community, environment groups, the Malaysian Medical Association and the Bar Council (the association of lawyers in Malaysia).


Wen Kheng Ooi, a Malaysian diaspora living in Australia with relatives in Kuantan who will be affected by the pollution from the Lynas' rare earth plant if the project goes ahead said, “I am protesting at the Lynas AGM because I do not want to see Malaysia being used as a toxic waste dump for Lynas. I have relatives living close to the plant. They will be directly affected by the radioactive waste from the Lynas plant if the project goes ahead."

"I owe it to my relatives in Kuantan to tell Lynas to get out of Malaysia. It is not right for Lynas send radioactive rare earth concentrate to Malaysia to be processed when Lynas should have stayed in Australia and stick to the stricter environmental requirements of Western Australia."
Jade Lee, spokesperson for the community organisation SMSL  in Malaysia said, “We formed SMSL within weeks to provide a platform and avenues for residents to campaign against the plant. We were never consulted about the project. Malaysia does not have a good track record in managing pollution."
"We will fight till the end to stop the project. We are doing this for our family and the future generations. It is unacceptable for Lynas to simply dump it's toxic waste here in Malaysia to contaminate our land and our food chain"

"Lynas still have not produced a decent long term waste management plan, the plant will. We do not want radioactive waste in our backyard."
Ms Bull-McMahon, “Where is the exact site which has been chosen for the waste disposal? Why was this site chosen? How much storage capacity for radioactive waste does this site have and for how many years of waste has the site got room for? What other plans are in the pipeline for dealing with the waste?”

“It is not good enough to leave local residents in the dark about the long term implication of how this facility will deal with its radioactive thorium and caustic waste products.”

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