Monday 29 June 2020
The Green Party’s West Tyrone group has expressed concerns about the Minister for Infrastructure Nichola Mallon’s announcement of a public inquiry into the proposed Dalradian goldmine near Greencastle.
West Tyrone representative Susan Glass said:
“The announcement of this public inquiry is long overdue given the level of opposition, including over 36,000 individual objections recorded by the department.
“A public inquiry is a requirement for any industrial proposal of this scale with such serious potential impacts on the environment and public health. We do not regard it as a concession that the Minister has promised a public inquiry, rather we are concerned about how long it has taken for the department to arrive at this conclusion."
“Trust in the scope and makeup of this public inquiry will be essential, but the Minister’s contracting of a consulting firm previously engaged by Dalradian to review part of the very same planning application does not augur well for transparency and equity."
“The Green Party calls on the Minister to reorient the department’s engagement with this planning application to properly protect the public interest and to take account of the voices of thousands of objectors. The public inquiry into Dalradian’s application should require full disclosure of the company’s interactions with the ministers, officials and MLAs if it is to be an opportunity for unbiased and impartial consideration of the impacts of the project.”
“Furthermore, multinational mining companies have seemingly endless resources to wax lyrical about the economic value oftheir projects, while objectors have much less scope and budget to put forward their concerns. There is therefore a duty of care on the department to make sure that its review procedures, public inquiries and other engagements with such planning proposals are not unfairly influenced by the interests of capital.”
Sinead McIvor - 07701 302 498