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Publications archive - Annual reports


Key departmental publications, e.g. annual reports, budget papers and program guidelines are available in our online archive.

Much of the material listed on these archived web pages has been superseded, or served a particular purpose at a particular time. It may contain references to activities or policies that have no current application. Many archived documents may link to web pages that have moved or no longer exist, or may refer to other documents that are no longer available.

Supervising Scientist Annual Report 2000-01

Environment Australia, 2001
ISSN 1441-9335

Appendix 3

Recommendations of the Independent Science Panel (ISP) of ICSU and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Final Reports

Recommendations of the final report of the ISP September 2000

No. Recommendation


The ISP would wish to have assurance that any new proposals for the water management system or any other major changes to the JMA are fully discussed with the stakeholder groups at an early stage and are subject to a rigorous environmental assessment and independent review prior to their approval by the Supervising Scientist.


The ISP recommends that a contaminant simulation study of the water management system of the approved JMA should be undertaken now and for any amended proposals once submitted. Design flow arrangements should be adjusted if necessary.


The existing 3 ha pond is not partitioned and the Supervising Scientist may wish to consider such a partitioning as a maintenance or safety measure.


The ISP notes that much of the data used in the analysis [of sediment production, transport and control] had been drawn from other sites [the Ranger site] and, while accepting this approach at the design stage, would encourage the Supervising Scientist to continue the stream sediment analysis on Swift Creek, link this to aquatic ecological studies and establish erosion plots on the Jabiluka site with some urgency.


The extension of the risk assessment [to a mine life of 40, 50, and 60 years] should be commenced without delay for the approved JMA, and should also be applied to any amended proposals once submitted.


The ISP considers it would be prudent and necessary to put landscape and ecosystem analyses in place. In parallel with such analyses, a survey and monitoring program should be established by the Supervising Scientist immediately. The survey of the flora and fauna of the lease site, the surrounding Park area and the floodplain should pay particular attention to the occurrence of any rare/endangered species and any potential threats to them. The survey would require the full cooperation of the Traditional Owners and the managers of the lease. Hopefully several years of data can be collected and analysed before any further mining activity begins. This would enable the effects of mining-related activity to be distinguished from those due to other causes.


In view of the unique value of the Kakadu World Heritage site, the ISP would wish a strong statement of intent to be offered by the authorities so that a monitoring program could be continued well beyond the time at which the mining company's obligations cease.


The ISP would wish the Australian Government to put the new monitoring arrangements [recommended in the Supervising Scientist's report on the tailings water leak at Ranger] for Jabiluka in place without delay, to make these known in advance of the World Heritage Committee's meeting in Cairns and to report formally on these to this meeting.


If Jabiluka remains on standby-mode for a protracted period, an appropriate assessment of its status should be made every five years and be formally reported on by the Supervising Scientist.


The ISP accepts the use of reverse osmosis water treatment and land irrigation within the fenced site on the understanding that monitoring is rigorous and longer term performance is subject to independent scrutiny.


The ISP would recommend that, within the Office of the Supervising Scientist, there should be a designated project manager for Jabiluka and in-house specialist on water resource management.


The ISP recommends that, in addition to the present arrangements, an Independent Science Advisory Committee be established to review progress annually and advise on new proposals.

Recommendations of the IUCN Report September 2000

No. Recommendation


Conduct a survey of flora and fauna of the local area in and surrounding the lease with particular attention to rare and endangered or endemic species and refugial or relictual habitats. Where found, the degree of threat posed resulting from the proposed development should be analysed. These surveys will give baseline data and ideally should be conducted before further development on-site.


ERISS, ERA and other holders of data should synthesise existing and new information on aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems to provide for understanding of key ecosystems function in the lease area and adjacent areas. This should be done to provide an understanding of the potential cumulative and or interactive effects of all developments on the lease site and adjacent area.


Design and implement long-term monitoring of the lease and adjacent park areas with an emphasis on aquatic environments, to describe patterns of change. This long-term monitoring will provide a context for distinguishing any role of mining activities in causing the changes. If possible this monitoring scheme should be implemented soon so that several years of data can be collected before any mining activity begins.


The Australian Government and ERA should recognise the special relationships between the activities of the Traditional Owners of the land, and the occurrence of special natural values of the World Heritage Area, and account for these relationships in their impact assessment procedures.