Alligator Rivers Region Technical Committee

The Alligator Rivers Region Technical Committee (ARRTC) was established in 1993 following amendments to the Environment Protection (Alligator Rivers Region) Act 1978 (EPARR Act). The membership and function of ARRTC was revised in 2001 to meet the recommendation of the Independent Science Panel (ISP) for an independent scientific advisory panel to review the research activities in the Alligator Rivers Region and the scientific basis for assessing mining operations.

Membership of ARRTC

ARRTC consists of seven independent scientists nominated by Science & Technology Australia (formerly the Federation of Australian Scientists and Technological Societies) for their eminent expertise in specific fields.

ARRTC membership - independent scientists
Name   Field of Expertise
Dr Simon Barry (Chair) Stream Leader, Landscape Monitoring & Modelling, Mathematical and Information Sciences, CSIRO Ecological Risk Assessment
Ms Jane Coram Group Leader, Groundwater Group, Geosciences Australia Hydrogeology
Mr Andrew Johnston Southern Radiation Services Pty Ltd Radiation protection and health physics
Prof David Mulligan Director, Centre for Mined Land Rehabilitation, University of Queensland Plant ecology of minesite revegetation
Prof Paul Boon Institute for Sustainability and Innovation, Victoria University Freshwater ecology
Dr Jenny Stauber Deputy Chief, CSIRO Land and Water Ecotoxicology
Vacant   Geomorphology

The remaining seven members represent key stakeholder organisations.

ARRTC membership - stakeholders
Name Representing
Mr Richard McAllister Supervising Scientist
Mr Russell Ball Northern Territory Government - Department of Resources
Ms Melissa Taylor Uranium Equities Limited
Dr Greg Sinclair Energy Resources of Australia Ltd
Adam Thompson Northern Land Council
Ms Anna Morgan Australian Government - Parks Australia
Dr Gavin Mudd Environment Non Government Organisations

Role of ARRTC

The primary role of ARRTC is to ensure that the quality of the science used in research into, and the assessment of, the ongoing protection of the environment from the impact of uranium mining in the Alligator Rivers Region is of the highest possible standard. ARRTC reviews the quality and appropriateness of research activities by the Environmental Research Institute of the Supervising Scientist (eriss), Energy Resources of Australia Ltd (ERA), and other relevant stakeholder organisations. ARRTC also reviews the quality of the science used to inform the environmental regulation of uranium mining and exploration activities in the Region. ARRTC is able to report openly, independently and without restriction.

Functions

Under Section 22B of the EPARR Act, the functions of the ARRTC are to:

  1. Consider programs for research into, and programs for the collection and assessment of information relating to, the effects on the environment in the Alligator Rivers Region of uranium mining operations in the Region;
  2. Keep under review programs and the carrying out of programs, referred to in (1);
  3. Make recommendations to the Commonwealth Minister for the Environment on:
    1. the nature and extent of research necessary to protect and restore the environment in the Alligator Rivers Region;
    2. the most appropriate organisations to undertake the research referred to in (i).
  4. Refer to the Alligator Rivers Region Advisory Committee matters relating to programs, and the carrying out of programs. referred to in (1).

ARRTC Key Knowledge Needs

The content and outcomes of the eriss research program are assessed annually by ARRTC against the priorities set out in the ARRTC Key Knowledge Needs (KKN). The KKNs define the key research priorities within each of the geographic domains in the ARR relating to monitoring, closure and rehabilitation for current (Ranger and Jabiluka), rehabilitated (Nabarlek) and legacy (South Alligator River Valley) mine sites. A major revision and update of the KKNs is currently underway which will be informed by the outcomes of an ecological risk assessment of the rehabilitation and closure phases of Ranger Uranium Mine in early 2013.

Meetings

ARRTC generally meets twice a year. These meetings can be attended by observers.

Contacting ARRTC

ARRTC Secretariat
Phone: (08) 8920 1122
Fax: (08) 8920 1199
Email: coord.ssd@environment.gov.au