Planning Minister Matthew Guy has released his final Assessment of environmental effects for the proposed Big Hill open cut gold mine, which recommends the proposed mine should not be approved.
The Minister’s decision follows an extensive expert Environment Effects Inquiry Panel process into the proposed Big Hill open cut gold mine.
The Panel Report, also released Thursday has recommended the proposed mine should not be approved due to significant environmental impacts.
“The Environment Effects Statement process has determined that the proposed mine could have significant environmental impacts particularly in regard to air quality and public health," Mr Guy said.
“The predicted economic benefits of the project do not outweigh the adverse impacts on air quality and the project does not provide the necessary community benefit to the State in regard to both short and long term economic, environmental and social consequences."
The mine proposal included two open cut pits near residential areas close to Big Hill in Stawell.
The Stawell Big Hill Gold Mine Environment Effects Statement was exhibited from March through to May in 2014, attracting 359 submissions.
The release of the Panel’s recommendations and the Minister’s assessment follows careful consideration of the proposal by the independent expert Environment Effects Inquiry Panel Report.
“A similar proposal for Big Hill was considered in 2000 and was also unsuccessful due to environmental impacts. Although this new proposal would have less impact on biodiversity, the potential impacts on air quality, amenity and social well-being and risks to health of the community, especially nearby residents, is too great to ignore,” Mr Guy said.
The Ministerial assessment of the project and its effects will now be sent to the statutory decision-makers on the project including the Department of State Development, Business and Innovation and the Minister for Energy and Resources.