MEDIA RELEASE from Leard Forest Research Node.
Academics and researchers from Japan’s Azabu University have come to the Leard Forest, North West NSW to ground truth statements made by Idemitsu Resources and Whitehaven Coal to the companies’ Japanese financiers.
“The companies have reported to Japan that there are no production delays, and all environmental approvals and conditions are observed,” said Mr Akira Harada, who is also Director of the Japan Tropical Forest Action Network (JATAN). “These statements appear to be misleading the Japan market.”
“We have now learned that only last week Idemitsu Resources has been fined by the NSW Department of Planning for illegally clearing land outside of the mine’s disturbance limits,” said Mr Harada.
“This is the second year in a row that Idemitsu has been punished by the NSW Government for failing to observe its conditions of approval. This information needs to be disclosed to the mine’s financiers.”
The two banks concerned are Japanese Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) and the Bank of Tokyo.
“JBIC, for example, has a A$500 million stake in the Boggabri coal mine.”
“I am also very concerned about the plight of the koala, a threatened species which is very much loved in Japan and an iconic Australian animal,” said Mr Harada.
“The Leard Forest used to have enough critical habitat for the koala, but Idemitsu and Whitehaven have made it virtually uninhabitable for koalas.”
Further comment: Mr Akira Harada, Director, JATAN +81 90 9156 1291
NOTE: as Mr Harada is touring regional NSW, if you have any difficulty contacting him by phone, please call Mr Sakyo Noda on +61 0438 456 239
Pic attached: “Japanese researcher at Boggabri Coal mine tries to catch a view of Idemitsu Resources illegal forest clearing.”
More pics available on request. Call Anna Christie, Leard Forest Research Node, 0425 322 186