Beneath our feet is an entire world of uniquely Australian biodiversity.
Having evolved over hundreds of millions of years, Stygofauna are tiny aquatic crustacean-like creatures that live in Australian groundwater.
Last year, the WA Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) knocked back a proposal by Canadian mining company Cameco to dig up two open pits and mine over 7,500 tonnes of uranium oxide per year in Yeelirrie: an area rich in several rare species of underground stygofauna.
Despite this, the WA Barnaby Liberal Government has decided to approve Cameco's mine, completely ignoring the EPA's ruling, potentially driving these species into extinction.
If the stygofauna population is affected by drilling fluids or surface spills, it could cause changes in water quality and lead to a loss of a species that has evolved and survived over millions of years. Local Aboriginal groups have been fighting against mining in Yeelirrie, a sacred area, for 46 years.
Cameco’s previous projects have leaked around two million litres of radioactive and heavy metals into Canadian creeks, dumped tonnes of ammonium nitrate in Kyrgyzstan and have failed to adhere to research and reporting requirements in both the USA and Canada.
Let's call upon the Barnett Government to protect our uniquely Australian environment and species, not corporate interests.