Traditional owners not told

The Government had not told traditional owners that it would be rushing through the legislation.

But Ms Martin says they know that the Government wants the expansion to go ahead.

“I think the TOs [traditional owners] understood the decision had been made,” she said.

“This is a technicality and the most direct way to act is a quick one, to say that the decision is one we’re maintaining.

“So we’re doing this with the greatest respect for everyone involved.”

Mines Minister Chris Natt is also defending the way the Government has handled the case.

“The processes we work through are very, very stringent and they were controlled and very, very thorough,” he said.

“It’s just one small word – the word ‘underground’ has provided a situation where we’ve got to amend the situation.”

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