If passed as expected, the DPP will have to defend the Mining Act to a skeptical public.
The News Lens
By: Brian Hioe
Asia Cement’s mine in Taroko Gorge was constructed on indigenous land seized during the Japanese colonial period.
Outrage has broken out regarding a proposed, long controversial draft amendment to
the Mining Act which would allow mining companies to sidestep environmental regulations and or measures taken to provide for indigenous rights.
In particular, this has led to arguments in legislature between Democratic Progressive Party legislator Lin Shu-fen ((林淑芬), known for progressive stances on social issues, fellows Kuan Bi-ling (管碧玲) and Chiu Yi-ying (邱議瑩), as well as deputy Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-hua (王美花).
What is controversial is that the draft amendment calls for the Bureau of Mines to accept requests to renew mining permits from quarries that already have mining permits without need for another approval process. In this way, it is feared that the Bureau of Mines will come to act as a rubber stamp for existing mines, allowing their mining permits to be renewed over and over. [FULL STORY]