Lynas Corporation is expected to generate $AUS2.5 million a year after two years of operation which includes a tax holiday for 12 years from the Malaysian government. Local community in Kuantan don’t believe they will benefit economically even with the creation of 350 jobs.
They believe that the legacy of toxic waste left behind far outweighs any economic gain: ‘Local community believe that there should have been a ‘greater importance placed on exhaustive public information sharing and engagement, public safety guarantees, environmental impact studies, and prudent if impregnable long-term waste disclosure and disposal management, versus simply, ‘economic’ gain.’
Threats to the local economic sector include three fisheries, tourism and small and medium enterprises. All three sectors are tied closely to the Balok River which joins the South China Sea.
One can only conclude that Lynas is building the LAMP in Malaysia to cut costs and speed up the process by not having to deal with stringent environmental regulations in Australia for containing toxic and radioactive waste. Instead Lynas is exporting and leaving the management of toxic and radioactive waste in the hands of local communities in Kuantan. Local communities have suggested that if the waste is safe then it should get sent back to Australia where the mining for the rare earth ore occurred, an idea that the Western Australian Minister for Mines and Petroleum Norman Moore has firmly rejected when questioned in parliament by the WA Greens.