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Don’t forget to read : "In the Press" for all current and past bauxite articles covered by the Toodyay Herald!!!

There Is A Bad Smell In The Air...

...And It Is Not The Opal Vale Tip

On the 15th of December 2015 the Toodyay Shire used the last council meeting for 2015 to usher in a much contested M.6 policy on mining.

The Toodyay Council have always maintained a so called neutral stance on mining and in the Agenda for the January Ordinary Shire meeting, the Shire Officer (CEO Stan Scott) included a DRAFT mining policy (which he had previously written) called the M.6 mining policy..

It is important to note that there is no other Local Government (Shires) in WA that have adopted a policy on mining. There is a good reason for that, Local Governments can neither grant nor refuse a mining application, as these approvals are only done at State and Federal Government levels.

Having said that the Shire of Coorow wrote and adopted a policy on FRACKING and the same policy was also adopted by the shire of Carnamah. This policy combines Petroleum (Fracking), Mining and Extractive industries. We have it on good authority that the Toodyay Shire Officer was in possession of this policy prior to writing his own version for the Toodyay Shire.

Here is the link to read the full Coorow “Policy – Economic Services”, pages 44 - 46:

When the M.6 policy was first introduced in January 2015 and went out for public comment calling for submissions, AHMAG and other concerned members of the community wrote 22 submissions which outlined many concerns about the policy, as the policy gives council the ability to have close contact with mining proponents prior to having an operational business model approved by the regulatory authorities such as the DMP, the EPA and the DER.

ONE OF THE MAIN ITEMS OF CONCERN IN THE M.6 MINING POLICY IS THIS STATEMENT:

Council delivers many services, projects, events and facilities. There may be occasions where these services, projects, events and facilities are sponsored or co-funded by a mining proponent. Such funding or sponsorship will not dilute Council’s commitments as set out in this policy.

AHMAG COMMENT:

Council own the Bendigo Bank Building and when the adjoining building alongside the Bank became available in 2014, there were a number of applicants including Bauxite Alumina Joint Ventures (BAJV) who applied for the premises and instead of remaining neutral and choosing a neutral tenant, Council had the ultimate say and chose BAJV as co-tenants with the Bendigo Bank.

Council co-sponsor the Toodyay Ag Show with BAJV which enables BAJV to advertise themselves throughout the community alongside the Toodyay Shire.

How can council remain Neutral when they are DERIVING AN INCOME from BAJV? This is not a neutral stance on mining this is promoting a would be miner and definitely dilutes the ability to be impartial on mining in anyway.

How can the Toodyay Council stand up and speak out on behalf of their constituents under clause 120 of the mining act, when clearly they have a conflict of interest with the mining proponents.

COOROW POLICY – ECONOMIC SERVICES… PETROLEUM, MINING AND EXTRACTIVE INDUSTRIES POLICY

It should also be noted that in the Coorow policy it does not mention that the Coorow council would be involved in any co funding or sponsorship with mining proponents, this is a Toodyay Shire initiative.

IN THE POLICY THE KEY OBJECTIVES STATE THE FOLLOWING:

OBJECTIVES:

  • To ensure that local values relating to lifestyle and quality of life, including public health, amenity, biodiversity, water (both surface and ground), and other economic sectors (such as agriculture and tourism) are adequately considered and protected from such development or expansion of any extractive industry activity in the Shire of Coorow.
  • To ensure that any extractive industry activity is thoroughly assessed, monitored and managed effectively to meet all conditions of development consent, and endeavor to continuously improve operational practices to reduce environmental impacts wherever practicable.
  • To ensure petroleum and mining companies build a commitment to best practice standards for petroleum and mining activity in the shire of Coorow, and actively participate in local communities.

AHMAG COMMENT:

There is a world of difference between the Coorow policy and the M.6 mining policy just adopted by the Toodyay Council. These are the Objectives recently adopted by Toodyay:

OBJECTIVES:

  • To ensure that Council staff and the Community have an understanding of
    Councils role in mining approvals;
  • To provide an agreed policy position for Council’s advocacy with mining
    proponents and approval agencies.

COOROW SHIRE COMMUNITY CONSULTATION:
In respect to current and future proposals for on-shore petroleum or other extractive industries council will:
a. Effectively consult communities within the shire regarding onshore petroleum developments and represent the concerns and interests of these communities in decision making on all matters relating to developments:
b. Assume a leadership role in negotiating with state Government and resource companies to ensure that any petroleum or mineral resource projects in the Shire provide benefit to the community, and individuals within the community where appropriate:
c. Ensure that the protection of the health of communities and the protection of the ground water resources is afforded the highest priority in decision – making by the Shire:
d. Support and advocate for the rights of communities and residents within the Shire to clean water, clean air and enjoyment of land without pollution or nuisance:
e. Facilitate an open dialogue and discussion within the community of all stakeholders, based on the sharing of accurate information to encourage an informed debate about issues related to mining.

TOODYAY M.6 MINING POLICY COMMUNITY CONSULTATION:
Council supports transparency and full disclosure of project developments to the community as soon as is reasonably practicable within the constraints of proponents’ continuous disclosure obligations. The Shire is unable to take on aproponent’s responsibility to keep the community informed. Any Shire consultation activities will be in accordance with Council Policy M2 – Public Consultation.

AHMAG COMMENT:

Coorow Shire will effectively consult communities within their shire. Toodyay however put the onus back onto the mining and exploration companies, this is why we were never told of the exploration that had been going on in the Toodyay Shire since early 2011.

Then when the news broke in the Toodyay Herald in 2014 and we started asking questions as to why we were not informed by the Toodyay Shire, Council threw their hands in the air and blamed BAJV for the information vacuum.

Here is the link to read the full Toodyay M.6 Mining policy, Item 9.5.2, pages 28 - 30

AHMAG COMMENT:

Unlike the Policy adopted by Coorow the M.6 Mining policy does not pack any of the punch that you would expect of a Council whose main interests were the protection of the communities that are located within the Shire and to protect the amenity and lifestyles of those communities where they can enjoy, clean air, clean water, enjoyment of land without pollution or nuisance, agriculture, tourism etc.

The Toodyay Council sat on this very flawed M.6 Mining policy for the whole of 2015 and it was not until 4 new councillors occupied seats in the chamber, the last council meeting for the year and a special meeting for the Toodyay Herald which saw a packed house at the Toodyay Resource Centre that the policy was put back on the Agenda.

Was this a ploy to avoid another packed public gallery opposing the policy so that it would just slip through at the Eleventh hour?

You be the judge, but something does not smell right at 15 Fiennes Street, (Council Chambers) Toodyay Western Australia 6566.

AHMAG

 

Mining Act Amendment Bill

MEDIA RELEASE

ROBIN CHAPPLE MLC - Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region

Greens introduce mining amendments to protect regional communities.

Friday, 04 December

WA Greens MLC Robin Chapple today introduced a Mining Act amendment bill that would give communities the power to reject mining proposals within their local government area through planning schemes.

“The purpose of this bill is to address community concerns about the capacity of the Mining Act to override local or regional planning schemes, essentially handing power back to the people,” Mr Chapple said.

“Proposals to mine, and refine, bauxite in the Avon Hills area, and all along the Darling Scarp, have prompted me to bring this bill forward.

“There has been massive community opposition to those proposals from residents in the Shires of Mundaring, Northam and Toodyay who believe – and I strongly agree – that to mine in the Perth Hills so close to the metropolitan area would be both socially and environmentally irresponsible.

“However, there are other significant mining threats to communities across our state – particularly from the fledgling unconventional gas industry – and I hope this bill will also empower other communities who are in opposition to invasive mining activities.

“This Bill delivers to local communities, with the concurrence of the Minister for Planning, the power to reflect in their planning schemes what land uses they want without the Mining Act’s power of veto rendering such schemes merely advisory.”

Released by Media Liaison for Robin Chapple,
Tim Oliver 0431 9696 25 or 9486 8255.

END

It is important to NOTE that this Bill must still be ratified before any amendments to the Mining Act will occur and that many Bills fail, but it is definitely a step in the right direction.

AHMAG

 

Your New Neighbours ???

The People’s Republic of China (PRC)

Yankuang Resources is a Chinese state-owned company from the People’s Republic of China and today they moved one step closer to becoming sole 100% owners of both the Felicitas and Fortuna resources, along with all other tenements owned by the soon to be terminated Bauxite Alumina Joint Ventures (BAJV)

BAJV is a joint venture between Yankuang Resources and Bauxite Resource Limited (BRL).

The community members of Morangup, Wooroloo and Wundowie first heard about the proposals to open cut mine for bauxite, when the Editor of the Toodyay Herald, Michael Sinclair-Jones, first broke the story in the July edition of the Herald back in 2014.

Mr Sinclair-Jones highlighted that the Felicitas resource had been included in the Toodyay Shire’s DRAFT Economic Development Plan (EDP), which was later adopted.

Some people in these communities have been of the opinion that the proposals to mine bauxite here would never get off the ground and given the JV looks set to be terminated and BRL are selling out to Yankuang, we have to say that under the current management, they may have been right.

However, when the PRC become 100% owners of not only the Felicitas resource, but the 100% BRL owned Fortuna resource and all tenement owned by BAJV. That may be all about to change.

AHMAG are of the opinion that the threat to the Darling Range, the Perth Hills, the Avon valley national park, the Moondyne nature reserve, the Morangup timber reserve and the Avon valley has been heightened in light of the current plans for the 100% sale to the PRC.

While there were issues with the JV over funding to proceed with the Felicitas resource and funding to move forward with a bankable feasibility study (BFS) to build a refinery somewhere in the region, it seems we may have been relatively safe. That was until now.

We all need to ask ourselves, what type of legacy do we want to leave to our children and our grandchildren?

Do we want clean air, uncontaminated rain water, beautiful night skies, peace & quiet, to be surrounded by our amazing healthy environment and the flora and fauna that we share our lives with, a good supply of unpolluted ground water and good steady growth for our property values?

Isn’t that why we all bought here?

Or do we want to live next to a 24/7 mining operation that will destroy it all?

The choice is Ours, NOT theirs!

“Together We Will Be Heard”

AHMAG.

Click here to read the latest ASX announcement on HotCopper. Press Download Document and then Open to read.


  

4,300 Signatures Presented

What a great turnout for the petition presentation today.

Chris Tallentire the shadow environment minister and Labor’s preselected Federal candidate Bill Leadbetter where there on the steps of parliament when Chris accept our 4,300 strong petition which he tabled in the Legislative Assembly shortly after.

AHMAG would like to thank Chris Tallentire for accepting the petition and for his words of concern and support in his later address to the legislative assembly.

We would also like to thank Bill Leadbetter for attending the presentation and showing support for what is shaping up to be an election issue in regard to mining in the Perth Hills along the Darling Scarp, as with thousands of concerned people signing petitions in opposition, it will become impossible for all sides of politics to ignore.

A big thank you needs to go our supporters who took time out of their busy schedules to attend the presentation and then later sit in the public gallery while the petition was tabled, your ongoing support is invaluable.

Thanks also to Clair Medhurst from R4RM for attending and showing support:
R4RM Website
R4RM Facebook Page

And to Vince and John from the CAPS group from Yarloop for giving up their time to travel to Perth to support us with the presentation.
CAPS Website
CAPS Facebook Page

Then of course a massive thank you to everyone who has shown support against the proposals to mine here in the Darling Scarp by signing our petition, as without your precious signatures we would not have a petition to present.
 
These types of proposals do need community support by way of a social license and if that is not given by the communities that will be affected, then the would be miners (the proponents) will have an extremely tough time getting the proposals through the EPA and the DER.

AHMAG know that this battle will be a marathon and not a sprint, but with your ongoing help and support we can and will win.

Please continue to like and share our page and ask your family and friends to do the same, as awareness is the key to gaining more and more support.

You can say no to mining, but it must be done now, as when the projects get referred to the EPA, then the horse has already bolted.

“Together We Will Be Heard”

AHMAG


Picture left to right: Bill Leadbetter, Brian Dale, Chris Tallentire
Picture taken by Peter Harms

 

Imagine This

You have bought your forever property surrounded by the Morangup Timber reserve, the Avon Valley national park, the Morangup nature reserve, the Woondowing nature reserve or veiws across neighouring farm land only to learn that, if approved, a 24 /7 open cut bauxite mining operation could one day be your new neighbour.

What would you do?

Do you work with the mining proponents to help them design a mine that in the opinion of the proponents will be suitable to be located near your home? Or do you reject the very notion of such a proposal and fight to protect your way of life, the environment, the flora & fauna and everything that you moved to the area for in the first place.

Unfortunately mining is something that we all depend on, but surely we would all agree that there are places where mining should not occur, especially when mining will disrupt the lives of so many for the benefit of so few.

Who doesn’t enjoy taking in the beauty of the hills and valleys as you drive along Toodyay Rd while watching the scenery change with the seasons. How many of you have plans to move out of the city to live in an unspoiled area where the air is clean, the taste of unpolluted rain water is better than bought bottled water, the nights are quiet and the stars are amazing.

Is that not worth fighting for?

Most of the people living in these areas once lived in the city and all dreamt of escaping the rat race where they could own a little piece of paradise, while still being close enough to commute down the hill for work. Living alongside mining has never been part of the plan.

Would we not all agree that there is a point when royalties to state & federal Governments and a hand full of jobs should not be the only determining factor in decisions that are made on our behalf?

As citizens of this great democratic country that we all live in, we do have a say in what happens, we can change government policy, but this does not happen with one lone voice, it can only happen with the voices of many.

If you love the Perth Hills and the Avon Valley, then join AHMAG on the steps of Parliament House at 11:30 am on Wednesday the 25th of November and let’s show the politicians that mining along the Darling Scarp this close to metropolitan Perth is NOT acceptable, because if we do nothing we will one day look back with much regret.

AHMAG

We Need Your Help and Support

AHMAG are going back to Parliament House to present thousands of signatures on petitions to Chris Tallentire the Shadow Environment Minister (Legislative Assembly) and it would be great if you could all come along to show your support.

Where: The steps of Parliament House, Harvest Tce, West Perth

When: Wednesday the 25th of November 2015

Time: 11:30 am

We will be car pooling to enable people to come along who would not otherwise do so. If you intend coming ask your friends, your family or your neighbours if they need a lift.

Let’s show the politicians how many people do not want open-cut bauxite mining in the Perth Hills and the Avon Valley.

We hope to see you there.

AHMAG

The Propaganda Machine Continues To Self-Destruct

Even before it was announced to the ASX by BRL that the Felecitas and Fortuna recourses look set to become 100% owned by the People’s Republic of China, more members of the BAJV / BRL propaganda machine had resigned from the bauxite mining community advisory group (BMCAG).

The count continues to grow, but this time it was the well respected and valued members of the Toodyay Naturalist club, the Friends of the River and the Avon Valley Environment Society.

Given the stature of these representatives and what they stand for, it is pretty obvious that they did not wish to be used as pawns in a smoke and mirror campaign that has pictured members of these groups on Facebook and other media sources, where it appears that they have openly endorsed the destruction that will be caused if and when the proposed mines ever obtain approvals.

It has been pretty easy for BAJV / BRL to manipulate photographs and text to deceive our communities into believing that the Toodyay Naturalist club, the Friends of the River and the Avon Valley Environment Society were on board with these outrageous proposals.

In fact AHMAG members have even had people make the comment that the proposals must all be OK because the guys from the environmental groups are on the CAG.

Well they are not on it any longer. The question now is how long will it take for other members of the group to see through the smoke and mirrors that these companies are so good at putting in place to deflect what will really happen in our communities.

AHMAG

What a Great Show

Near perfect conditions saw people from surrounding areas turn out in droves to attend the 2015 Gidgy show and AHMAG would like to thank the Gidgegannup Agricultural Society for organizing such an outstanding event.

The AHMAG marquee was positioned adjacent to the old Toodyay Rd entrance and in front of the Hall and as usual we were inundated with people signing our petitions against open cut bauxite mining a mere 10 minutes from Gidgegannup.

We would like to thank all of you who stopped by to sign our petitions against the Felicitas and Fortuna mines, that if approved, will cover some 62 km2 from Wooroloo (Bailup Rd) to Wundowie and back through the heart of Morangup, all the way to the Avon river. (See this map)

It is also important to note that there is a pending exploration tenement over the Morangup timber reserve, part of the Avon valley national park and the Moondyne nature reserve.

Now with the prospect of these proposals becoming 100% owned by the peoples republic of China (PROC), opposition against these proposals is more important than ever.

Like us on Facebook and ask your family and friends to do the same. We must save our environment, our flora and fauna, the amenity of the communities that WILL be affected, our farmland and our water supplies.

AHMAG

It's Show Time Again

Gidgegannup Agricultural Show Saturday the 31st of October.

If you are not doing anything tomorrow, then why not come along to the Gidgegannup Agricultural Show.

We will have our marquee set up handing out information and collecting signatures against proposals to open cut mine for bauxite in the Perth Hills, the Avon Valley and a mere 10 minutes from Gidgegannup.

It has just become apparent that the proponents BAJV which is a JV 70% owned by Yangkuang Resources and 30% owned by BRL, looks set to become 100% owned by the peoples republic of China (PROC).

To read more click here.

If you have been wanting to sign a petition, come along to the show, sign a petition and enjoy one of the best small Ag shows around.

We hope to see you there.

AHMAG

Questionnaire

We would like to thank those of you who have participated in our recent  Morangup questionnaire, but we urge everyone to take part.

Since the questionnaire was delivered it has become apparent that the Felicitas and Fortuna resources could both end up being 100% owned by the peoples republic of China (PROC) to read more visit the link below.

If you are opposed or supportive of the proposed mines, then we respect your point of view, but please take part in the questionnaire, as the results will give AHMAG a true indication as to the real percentage of our community who are either for or against open-cut bauxite mining on the doorstep of our community.

If you have misplaced your questionnare, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or contact Brian Dale direct on 0418 898 788 and he will see that you receive another one.

Non-binding memorandum of understanding between Yankuang and BRL.

AHMAG

Breaking News: Termination of BAJV Looks Imminent

Yangkuang Resources which is a State owned company of the People’s Republic of China and who currently  own 70% of BAJV, looks set to become 100% owners of the Felicitas Resource and will buy out the 100% BRL Fortuna Resource, if a non-binding Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) regarding the dispute between Yangkuang and BRL becomes reality.

NON-BINDING MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING FOR RESOLUTION OF DISPUTE AND TERMINATION OF JOINT VENTURES WITH YANKUANG

Representatives of Bauxite Resources Limited (‘BRL’) , Yankuang Resources Pty Ltd (Yankuang), and Yankuang Group Company Ltd (‘YGL’)’), on 21 October 2015, signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding (MOU) recording that they have negotiated a number of proposed transaction documents which, if approved by therespective Boards of Directors of BRL, Yankuang and YGL will see, subject to satisfaction of conditions precedent referred to below:

  • The existing Joint Ventures between the parties terminated;
  • BRL sell its interests in the Joint Ventures and its 100% owned Fortuna bauxite rights to Yankuang for cash consideration and a royalty right; and
  • BRL buy back Yankuang’s shares in BRL and cease to be represented on the BRL Board.

With the Chinese free trade deal all but finalized.

100% Chinese ownership of the Felicitas and Fortuna Resources?

What will this mean for Toodyay, Wundowie, Wooroloo and surrounding areas???

Read the entire article by clicking here.

AHMAG

Council Elections

Saturday the 17th of October saw our democratic process elect four new faces to the Toodyay council and we would like to congratulate the new councilors.

With four new faces entering council, it also means that four councilors have lost their seats.

It was surprising to say the least to see Rosemary Madacsi, who is an environmental scientist, toppled at a time when our communities and the environment are under increasing threats of the effects of landfill and mining in the Toodyay Shire.

Rosemary has spent hundreds of hours of her time fighting the Opal Vale land fill proposal, not for herself, but the shire as a whole and for that, we say Thank You.

We would like to also say Thank You to Andrew Mcann, Chris Firns, who lost their seats and to Rosemary, for providing the much needed checks and balances that is required while on council, because decisions made, or money spent by council is derived from our rates and can affect us all.

A special thanks to Danielle Wrench for running in the West ward and representing Morangup on an anti-mining platform. Losing by only 7 votes is an outstanding effort, given there were 5 candidates.

Let’s hope that the new look council will represent the Toodyay Shire and all of their constituents in an open, honest and transparent manner in all aspects of council.

AHMAG

Morangup Timber Reserve

If you live at the Northern side, or the Western end of McKnoe drive, or the Western end of Red Brook Circle in Morangup and feel you are far enough away from the proposed Felicitas mine not to be greatly affected if a proposed mine were to go ahead, then you may wish to re-think your position on open-cut bauxite mining in Morangup.

Bauxite Resource Limited (BRL) still have an Exploration tenement pending over the Morangup Timber Reserve, which wraps around Morangup and encroaches into the Avon Valley National Park and into the Northern end of the City of Swan.

BAJV have recently released an updated Frequently Asked Question flyer on their FB page, stating that they will not be mining the Avon Valley National Park or Conservation Reserves, but the 30% JV part owner, BRL have an Exploration Licence number 70/3537, still pending over the Morangup Timber reserve, parts of the Avon Valley National Park and the Moondyne Nature Reserve, as well as the entire Julimar Brook from Julimar Rd. While live tenements E/3366 and E70/3159 cover a large area of the Swan Shire.

There has always been a question mark hanging over why BAJV / BRL wanted to include Gidgegannup representatives on the Bauxite Mining Community Advisory Group (BMCAG) because to date there have been no announcements as to any intention to mine in the Swan Shire.

We believe that anyone remotely close to any tenements being held by BAJV / BRL need to stand up and be counted in opposition to open-cut invasive bauxite and other mining in the Perth Hills and Avon Valley, or complacency could see mining on your doorstep sometime in the not too distant future.

There will be people who say AHMAG are just scaremongering as most of the State has live tenements over it for exploration. While that may be true, there are two exploration companies in our midst who have aspirations to be miners and if they get a foothold in Morangup, Wooroloo and Wundowie, then other tenements being held by them, can soon become mines after dangerous precedents are set to mine in the Perth Hills and Avon Valley.

Visit this map and then zoom in on the yellow Morangup peg and view the tenements for yourself. If you click on the green areas, tenement numbers will be shown. The purple area is the pending tenement.

With council Elections being held on Saturday the 17th of October, make sure you vote for Candidates in your council Elections who do not support mining. While local governments cannot approve or reject a mining proposal, under clause 120 of the mining Act they do have a say and you want your councilors to do just that on your behalf, or we may all live to regret the future outcome.

Please like us on Facebook and get your family and friends to do the same. We need to get the word out even further and with your help we can do just that.

It is not too late for people power to win this fight, we can save the Perth Hills and the Avon Valley, we still have time so lets not waste it.

“Together We Will Be Impossible To Ignore”

AHMAG

Alliance along the Darling Scarp

Its official,
 
• The Avon and Hills Mining Awareness Group (AHMAG) in
              Morangup, led by Brian Dale

• Residents for Responsible Mining (R4RM) in
              Bindoon, led by Clair Medhurst

• The Community Alliance For Positive Solutions (CAPS) in
              Yarloop, led by Vince Puccio

All three groups have agreed to an alliance along the Darling Scarp, from Yarloop to Wannamal (Near Bindoon).

The aim of the alliance is to protect the Darling Scarp from the destruction that open cut invasive mining and refining has on the environment and the effects that 24/7 mining operations have on residential, peri-urban, semi-rural and rural communities.

Going forward the biggest resource on the planet will be food production, therefore our collective groups believe that productive farmland should be protected at all costs.

Climate change is very real and previous well known inland farming areas are becoming more and more marginal due to a lack of rainfall.

Properties along the Darling Scarp are still well known for reliable rainfall and therefore all farmland along the Darling Range should be listed as priority farmland and protected at all costs and not destroyed by mining.

With this in mind, AHMAG, R4RM and CAPS have pledged support to one another to rid the Darling Scarp of any new bauxite mines and refineries. This will not happen overnight, but with your help it will happen!.

If you haven't done it already, visit our individual FB pages, like the page and ask your family and friends to do the same.

The AHMAG slogan has long been “Together We Will Be Heard” but with this new alliance, We will become impossible to ignore.

AHMAG:
http://www.ahmag.com.au/
https://www.facebook.com/avonandhills

R4RM:
http://www.r4rm.com/
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Residents-for-Responsible-Mining-R4RM/134094453322146?fref=ts

CAPS:
http://caps6218.org.au/
https://www.facebook.com/CAPS6218

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