Archive for the ‘opposition to uranium mining’ Category

Australia’s Aboriginal people stopped a huge uranium mining project

July 18, 2019

Leave it in the ground: stopping the Jabiluka mine, Red Flag Fleur Taylor, 15 July 2019  “…… The election of John Howard in March 1996 marked the end of 13 years of ALP government…..

Australia’s giant mining companies – major backers of the Coalition – got their wish list. Howard immediately abolished Labor’s three mines policy, and the business pages crowed that “25 new uranium mines” were likely and possible. And in October 1997, then environment minister Robert Hill blew the dust off an environmental impact statement from 1979 that said mining at Jabiluka was safe. Approval of the mine quickly followed.

The Jabiluka uranium deposit, just 20 kilometres from the Ranger uranium mine, is one of the richest in the world. The proposal was to build a massively bigger mine than that at Ranger, which would be underground and therefore more dangerous for the workers. It was projected to produce 19 million tonnes of ore over its lifetime, which would be trucked 22 kilometres through World Heritage listed wetlands.

The Liberals hoped to make a point. After all, if you could put a uranium mine in the middle of a national park in the face of Aboriginal opposition, what couldn’t you do?

The fight immediately began. The traditional owners of the area, the Mirarr, were led by senior traditional owner Yvonne Margarula and the CEO of the Gundjeihmi Aboriginal Corporation, Jacqui Katona. They were supported by anti-nuclear campaigners around the country, most notably Dave Sweeney of the Australian Conservation Foundation, as well as a network of activist groups.

The most important objective was to delay construction of the mine, scheduled to begin in 1998. To do this, the Mirarr called on activists to travel to Jabiluka in order to take part in a blockade of the proposed mine site until the onset of the wet season would make construction impossible.

The blockade was immensely successful. Beginning on 23 March 1998, it continued for eight months, attracted 5,000 protesters and led to 600 arrests at various associated direct actions. Yvonne Margarula was one: she was arrested in May for trespass on her own land after she and two other Aboriginal women entered the Ranger mine site.

The blockade also attracted high-profile environmental and anti-nuclear activists such as Peter Garrett and Bob Brown. This helped signal to activists that this was a serious fight. The sheer length of time the blockade lasted created a fantastic opportunity for the campaign in the cities. Activists were constantly returning from Jabiluka with a renewed determination to fight.

The Jabiluka Action Group was key to building an ongoing city-based campaign in Melbourne, and the campaign was strongest there of any city. It held large – often more than 100-strong – weekly meetings, organised endless relays of buses to the blockade and  took the fight to the bosses and corporations that stood to profit from the mine.

We were determined to map the networks of corporate ownership and power behind the mine. But in the late 1990s, when the internet barely existed, this wasn’t as simple as just looking up a company’s corporate structure on its glossy website. It took serious, time consuming research.

A careful tracing of the linkages of the North Ltd board members showed that they were very well connected – and not one but two of them were members and past chairmen of the Business Council of Australia (BCA) – one of Australia’s leading bosses’ organisations. So our June 1998 protest naturally headed to the Business Council of Australia. We occupied their office, and the two groups of anti-uranium protesters, 3,800 kilometres apart, exchanged messages of solidarity, courtesy of the office phones of the BCA.

We were also staggered to learn that the chairman of a company that owned two uranium mines and was Australia’s biggest exporter of hardwood woodchips was also a member of the Parks Victoria board, the national president of Greening Australia and the Victorian Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) board president!

The EPA, and corporate greenwashing in general, thereby became a target for the campaign. Another target was the Royal Society of Victoria, which made the mistake of inviting Sir Gus Nossal, a famous scientist and longstanding booster for the nuclear industry, to give a dinner address. We surrounded its building, and the organisers, somewhat mystified, cancelled the dinner. This action once again made headline news, helping to keep the issue of the Jabiluka mine in people’s minds.

We held regular protests at the headquarters of North Ltd on Melbourne’s St Kilda Road. On the day that Yvonne Margarula was facing court on her trespass charge, a vigil was held overnight. When we heard she had been found guilty, the protest erupted in fury. Cans of red paint – not water-based – materialised, and the corporate facade of North Ltd received an unscheduled refurbishment. The Herald-Sun went berserk.

The leadership of the Mirarr people gave this campaign a different focus from other environmental campaigns of the time. It was fundamentally about land rights, sovereignty and the right of Aboriginal communities to veto destructive developments on their land. In Melbourne, the Gundjeihmi Aboriginal Corporation appointed long-time Aboriginal militant and historian Gary Foley as their representative. Gary worked tirelessly to provoke and educate the many activists who turned up wanting to “support” or “do something” for Aboriginal people.

At a time when “reconciliation” was strongly supported by liberals and much of the left, Foley told us that reconciliation was bullshit. He argued native title (supposedly a key achievement of Keating) was “the most inferior form of land title under British law”, and that the ALP was every bit as racist as One Nation – if not worse. He insisted activists must educate themselves about sovereignty and the struggles happening right here, not just those happening 3,800 kilometres away. The way the Jabiluka Action Group activists approached this challenge was an example of how people’s ideas change. Many came into the campaign primarily as environmental activists, but almost all left as committed fighters for Aboriginal rights.

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When the blockade wound down at the onset of the wet season, it was an opportunity to fight on some other fronts. Representatives of the UN World Heritage Committee visited Kakadu in late 1998 and issued a declaration that the World Heritage values of the area were in danger. They called on the government to stop the mine. Yvonne Margarula and Jacqui Katona travelled to Paris to speak to the European Commission about the mine.

John Howard, at the time mired in ministerial scandals and resignations, had called an election for September 1998, and there was hope in some quarters that Labor might win and stop the mine. But Howard scraped back in on only 48.3 percent of the vote, and it was clear that the fight on the ground would have to continue.

In the meantime, an important legal loophole had been identified. North Ltd had failed to secure agreement for the Jabiluka ore to be trucked to the Ranger mine for processing. It turned out the Mirarr did have the right to refuse this, and by exercising this right they would increase the cost of the project by $200 million (the cost of building a new processing plant at Jabiluka). This, combined with the ongoing protests, became a huge problem for the company.

Something we enjoyed doing at the time was monitoring North Ltd’s share price. It started out high when the Liberals took power. But after a year of protest and controversy, it had started to sink. The slump world uranium prices were going through didn’t help. But what the share price correlated to most closely was the major protests – it showed a drop after every single one.

Fund managers everywhere had absorbed the simple message that Jabiluka meant trouble, and early in 1999 this formerly prestigious blue-chip mining stock was described as one of the year’s “dog stocks”. Encouraged by this, the campaign launched its most ambitious action to date – the four-day blockade of North Ltd, from Palm Sunday until Easter Thursday 1999. This was the beginning of the end for the mine. In mid-2000, Rio Tinto bought out the struggling North Ltd. With no appetite for a brawl, the new owners quietly mothballed the Jabiluka project, signing a guarantee with the Mirarr to that effect. The campaign had won.

**********

The Jabiluka campaign was one of those rare things – an outright victory. It was a win not just for the Mirarr people, but for every community threatened by a devastating radioactive mine. And it was a win for humanity as a whole, protected from more of this deadly substance. Our chant – “Hey, North, you’re running out of time! You’re never going to get your Jabiluka mine!” – for once came true.

The victory inspired a neighbouring traditional owner, Jeffrey Lee, single-handedly to challenge the development of the Koongarra uranium deposit, resulting in the cancellation of that entire mining lease. In Melbourne and other cities, the Mirarr resistance inspired sustained and creative campaigning from a wide variety of participants – from vegan Wiccans and revolutionary socialists to doof-doof rave organisers and corporate-philanthropist Women for Mirarr Women. The campaign was chaotic and argumentative, but united by a commitment to challenging corporate power and standing up for Aboriginal sovereignty.

It still serves as an inspiration for anti-nuclear and anti-mining campaigns, such as the brave and determined opposition of the Wangan and Jagalingou traditional owners to the Adani mine. It stands as a great example of how blockades on country can nourish and inspire actions in the cities.  https://redflag.org.au/node/6839

 

Achievements of Australia’s nuclear-free movement in 2018

January 4, 2019

 Dave Sweeney The days roll on and 2018 is in the past tense.

As ever the year saw highs, lows and flatlines. It also saw sustained and successful resistance to the nuclear industry in Australia.

This note is a snapshot, not a definitive list, but I wanted to capture some of our collective efforts and achievements so in a quiet moment we can reflect and recharge – and know that we are making a real difference.

Thanks and solidarity to all – and best wishes for a good break and time with people and in places that freshen the spirit. I look forward to working with you all in season 2019.

Uranium: Less is being ripped and shipped

  • Kakadu: the clean-up of the Ranger site is underway – Mirarr native title of the region was formally recognised – Rio Tinto have accepted their responsibility to clean up – there was a calendar and a series of events around the country to mark twenty years since the Jabiluka blockade
  • uranium remains stalled and actively contested in WA: 2018 saw a decade since then Premier Barnett announced a fast tracked uranium sector that would be “iron ore on steroids” – there are no mines but there is a major legal challenge to the Yeelirrie project, procedural challenge to Mulga Rock and community resistance to the four proposed projects with actions at AgMs, project critiques, Walkatjurra Walkabout and more
  • Qld Labor reaffirmed its opposition to uranium mining at its state conference

Radioactive waste: Under pressure and delayed

 the federal plan for a national waste facility in regional SA is highly contested, behind schedule and increasingly uncertain

  • the issue was pushed ahead of the state election and SA Labor has subsequently adopted a good policy position
  • there is growing civil society awareness and engagement with the issue – especially through our trade union partners
  • the Barngarla people were formally awarded native title over the Kimba sites in June and have taken legal action over deficiencies in the Feds consultation processes
  • Adnyamathanha resistance to the proposed Flinders Ranges site is strong and they have lodged a complaint on the plan with the Australian Human Rights Commission
  • community resistance at both sites is sustained and strong with high levels of engagement and regular actions, events and media profile
  • Federal Labor policy has a long way to go but at its national conference in December Labor moved from a policy position dominated by sites and place to one of standards and process
  • Standing Strong – the story of the successful community fight against the earlier plan for an international radioactive waste dump in SA was launched and learned from
  • there was early and strong opposition to chatter around other potential radioactive waste sites – especially at Brewarrina (NSW) and Leonora (WA)

 

Nuclear weapons: the cold war is reheating and support for a weapons ban grows

 ICAN – the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons – has continued to build on its 2017 Nobel Peace Prize profile

  • there was sustained outreach and awareness initiatives, including a bike ride from Melbourne to Canberra
  • there is growing international support for the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons with more nations signing and ratifying the ban
  • federal Labor committed to sign and ratify the ban treaty at its national conference in Adelaide in December – a major step forward
  • the Peace Boat visited Australian waters and cities in January/February and the Black Mist, Burnt Country Maralinga exhibition continued touring

Broader nuclear free efforts

 ANFA – the Australian Nuclear Free Alliance – had a good gathering in the Adelaide Hills in October and there was clear recognition of the role of First Nation people in the atomic resistance with awards to crew in WA, Aunty Sue in SA and Jeffrey Lee gaining the German based Nuclear Free Future award in the global Resistance category

  • anniversaries were marked with actions, events and reflection – including Fukushima, Chernobyl, Hiroshima and Maralinga
  • people engaged in state and federal processes including Senate Estimates, Senate Inquiries into radioactive waste siting and mine rehabilitation, ARPANSA Codes of Practice and more
  • folks engaged with ALP state and federal conferences, the ACTU Congress, many union forums, SoS, the Sustainable Living Festival and more
  • we remained connected and updated via the efforts of Christina Macpherson, Maelor at ACF, Jim Green at WISE, KA at CCWA and Walkatjurra, WGAR news, 3CR’s Radioactive Show, Understory and more

Looking ahead to 2019 – Another big year ahead folks – and one where we consolidate, defend and grow

 

  • Challenges include:
  • the forever struggle of resourcing and capacity
  • pro-nuke voices pushing small modular reactors (SMRs) and seeking to overturn the ban on domestic nuclear power
  • Mineral Council of Australia and others seeking the removal of uranium mining as a ‘trigger’ action in the federal EPBC Act
  • We need to:
  • better braid the uranium story and struggle into the wider dirty energy-fracking- fossil fuel narrative
  • keep Rio Tinto and the regulators focussed and genuine re the best possible rehab outcomes at Ranger and keep the door shut to the uranium sector in WA
  • support affected communities facing radioactive waste dump plans and push federal Labor to adopt a different approach
  • pressure and support federal Labor to follow through on its commitment to sign and ratify the nuclear weapons ban
  • make Australian uranium companies operating overseas – often in jurisdictions with low governance – accountable for their impacts

South Australia radio talkback reveals the opposition to nuclear waste dumping in that State

October 7, 2018

I am always struck by the fact that opponents of the nuclear industry are very many unpaid people. Just people who care. Some are highly educated academically. Many are not – but then they take the trouble to find out, and speak with the authority of both their local knowledge and wider information.

As for nuclear proponents they’re a small number of paid individuals, with another small number of hangers on who expect financial benefits from the nuclear industry.

Barb Walker shared a post. on  Flinders Local Action Group– more  – https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=flinders%20local%20action%20group
ABC Radio Adelaide Evenings with Peter Goer. Talkback 4 Oct 18. This show was inundated with hundreds of South Australians phoning in and texting about the proposed nuclear waste dump. ALL SAID NO!  Are you listening DIIS and ANSTO !!!??….  IT’S A BIG NO FROM SOUTH AUSTRALIA!!! http://www.abc.net.au/…/adelaide/programs/evenings/evenings…

– (This part is the last half hour of a 3 hour program. To hear it you need to slide the button along to last sixth of the program)

Transcript:Noel Wauchope . Not a perfect transcript, but a good account of what each caller said 

Dave Sweeney on the achievements of Australia’s nuclear-free movement in 2017

December 30, 2017

DAVE SWEENEY | Nuclear Free Campaigner, Australian Conservation Foundation | www.acf.org.au  | @AusConservation

A note to reflect on 2017 which has seen the Australian nuclear free community restrict uranium exports, derail plans for a global high level radioactive waste dump and help advance an international initiative to abolish nuclear weapons and receive the Nobel Peace Prize.

Not too shabby!

The end of the calendar year provides a pause to welcome the entrance of new life and to mark and mourn the passing of old.

It is also a time to reflect on our collective efforts and achievements – the below observations are by no means comprehensive but my sense of gratitude, solidarity and respect is.

With all best wish for a refreshing and recharging break.

I look forward to seeing and working with you in season 18,

Uranium:

 A big year of activity that has seen the industry further contested and constrained.

In March the WA state election saw the defeat of the aggressively pro-nuclear Barnett government. WA Labor were elected with a strong no uranium policy but have disappointingly failed to clearly implement this and are allowing four projects to continue to be advanced. All projects remain the focus of community concern and active opposition. The WA Conservation Council and Traditional Owners have taken Supreme Court action to oppose the approval of Cameco’s Yeelirrie project with a decision expected in the first quarter of 2018 and pressure is growing on Vimy Resources, the most enthusiastic uranium hopeful. There are no commercial uranium operations in the West and any wannabe miners face a very tough road.

In November Queensland Labor were returned to government with a strong anti-uranium position and the door remains tightly shut on the uranium sector in the sunshine state.

In the NT further assessment is under way about rehabilitation and clean up options for the contaminated Rum Jungle site and issues around the closure and rehabilitation of the heavily impacted Ranger mine site on Mirarr land in Kakadu moved to centre stage. The era of uranium mining in Kakadu is over: Jabiluka is stopped and stalled, Koongarra is finally and formally part of Kakadu National Park and Ranger has stopped mining and is in the final days of mineral processing. The challenge now is a massive one – to help ensure that the NT and federal governments and Rio Tinto have the commitment, competence and capacity to clean up, exit and transition in the most credible and effective way.

South Australia remains the nations sole uranium mining state but even the pro-nuclear Royal Commission found that there was no justification for increased mining. The global uranium market remains over-supplied and the commodity price remains deeply depressed. Our planets energy future is renewable, not radioactive and Australia is ripping and shipping less uranium oxide each year. In contrast to the continuing column inches and Mineral Council of Australia drumbeats – the market and the community both continue to have little confidence in, or time for, the uranium sector.

International radioactive waste:

 One of the best news stories of 2018 was the declaration in June that the plan to ship, store and ultimately bury one-third of the world’s high level radioactive waste into South Australia was dead’.

This result is a massive tribute to the sustained efforts, action and advocacy of so many – especially SA Aboriginal communities and representatives who spearheaded the community resistance. The result is also a real validation of the potency of people power over poisoned power. There was deep and well-resourced political, corporate, media and institutional support for the dump plan and this was stopped by the little people stepping up and doing big things. This result has significant international implications as the absence of an Australian based ‘disposal pathway’ makes it harder for aging reactors overseas to gain license extensions.

This is the second time in as many decades that the Australian community has successfully opposed plans to open a global high level radioactive waste dump with Pangea Resources seeking to advance a plan in WA in the late 1990’s. Some of the same players then were also behind the recent SA push and, like liberty, the price of keeping Australia free from being a global dumping ground is eternal vigilance.

National radioactive waste:

The federal government continues to lurch along an increasingly dry gully in its search to find a site to develop a national radioactive waste dump and store. Three sites in South Australia – one in the Flinders Ranges and two near Kimba on the Eyre Peninsula – remain the focus. All sites are strongly contested by large numbers of locals and in the Flinders Adnyamathanha Traditional Owners are continuing to lead the campaign. There has been lots of activity with publications, films, songs, exhibitions, rallies, actions, speaking tours, gatherings, public meetings, media events, Canberra trips and much more.

The government faces a set of sustained and significant procedural and community roadblocks in advancing this plan. It has had its eyes off the ball and been playing musical chairs over Ministerial responsibility – the song has now stopped with Matt Canavan in the hot seat. A growing range of groups are advocating a revised approach to responsible waste management based on extended interim storage at the two federal sites where 95% of the waste is currently stored and a detailed examination of the full range of future management options, not simply a search for a remote postcode. Hardly rocket science and set to be an area of key movement focus in 2018.

Nuclear weapons abolition:

Viva ICAN!

Against a backdrop of increasing global nuclear tensions an Australian born initiative has provided hope and a pathway to peace. The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons was formed in Melbourne a decade ago and ICAN was behind the UN’s adoption of a treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons earlier this year. The treaty seeks to make nuclear weapons illegal and to challenge and change the ways these weapons are viewed and valued. It is our shared planets best chance to get rid of our worst weapons. In October ICAN was awarded the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of its efforts. Surreal, timely and important. In 2018 work will continue to grow the treaty, including pressuring Australia to sign and ratify.

Along with ICAN’s Nobel there was other external recognition and acknowledgement of the efforts of Australian nuclear free work in 2017 including WA’s Judy Blyth’s commendation in ACF’s Rawlinson Award, respected and beloved Yankunytjatajara elder and prominent anti-nuclear and land rights campaigner Yami Lester was posthumously awarded a SA Environment Award lifetime achievement and the makers of the remarkable Collisions virtual reality film telling a key part of the Martu story won an Emmy Award. And more….congratulations to all.

Of course most of our work is not seeking and does not receive awards. It is done to move Australia away from fuelling and facilitating a trade that disrespects and endangers community and country today and far into the future. It is profound and pivotal – and it is making a real and demonstrable difference and I am proud to work and travel alongside you in this continuing journey.

 

Australian Christians activists face 7 years’ gaol for protest against secret USA spy base Pine Gap

November 25, 2017

An American Spy Base Hidden in Australia’s Outback, NYT   The trials — and the Australian government’s uncompromising prosecution of the protesters — has put a spotlight on a facility that the United States would prefer remain in the shadows.

— Margaret Pestorius arrived at court last week in her wedding dress, a bright orange-and-cream creation painted with doves, peace signs and suns with faces. “It’s the colors of Easter, so I always think of it as being a resurrection dress,” said Ms. Pestorius, a 53-year-old antiwar activist and devout Catholic, who on Friday was convicted of trespassing at a top-secret military base operated by the United States and hidden in the Australian outback.

Mark Parnell gathers 1835 (and counting) South Australians to sign up to No Nuclear Waste Dump for SA

December 13, 2016

text-no-wastes-south-australia

The Federal Government has selected South Australia for their national nuclear waste dump – saying that Barndioota in the Flinders Ranges is their only option.

This is on top of the South Australian Nuclear Royal Commission promoting South Australia as the World’s high level radioactive waste dumping ground.

Constructing a nuclear waste dump in SA is currently illegal and the Greens want it to stay this way.  We ask:

• Is this the best our State can aspire to?

• Is the damage to our State’s reputation worth it?

Radioactive waste is not only dangerous for hundreds of thousands of years, but its storage can never be 100% foolproof.

Last year in the US, a barrel of nuclear waste stored underground at an intermediate waste site in New Mexico ruptured, exposing 22 workers to radiation and costing an estimated $500 million to remediate.

Exposure to radiation can cause serious health problems – including cancer, cardiovascular disease, emphysema and cataracts – and if it enters the soil can contaminate our food and water.

Add you voice and sign the petition below to call on the South Australian Government to enforce our laws and stop nuclear waste being dumped in SA.


We the undersigned residents of South Australia, call on the Weatherill Labor Government to enforce the Nuclear Waste Storage Facility (Prohibition) Act 2000, to prevent a nuclear waste dump in South Australia. signatures:http://sagreens.markparnell.org.au/no_waste_dump_for_sa So the current count is 25 to 1833?

South Australian protest against Nuclear Citizens Jury

June 27, 2016

text don't nuclear waste Australia

Nuclear royal commission: Protesters voice opposition to SA waste dump outside citizens’ jury, ABC News, 25 June 16   Anti-nuclear protesters have confronted SA Premier Jay Weatherill on his way into a citizens’ jury which is meeting to consider a controversial proposal to build a nuclear waste dump in the state.

The event at the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) was prompted by the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission, which handed down its findings earlier this year.

The final report by commissioner Kevin Scarce delivered to the SA Government in May made 12 recommendations, including the creation of waste storage sites and the relaxation of federal restrictions on nuclear power.

Tentative findings released in February also urged the creation of a dump with capacity for 138,000 tonnesof spent fuel from the world’s nuclear reactors.

Dozens of protesters gathered outside SAHMRI in Adelaide this morning, shouting out their concerns when the Premier arrived.

Gypsy-Rose Entriken from the Barossa Valley said she was worried about the dangers of transporting nuclear waste. “I’m really worried about what the implications of this long-term dump are going to be, and how it’s going to affect us for the rest of our lives and for generations,” she said.

“How are they going to get it here? There’s so many things that can go wrong.”

The citizens’ jury is made up of 50 people selected from about 1,100 registrations by research organisation newDemocracy Foundation, and is part of a public relations exercise organised by the State Government.

Its job is to decide which elements of the royal commission’s recommendations need to be discussed in more detail…….http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-06-25/citizens-jury-to-consider-nuclear-dump-proposal/7543314

Nuclear waste dump p-lan rejected by women and Labor voters – poll reveals

May 19, 2016

text don't nuclear waste Australia

Women and Labor voters opposed to international nuclear waste dump in South Australia, poll finds, Adelaide Now, March 21, 2016  PETER JEAN, POLITICAL REPORTER The Advertiser PREMIER Jay Weatherill will need to win the support of women and his own Labor voters if the State Government decides to back the construction of an international nuclear waste storage facility in South Australia.

The results of a new opinion poll show almost 60 per cent of women and most Labor voters are opposed to a global nuclear waste facility being located in the state.

The ReachTEL Poll of 1077 SA residents conducted on March 10 found that 37 per cent of voters supported of voters supported an international nuclear waste dump, 48.5 per cent were opposed and 14 per cent were undecided….

Australia Institute executive director Ben Oquist said South Australians were increasingly aware of the risks posed by the project, including the damage it could do to the state’s reputation.

“I think people are increasingly wise to the projects that are jobs-rich, versus those that are expensive, likely to involve a large upfront government subsidy and won’t produce long-term jobs,’’ Mr Oquist said.

“Those industries that are jobs-intensive are potentially put at risk by South Australia’s brand being threatened by a global nuclear waste dump.’’….. http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/women-and-labor-voters-opposed-to-international-nuclear-waste-dump-in-south-australia-poll-finds/news-story/35d4ad38cadbaae4798ca89e91c74f5f

Advocacy Group against Nuclear waste dumping- NO Dump Alliance – launched

May 19, 2016

logo No Dump Alliance

Advocacy group protests against high-level nuclear waste dump in SA, saying it poses great health, environment and financial risks  http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-05-16/nuclear-dump-protesters-warn-of-cultural-genocide-in-sa/7419406 May 16, 2016  Erin Jones The Advertiser

A NEW advocacy group will lobby against a high-level nuclear waste dump being built in SA.

The No Dump Alliance group launched on Monday and already has the support of several groups, including the Australian Nursing & Midwifery Federation, the Maritime Union of Australia and SA Aboriginal Congress.

The group formed after the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission earlier this month recommended the state urgently pursue the opportunity of a nuclear dump.

The No Dump Alliance believes the proposal shows a lack of respect for traditional owners, who opposed the dump and said it could pose significant health, environment and financial risks.

Candice Champion is a Adnyamathanha woman from the Flinders Ranges who said a nuclear storage facility could pose many risks to her community.

“As a young Adnyamathanha woman my family will be affected by this nuclear dump, which is bringing about a lot of anxiety and mental health issues to my family and community,” Ms Champion said.

“These places are of quality and significance to me and people continue to discount the Adnyamathanha voice which is frustrating and disheartening.

“We want to be able to invest in our future generations and be able to pass something over that is important and pristine, not something posing any risks.”

SA Aboriginal Congress chairman Tauto Sansbury said the group must have a united front and it was not just an “Aboriginal fight” to protect the land.

“This will be a united front to protect SA and make sure it continues to grow from other opportunities, apart from being the international dumping ground,” Mr Sansbury said.

“I believe we’re going to win this because this is not just about an Aboriginal fight … it’s everyone’s fight.”

The State Government will use a jury of 350 randomly selected South Australians to make recommendations to it in November on whether to proceed with the plan for a nuclear waste dump.

The jury was part of a six-step process to unfold over the next seven months, culminating in a firm Government position being outlined to State Parliament.

Premier Jay Weatherill has previously stressed the project could not proceed without broad political and community support.

2016: Dave Sweeney sums up the challenges for Australia’s anti-nuclear movement

December 24, 2015

 

Sweeney, Dave 1Dave Sweeney, 24 Dec 15

Looking ahead:

2016 is shaping up as a very significant year. A federal election always provides colour and movement along with opportunity and threat. Against this backdrop some of our key work will include:

·         SA Royal Commission: the Commission’s interim report is expected on February 15 with a final report by May 6. It is likely that this will be largely supportive of nuclear expansion plans with a chorus line of industry boosters. We need to prepare for a media blitz and ensure there is public contest, support those communities – especially Aboriginal people – most directly affected, and buttress federal Labor’s opposition to domestic nuclear power and international nuclear waste.

 

·         National radioactive waste: the community comment period around the six current sites closes on March 11 (Fukushima’s fifth anniversary). We will continue to support affected communities and provide information and access to resources – including the film Containment.  We need to keep finding ways to advance the long standing civil society call for a detailed, public and independent review of responsible waste management options.

 

·         Uranium: maintain pressure to help ensure ERA transitions from creating to cleaning radioactive mine mess in Kakadu, hold the line against any full project approvals in WA ahead of the March 2017 state election by taking this story from Cottesloe to Canada, track heap leaching plans at Olympic Dam and support calls for action on BHP’s failings in Brazil.

 

·         Federal election/policy: ensure no nuclear policy retreats and oppose moves to fast-track state and federal project approvals through changes to environmental laws and the ‘one stop shop’ At election time we need to remind all politicians that no one has a mandate to radiate.

 

·         Lest we forget: 2016 is a big anniversary year – 5 years since the Australian uranium fuelled Fukushima crisis, 30 years since Chernobyl and 60 years since the creation of the flawed International Atomic Energy Agency. All provide opportunities to reflect and revisit.

 

·         Braid the pieces and tell the story:  join the dots nationally and internationally about how Australian uranium drives local damage and division and fuels global insecurity in the form of risky reactors, nuclear weapons and forever wastes.