Archive for the ‘politics’ Category

Australia’s Liberal-National Coalitions’s Nuclear Cowboys

June 6, 2019
Crackpot stuff’: Coalition MPs’ call for nuclear power inquiry rejected by Greens,  Guardian, Sarah Martin, 5 June 19, Sarah Hanson-Young says the Nationals who have raised nuclear energy are ‘lunatic cowboys’   The Greens have labelled Coalition MPs pushing for an inquiry into nuclear power as “lunatic cowboys”, pledging to block any move to overturn Australia’s nuclear ban in the Senate.

As conservative MPs move to establish a Senate inquiry into nuclear power when parliament returns next month, the Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young has invited the former Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce to debate her in the “town he thinks it should be built”.

“Talk of overturning the ban on nuclear power in Australia is crackpot stuff,” Hanson-Young, who is the party’s environment spokesperson, said.

“Aside from being a dangerous technology, nuclear power is wildly expensive and would take a decade or more to build.

“It would be a funny joke if it wasn’t so embarrassing to have the Nationals, who are in government and who sit around the cabinet table, pushing for this.

“These people are meant to be in charge, and they’re running around like a bunch of lunatic cowboys.”

The comments from the Greens come after Queenslanders Keith Pitt and James McGrath indicated they would push for a select committee into nuclear power in the first week of parliamentary sittings in July, saying technology has changed since the country last reviewed its prospects in 2006………

The New South Wales deputy premier, John Barilaro, has also thrown his support behind the nuclear push, saying despite the debate over emissions reduction the nuclear “solution” was seen as too “politically risky”.

“Now is the right time for Australia to begin a mature and fact-filled conversation on the benefits of nuclear energy,” Barilaro said.

The Australian Nuclear Association has supported the new inquiry, saying deep cuts to emissions would be best achieved with nuclear power, with thetechnology cost competitive with coal and gas if carbon pollution is priced.

The association’s Robert Parker said removing the ban on nuclear power that currently exists in the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act would enable industry to start negotiations with suppliers about building a nuclear power plant at the lowest possible cost.

But Hanson-Young said the Greens would be pushing to strengthen the EPBC Act and would fight any moves to water down the ban on nuclear.

“We need stronger environment laws that continue the ban on nuclear energy,” Hanson-Young said.

“Nuclear energy is an old technology that Australia doesn’t need and has outgrown. We are moving toward a renewable energy future. It’s happening, it’s here and the government should be enabling it, not trying to revisit a dangerous and outdated technology.”

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Josh Frydenberg, driving force in Australian government, determined against further action on climate change

May 20, 2019

Don’t be fooled by folksy, blokey Prime Minister Scott Morrison. The suave and slick Josh Frydenberg is the brains of the outfit. And he knows whom he is working for –  the fossil fuel industries, not the public.

Our plan is very clear’: No climate revamp for re-elected Coalition,  Australians should not expect any change to the Liberal-National government’s climate change policies after their federal election win.   SBS, 20 May19

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has hosed down any suggestion that the Coalition will be going back to the drawing board on climate change after the government’s come-from-behind election win.

“Our plan is very clear and it’s the plan that we took to the Australian people,” he told ABC’s Insiders on Sunday. Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has hosed down any suggestion that the Coalition will be going back to the drawing board on climate change after the government’s come-from-behind election win.

“Our plan is very clear and it’s the plan that we took to the Australian people,” he told ABC’s Insiders on Sunday.

Mr Frydenberg was among Coalition members who faced a swing against them on Saturday, in the face of challenges from independent or Green candidates campaigning largely on climate change.

Former prime minister Tony Abbott lost his seat to Independent Zali Steggallfor whom climate change was pivotal.

As the results rolled in, outgoing MP Julie Bishop said the Coalition must reassess its position on climate change and possibly revisit former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull’s signature energy policy.

“It will have to end the uncertainty and the National Energy Guarantee was the closest thing we had to a bipartisan position.” …..

Labor frontbencher Tanya Plibersek hopes the government finally grapples with climate and energy with a policy aimed at bringing down pollution, reducing power prices and boosting investment in renewables.

“How is this government going to manage that when they are still so broken inside with climate change deniers on one side and people who at least accept the science on the other side, but 14 different energy policies?” https://www.sbs.com.au/news/our-plan-is-very-clear-no-climate-revamp-for-re-elected-coalition

Australia’s grim election result – anti-climate action, pro nuclear, Liberal Coalition returned to power

May 19, 2019

 

The election result was not what was expected. Progressive Australians are still reeling from the shock – of another 3 years of a government whose loyalty is to the fossil fuel industry and to the nuclear lobby.

The Scott Morrison government has no plans, no idea at all, about how Australia might genuinely aim to meet its Paris climate change commitments.

It seems that most Australians were taken in by Scott Morrison’s simplistic message   “I alone can manage the economy, cutting taxes (for the wealthy) is all that is needed” . The message of  Labor and The Greens comprehensive policies did not come across.

A Trump -like victory, a Brexit like victory – grim years ahead for Australia.

The goal of a clean, positive programme for energy, climate, water, and the environment must not be abandoned. Progressive Australians, whether in Parliament, in the Senate, in the media, or in the environmental movement will not give up.

Liberal and L:abor collude in covering up Australia’s nuclear waste dump plan, but rural South Australians are aware

May 5, 2019

Dump opponents meet on ‘country in between’  https://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article/dump-opponents-meet-on–country-in-between Michele Madigan, 02 May 2019

We are the joy, the sadness, the anger and the peace.’ With these moving words, Adnyamathanha Elders Aunty Enice Marsh and Geraldine Anderson opened a significant gathering in Port Augusta last month. People from the Flinders Ranges and the Kimba farming region, still threatened by the federal government’s plans to deposit the nation’s radioactive waste, met again ‘on the country in between’.

For some months now, no further government decisions have been taken — or at least not conveyed — as to the preferred final site for the nation’s long-lived intermediate and low-level nuclear waste.
On 18 December, following the Barngala people’s similar move in August against the Kimba Council, the Adnyamathanha Traditional Lands Association (ATLA) of the Flinders Ranges took to court the local council’s ruling to exclude non-resident Traditional Owners from a community ballot on the matter. Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, representing ATLA pro bono, see the situation as a justice issue. The 30 January decision deadline has come and gone.

Peter Woolford is the chairperson of the aptly named ‘It Goes Against the Grain’ group of farmers and townspeople of the Kimba region who oppose the dump and its threat to their international grain markets. From his long interview for the 7.30 Report on 28 March, only a few brief words survived the final cut, but he was pleased it was his main point: ‘We’re not activists — I’m a third generation farmer.’

His report to the Port Augusta gathering spoke of much activity, notably that the anti-dump farmers’ stand at the Cleve Field Days had attracted 1000 petitions. Meanwhile, farmer colleague Tom Harris, now on the Kimba Council, provides ‘some balance’ to the otherwise pro-dump farmers/townspeople councillors.

Originally bound to the Flinders by the tragic loss of his ten year old brother there in 1959, Greg Bannon, chairperson of FLAG (Flinders Local Action Group), paid tribute to the Adnyamathanha: ‘Support from the TOs in community from the start has been great and inspiring and has given strength to the rest of us who have no home but here.’ FLAG’s many activities include writing letters, making submissions, media appearances, presenting to the local council, and more.
Meanwhile the mental anguish of community conflict and concern — either for country or from the cash benefits promised by government — continues within both communities. The 7.30 Report highlighted this, with people on both (mainly pro) sides of the issue given voice. As Woolford wondered aloud to us in Port Augusta: ‘How is our town to heal, whichever way the decision goes?’

How can serious environmental matters in South Australia become as important in the national consciousness as those in the eastern states?”

Also in April, Friends of the Earth associates, Mara Bonacci and Dr Jim Green, travelled to Port Pirie, Port Augusta, Whyalla and Port Lincoln to meet with councils, election candidates for the Division of Grey, trade unions and Traditional Owners. Months after independent environmental expert David Noonan’s careful study of government documents revealed the ports named to possibly receive the nuclear waste, local people including council members of proposed port towns, still had no idea of this reality.

Younger members of the areas affected are speaking out. Adnyamathanha Candace Champion is standing for the Greens in the coming election. The Kimba young people are asking why they have been given no voice. As Adnyamathanha law student Dwayne Coulthard declares: ‘South Australia is being smashed right now — UCG [Underground Coal Gasification], the Bight and the Nuclear Waste Dump. How do we make this a reality for people?’

Good question! How can serious environmental matters in South Australia become as important in the national consciousness as those in the eastern states? Australia’s intermediate nuclear waste will be dangerous for 10,000 years. As Mara Bonacci explains, ‘It’s Australia’s waste, it’s a national issue, the burden of responsibility shouldn’t fall on two small regional communities.’

The SA Catholic Church recently suffered a great loss at the sudden passing of a key priest, Denis Edwards. Author of many internationally known books on a Christian response to the ecological crisis, Edwards had no hesitation in becoming a No Dump Alliance member: ‘I believe we are called by God to love and to respect this land as a gift, and to protect its integrity for future generations.’Good question! How can serious environmental matters in South Australia become as important in the national consciousness as those in the eastern states? Australia’s intermediate nuclear waste will be dangerous for 10,000 years. As Mara Bonacci explains, ‘It’s Australia’s waste, it’s a national issue, the burden of responsibility shouldn’t fall on two small regional communities.’

The SA Catholic Church recently suffered a great loss at the sudden passing of a key priest, Denis Edwards. Author of many internationally known books on a Christian response to the ecological crisis, Edwards had no hesitation in becoming a No Dump Alliance member: ‘I believe we are called by God to love and to respect this land as a gift, and to protect its integrity for future generations.’Good question! How can serious environmental matters in South Australia become as important in the national consciousness as those in the eastern states? Australia’s intermediate nuclear waste will be dangerous for 10,000 years. As Mara Bonacci explains, ‘It’s Australia’s waste, it’s a national issue, the burden of responsibility shouldn’t fall on two small regional communities.’

The SA Catholic Church recently suffered a great loss at the sudden passing of a key priest, Denis Edwards. Author of many internationally known books on a Christian response to the ecological crisis, Edwards had no hesitation in becoming a No Dump Alliance member: ‘I believe we are called by God to love and to respect this land as a gift, and to protect its integrity for future generations.’

No Dump Alliance is a broad grouping from the SA community, Aboriginal and agricultural representatives. On 29 April, the third anniversary of the day the federal government named Wallerbina, Flinders Ranges as the preferred site, the Alliance called for the scrapping of the present site selection process and the establishment of an independent inquiry to thoroughly explore all the scientifically safe options for management.

The next day, members presented hundreds of petitions to this end to federal member Rowan Ramsey. As Peter Woolford said, ‘Our homes, our communities, our jobs are at risk from this unpopular and unnecessary plan.’

Concerned Australians can offer solidarity by making an online submission here or by writing their own.

Michele Madigan is a Sister of St Joseph who has spent the past 38 years working with Aboriginal people in remote areas of SA, in Adelaide and in country SA. Her work has included advocacy and support for senior Aboriginal women of Coober Pedy in their campaign against the proposed national radioactive dump.

Does the Australian Parliament even know that Dr Adi Paterson signed Australia up with China, in a Nuclear Development Partnership?

March 24, 2019

Australia is back in the nuclear game, Independent Australia,  By Noel Wauchope | 24 March 2019, One of Australia’s chief advocates for nuclear power Dr Adi Paterson, CEO of Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, (ANSTO), has done it again.

This time in China, he quietly signed Australia up to spend taxpayers’ money on developing a new nuclear gimmick — the Thorium Molten Salt Reactor (TMSR).

This new nuclear reactor does not physically exist and there is no market for it. So its development depends on government funding.

Proponents claim that this nuclear reactor would be better and cheaper than the existing (very expensive) pressurised water reactors, but this claim has been refuted. The TMSR has been described by analyst Oliver Tickell as not “green”, not “viable” and not likely. More recently, the plan has been criticised as, among other things, just too expensive — not feasible as a profitable commercial energy source.

Paterson’s trip to China and his signing up to this agreement received no Parliamentary discussion and no public information. The news just appeared in a relatively obscure engineering journal.

The public remains unaware of this.

In 2017, we learned through the Senate Committee process that Dr Paterson had, in June 2016, signed Australia up to the Framework Agreement for International Collaboration on Research and Development of Generation IV Nuclear Energy Systems (also accessible by Parliament Hansard Economics Legislation Committee 30/05/2017).

This was in advance of any Parliamentary discussion and despite Australia’s law prohibiting nuclear power development. Paterson’s decision was later rubber-stamped by a Senate Committee……..

Dr Paterson was then obviously supremely confident in his ability to make pro-nuclear decisions for Australia.

Nothing seems to have changed in Paterson’s confidence levels about making decisions on behalf of Australia.

Interestingly, Bill Gates has abandoned his nuclear co-operation with China. His company TerraPower was to develop Generation IV nuclear reactors. Gates decided to pull out of this because the Trump Administration, led by the Energy Department, announced in October that it was implementing measures to prevent China’s illegal diversion of U.S. civil nuclear technology for military or other unauthorised purposes.

Apparently, these considerations have not weighed heavily on the Australian Parliament.

Is this because the Parliament doesn’t know anything about Dr Paterson’s trip to China and his agreement for Australia to partner with the Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics (SINAP) in developing Thorium Molten Salt Reactors?   https://independentaustralia.net/environment/environment-di

Australian pro-nuclear political party, in Animal Justice clothing

March 21, 2019

Well, I gave this party my preferences at the most recent election.  But not any more. Rumour has it that there’s a strong pro nuclear presence in the Animal Justice Party.

This rumour is now confirmed by Michael Dello, Animal Justice Party candidate for Heffron, New South Wales.

I n response to a request about this, Michael Dello writes:

  • Nuclear is one of the safest forms of energy per unit energy produced, safer than even wind and solar (in terms of lives lost per unit energy). Some highly publicised events make this seem untrue, but the st statistics support this. I admit that this isn’t simple, as nuclear causes more property damage per unit energy, but it seems far from clear that nuclear is more dangerous than wind and solar.
  • Nuclear has saved  millions of lives to date by pushing out coal. Granted, renewables have done this too to an extent.
  • The production of renewable energy and batteries  also has waste, in particular the process of mining nickel and lead which are used for batteries produce far more toxic waste (e.g. sulfur dioxide) per unit energy produced than nuclear.
  • I don’t believe we can achieve the emissions reduction targets we need with renewable energy alone. I believe that nuclear power and a reform of our agriculture system (animal agriculture being the leading cause of climate change yet the most ignored in Australia by far) are important and neglected parts of this process.
  • I don’t believe it is possible with current or even near future technology to have sufficient battery storage with renewables alone.
  • Nuclear has a significantly smaller land use requirement than renewable energy. The environmental cost of clearing land to make room for renewable energy is non-trivial (less of an issue in SA than the east coast).

 

BHP’s OLympic Dam Uranium Mine – open slather on water, Aboriginal rights, environment

March 9, 2019

Initial Scoping – Olympic Dam Expansion Issues 22 Feb 2019 David Noonan B.Sc., M.Env.St., Independent Environment Campaigner The BHP Roxby ‘Major Project’ Copper & Uranium Mining Proposal: ‘Olympic Dreams: Major step for $3 billion, 1800-job North mine expansion’ (15 Feb, p.1 promo The Advertiser) as SA Gov. grant’s “Major Project” status to assess BHP’s latest expansion plan, to:

  • Increase copper production from 200,000 tonnes per annum to 350 000 tpa, with an increase in ‘associated products’ – uranium oxide: from 4 000 to approx. 6 000 tpa;
  •   Use the outdated 1982 Roxby Downs Indenture Ratification Act to control this EIS assessment under the Mining Minister, with the Indenture over-riding other SA legislation and subjecting Aboriginal Heritage to a constrained version of a 1979 Act across BHP Olympic Dam operations in the Stuart Shelf Area (covering 1 per cent of SA) – rather than the contemporary standards, process and protections in the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1988;
  • Use a since replaced 1993 Development Act and “Major Project” status Sec. 46 (1) that excludes Appeals regarding the Environment Impact Statement (EIS) process and outcomes;
  • Use a ‘one stop shop’ Bilateral Assessment Agreement leaving the SA Gov. to conduct the assessment, including on Matters of National Environmental Significance (MNES)under the Commonwealth Environment Protection legislation (EPBC Act 1999), on nuclear actions and on the fragile Mound Springs Endangered Ecological Community – reliant on GAB waters;
  • Use the SA Gov. Declaration to “Exclude” existing mining and “enabling activities” up to 200 000 tpa Cu & associated products and resultant impacts from this EIS assessment, “such as: waste treatment, storage and disposal, including but not limited to, Tailings Storage Facility 6, Evaporation Pond 6, additional cells for the contaminated waste disposal facility, and development of a low-level radioactive waste storage facility”;
  • And to increase extraction of Great Artesian Basin fossil water “up to total maximum 50 million litres a day annual average” (above the volumes last assessed in 1997 and set at a max of 42 Ml/day) and give BHP rights to take GAB water – potentially up to 2070, with “any augmented or new water supply pipeline from the GAB along with any other wellfield”;…………. . https://nuclear.foe.org.au/wp-content/uploads/Noonan-Olympic-Dam-Expansion-2019.pdf

Australia’s Minister for Resources, Matt Canavan shows his ignorance on nuclear waste dump safety issues

March 1, 2019

Economics Part 3 NRWMF 20190221

Hansard extract of Estimates Hearing on 21 February 2019 radioactive waste. [20:46]  

 Senator Canavan :….. we do have the uncertainty of a court case at the moment, the government hasn’t made any decision around future steps to test support for a radioactive waste facility at Kimba or Hawker. ……
Sen Patrick: –   Could you give me some idea as to whether locations 45 and 45A were considered by the Commonwealth in the selection process? I note that both of those sites were recommended as a possibility in this very extensive report.
Sen Canavan:  I’m not familiar with the land ownership of these two sites there. Are you saying they’re on Defence land— ……
Sen Patrick:  Senator PATRICK: I just thought the department would have been aware of this study and would have some information…..
  Senator PATRICK: If it is Defence land and outside the WPA, there has to be another reason, and I’m just asking for what that reason is.  …
Sen Patrick I think everyone’s aware of 3 the CSIRO waste at Woomera, but there’s also another facility called Koolymilka, which is owned by Defence and has some intermediate-level waste, some of it owned by Defence, some of it administered by Defence.
  I did ask for a copy of their manual, their emergency response plan. In that plan there were a number of risks that they identified associated with the facility. They included things like fire, flood, storm, civil protest activity at Woomera, missile strike from something that might be on the range, aircraft strike from an aircraft nearby and they mention, ‘terrorist activity aimed at accessing the facility for publicity purposes, or for removing drums from the facility for use in a dirty bomb’. That is a Defence assessment. It’s in their emergency response plan and they have a contingent for it. some sort of way of reacting to that plan. I’ve spoken to residents of Kimba who basically have said that the Department of Industry has been silent on that particular prospect even though it has been raised during community consultation.   I’m giving the department an opportunity to lay out has the community been consulted about the possibility of a terrorist attack and what was the nature of that consultation, if there was any?
  Senator Canavan: Can I say up-front that I’ve never been provided with any advice that this is at all a risk ….  this has never been raised as an issue. I have no reason to believe there is any risk of this. …….. There is extensive work around the security of the facility. This is not an issue that we would consider to be a major risk. In the same way it’s been managed at Lucas Heights for decades, it will be managed in another site once that is developed, so it would be—
Senator PATRICK: Sorry, on what basis do you say that? Have you got some defence background? Have you had some briefings on this? Senator Canavan: Senator, this has been looked at, sorry, no— Senator PATRICK: I understand that. Senator Canavan: I’m going to intervene here, because now you’re verballing public servants— Senator PATRICK: No. I simply asked on what basis did she make the claim that there’s no risk
  Senator Canavan: Yes, but you made the claim in an editorial way. I don’t want to go further. But I think you’re bordering on being highly irresponsible to be 5 throwing around potential risks that I don’t think are well formed. The assessments of— Senator PATRICK: This is a Department of Defence document, Minister ….

Senator CANAVAN: hang on, Senator—our security. You’re running a political campaign on a local community issue, but now you’re trying to bring in security issues unannounced, unaired. I don’t think that is appropriate behaviour.    …… http://www.mossmusic.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Hansard-extract-of-Estimates-Hearing-21_2_19.pdf?fbclid=IwAR0RVyvtH_U2Csq0XvSfz4sV1oDJTLC9dbwhXrOO-YEfSzEyRf0GBw07mQs

Pro nuclear campaigner Warren Mundine chosen as Liberal candidate in Australian election

January 24, 2019

Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison has parachuted a pro nuclear campaigner, Warren Mundine,  as an election candidate in a marginal seat

Warren Mundine’s nuclear allegiances, Jim Green, Online Opinion, 11 April 2012, more https://nuclear.foe.org.au/warren-mundines-nuclear-allegiances/?fbclid=IwAR32gwKze3jcbZV26e-sqsyRjE0lkFycLcyDj_lVWKVRxac1u4cttGzLeHM

Warren Mundine, a member and former National President of the ALP, and co-convener of the Australian Uranium Association’s Indigenous Dialogue Group, has been promoting the nuclear industry recently. Unfortunately he turns a blind eye to the industry’s crude racism, a problem that ought to be core business for the Indigenous Dialogue Group.

Mundine could have mentioned the legacy of uranium mining in the Wiluna region of WA; to pick one of many examples. Uranium exploration in the region in the 1980s left a legacy of pollution and contamination. Greatly elevated radiation levels have been recorded despite the area being ‘cleaned’ a decade ago. Even after the ‘clean up’, the site was left with rusting drums containing uranium ore. A sign reading “Danger − low level radiation ore exposed” was found lying face down in bushes.

In August 2000, coordinator of the Wiluna-based Marruwayura Aboriginal Corporation Steve Syred said that until 1993, 100−150 people were living three kilometres from the spot where high radiation levels were recorded. Syred told the Kalgoorlie Miner that the Aboriginal community had unsuccessfully resisted uranium exploration in the area in the early 1980s. Since then many people had lived in the area while the Ngangganawili Aboriginal Corporation was based near the contaminated site. Elders still hunted in the area.

Another example ignored by Mundine was in late March when the NSW government passed legislation that excluded uranium from provisions of the NSW Aboriginal Land Rights Act 1983 thus stripping Aboriginal Land Councils of any say in uranium mining.

Yet another example ignored by Mundine was the 2011 amendments to the S.A. Roxby Downs Indenture Act 1982. This is the legislation that governs operations at the Olympic Dam uranium and copper mine and retains exemptions from the S.A. Aboriginal Heritage Act. Traditional Owners were not even consulted in the amendments or exemptions. The S.A. government’s spokesperson in Parliament said: “BHP were satisfied with the current arrangements and insisted on the continuation of these arrangements, and the government did not consult further than that.”

That disgraceful performance illustrates a broader pattern. Aboriginal land rights and heritage protections are feeble at the best of times. But the legal rights and protections are repeatedly stripped away whenever they get in the way of nuclear or mining interests. The Olympic Dam mine is largely exempt from the S.A. Aboriginal Heritage Act and any uranium mines in NSW are to be exempt from provisions of the NSW Aboriginal Land Rights Act. Likewise, sub-section 40(6) of the Commonwealth’s Aboriginal Land Rights Act exempts the Ranger uranium mine in the N.T. from the Act.

Mundine claims that Australia has “a legal framework to negotiate equitably with the traditional owners on whose land many uranium deposits are found”. That claim is disingenuous.

Native Title rights were extinguished with the stroke of a pen by the Howard government to seize land for a radioactive waste dump in South Australia. Aboriginal heritage laws and Aboriginal land rights are being trashed with the current push to dump in the Northern Territory. Federal Resources Minister Martin Ferguson’s National Radioactive Waste Management Act overrides the Aboriginal Heritage Act, sidesteps the Aboriginal Land Rights Act, and allows for the imposition of a dump on Aboriginal land even in the absence of any consultation with or consent from Traditional Owners.

David Ross, Director of the Central Land Council, noted in a March 14 media release: “This legislation is shameful, it subverts processes under the [Aboriginal] Land Rights Act and is clearly designed to reach the outcome of a dump being located on Aboriginal land in the Northern Territory, whether that’s the best place for it or not. This legislation preserves the Muckaty nomination without acknowledging the dissent and conflict amongst the broader traditional owner group about the process and the so-called agreement.

The passage of this legislation will further inflame the tensions and divisions amongst families in Tennant Creek, and cause great stress to many people in that region.”

A small number of Traditional Owners support the N.T. dump proposal. However most are opposed and the Northern Territory Government supports that opposition, key trade unions including the Australia Council of Trade Unions, church groups, medical and health organisations, and environmental groups. If push comes to shove, there will be a blockade at the site to prevent construction of the dump.

A pro bono legal team is assisting Traditional Owners with their legal challenge against the nomination of the Muckaty site. At a Federal Court hearing on March 27, a Commonwealth lawyer argued that the government’s legislation allows the nomination of a dump site to stand even if the evidence regarding traditional ownership is false.

These patterns are evident in other countries. North American Indigenous activist Winona LaDuke from the Anishinabe Nation told the Indigenous World Uranium Summit in 2006: “The greatest minds in the nuclear establishment have been searching for an answer to the radioactive waste problem for fifty years, and they’ve finally got one: haul it down a dirt road and dump it on an Indian reservation”.

Here in Australia the situation is scarcely any better than it was in the 1950s when the British were exploding nuclear bombs on Aboriginal land. Which brings us to another of Mundine’s blind spots. He could have mentioned the latest ‘clean up’ of the Maralinga nuclear test site, which was done on the cheap. Nuclear engineer and whistleblower Alan Parkinson said of the ‘clean-up’: “What was done at Maralinga was a cheap and nasty solution that wouldn’t be adopted on white-fellas land.”

Mundine’s claim to support Aboriginal empowerment is contradicted by his consistent failure to speak out when mining and nuclear interests and governments that support those interests disempower Aboriginal people.

Australia’s Liberal and Labor parties unite – keeping quiet about imposing nuclear waste on South Australia

January 19, 2019

Susan Craig Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA, 18 Jan 19

Federal Labor tell us the nuclear waste is TOO DANGEROUS for Lucas Heights, NSW, “we’ve got to get it out of there because it’s too dangerous to have it in densely populated metropolitan Sydney.

Federal Liberal tell us it’s PERFECTLY SAFE. It’s confounding that a post code can change the risk level of nuclear waste!

Both Scott and Bill are on the same bus. They refuse to make this an election issue. South Australians need to get on our own bus and demand that this issue be brought out into the open.

The current plan for a nuclear waste dump for South Australia is dangerous. Intermediate level nuclear waste is 100% fatal, after exposure life expectancy is around 4 – 6 weeks, it’s radioactive for 10,000 years and it will be stored above ground in a tin shed. It’s time for a cohesive, intelligent worlds best practice plan be developed to keep all Australian’s and our environment safe, now and into the future.