Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

ERA’s Ranger uranium mine – dead but ERA just won’t lie down

text-cat-question

 

Did the Australian Labor Party get rid of Martin Ferguson as Minister For The Nuclear Lobby, only to replace Gray-nuclear-him with Gary Gray -a new Minister For The Nuclear Lobby?

Opposition resources minister Gary Gray has said that a closure of Ranger would have “massive implications” for the economy of Arnhem Land and would be unfortunate for the uranium industry in Australia.

Energy Resources of Australia nears decision on future of Ranger uranium mine, SMH, January 12, 2016  Energy Reporter The future of the Ranger uranium mine in the Northern Territory hangs in the balance as owner Energy Resources of Australia nears a decision on a strategic review.

Rio Tinto-controlled ERA said on Tuesday it would update the market this quarter on the strategic review, which it kicked off in October after being advised by traditional owners that they oppose an extension of production at the mine near Kakadu.

The Mirarr traditional owners refused to back the miner’s bid to extend its processing permits beyond the current expiry date of January 2021.

ERA, 68 per cent-owned by Rio, warned then that it may have to write down its assets as a result. Some analysts calculate the impairment could reach several hundred million dollars. ERA, for whom Ranger is its only producing asset, is due to report its 2015 earnings on January 28…………. Continue reading

January 13, 2016 Posted by | aboriginal issues, business, Northern Territory, uranium | Leave a comment

What if a nuclear waste train is derailed?

Derailed train in Queensland spills 200,000l sulphuric acid and diesel, Logistics Business Review  28 December 2015 Approximately 200,000l of sulphuric acid and diesel was spilled when all 26 carriages of a freight train derailed in Quarrells, 20km east of Julia Creek in mid-northern Queensland, Australia.

train derailment Qld Dec 15

Emergency crews have started clean-up operation in heavy rain and three train staff sustained minor injuries in the accident. Following the incident on Sunday, Queensland Police declared an emergency situation covering a 2km exclusion zone around the crash site.

Queensland Rail said: “Emergency services attended the scene, however, Queensland Rail crews have been unable to access the site as the Flinders highway is currently cut off due to flooding in the region…….

Inland passenger services and freight trains have been affected in the region……  http://www.logistics-business-review.com/news/derailed-train-in-queensland-spills-200000l-sulphuric-acid-and-diesel-4763524

Train derailment sparks uranium transport fears   http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-12-28/20111228-train-derail-chemical-spill-react/3749716  By Emma Masters 28 Dec 2011  An environment group says the derailment of a train carrying hazardous substances raises concerns about the transport of uranium through the Northern Territory.

A freight train transporting containers of copper concentrate was derailed yesterday after flash floods damaged the railway track north of Katherine yesterday.

The Environment Department is investigating reports that containers may have spilled and washed into the Edith River.

Environment Centre NT director Stuart Blanch says the incident is a worrying sign. “This spill highlights a lack of due diligence by the owners of the railway and the people transporting this product,” he said.

“What would have happened to the Edith if there was a spill of uranium oxide into the Edith River?

“That is a real concern, with a lot more uranium coming up from South Australia in the years ahead.”

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Paul Henderson says he is satisfied that copper concentrate was the only toxic substance being carried by the train.

Mr Henderson says it is not radioactive material from a uranium mine in South Australia. “What the environmental impacts may be, I have not been briefed as to what they may be,” he said.He says government officials are on site to carry out a monitoring program.

January 13, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Northern Territory, Queensland, safety | Leave a comment

Aboriginals fight nuclear dump plan, but they’re up against complete stupidity!

stupidityTim Mickel –  “the effects on the environment of any dump at the site would be negligible.”

“The pharaohs managed to bury their dead for 3,000 years and they come up intact, so why can’t we do it with nuclear waste and have the same or nil effect to the environment?

Nuclear waste dump: Aboriginal traditional owners vow to oppose proposed radioactive facility near Alice Springs, ABC News, By Tom Maddocks, 17 Dec 15 The Federal Government has rejected claims that consultation for a proposed nuclear waste facility near Alice Springs has been a rushed process.

Key points about proposed dump:

  • Dump estimated to cost $110 million to build, would employ 30 people
  • Area to be used would be 100ha, waste contained in concrete blocks with steel and cement seals
  • Storage capacity of 4250 cubic metres of low-level waste, 650 cubic metres of intermediate waste
  • Low- level waste has to be stored for 300 years, intermediate waste stored on an interim basis (30-50 years) pending permanent solution

The owner of the date farm shortlisted for the dump has said if the Egyptian pharaohs were buried for thousands of years with no ill-effects on the environment, the same should be possible with nuclear waste.

The farm south of the town is one of six locations around Australia being considered to house low and intermediate level radioactive waste.

Around 50 people turned out at a public meeting in the community of Santa Teresa, near the proposed dump, where opponents of the plan directed their anger at officials from the Commonwealth’s Department of Industry……

Tim Mickel, owner of the AridGold date farm shortlisted as a location for the nuclear waste facility, said he wanted to stay involved in the process.

He said he believed the effects on the environment of any dump at the site would be negligible.

“I really don’t think there’s going to be any effect to the water table, the aquifer, even the environment, and during the process there’s going to be monitoring,” he said.

“The pharaohs managed to bury their dead for 3,000 years and they come up intact, so why can’t we do it with nuclear waste and have the same or nil effect to the environment?

Santa Teresa local Christopher Wallace said he had hoped more people would turn up and show their opposition to the plans.

“We just don’t want that rubbish on our land, it would damage our land, our bush tucker, our story lines for our kids and their generation,” Mr Wallace said.

“This is our home. We want to live here. We just don’t want that contamination going into our water.”

Aboriginal traditional owners said they were sad and in shock following the meeting.

“[The meeting] made us really upset. We’re thinking about the land and our ancestors, they are still floating around the land and [the Government] is trying to destroy it,” traditional owner Sharon Alice said.

“It’s going to destroy the land forever. We’re thinking about our future. Dump it somewhere else, not in our backyard.”

Barbara Shaw from the Australian Nuclear Free Alliance said it was bad timing for consultations.

“A lot of our mob have cultural obligations and activities coming up soon, we have a lot of people going into town for health reasons and because it’s Christmas, a lot of people go away for holidays,” she said.

Jimmy Cocking from the Alice Springs-based Arid Lands Environment Centre said it was clear traditional owners, the people of Santa Teresa, Oak Valley and Titjikala do not want the nuclear waste site in their backyard.

“They’ve got concerns about the nuclear industry, there’s a lot of mistrust of government as well, I think there’s been a lot of broken promises in the past,” Mr Cocking said.

“People have seen the impact that these proposals have on communities, look at Muckaty, and I think while people appreciate the opportunity to be consulted I think they would much prefer not to be having to turn up to this thing at all.”

Mr Cocking said those nominating their land for proposed sites were doing so for financial gain.

“It’s not that they’re making some sort of altruistic attempt for a nuclear future.”

Mr Cocking said if the date farm is shortlisted he will stand by traditional owners in continuing to fight against it.

“If that means demonstrations and protests, we’ll be there. But in the meantime, we’ll engage in this process and hope that sense comes to the Federal Minister and they realise the error of their ways.”

The Federal Government has said it will return to the region for more consultations early next year.

A meeting was scheduled at the nearby community of Titjikala this week but it was postponed due to sorry business (Aboriginal mourning).

Public submissions on the plans close on March 11, 2016. “A lot of our mob have cultural obligations and activities coming up soon, we have a lot of people going into town for health reasons and because it’s Christmas, a lot of people go away for holidays,” she said.

Jimmy Cocking from the Alice Springs-based Arid Lands Environment Centre said it was clear traditional owners, the people of Santa Teresa, Oak Valley and Titjikala do not want the nuclear waste site in their backyard.

“They’ve got concerns about the nuclear industry, there’s a lot of mistrust of government as well, I think there’s been a lot of broken promises in the past,” Mr Cocking said.

“People have seen the impact that these proposals have on communities, look at Muckaty, and I think while people appreciate the opportunity to be consulted I think they would much prefer not to be having to turn up to this thing at all.”

Mr Cocking said those nominating their land for proposed sites were doing so for financial gain.

“It’s not that they’re making some sort of altruistic attempt for a nuclear future.”

Mr Cocking said if the date farm is shortlisted he will stand by traditional owners in continuing to fight against it.

“If that means demonstrations and protests, we’ll be there. But in the meantime, we’ll engage in this process and hope that sense comes to the Federal Minister and they realise the error of their ways.”

The Federal Government has said it will return to the region for more consultations early next year.

A meeting was scheduled at the nearby community of Titjikala this week but it was postponed due to sorry business (Aboriginal mourning).

Public submissions on the plans close on March 11, 2016. “A lot of our mob have cultural obligations and activities coming up soon, we have a lot of people going into town for health reasons and because it’s Christmas, a lot of people go away for holidays,” she said.

Jimmy Cocking from the Alice Springs-based Arid Lands Environment Centre said it was clear traditional owners, the people of Santa Teresa, Oak Valley and Titjikala do not want the nuclear waste site in their backyard.

“They’ve got concerns about the nuclear industry, there’s a lot of mistrust of government as well, I think there’s been a lot of broken promises in the past,” Mr Cocking said.

“People have seen the impact that these proposals have on communities, look at Muckaty, and I think while people appreciate the opportunity to be consulted I think they would much prefer not to be having to turn up to this thing at all.”

Mr Cocking said those nominating their land for proposed sites were doing so for financial gain.

“It’s not that they’re making some sort of altruistic attempt for a nuclear future.”

Mr Cocking said if the date farm is shortlisted he will stand by traditional owners in continuing to fight against it.

“If that means demonstrations and protests, we’ll be there. But in the meantime, we’ll engage in this process and hope that sense comes to the Federal Minister and they realise the error of their ways.”

The Federal Government has said it will return to the region for more consultations early next year.

A meeting was scheduled at the nearby community of Titjikala this week but it was postponed due to sorry business (Aboriginal mourning).

Public submissions on the plans close on March 11, 2016.http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-12-16/alice-springs-nuke-dump-not-welcomed-at-public-meeting/7035070

December 18, 2015 Posted by | Northern Territory, Opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Store nuclear waste at Lucas Heights -no need to rush to outback site

text-wise-owlAlice Springs public meeting told Feds must stop rushing decision on new nuke dump sites http://www.ntnews.com.au/news/centralian-advocate/alice-springs-public-meeting-told-feds-must-stop-rushing-decision-on-new-nuke-dump-sites/news-story/53e8aefa3cd67d076e36c749c2913f7a    December 10, 2015 SCIENTISTS, traditional owners, politicians and campaigners spoke to a crowd of almost 100 people at a meeting about a proposed nuclear waste dump to be housed at Hale, 80km from Alice Springs, on Monday night.

Dr Hilary Tyler, from Alice Springs Hospital, used the platform to urge decision-makers to “stop the rush” towards cementing plans for a waste facility, which is currently being chosen from six short-listed sites across the country.

She claimed there was 10-20 years of storage space remaining at the Lucas Heights facility near Sydney, Australia’s only nuclear reactor, rendering the need for a rural site as unnecessary.

radiation-truckShe showed the crowd photographs of large barrels being transported by road, carrying a cargo of nuclear waste reportedly brought to Australia by ship at the weekend.

“Transportation should be minimised,” she said.

The site at Hale, the Aridgold date farm, was an unsuitable location for such a dump, she claimed, due to the distance the waste would need to travel, the lack of access for experts in case of any problems, and proximity to underground water aquifers. CSIRO scientist Dr Fiona Walsh said she believed the decisions were being made by people in distant locations with no understanding of the geology of Central Australia.

“We live in one of the most unpredictable environments in the world,” Dr Walsh said.

Labor candidate for Namatjira and councillor Chansey Paech also spoke at the event, and said the decision should be “based on science rather than political expediency”.

A consultation process into the viability of the waste dump is currently underway, with meetings between officials and Aboriginal traditional owners in Santa Teresa to take place next week.

Due to sorry business in Titjikala, the other nearest community to the proposed site, a meeting with traditional owners from this area will take place early next year.

A decision on where the dump will be housed is expected to be made following the federal election in the second half of 2016.

December 16, 2015 Posted by | Northern Territory, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Aboriginal landowners in King’s Canyon area want protection against mining

water-radiation

“The CLC and traditional owners of the park will accept nothing less than a [government] decision to protect the park for future generations by prohibiting exploration or mining within its boundaries.”

Kings Canyon landowners want protection from mining: ‘What happens if the water gets messed up?’ Guardian,  , 8 Dec 15 Watarrka national park’s Indigenous owners will petition environment minister over an existing fracking exploration licence and future mining ‘of all kinds’

Traditional owners of the land encompassing Kings Canyon in Australia’s central desert are petitioning the federal environment minister, Greg Hunt, to guarantee their protection against mining operations.

Under Northern Territory legislation, the Watarrka national park has no real protection from oil and gas exploration or mining operations, according to David Morris, the principal lawyer of the NT Environmental Defenders Office (EDO). Continue reading

December 9, 2015 Posted by | aboriginal issues, Northern Territory | Leave a comment

Government must come clean about radioactivity and treatment of nuclear of waste

There is a public meeting being held in Alice Springs tonight to discuss the national nuclear waste dump proposal and shortlisting of the site near Alice Springs.  http://www.ntnews.com.au/news/centralian-advocate/alice-group-to-oppose-date-farm-as-nuke-dump-site-at-public-meeting/story-fnk4wgm8-1227633870645

radioactive trashThe closest neighbours of one of the shortlisted sites for a nuclear waste repository want the federal government to explain the classification and treatment of nuclear waste returning to Australia for storage.
The request follows a report by Greenpeace that claimed French authorities have classified a shipment of reprocessed Australian nuclear waste arriving at Port Kembla this weekend as high level waste, France’s highest nuclear waste classification.
The environment organisation’s report said that the waste, which Australia classifies as medium level, still contains highly radioactive plutonium even after reprocessing in France.
Robert LeRossignol, whose family runs tourism, horticulture and cattle businesses on Oak Valley outstation, said residents of remote Aboriginal communities near the site had a right to know how radioactive the waste is and what the difference in classification systems means for its treatment.
“France is a country with many decades of experience with nuclear waste. We want to understand why French authorities consider what our government calls medium level waste to be high level waste,” said Mr LeRossignol.  “Does it mean that the waste would be treated more carefully if it was stored in France than it will be treated here?”
Mr LeRossignol and his family plan to attend consultation meetings organised by the Central Land Council so they can ask government representatives about the exact nature of the waste.
“We don’t know what it’s going to do. It’s very hard to understand,” he said. “It’s not too bad for us that went to school but a lot of the Aboriginal people don’t know what it is, what it might do to them.”
“We want the government to be straight with us about how dangerous this shipment of waste is and how much of it could end up just a few kilometers from our olive groves,” he said.
Oak Valley, 13 km from the proposed site, is one of three outstations on the Mpwelarre [pronounced M’BWA-lara] Aboriginal Land Trust. The closest access route to the proposed site passes the outstation.
Mr LeRossignol was alarmed by the claims the Greenpeace report made about the safety record of the foreign ship used by Australia to bring its nuclear waste home.
“The more you move radioactive waste around, the greater the chance of an accident. If it’s true that the government has shipped this waste around the world on the cheap imagine what could happen on the dangerous dirt roads around here,” he said.
water-radiation“Under Oak Valley we have two major aquifers (the Mereenie and Pacoota) that are part of the vast Amadeus Basin, so if any contamination gets into one of those, what’s it going to affect, how many lives?”
The CLC has invited government representatives to a meeting at Titjikala (35 km from the shortlisted site) on 14 December, followed by a meeting on 15 December at Ltyentye Apurte (Santa Theresa, 40 km from the site) to ensure residents can have an opportunity for informed input into the consultation process that ends next March.

 

December 7, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Northern Territory, Opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Residents near proposed Northern Territory nuclear dump site will oppose it

radioactive trash

questions about what kind of intermediate-level waste would be stored 15 kilometres from their house and garden have not been answered.

“Originally it was just low-level and then they brought in intermediate and when we queried what intermediate was we couldn’t get an answer,” Mr Rossignol said.

“Then halfway through a conversation they said intermediate and low level,” he said.

Neighbours of proposed NT nuclear waste dump upset at ‘lack of consultation‘ http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-11-25/neighbours-of-proposed-nuclear-dump-upset-lack-of-consultation/6972048 By Rosa Ellen Neighbours to a proposed nuclear waste site south of Alice Springs are upset they were not consulted by the property’s owner and say they will oppose it.

The Aridgold date farm in Hale, 75 kilometres from Alice Springs, is one of six sites shortlisted to house the country’s low-to-intermediate level radioactive waste.

Bordering the date farm is a land trust made up of three homesteads, the closest of which is the Oak Valley Outstation owned by Mary Le Rossignol and her husband Robert, who are also traditional owners.

Ms Le Rossignol said she first heard Tim Micklem, their neighbour of 30 years, had nominated his property as the country’s next nuclear waste dump on ABC Local Radio.

“I was angry because we live right next door to him,” Ms Le Rossignol said. “It just hit me hard, because I honestly expected people to go around and talk to your neighbours and let them know what was going on.

“But that didn’t happen here.”  Continue reading

November 27, 2015 Posted by | Northern Territory, Opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

The Kakadu Charter led to stopping of uranium mining

kakaduThe 15th anniversary of the Kakadu Charter is a good time for Aboriginal and environmental advocates to re-confirm our shared concern, action and effectiveness for the long awaited total rehabilitation and completion of Kakadu National Park.

The Kakadu Charter Which Helped Stop A Uranium Mine Marks 15 Years Of Shared Values https://newmatilda.com/2015/11/16/the-kakadu-charter-which-helped-stop-a-uranium-mine-marks-15-years-of-shared-values/  Tomorrow marks a significant anniversary in a landmark battle to protect a people, and a place. Justin O’Brien and Dave Sweeney explain.
Continue reading

November 18, 2015 Posted by | history, Northern Territory, Opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

MP Warren Snowdon sceptical about siting nuclear waste dump in Northern Territory

radioactive trashNo reason to fear nuclear waste dump says owner of shortlisted farm near Alice Springs, ABC News, By James Oaten, Xavier La Canna and Nathan Coates, 13 Nov 15 “……….MP can’t see significant benefits   The federal Member for Lingiari, Warren Snowdon, whose electorate includes the farm, said the Government had done the right thing in starting a consultation process, but was sceptical about the benefits the project could bring. “I don’t think there’s any question that if the community is opposed to this site around Alice Springs, it won’t happen,” Mr Snowdon said.

“I’ve always been a sceptic about the nuclear industry but this is a process that needs to be followed through. “There would be minimal employment opportunities. “I can’t see significant benefit from this.”

Mr Snowdon said he believed it was best to have such a facility closer to where the nuclear waste originated from…..

 

“It’s always been my view probably better off elsewhere, closer to where the bulk of the radioactive waste is rather than being transported long distances.”

‘Just the starting point’, environmentalist says

Director of the Alice Springs-based Arid Lands Environment Centre, Jimmy Cocking, said he was concerned the proposal may be a precursor to storing more dangerous nuclear waste.

“Low-to-intermediate waste is generally the starting point,” Mr Cocking said.

“So our concern is, if established, it will in the long term not just have low to intermediate waste.

“We are opposed to it being in Hale, we think it should be located at Lucas Heights [in New South Wales] where the expertise is.”http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-11-13/date-farm-south-of-alice-springs-shortlisted-for-nuclear-waste/6938126

November 13, 2015 Posted by | Northern Territory, wastes | Leave a comment

The Balunu Foundation’s healing programme of green energy with Aboriginal people

Indigenous communities looking to go green http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2015/s4343480.htm  Penny Timms reported this story on Monday, November 2, 2015 
ELEANOR HALL: A charity that aims to break the cycle of Indigenous disadvantage says clean technology could revolutionise remote Australia. Continue reading

November 4, 2015 Posted by | aboriginal issues, energy, Northern Territory | Leave a comment

Camp Concern: protestors recall and reactivate anti nuclear campaign in Kakadu

“The mining company that has benefited and profited from the use of this area and the mining lease now needs to move towards a comprehensive clean-up.

“We’re still not completely aware of contamination problems that need to be rehabilitated.

“What’s promising is the protest from Aboriginal communities against the mining is as strong as ever. There’s a lesson [from Camp Concern] in partnerships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous activists sharing information together.”

kakaduCamp Concern: Activists reunite for anti-uranium mining protest 40 years later inside Kakadu 105.7 ABC Darwin  By Emilia Terzon and Lisa Pellegrino , 27 Oct 15 As uranium mining near Kakadu faces an uncertain future, activists calling themselves Camp Concern have reunited inside the Northern Territory park to mark 40 years on from the launch of an anti-mining protest. Continue reading

October 28, 2015 Posted by | history, Northern Territory, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Energy resources of Australia abandons plan to expand Ranger uranium mine

Ranger 3Energy Resources of Australia Accepts Defeat on Ranger Uranium Mine Extension, http://investingnews.com/daily/resource-investing/energy-investing/uranium-investing/energy-resources-of-australia-accepts-defeat-on-ranger-uranium-mine-extension/ Uranium Investing News,  • October 19, 2015 Mining Australia reported that Energy Resources of Australia (ASX:ERA) has decided to accept defeat on plan to extend Ranger uranium mine beyond 2021.

As quoted in the market news:

A statement from ERA this afternoon revealed the Mirrar Traditional Owners and Gundjeihmi Aboriginal Corporation do not support an extension to the authority to mine at Ranger, in Kakadu National Park.

A statement from ERA said the company respected the views of the Traditional Owners, and would undertake a business review in light of their decision.

“In light of this development, ERA has commenced a process of assessing whether the company’s assets may be impaired,” the company said.

The news was welcomed by Environment Centre NT, where Nuclear Free campaigner Lauren Mellor said it was time for “the era of rehabilitation and a staged and managed exit from Kakadu to begin”.

“ERA must now accept full financial responsibility for the costly and complex task of rehabilitation, accept Rio’s funding offer and cooperate with all stakeholders in the transition to a post-mining phase of operations,” Mellor said.

October 23, 2015 Posted by | aboriginal issues, business, Northern Territory, uranium | Leave a comment

5 million hectares of Northern Territory land joins Indigenous Protected Area (IPA)

Indigenous protection of vast area in NT will educate future generations, SMH October 2015  Environment Reporter “…..the Anangu​ traditional owners declared more than Env-Aust an Indigenous Protected Area (IPA).

Larger than Switzerland and five years in the making, the Katiti Petermann​ IPA surrounds Uluru-Kata Tjuta​ National Park and will form part of a 48 million hectare network of nine protected areas in the Northern Territory, Western Australia and South Australia border region.

It will receive $1.6 million in funding up to 2018.

“This IPA, it’s amazing.  To actually get more old people and young people to look after the land, like our ancestors,” said Mr Kenny.

“They wandered through the desert looking after their country to pass [it] down from generation to generation. Look after the country, look after the land…and the land will give back to you.”

Unique to Australia, an IPA is an area voluntarily declared and managed by Aboriginal land traditional owners as part of Australia’s National Reserve System.

The IPA manages threats from wildfires, feral animals, weeds and uncontrolled tourism, while enabling traditional owners to keep culture and knowledge of country strong.

“IPAs make a significant contribution … and protect highly significant natural and cultural values for the benefit of all Australians,” a spokesman for Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion said.

Across the 5 million hectares covered by the new IPA, traditional owners had eagerly anticipated the opportunities.

Peter Donohoe​, land management co-ordinator with the Central Land Council, said the driving force has been involving young people.

“It’s really about that cultural knowledge transfer, and 5 million hectares is a huge area, so accessing country is a big part of facilitating that process,” he said.

The Katiti Petermann IPA will be Australia’s 70th and the fourth largest, testament to the broad array of Indigenous groups from Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory, who gathered in Tjitjingati this week for the ceremony……..

Patrick O’Leary is the outback conservation partnerships manager for Pew Charitable Trust, which campaigns for IPAs across Australia.

He says one of the cricitisms of remote Indigenous policies is that they are “too monolithic,” but the world-leading IPA model has proven otherwise.

“It makes a great negotiating table between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people,” he said.

“IPAs have a strong track record on environment, jobs, growth, markers about closing the gap. These programs are on the right trajectory, but we need to increase the scale of federal funding.” http://www.smh.com.au/environment/indigenous-protection-of-vast-area-in-nt-will-educate-future-generations-20151001-gjz6yb.html#ixzz3p98u5UWV

October 23, 2015 Posted by | Northern Territory | Leave a comment

Uranium miner ERA burned off on day of fire, against Fire Service advice

Uranium miner ERA was told not to burn off on day of blaze: NT Fire Service http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-10-19/uranium-miner-era-told-not-to-burn-off-on-day-of-blaze/6867590

By Alyssa Betts The Northern Territory Fire and Rescue Service (NTFRS) has revealed it advised Energy Resources of Australia Ltd (ERA) not to burn off on the day the uranium miner started a fire that spread into Kakadu National Park.

The fire, which ERA lit to manage weeds at its Ranger mine near Jabiru on October 1, became wild and threatened important Aboriginal cultural sites before it was extinguished a week later.

It is now being investigated by the federal Department of Environment.

A spokesman for the NTFRS said the organisation was contacted by ERA on the day it started the fire and its recommendation to the group was not to go ahead with the blaze.

“In response to an inquiry from the Ranger mine at 7:00am on the day in question, NTFRS recommended there should be no burn due to the high fire danger that day,” a spokesman said in a brief statement. ERA has previously said it notified Parks Australia the day prior to the fire and they were not advised against the back burn.

The miner has not specifically commented on the NTFRS advice.

“ERA is not required to seek approval or obtain a permit for such activities on the Ranger Project Area,” an ERA spokeswoman said.

“ERA followed its normal protocol to notify stakeholders prior to undertaking weed management activities.”

The miner said that on the day the burn was undertaken there was no fire ban in place in the region where the mine was located.

It has offered to pay for the aerial water bombing operations and said it is conducting its own internal investigation into the fire.

October 21, 2015 Posted by | - incidents, Northern Territory | Leave a comment

Uranium miner ERA should be made accountable for fire in Kakadu National Park

Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt has committed to an inquiry into the fire. This is welcome but any inquiry needs to be open and transparent, not simply another yellowcake whitewash.

Kakadu has been burnt but it is ERA who should be in the firing line. The company lacks the commitment, capacity and competence to conduct such a dangerous trade in such a special place and the recent fire is further proof that it is time to close the chapter on uranium mining in Kakadu.

Uranium miner in the firing line over Kakadu burn http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2015/10/13/comment-uranium-miner-firing-line-over-kakadu-burn A week-wildfire-nukelong fire in the World Heritage listed Kakadu has caused significant environmental damage and threatened Aboriginal art and cultural sites, writes Dave Sweeney. The smoke is finally starting to settle over Australia’s largest national park. For a week Kakadu has been burning following the escape of a “controlled” fire lit by the uranium mining company Energy Resources of Australia.

In a case of good luck rather than good management, no one was seriously injured but, as the flames die down and the damage assessment and questions start up, more of ERA’s shrinking credibility has literally gone up in smoke.

While the full extent of the damage is not yet known, the fire burned over 200 square kilometres of the World Heritage listed Kakadu, causing significant environmental damage and threatening ancient and important Aboriginal art and cultural sites. Continue reading

October 14, 2015 Posted by | - incidents, Northern Territory | Leave a comment

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,011 other followers