Australian news, and some related international items

Michael Denborough, medical researcher and anti nuclear activist

Life-saving researcher fought nuclear power April 18, 2014 SMH, David Denborough

Michael Denborough Medical researcher, activist 11-7-1929 — 8-2-2014

On the day of his death, Michael Denborough, Australian medical researcher, activist and founder of the Nuclear Disarmament Party, declared quietly to his loved ones: ”I’ve lived the luckiest life.”……..

There was another field in which Michael Denborough was influential – activism to prevent nuclear war. In 1970 he learned from a colleague, Roger Melick, that every time an atmospheric French nuclear test was conducted in the Pacific the levels of radioactive iodine in sheep’s thyroid glands across Australia would rise alarmingly. We were all being radiated by these tests.

Michael and Roger penned a letter to national newspapers notifying the public and so began the scientific and political protests which led to the International Court in the Hague forcing nuclear tests underground.In 1983, as acting director of the Centre for Research and Environmental Studies in Canberra, Michael convened a symposium, Consequences of Nuclear War for Australia and its Region. Its aim was to promote international nuclear disarmament. Patrick White and other distinguished speakers accepted his invitation. Physicians and scientists from Eastern and Western countries, including the USSR and the US, came to see what they could do to fix the greatest threat to world health.

In 1984, as a response to the Labor Government’s sell-out on its anti-nuclear platform, Michael Denborough and others founded the Nuclear Disarmament Party. It was a single-issue party with three policies – no uranium mining, no nuclear weapons and no US bases on Australian soil. The NDP was the political voice of a strong grass-roots social movement. People from all walks of life, and of all ages, came together to try to save the planet. Two NDP senators were elected, one in 1984 and one in 1987. The NDP continued to highlight nuclear issues in elections until 2009.

In 2003, Michael set up a lone vigil for 52 days outside Parliament House to protest what almost everybody admits now was going to be an unjust invasion of Iraq. On the day John Howard committed Australian troops Michael was thrown out of Parliament for protesting loudly from the gallery. He was 74 years old.

Michael will be remembered for his passionate opposition to war and the nuclear industry. Lives will continue to be saved as the result of his medical discoveries. ….


April 18, 2014 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, history | Leave a comment

Public Health Association concerned about health dangers of planned Ranger uranium mine expansion

safety-symbolProposed Ranger 3 Deeps expansion too risky says PHAA , 7 April 14The Northern Territory Branch of the Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA NT) is today launching its submission to the Social Impact Assessment process for the proposed ‘Ranger 3 Deeps’ (R3D) underground expansion at the Ranger uranium mine.  This comes ahead of a public forum about the future of Ranger in Darwin titled “Reconsidering Ranger”.

The PHAA NT submission focusses on the health and safety impacts for the local population, mine workers and the environment as well as the impacts the exported uranium is having overseas.

Ranger-retention-dam“There have been over 200 significant safety incidents at Ranger in its 30 years of operation, including the December 2013 spillage of more than 1 million litres of radioactive and acidic slurry from a storage tank,” said Dr Michael Fonda, PHAA NT Branch Secretary.

“It is of great concern that Energy Resources Australia intends to use the same ageing processing equipment for its proposed R3D expansion,” Dr Fonda said.

PHAA NT is concerned about the health impacts underground mine workers will face from radon exposure.

“Radon inhalation is a particularly dangerous form of radiation exposure and PHAA NT wants reassurances that the R3D design would meet world’s best practice standards.  Evidence has emerged linking Ranger to adverse impacts on the surrounding population and environment,” said Dr Fonda.

A 2006 Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies report investigating cancer rates in the local population found that the number of actual cases of cancer was 90% higher than expected.

“The research findings to date are very alarming.  We believe it is unsafe and unethical to approve this underground expansion before further studies into the health effects in the region have been carried out,” he added.

In the wake of the 2011 Fukushima reactor disaster, which was fuelled in part by Australian uranium, the United Nations called for an urgent review into the health and environmental impacts of uranium mining in Australia.  “This review still has not been initiated by the Australian Government.  We believe Australia needs an inquiry into its entire nuclear industry before proceeding with any further expansions and PHAA have repeatedly called for this,” Dr Fonda said.

Dr Fonda will be talking about these issues along with other speakers at the “Reconsidering Ranger” public forum being held at the Hilton Hotel in Darwin on Tuesday 8 April 2014.  Entry is free and doors open at 6:30pm.

For further information/comment:

Dr Michael Fonda, NT Branch Secretary, Public Health Association of Australia                                                     0429 435 595

 This media release – and the related submission – will be available on the PHAA website at:


April 7, 2014 Posted by | history, Northern Territory | Leave a comment

Aboriginal victims of Maralinga atomic bomb testing

Australian atomic massacre still ignored By David T. Rowlands from Green Left Weekly  issue 971 June 29, 2013

Lennon,-Lallie-2006Lallie Lennon provided convincing testimony of the injuries suffered from the fall-out.
Nearly 60 years have passed since Totem 1, a British nuclear test in the Australian desert, was recklessly conducted in unfavourable meteorological conditions.

Nuclear testing of any sort, even in the most “controlled” of circumstances, is inherently abusive, a crime against the environment and humanity for countless generations to come. Yet the effects of Totem 1 were particularly bad, even by the warped standards of the era.

The mushroom cloud did not behave in the way it was supposed to. Instead of rising uniformly, part of it spread laterally, causing fallout to roll menacingly at ground level over a remote yet still populated corner of South Australia, sowing injury, illness and death in its wake.

The number of casualties is unknown because the secretive and unaccountable nuclear establishment has always declined to investigate the full impact of its own criminal negligence. But it has been suggested by investigators that perhaps 50 short-term Aboriginal fatalities resulted.

In addition to those who died, many others were exposed to harmful levels of radiation. The long-term health effects on these individuals have never been charted — but anecdotal reports of high cancer rates and horrendous birth defects in isolated “downwinder” communities have circulated.

At the time of the tests, it was well known by authorities that communities of Aboriginal people were close by. Yet the official attitude was that the concerns of a “handful of natives” could not be allowed to interfere with the “interests” of the British Commonwealth.

Imagine you are out with your family one morning when suddenly a loud explosion issues from the distant horizon. The ground rumbles and shakes, as though it were about to open up. Minutes later, a thick, churning dark dust cloud engulfs the surrounding desert countryside.

Terrified, with all your senses in recoil from these unnatural developments, you wonder if an event of apocalyptic proportions is taking place. And your troubles are only just beginning.

This is what happened to 22-year-old Yankunytjatjara woman Lallie Lennon and her three young children at Mintabie on October 15, 1953. A 10-kiloton device (roughly two-thirds the yield of the Hiroshima bomb) was detonated 180 kilometres away at Emu Field, near Maralinga.

Lallie and her son Bruce, aged 3, were covered in the gunpowder-smelling dust and smoke that came rushing through the trees with such intensity that it apparently created eclipse-like visibility conditions. “It went dark and dark,” recalled Lallie in 2006. “Dark — we couldn’t see anything. The place was black, you couldn’t see nothing.”

The levels of beta radiation contained in this toxic plume were so great that it felt like being “rolled in a fire”. The “kids were [ing] … it was terrible … We was glad we was alive but we got sick. We were sicker and sicker.”

About a year later, both Lallie and her son Bruce developed a debilitating skin condition that involves the periodic eruption of oozing, agonising sores all over the body.

Lallie said: “It went away and then came back and the sores were getting bigger and bigger every time … I was in a mess after the sores.” Her two daughters, who were in a tent at the time the mist swept through, were spared the beta burns, but developed other symptoms consistent with radiological contamination.

Lallie’s story first achieved public recognition when she spoke about her experiences for a 1981 documentary, “Backs to the Blast”.

Continue reading

March 28, 2014 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, history, South Australia | Leave a comment

The appalling hidden history of what British settlement did to Tasmania’s Aborigines

censorship-blackInvasion, Theft, Rape, Murder: The Aboriginal Holocaust in Tasmania Atlanta Black Star, March 19, 2014 by id  DEDICATED TO TRUGANINI  “……..The first people of Tasmania, known as Palawa, were marked by tightly curled hair, with skin complexions ranging from black to reddish-brown.  They had broad noses, wide mouths, and deep-set brown eyes.  They were relatively short in stature with little body fat. They were the indigenous people of Tasmania and their arrival there began at least 35,000 years ago. With the passage of time, the gradual rising of the sea level submerged the Australian-Tasmanian land bridge and the Black aborigines of Tasmania experienced more than 10,000 years of solitude and physical isolation from the rest of the world……..

On January 28, 1777, the British landed on the island. Following coastal New South Wales in Australia, Tasmania was established as a British convict settlement in 1803. These convicts had been harshly traumatized and were exceptionally brutal. In addition to soldiers, administrators, and missionaries, eventually more than 65,000 men and women convicts were settled in Tasmania.

As early as 1804 the British began to slaughter, kidnap and enslave the Black people of Tasmania. Continue reading

March 21, 2014 Posted by | aboriginal issues, history, Tasmania | Leave a comment

Why successive Australian governments rejected a Treaty with Aborigines

handsoffForget the Preamble, what Australia needs is a Treaty Woollydays, Derek Barry January 3, 2014“………..A Treaty is a political document between sovereign people and it was this difficulty that saw John Howard reject the idea text-historyas far back as 1988 as an absurd proposition that “a nation should make a treaty with some of its own citizens.”  Yet the idea is far from absurd to the many Indigenous people who see this as the first step in the recognition of the wars and dispossession of their country and the genocide that followed.  It was Howard’s assimilatory ideas in the face of historical evidence that were blatantly contradictory and hence absurd. Howard’s culture of forgetting was shared by his later immigration Minister Phillip Ruddock who told ABC in October 1998 there couldn’t be a treaty because there never had been a war in this country.

Ruddock’s idea of war was flawed as was his view of a Treaty.  A Treaty (also known by its Yolgnu name Makarrata meaning thigh) was long established as an appropriate way by which whites could acknowledge Aboriginal equality and prior ownership. In 1979 an Aboriginal treaty committee was formed by prominent whites almost all came from political and intellectual left. Then Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser offered to discuss treaty conditions with Aborigines while 8 years later his successor Bob Hawke spoke of ‘a compact of understanding’.  But this whitefella idea of a treaty was rejected by the Federation of Aboriginal Land Councils because of insufficient consultation with Aborigines, doubts of its significance and consequences and because it would legalise occupation and use of sovereign Aboriginal lands by the Australian settler state……

January 6, 2014 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, history | Leave a comment

Queensland’s Bjelke-Petersen government wanted to discriminate against Aborigines

text-historyJoh’s cabinet anxious about Labor rise,   Wednesday January 1, 2014 “…….Attorney-General Sam Doumany said the election of the Hawke government had paved the way for the Commonwealth to start making new sexual and racial discrimination laws.

His warning came in the wake of a 1982 High Court decision which found the Bjelke-Petersen government was acting discriminatorily by blocking the purchase of land by Aboriginal people in northern Queensland.

He said the High Court would ‘no longer provide any great protection’ because the majority of justices were ‘opposed to the long-term interests of the states’…..

The disposal of radioactive sand left over from sand mining was also at the fore as the  government grappled with where to dump the substance, which had a half-life of 10,000 million years…..

January 2, 2014 Posted by | history, Queensland | Leave a comment

How Australia caved in to Britain, in not properly cleaning up Maralinga bomb sites

text-historyWhy cabinet sought only a partial clean-up of British nuclear test site Archives give new insight into Hawke government’s response to royal commission on weapons testing in Maralinga region, Wednesday 1 January 2014 

  • Atomic-Bomb-SmGareth Evans, the energy minister at the time, said ‘a non-confrontational approach’ had been adopted in dealing with the Thatcher government.

    The complete rehabilitation of areas of Australia used to test British nuclear weapons may not be possible, the Hawke cabinet was advised in 1986.

    Cabinet was warned that a full clean-up may have been more expensive than the British government would be willing to contemplate, according to documents released this week by theNational Archives.

    They provide new insights into the Hawke government’s response to the recommendations of the McClelland royal commission into British nuclear tests in Australia. Continue reading

January 1, 2014 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, environment, history, politics international, South Australia, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Australian government didn’t want to know about Aborigines affected by atomic tests

Cabinet rejected the royal commission’s recommendation for the creation of a new register of persons who may have been exposed to “black mist” or radiation at the tests. 

 The actions of previous Australian government [sic] in shepherding Aboriginal people from their traditional lands for the purpose of conducting atomic tests were both immoral and appallingly executed.

text-historyWhy cabinet sought only a partial clean-up of British nuclear test site, Wednesday 1 January 2014 “…………An aerial survey of radioactivity around the test sites would be followed by a more detailed ground survey. Five studies would “define the areas – hopefully quite small – which must remain surrounded by fences, and further outer areas in which activities such as food gathering and excavation should not occur”.

A report by technical experts attached to the cabinet submission states: “Aboriginals living and gathering food on the Maralinga lands may be exposed [to contaminants] … in three major ways – by inhalation, by ingestion and by entry of contaminated material through open flesh wounds and abrasions.”

The experts considered options for burial of contaminated soil. They noted that since one of the contaminants had a half life of 24,000 years it was a prerequisite to make a prediction about the sort of changes in the earth expected to occur in the Maralinga area in the timeframe. Continue reading

January 1, 2014 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, history, South Australia | Leave a comment

Australia’s tortuous political struggle over Aboriginal Land Rights

text-historyCabinet Papers 1986-87: The struggle for indigenous land rights, SMH, Damien Murphy, 28 Dec 13, The Hawke Government continued to grapple with the sensitive issue of indigenous land rights. In March 1986 Aboriginal Affairs Minister Clyde Holding told Cabinet that NSW, Queensland and South Australia had enacted legislation and Victoria was preparing to do so, but that Tasmania and Western Australia rejected the concept of land rights legislation in principle…….

Cabinet again endorsed its 1985 Preferred National Land Rights Model, but agreed to negotiate with Western Australia on non-legislative measures such as community funding and the granting of long leases to Aboriginal reserves.

The Tasmanian and Victorian governments presented the Commonwealth with conflicting challenges. In December 1986 Mr Holding told Cabinet that Tasmania refused to recognise that Aboriginal people had any legitimate claim to land.

……….The government was concerned that the parlous state of the Aboriginal community might become an issue of moral and political embarrassment during the 1988 bicentennial celebrations……….

January 1, 2014 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, history, Tasmania, Victoria, Western Australia | Leave a comment

Unsettling truths about Australia’s uranium and nuclear history

a few unsettling home truths about Australia, as a far-flung outpost of what the writer B. Wongar has called the ‘Nuclear Empire’.

the plunder of native land for its enormous reserves of uranium has entrenched the country’s problematic engagement in world nuclearism and undermined its international credentials as a leading proponent of nuclear non-proliferation.

text-historyAnzac, New Mexico: Placing Australia in the Nuclear Empire, Meanjin, Robin Gerster, Dec 13  It is a lament that many Australian readers will recognise: an indigenous narrator is telling the story of colonial dispossession, from the time of white settlement to the rampant mining activity of today, expressing his helplessness in the face of an implacable force that reinscribes the very landscape it has taken over, mapped and mined………….

In August 1945, unable to boast a military role in such a king-hit to its hated enemy Japan, Australia sought another way to take a small slice of the wretched glory. Two days after the Hiroshima bombing, the claim was circulated that ‘Little Boy’ was fuelled by Australian uranium: ‘Uranium from S.A. source’, ran a story on page one of the Sydney Morning Herald. But the text itself says nothing more than the fact that uranium is vital to nuclear fission, that it had been mined at Mt Painter in South Australia, and (portentously) that supplies of the element had been ‘flown out’ from the mine’s newly constructed aerodrome. The Herald soon retracted the story, quoting Prime Minister Ben Chifley to the effect that ‘though Australia attempted to secure uranium for the atomic bomb, the production stage was never undertaken’. This was a minor humiliation in the scheme of things, but a reminder that Australia’s part in these epochal events was essentially peripheral. Undeterred, a Courier-Mail correspondent on 9 August, the day of reckoning for Nagasaki, claimed that Australia ‘gained prestige’ from the advent of the atomic bomb merely by being one of the world’s leading sources of the element.

Soon enough after the war, Australia became a major supplier of uranium to the United States and Britain, through its mines at Radium Hill in South Australia and Rum Jungle in the Northern Territory. In helping fuel the nuclear programs of its two major international patrons, Australia gained a place on the military and ideological battleground of the Cold War. It saw itself as a force to be reckoned with. When Prime Minister Robert Menzies opened the treatment plant at the Rum Jungle mine in the Northern Territory in September 1954, he made a point of asserting the defence role of Australian uranium in ensuring ‘the superiority of the Free World’. Sitting on the official dais, having made the journey to what must have seemed the Back of Beyond, were the American ambassador and the British high commissioner. No doubt Menzies was directing his words at them as well at the assembled guests, several of whom apparently ducked for cover when a large hopper truck capped the proceedings by dumping a load of uranium ore into the new treatment bins, creating a disturbing cloud of dust. 3 The setting and symbolism were both immediately telling and prophetic, for Australia’s atomic muscle-flexing was in the process, even then, of being compromised by its neocolonial willingness to accommodate the postwar nuclear testing program of Britain—a telegrammed request seems to have done the trick—and, in the long term, by its dutiful support for the geopolitical missile defence strategies of the United States. Continue reading

December 31, 2013 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, history, Northern Territory, South Australia | Leave a comment

Australia’s miserable history as part of the global nuclear empire

the outrage committed against the land and communities of Aboriginal Australia.

A small community of Aborigines at a nearby station was poisoned by the fallout, though it was unacknowledged at the time and for years afterwards. 

text-historyAnzac, New Mexico: Placing Australia in the Nuclear Empire, Meanjin, Robin Gerster, Dec 13 “…………The Fox Report fiasco is indicative of contradictions in Australian political attitudes to the nuclear industry. Australia refuses to contemplate nuclear power plants on its own soil, but it is happy to peddle its uranium to numerous countries in Asia and Europe. The meltdown at Fukushima in Japan in 2011 (in a reactor complex owned and operated by a big buyer of Australian uranium) temporarily rocked the markets and embarrassed advocates of nuclear energy…..

The state governments of mining mainstays such as South and Western Australia have a cheerfully gung-ho attitude to uranium. Distant Fukushima is out of mind as well as well out of sight. In addition to hosting established mega-concerns such as BHP Billiton, operator of the Olympic Dam mine near Roxby Downs, South Australia is rolling out the red carpet for new players…….

At Four Mile in the northern Flinders Ranges, another mine has been given the go-ahead. It is majority-owned by a subsidiary of Heathgate Resources, operator of the existing mine at Beverley in the same region, which is itself an affiliate of the nuclear arms maker General Atomics…. ‘Nuclear-free’ Australia has some alarming business connections. …

After the Second World War, Australia wanted to keep some atomic stuff for itself in addition to supplying the product to the United States and Britain. Continue reading

December 31, 2013 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, history, South Australia | Leave a comment

Bikini nuclear tests as cause of 1954 Adelaide earthquake?

The electromagnetic pulse and ionization of the atmosphere resulting from the high-yield nuclear bomb Bravo was clearly associated with Adelaide earthquake.

text-historyThe Castle Bravo nuclear explosion of 1954. Part 1: Bobby 1′s Blog 21 Nov 13      In the Adelaide, Australia earthquake in the early morning of March 1, 1954, residents of Adelaide, Australia were awakened to a violent shaking in their beds. When they went outside, they saw a brilliant glow in the east. The United States had just set off the Castle Bravo nuclear bomb on Bikini Island, 3,600 miles away.On March 1, 1954, the detonation of an estimated 15 megaton thermonuclear weapon, known as “Bravo” took place – as part of the “Castle” test series. According to the U.S. Radiochemistry Society, “the Bravo test created the worst radiological disaster in US history ….the yield of Bravo dramatically exceeded predictions, being about 2.5 times higher than the best guess and almost double the estimated maximum possible yield (6 Mt predicted, estimated yield range 4-8 Mt).” The bomb was over 1000 times more powerful than those exploded over Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. The Bravo crater in the atoll reef had a diameter of 6,510 ft, with a depth of 250 ft. The cloud top rose and peaked at 130,000 feet (almost 40 km) after only six minutes. Eight minutes after the test the cloud had reached its full dimensions with a diameter of 100 km, a stem 7 km thick, and a cloud bottom rising above 55,000 feet (16.5 km), and after 10 minutes had a diameter of more than 60 miles.

Intense radioactive fallout from the cloud was carried eastward and severely contaminated a Japanese commercial fishing boat and the atolls of Rongelap, Alinginea, Rongerik, and Utirik, some 200 miles away. About five hours after detonation, fallout began to deposit on the Rongelap Atoll. The fallout was so heavy that the Rongelap people, who had never seen snow, thought it was snowing. Children played in the radioactive powder, and no warning was issued by the JTF. “We saw a flash of lightening in the west like a second sun rising, “Anjain said in 1980. “We heard a loud explosion and within minutes the ground began to shake. A few hours later radioactive fallout began to drop on the people, into drinking water, and on the food. The children played in the colorful ash. They did not know what it was and many erupted on their arms and faces. (link)

The radioactive fallout from Bravo covered the planet, including the Southern Hemisphere. It was a fission-fusion-fission bomb, designed to release high levels of radioactivity. Its yield was 15 megatons, but it released almost seven times as much radiation than the Russian Tsar Bomba, which had a yield of 50 megatons. Continue reading

November 25, 2013 Posted by | history, South Australia, weapons and war | Leave a comment

British takeover, and their goal of genocide – true history of Aboriginal Australia

Thus there were no treaties concluded with Aboriginal group and no arrangements were made with them to acquire their land, or to regulate dealings between them and the colonists.

 Some notable colonial legislation that targeted Aboriginal peoples included:

·         1816 Martial Law (NSW). This proclamation declared Martial Law against Indigenous Australians who could then be shot on sight if armed with spears, or even unarmed, if they were within a certain distance of houses or settlements

·         1824 (Tasmania). Settlers are authorised to shoot Aboriginal peoples

·         1840 (NSW). Indigenous Australians forbidden to use firearms without the permission of a Justice of the Peace

·         1869 (Victoria). The Board for the Protection of Aborigines is established. The Governor can order the removal of any child to a reformatory or industrial school

·         1890 (NSW). In a denial of human rights the Aborigines Protection Board could forcibly take children off reserves and “resocialise” them………

Despite the veil of FIRST WORLD superiority we need to remind all First World nations that they are what they are because of the stolen riches of the countries they have turned into THIRD WORLD and continue to keep them as Third World nations by controlling world trade, the international laws, international rights and justice mechanism and the international media

text-historyBritain’s Mass Murder of Indigenous Australians (Aborigines), Lanka Web  November 9th, 2013 Shenali D Waduge  To those that do not know of Britain’s colonial crimes in their eyes Britain is the epitome of justice, equality, the nation that rears gentlemen of breed and holds the seat of democracy. To those that are aware of British mass murder as ordered by British Governments, the scale of cataloguing these crimes becomes a task in itself and should nullify all claims of any gentlemanly behavior.

The invasion and decimation of Aboriginal Australia was and is entirely a British affair. When Britain devastates a 65,000 year old culture in just 200 years and carries out unthinkable crimes to take over land and exterminate the indigenous population how do we term Britain other than a mass murderer? The Aboriginal experience is depressingly similar to that of Native Americans in the United States. European settlers viciously drove the Aborigines from their land, massacring thousands with impunity. Why does the world remain silent and ignorant of these crimes against humanity?

 When the British arrived in Australia in 1788, Australia was NEVER a white country. It was occupied for over 65,000 years by indigenous black Australians later called ‘Aborigines’ by the British. How did these black Aborigines suddenly disappear? British colonial terrorism is the answer. How would the English, such respectable and gentlemanly people get rid of possibly close to 1million indigenous people and take over their lands after their arrival in 1788? How did the Aborigines become less than 100,000 by 1901? The very respectable English settlers cut their food resources and began genocidal massacres and David Cameron speaks to the world on HUMAN RIGHTS! Aborigines did not invade nations or take over lands – the British did and moreover these Aborigines were not warlike people – their culture and livelihood never left room for dissent of the kind that warranted defense. Continue reading

November 12, 2013 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, history | Leave a comment

Former Northern Territory Chief Minister speaks out on nuclear waste dump plan

The Commonwealth Radioactive Waste Management Act 2005 was a draconian piece of legislation that took overriding the territory to a new level. It gave the Commonwealth all the powers it needed to build a nuclear waste facility anywhere in the territory. Environment and heritage laws could be set aside, so could the Aboriginal Land Rights Act. This time Howard was determined to remove all possible resistance.
I argued that this was constitutional thuggery but my protests fell on deaf ears. My state colleagues developed temporary deafness as well. I could understand their logic; their state backyards were safe.

Martin,-ClareTrucking nuclear waste through Sydney a disaster waiting to happen October 11, 2013  Clare Martin (former chief minister of the Northern Territory.
As I drove down Mona Vale Road this week on a visit to Sydney, I began to wonder what would have happened if the tanker involved in last week’s fatalities had been transporting nuclear waste. It is not a fanciful thought because that is the present federal proposal: trucking nuclear waste through Sydney streets to a new national storage facility thousands of kilometres away in central Australia.
The accident made me question yet again the sense of that proposal. Is one site for low- and medium-level nuclear waste preferable to many local? Does storing the waste in remote Australia make it safer, more secure? What are the known dangers inherent in nuclear waste storage? We need to discuss these issues. Continue reading

October 11, 2013 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, history, Northern Territory, wastes | Leave a comment

Coverup of the brutal history of the taking of Aboriginal land

Frontier atrocities against Australian Indigenous people were appalling. Frontier conflict is not pleasant at the best of times, but what happened in Australia has been covered up for too long. I leave you with the words of Henry Reynolds (2006) when summing up attitudes towards frontier conflict – and conflict it was – real, bloodthirsty, brutal – a battlefield and a war, waged almost silently, and with little record of it.

It can be found in almost every type of document – official reports both public and confidential, newspapers, letters, reminiscences. Settlers often counted black bodies either in anger or in anguish; members of punitive expeditions confessed to their participation in a spirit of bravado or contrition. Later observers came across bones and skulls; burnt, buried or hidden and occasionally collected and put proudly on display (Reynolds 2006: 127).

Battlefield Australia : Frontier Conflict in Early Australian Settlement by Sue Carter  :  , September 28, 2013 It has been estimated that the first people arrived in Australia possibly around 45,000 years ago and from that time, until the settlement of Europeans on the eastern coast, the Australian Aborigines had been turning space into place for much of that time.

It is equally quite easily demonstrated that Indigenous

people were frequently massacred indiscriminately

and with impunity in Colonial Queensland and

that their remains were treated with disrespect,

if not outright contempt (Ørsted-Jensen 2011: 169)

They viewed their lives as being part of an overall design where everything had a right to live, they carved their position nestled in the landscape, and viewed their lives within it as part of a design in which Country was seen as place. Everything within the Indigenous cultural paradigm was multidimensional and people were attached emotionally, psychologically and metaphysically to the land they inhabited (Bird 1996). They sang songs regarding the history and birth of their part of Country, painted and recited stories which were passed down through generation after generation. ……..

The settlement of the continent included invisible boundaries that were known by the various tribes. Each had their own district where they belonged through spiritual and ancestral bonds and there was interaction between neighbouring tribes where their boundaries overlapped in many complex ways, through spirituality, kinship ties and interaction. A major aspect of the inter-tribal and family relationships was that of sharing; no one owned anything – it belonged to all within the group (Reynolds 2006). They lived with and on the land – protecting, nurturing and preserving – for thousands of years. Continue reading

September 30, 2013 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, history | Leave a comment


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