Community opposition to Yeelirrie uranium mining should influence EPA’s assessment of Cameco’s plans
Conservation council highlights opposition to Yeelirrie uranium mine bid http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-12-10/conservation-council-highlights-opposition-to/5957632
The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) is currently assessing the company’s plans to mine uranium at Yeelirrie, an open pit mine site 70 kilometres south-west of Wiluna.
The EPA approved a similar proposal for the same project submitted by BHP Billiton in 2010, before it was sold to Cameco in 2012.
The council’s Mia Pepper said a public inquiry into the project was needed.
She said traditional owners and locals in the area had opposed uranium mining at Yeelirrie for 40 years.
“Yeelirrie in the traditional language means place of death which is a strong indication about local knowledge and there’s also white communities there that have opposed the project for over 40 years,” she said.
Red Cross research shows 80% of Australians want legally binding treaty to ban the use of nuclear weapons
Aussies Want Nuclear Weapons Ban – NFP Report http://www.probonoaustralia.com.au/news/2014/12/aussies-want-nuclear-weapons-ban-nfp-report#, December 2, 2014 More than 80 per cent of Australians support a legally binding treaty to ban the use of nuclear weapons, according to new research on attitudes towards nuclear weapons released by Australian Red Cross.
The survey found an overwhelming majority – 84 per cent – of the 1,001 Australians interviewed in the nation-wide survey feel the world would be a safer place if there were no nuclear weapons.
“A resounding 88 per cent said there would be no winners in a nuclear war given the devastating humanitarian consequences that would result. People over 65 were significantly more likely to feel there would be no winners in a nuclear war,” Australian Red Cross said.
“The message from the Australian community is clear,” Australian Red Cross’ CEO Robert Tickner said.
“It’s time for the international community to create a treaty to ban the use of nuclear weapons and ensure they are not passed as an inheritance of horror to future generations.
“Even a limited nuclear war would have immense human, environmental and agricultural destructive consequences transcending national boundaries. This situation would be beyond the power of governments and aid agencies to respond with any meaningful humanitarian assistance.”
Since their first use in Hiroshima in August 1945, Red Cross Red Crescent has voiced deep humanitarian concerns about nuclear weapons.
“While other weapons such as chemical weapons, land mines and cluster munitions have been conclusively dealt with by international treaties, nuclear weapons have not,” the humanitarian NFP said.
“The International Red Cross Red Crescent Movement has been appealing to Governments to prohibit the use of and eliminate nuclear weapons through a legally binding international agreement for some time.
Movement representatives – including Australian Red Cross delegates – will join Governments and non-governmental organisations from around the world on 8 and 9 December when they come together in Vienna to further examine the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons.
Key Survey Findings
· 81 per cent of Australians support a legally binding treaty to ban the use of nuclear weapons.
· 84 per cent feel the world would be a safer place if there were no nuclear weapons.
· 88 per cent said there would be no winners in a nuclear war given the devastating humanitarian consequences.
· 43 per cent rate the risk of an accidental explosion or intentional use of a nuclear weapon as high or medium.
Meeting Statement – 2014
Against a background of strong community protest to the continuing government and industry push for an expanded nuclear sector in Australia, the Australian Nuclear Free Alliance (ANFA) held its 17th annual gathering of Aboriginal, environmental and public health representatives who share common concerns over the adverse impacts of the nuclear industry and a common aspiration for a future free of nuclear threats.
The 2014 ANFA meeting was held on Arrernte country in Alice Springs with representatives from the following nations, communities and organisations: Arabunna, Arrernte, Koara, Kokatha Mula, Larrakia, Luritja, Ngaanyatjarra, Tjiwarl, TI Meriam, Warlpiri, Waramungu, Warlmanpa, Wiradjuri, Wongutha, Yankunytjatjara.
Anti-Nuclear Alliance of WA, Arid Lands Environment Centre, Australian Conservation Foundation, Beyond Nuclear Initiative, Conservation Council WA, Environment Centre NT, Freedom Flotilla, Friends of the Earth (Brisbane and Melbourne), Indonesian Greens, International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, Keep Queensland Nuclear Free, Medical Association for the Prevention of War, Nuclear Operations Watch Port Adelaide, Public Health Association Australia (NT Branch), Uranium Free NSW, West Papua.
The ANFA meeting celebrated and acknowledged the seven-year campaign against a planned radioactive waste dump at Muckaty – an important human and environmental rights victory. Many people from Tennant Creek expressed thanks to ANFA for the strong support and solidarity over the years.
Community representatives shared concerns and experiences about the divisive impacts of the federal government’s approach to waste management. Continuing to pursue only remote dumping options further exploits disadvantaged communities. The meeting endorsed a national statement calling for an independent National Commission into responsible radioactive waste management based on science and evidence instead of a continuation of the flawed and failed process of targeting remote communities.
Australian uranium fuelled the Fukushima disaster but there is ongoing pressure for new uranium mines in Western Australia, the Northern Territory, South Australia, Queensland and exploration threats in New South Wales. ANFA condemned the federal and state governments as out of step with the broad opposition to uranium mining across many communities and organisations. The meeting discussed specific action plans to target uranium mining projects across Australia.
The meeting heard of the failures of rehabilitation of uranium mines and called for the national adoption and enforcement of the standard applied at the Ranger mine in Kakadu that requires radioactive mine tailings to be isolated from the environment for no less than ten thousand years.
The meeting heard personal stories and long history of disease and impacts from the nuclear industry, including intergenerational sickness and mental health issues. Base-line studies from the past were not done but should be demanded for any proposed new projects for animals, plants, bush foods and people. There is a need to do healing: the pain and hurt caused by nuclear impacts will always be there but we should support each other through healing and engage our community medical services in collecting data and tracking impacts.
The meeting heard about scientific studies that have demonstrated increases in cancer incidence among Australians exposed to radiation and we are seeing this in our communities. The consensus scientific view is that even the lowest doses of radiation can cause cancer and children and women are at greater risk. The impacts from radiation exposure are seen in our families’ health. In Australia uranium deposits have been known as poison or sickness country by Aboriginal people with strong cultural knowledge about the dangers – this traditional knowledge is still being ignored.
The meeting heard that around 40,000 rounds of depleted uranium weapons have been deployed in Australian military training exercises. This raises serious concerns about where they were used and any subsequent health impacts from these weapons. We recognise the intergenerational health impacts from nuclear weapons testing as well as the documented use and impacts of depleted uranium weapons. The meeting called for all uranium weapons and nuclear weapons to be banned.
The mining and refining of Rare Earth Elements (REE’s) was discussed. There is a need for roundtable discussion of stakeholders in the nuclear free, climate and renewable energy sectors to discuss the role of REE’s in renewable energy technologies such as wind and solar given that mining these elements involves the generation of radioactive uranium and thorium waste.
There was strong concern about the function of Aboriginal Land Councils in different states and territories. The meeting called for greater openess to ensure such bodies represent the wishes of Aboriginal people in their region. There were deep concerns expressed that full consultation does not always happen and ANFA representatives will be seeking to address these issues within their particular Land Councils.
ANFA representatives in each states and territory committed to building the ANFA network and sourcing funds to produce and distribute resources needed for grassroots community education on nuclear issues.
In the shadow of Fukushima there can be no nuclear business as usual and meeting representatives reaffirmed their commitment to actively advance a nuclear free Australia through involvement in ANFA, their communities and organisations.
Yawuru People – Making a stand against fracking reaching thousands of people as they make their way to the races in Broome today. Damian Kelly 13 Aug 14 http://handsoffcountry.blogspot.com.au/2014/08/normal-0-false-false-false-en-us-ja-x.html
The Mining Company Buru – lead this risky environmental venture which could be just another failed attempt by a Company to run roughshod over communities in NW Australia. Woodside’s withdrawal from James Price Point in 2013 and more recently French nuclear power giant Areva has abandoned a Kimberley uranium project. With Buru’s falling share price, No Social Licence, delays and low cash flow the writing seems to be on the wall. Buru are also refusing to release information to the community regarding the chemicals they plan to use.
In short – Fracking is the process of drilling then injecting fluid, much of it toxic, into the ground at high pressure, to fracture gas-bearing rocks to release natural gas.
During this process, methane gas and toxic chemicals can leak from wells and contaminate nearby groundwater. Broome draws its drinking water from the ground. Buru Energy have plans to frack the Kimberley. The US, there have been more than 1000 documented cases of water contamination near areas of gas drilling. Some of the countries that have banned fracking are France, Bulgaria and Northern Ireland. The Australian state of Victoria currently has a moratorium on fracking.
Here in WA the state Government fully supports fracking.
Do the Martu peoples want uranium mining? Fukushima Emergency what can we do? 31 July 14 Western desert-living Martu Elder, Thelma Rawlins said that many of her people remain opposed to the “go-aheads” given to uranium mining on Martu Country.
“Kintyre should be left alone, our Country left alone.”
“This is really bad stuff in the ground, and it will be really bad stuff if it comes above the ground. We are getting too close to bad stuff happening,” said Ms Rawlins.
“Country will be made bad, our water made bad. Our water is salty, the river bed is salty. We have to be careful with our water. The uranium out of ground will take our water away.”
“Leave the uranium in the ground. It is bad stuff that they want our people to be next to, this is not good.”
But Western Australia’s controversial Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has given the thumbs up for the CAMECO company proposal to mine uranium on Martu Country, at Kintyre which is next to the significant waterways of Kalmilyi National Park in the Pilbara. The EPA has been the subject of one controversy after another and most recently with the now defunct James Price Gas Hub proposal in the Kimberley where it had also have given the thumbs up despite widespread public opposition.
Two prospective uranium mine sites in Western Australia are nearing the likelihood of becoming operational in the next couple of years, both near Aboriginal communities – the other uranium site is near Wiluna and Toro Energy may have it operational by the end of next year. By the end of the century Western Australia will be transformed into one of the world’s largest uranium miners according to insiders in the industry. Western Australia is rich in easily accessible high grade uranium. The miners are chomping at the bit, investing in uranium mining research divisions within their multinational companies. It is no secret that the State and Federal Governments are supportive of mining uranium despite the litany of well-known risks……
“We are the Custodians of the Land. It must come before all else,” said Mr Cooke.
“Uranium is a poison. Our rivers will be poisoned. Our trees will be poisoned. Our food will be contaminated. Our people will become sick.”
“Uranium mining can hurt us forever, hurt every generation of our children to come.” http://fukushimaemergencywhatcanwedo.blogspot.com.au/2014/07/do-martu-peoples-want-uranium-mining.html
Elders lead dump demo http://www.ntnews.com.au/news/northern-territory/elders-lead-dump-demo/story-fnk0b1zt-1226932228540 BY MONIKA O’HANLON NT NEWS MAY 26, 2014 THE main street of a Territory town was flooded with more than 250 people protesting the proposed nuclear waste dump at Muckaty Station yesterday. Tennant Creek was overrun by a sea of yellow signs reading “Don’t radioactive waste the Territory” as kids led the march, holding up homemade banners and chanting “land rights not dump sites”.
Seven years ago the Northern Land Council nominated Muckaty Station as a potential site for a nuclear waste storage facility, including waste from nuclear medicine and operations of the Lucas Heights nuclear reactor in Sydney.
The site is part of a land trust shared by five interrelated indigenous groups – Milway, Ngapa, Ngarrka, Wirntiku and Yapayapa. Most traditional owners oppose the plan but some said “yes” to the proposed storage facility.
Bunny Nabarula – a senior traditional elder and part of the Milway group – is among those who have spent years fighting to preserve Muckaty.
“I was eight years of age when my grandfather first showed me country, but I never forget,” Ms Nabarula said.
“We don’t want the waste here. NLC picked out the wrong people. Us mob fight for this land.”
Dianne Stokes has worked tirelessly over the years to protect the Muckaty site, and on Saturday was named an ambassador at the Tennant Creek and Barkly Region Golden Hearts Awards.
“We won’t be stopping – we will continue to talk about it,” Ms Stokes said. “It’s time to put my foot down and protect the elders’ words. They’ve passed away and now they left it to us to protect our country.”
Wirntiku woman Penelope Phillips said she was concerned what would happen if the land wasn’t protected for the next generations. “We want to send a clear message out to the politicians and the people who said yes to it,” she said. “Tell them that we are still strong and we don’t want a nuclear waste dump in our country. Come back and meet the people. See what it looks like. “The politicians don’t talk to us. They don’t reply.”
The protest comes a week before a Federal Court hearing challenging the proposal for the dump on Muckaty begins in Melbourne. The hearing will continue in Tennant Creek before finishing in Darwin on July 4.
Adelaide is under attack from nuclear advocacy fraudsters who tell lies to promote their evil nuclear fantasies.
Our universities and our politicians have been “influenced” by junk science that falsely claims that nuclear power is “safe”.
Our universities and our politicians have been “influenced” by junk economics that falsely claims that nuclear power is “cheap”.
Our newspapers falsely claim that we want nuclear power in South Australia – this page is a place where you can register your protest at this false claim, where you can say “No Nukes In South Australia”.
Dennis Matthews, 4 March 14 Business SA has clearly not been paying attention (The Advertiser,4/3/14). We have had debates on all manner of nuclear issues off and on for decades including uranium processing and enrichment, nuclear power and importing nuclear waste.
The resounding response has always been NO.
Or is it possible that Business SA is not happy with the answer and think that by badgering the public every election year that they will finally get their way?
As shown by recent debates on nuclear power and nuclear waste disposal the general public is well and truly a wakeup to the likes of Business SA. The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.
AUSTRALIAN NUCLEAR FREE ALLIANCE ANFA 2013 Statement http://ausnukefreealliance.wordpress.com/2013/11/12/anfa-2013-statement/ ANFA Meeting Statement 2013 The 2013 meeting of the Australian Nuclear Free Alliance (ANFA) was held on the weekend of October 25-27 on the land of the Peramangk people in the Adelaide Hills. The Alliance brings together Aboriginal people, environment and health groups and trade union representatives concerned about uranium and nuclear projects.
The ANFA gathering was attended by representatives of the following Aboriginal nations, organisations and affiliated groups:
Alyawarr, Anmatjere, Arabana, Arrernte, Bailai, Gurindji, Iwaidja, Katyede, Koara, Kokatha/Anterkirinya, Kokatha/Mirning, Kokatha/Narrangar, Larrakia, Martu, Meriam, Mir, Eastern Torres Strait Islands, Ngalia, Nyoongar, Kunarakun, Ngarninjarra/ Pitjantjatjarra/ Yankunytjatjara, Tanganekald/Meintangk, Tjupan, Walpiri, Wajarri Yamatji, Warlmanpa, Warumungu, Wulgurukaba.
Arid Lands Environment Centre, Australian Conservation Foundation, Beyond Nuclear Initiative, Conservation Council of Western Australia, Environment Centre of the Northern Territory, Friends of the Earth, Gundjeihmi Aboriginal Corporation, Hands Around the World, International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, Maritime Union of Australia (NSW and NT), Medical Association for Prevention of War, South Coast Trades and Labour Council (NSW), Public Health Association Australia (NT), National Tertiary Education Union (NSW), Uranium Free NSW, Western Australia Nuclear Free Alliance.
Issues and concerns discussed at the meeting included: Continue reading
Activists protest return to uranium mining in Queensland http://www.centraltelegraph.com.au/news/activists-protest-return-uranium-mining-queensland/2065510/ 28th Oct 2013 ABOUT 20 people staged a colourful protest in Brisbane today to mark the first anniversary of the Queensland Government’s decision to allow a return to uranium mining in the state. The protesters gathered outside the Executive Building in the hope of catching State Government ministers as they entered the building for the weekly Cabinet meeting.
Members of anti-uranium group, Keep Queensland Nuclear Free, spent about 10 minutes chanting “No Mandate for Uranium” before dispersing. Anti-Nuclear campaign co-ordinator Mark Bailey said regional centres like Townsville, Mt Isa, Emerald and St George along with a number of smaller towns will be at risk from nuclear accidents.
“Rather than arrogantly place many Queenslanders at risk the government should at least facilitate an informed debate about the dangers and risks of uranium mining through an independent inquiry,” he said.
“It is highly unlikely a majority of Queenslanders would support the resumption of mining when presented with all the facts. “Uranium mining is a dangerous, risky, small industry with big impacts on the environment, on workers, surrounding regions and potentially along transport routes.”
Peace Convergence http://peaceconvergence.wordpress.com/2013/07/23/peace-pilgrims-enter-shoalwater-bay-military-training-facility/ civil society against militarism in Australia
Peace Pilgrims enter Shoalwater Bay Military Training Facility 23 July, 2013 Two people entered the Shoalwater Bay Military Training Area this morning to disrupt the Talisman Sabre training exercises.
The two are Greg Rolles (31yrs), school teacher from Brisbane; and Graham Dunstan (71yrs), retired grey nomad.
There are currently 28,000 Australian and US troops undertaking joint military training in Australia, with a focus on the Shoalwater Bay Military Training Area. Last week two US aircraft dropped 4 bombs on the Great Barrier Reef when they were unable to land at their planed location.
Pre-prepared statements from the two peace pilgrims point to the effect of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and their desire to act against the Australian & US military alliance.
Graeme Dunstan stated “It is my intention to trespass onto the Shoalwater Bay Military Area and, by creative nonviolent actions, do the best i can to disrupt the military exercises, demonstrate resistance to the culture of war and preparation for war and create a counter narrative to the propaganda of the military”
Greg Rolles stated “the Australian and US military forces have taken and continue to take many innocent lives and waste money that could be used in, amongst others, our ailing education system.”
The two pilgrim’s full statements follow. Continue reading
Walkatjurra Walkabout: Resisting Cameco in Australia http://committeeforfuturegenerations.wordpress.com/2013/05/04/walkatjurra-walkabout-resisting-camecos-yeelirrie-uranium-project/ Kado Muir, Traditional Owner, Yeelirrie
‘Walkatjurra Walkabout – Walking for Country’ is a celebration of Wangkatja country, a testament to the strength of the community who have fought to stop uranium mining at Yeelirrie (Cameco acquired the Yeelirrie uranium project from BHP Billiton last year) for over forty years, and a chance to come together to continue share our commitment to a sustainable future without nuclear. It is a chance to reconnect with the land, and to revive the tradition of walking for country.
“Walking for country is to reconnect people with land and culture. The Walkatjurra Walkabout is a pilgrimage across Wangkatja country in the spirit of our ancestors so together, we as present custodians, can protect our land and our culture for future generations.
“My people have resisted destructive mining on our land and our sacred sites for generations. For over forty years we have fought to stop uranium mining at Yeelirrie, we stopped the removal of sacred stones from Weebo and for the last twenty years we have stopped destruction of 200 sites at Yakabindie. We are not opposed to responsible development, but cannot stand wanton destruction of our land, our culture, and our environment.”
“Please leave the uranium underground” , Roxby Downs Sun April 4, 2013, Indian national Bhargavi Dilipkumar has a message for BHP Billiton; to leave uranium underground for it has done more than enough damage to the environment.
Bhargavi visited Roxby Downs this week with Friends of the Earth Australia to receive a first hand experience of what uranium mining was all about and be the voice of India protesting the uranium trade between the two countries.
She said she had been part of the people’s movement that is strongly opposing the building of an atomic power plant to be built at the southern part of India.
Bhargavi is an anti nuclear activitist from India who strongly believes that BHP Billiton should shelve its uranium export program and be responsible for the safety of the environment and million of lives back home.
She visited the Olympic Dam mine and tried to persuade BHP Billiton management to have a heart for the people of India who will suffer long term consequences if the atomic power plant was allowed to go ahead.
“Please leave the uranium underground,” she said.
“Don’t mine it because its destroying lives.”
Similar sentiments were expressed by German nationals Danda Petter and Miriam Ribbeck who had been part of a nation-wide protest to stop the construction of a nuclear plant at Freiburg.
Vietnamese national Hai Levan said having seen the damage caused in Japan he would “fight to the death” to stop the building of a nuclear energy plant in South Central Vietnam.
“We can’t continue chopping down trees because it will cause flooding and harm our environment,” he said .http://www.roxbydownssun.com.au/story/1408776/please-leave-the-uranium-underground/?cs=1503