Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Labor govt will back Aboriginal Jeffrey Lee against nuclear giant AREVA

if re-elected, Labor would accept Mr Lee’s offer to incorporate the 1228 hectares of environmentally sensitive land he owns into world heritage-listed Kakadu.The move would block plans by French nuclear energy giant Areva to extract 14,000 tonnes of uranium from its mineral leases in the area

Aboriginal custodian turns back on riches, The Age, LINDSAY MURDOCH, DARWIN, August 11, 2010 AN ABORIGINAL traditional owner who could have become one of Australia’s richest people if he had allowed uranium mining on his land near Kakadu National Park says he is not interested in money.

”When you dig a hole in that country you are killing me,” Jeffrey Lee, 39, said yesterday. ”I don’t worry about money at all.”

Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett has announced that, if re-elected, Labor would accept Mr Lee’s offer to incorporate the 1228 hectares of environmentally sensitive land he owns into world heritage-listed Kakadu.

The move would block plans by French nuclear energy giant Areva to extract 14,000 tonnes of uranium from its mineral leases in the area that are worth billions of dollars in revenue.

”The decision means that this unique land, so important to its traditional owners, will be protected forever,” Mr Garrett said.

Mr Lee said in Darwin that the $1000 a fortnight he earns working as a ranger in Kakadu ”keeps me going”.

”I feel good today. I have been fighting for Koongara for many, many years,” he said.

Mr Lee, the sole member of the Djok clan and senior custodian of the land, said he grew up hunting and fishing at Koongara and wanted to see it undisturbed for future generations. ”I cry when I go to the country,” he said.

The uranium deposit is three kilometres from Nourlangie Rock, one of Kakadu’s most visited attractions. According to Aboriginal beliefs, the land includes places where the rainbow serpent entered the ground and is home to the giant blue-tongue lizard. It also includes ancient rock art and sacred burial sites.

Aboriginal custodian turns back on riches

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August 11, 2010 - Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international, uranium | , , , , , , , ,

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