Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Aboriginals and Labor oppose uranium mining in Western Australia

Kade Muir, a Wongatha anthropologist who was born in Kalgoorlie but now resides elsewhere, says, “We don’t want this product disturbed from the ground. We don’t want to bequeath a legacy for future generations of a toxic environment.”

Enough of Uranium Mining, Say Aboriginal Communities. Galdu. Resource Centre for the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, August 2010, KALGOORLIE-BOULDER, Australia — As a mining giant prepares to open a major uranium mining site in Western Australia next year, the clamour for the state to once more ban mining of the radioactive mineral has become louder.
By Jessie Boylan, IPS

In fact, the Wongatha Aboriginal clan that calls this region its home does not see any wisdom in having uranium mining in Australia at all. “We don’t need uranium mining in this country,” says Wongatha leader and pastor Geoffrey Stokes. “We have sun, we’ve got wind, we’ve got people. Why should we pollute our country for money?” …..
Western Australia is said to have a significant share of the country’s uranium reserves, but between 2002 and 2008, a state-wide ban on uranium mining was in force. The ban was lifted two years ago, when the Liberal Party was voted into power in the state.

Today, the Anti Nuclear Alliance of Western Australia says, more than 100 domestic and foreign companies are exploring for uranium all over Western Australia. ……
One of the industry’s major players, the Australian mining company BHP Billiton, already plans to develop the Yeelirrie uranium deposit here in 2011 in a 17 billion Australian dollar (15.6 U.S. billion dollar) project. The mine is set to operate in 2014, with an annual yield of 3,500 tonnes of uranium ore.

Kalgoorlie-Boulder itself is in what is called the ‘Goldfields’ region of Western Australia. The town of 30,000 exists purely around the mining industry. But many residents of Kalgoorie, some 600 kilometres east of the state capital, Perth, would rather not have anything to do with uranium.

Even Kade Muir, a Wongatha anthropologist who was born in Kalgoorlie but now resides elsewhere, says, “We don’t want this product disturbed from the ground. We don’t want to bequeath a legacy for future generations of a toxic environment.”

Such sentiments are echoed by the Labor Party, which had imposed a policy restricting uranium mining to just three locations in Australia at any one time when it led the federal government in the eighties.

Shadow Environment Minister Sally Talbot told protesters at an anti- uranium mining rally here in March: “We know that all mining is dangerous, but we know that mining uranium is off the scale. It presents an unacceptable hazard for workers in the industry, it presents an unacceptable risk to the future and well-being of our indigenous communities, and it presents a dreadful threat to our environment in Western Australia.”

Enough of Uranium Mining, Say Aboriginal Communities

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August 28, 2010 - Posted by | aboriginal issues, uranium, Western Australia | , , , , , , ,

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