Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Federal Court hearing on Muckaty station legal challenge

“It is alleged that the Northern Land Council engaged in misconduct and breach of fiduciary duty because of the way they nominated the Muckaty site.”

26 March 12, Lawyers representing Traditional Owners in the Northern Territory will appear in the Federal Court in Melbourne tomorrow (Tuesday 27th March) to continue their legal challenge to the proposed nuclear waste dump at Muckaty Station. 

Legal proceedings against the Federal Government and the Northern Land Council (NLC) began in June 2010 and a mediation last year failed to reach agreement over the land. Ron Merkel QC is appearing for the Muckaty Traditional Owners and Maurice Blackburn is conducting the matter pro bono through its social justice practice.

The hearing is scheduled to run for two days before Justice North.

Associate Elizabeth O’Shea said: “It is alleged that the Northern Land Council engaged in misconduct and breach of fiduciary duty because of the way they nominated the Muckaty site. This hearing will determine how the case will move forward.  The Traditional Owners are asking for early discovery of certain key documents. We are also be asking that some of the more senior Traditional Owners who are elderly or are unwell be allowed to give their evidence as soon as possible.

 

The case, which was commenced 18 months ago, was delayed pending the introduction of the new National Radioactive Waste Management Bill, which was passed on 13 March, 2012. Maurice Blackburn is now pressing hard to move the case to trial.

 

Ms O’Shea said: “The Muckaty Traditional Owners did not give consent and were not adequately consulted over the nomination of the land. It is now almost six years since the nomination was made and people have been waiting for too long for the government to listen to them.

“We want to get this matter resolved, so that the traditional owners can get back to enjoying their land, without the threat of a radioactive waste dump hanging over them.”

Media inquiries:

Amanda Tattam at Maurice Blackburn
T   0413 997 467
 
atattam@mauriceblackburn.com.au

March 26, 2012 - Posted by | legal, Victoria

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