Australian news, and some related international items

Aboriginal Traditional Owners join Maritime Union of Australia in Darwin anti-nuclear protest

We’ll stand with workers to stop the waste:  Muckaty Traditional Owners join nuclear dump protest at Darwin wharf Senior Traditional Owners from the area targeted for a national nuclear waste dump will join Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) representatives from around the country for a protest at Stokes Hill Wharf in Darwin this afternoon at 4pm.

The rally marks seven years since the former Howard government announced plans for building the first national radioactive waste dump at one of three potential sites in the NT. Minister Martin Ferguson has continued to pursue Northern Territory sites, with legislation passed earlier this year naming Muckaty, 120km north of Tennant Creek, as the only place now under active consideration.

Bunny Nabarula, 83 years old, has travelled from Tennant Creek to attend the rally. “We want to work together with the MUA and others to stop this waste dump. We don’t want any waste stored in our country, we’re thinking about our children, our grandchildren and the country. We want to be able to enjoy our country, not have it spoiled”.

Muckaty Traditional Owner Isobel Phillips added, “We want the government to start thinking about the risks of this waste dump plan. We are worried about the safety of workers handling the waste at the Port, we are worried about storing the waste on our country. When will the government think about the safety of the people?”

Beyond Nuclear Initiative coordinator Natalie Wasley said, “When announcing the dump plan in 2005, Federal Science Minister Brendan Nelson asked why on earth can’t people in the middle of nowhere have low- level and intermediate level waste.’ People have worked tirelessly over the last seven years to spread their story nationally and challenge the notion that remote areas can be used as political and environmental sacrifice zones.”

“The rally today shows that Territory concern has grown into a national issue. Traditional Owners, unionists and environmentalists have mobilised supporters around the country, including peak public health and trade union bodies. The Northern Territory Government also remains strongly opposed to the plan”.

Bunny Nabarula says the community is determined to stop the waste dump at Muckaty “In April we blocked the highway in Tennant Creek and stopped a road train. We’ll stand with workers at the Port to stop this waste being unloaded from the ships. We’ll dance at the wharf to stop the waste coming through.”


July 12, 2012 - Posted by | General News

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