Alinytjara Wilurara Natural Resources Management Board – response to Nuclear Royal Commission
“…..This letter of response relates to all four of the Tentative Findings the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission, but has specific relevance to the findings for ‘Further processing and manufacture’ and ‘Management, storage and disposal of waste’.
The Board members are community leaders who represent the people and communities of the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) lands, Maralinga Tjarutja (MT) lands, and the Yalata lands. The members want to reaffirm to the commission that their communities are strongly opposed to nuclear waste being stored on their lands and would not provide consent for this activity.
As outlined in the Board’s previous submissions, the communities in Alinytjara Wilurara Natural Resource Management (AW NRM) region have suffered significant personal, cultural and social harm as a result of nuclear weapons testing. The living memory of this casts a long shadow over any conversation regarding the nuclear fuel cycle.
The Board also wishes to highlight that it is currently illegal to store nuclear waste in South Australia (through the Nuclear Waste Storage Facility (Prohibition) Act 2000), and any attempts to change this legislation without community consultation would erode trust in the entire process.
The Tentative Findings state that community consent would be essential to the successful development of any nuclear fuel cycle activities. This is consistent with Article 29 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples:
`States shall take effective measures to ensure that no storage or disposal of hazardous materials shall take place in the lands or territories of indigenous peoples without their free, prior and informed consent’
If nuclear fuel cycle activities are to be considered in further detail for areas which are in or near the AW NRM region, it will be essential for the Commission to undertake a much deeper and more extensive level of consultation and engagement with the Anangu people and communities.
The AW NRM Board plays an important role in facilitating conversations between communities and government, and is willing to support and advise on any future engagement with Anangu people and communities by the Commission.
Yours sincerely, Parry Agius Presiding Member Alinytjara Wilurara NRM Board http://nuclearrc.sa.gov.au/app/uploads/2016/04/Alinytjara-Wilurara-Natural-Resource-Management-Board.pdf
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