Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Federal court rules against Aboriginal group who wanted inclusion in nuclear waste dump ballot

Federal Court dismisses bid to stop ballot on nuclear storage facility near Kimba, ABC,  By Candice ProsserClaire Campbell and Sara Garcia  12 July 19, A South Australian Aboriginal group has lost a bid to stop a council ballot on whether a nuclear storage facility should be built on the Eyre Peninsula.

Key points:

  • The Kimba District Council planned to hold a vote to gauge support for the waste dump
  • Representatives of the Barngarla people were excluded from the ballot
  • They argued it contravened the Racial Discrimination Act, but the Federal Court dismissed the application

The Barngarla Determination Aboriginal Corporation launched legal action against the District Council of Kimba, arguing it contravened the Racial Discrimination Act by excluding native title holders from the ballot.

The council planned to hold a vote to gauge community support among its ratepayers for having radioactive waste stored in their area, after the Federal Government shortlisted two sites near Kimba as possible locations for the facility.

A third site in Hawker, near the Flinders Ranges, has also been shortlisted.

The native title holders won an injunction to halt the ballot last year, while the legal challenge was being heard.

Justice Richard White ruled that no contraventions of the Racial Discrimination Act had been established, and dismissed the application.

SA Greens leader Mark Parnell said he was disappointed with the court’s decision.

“Here we are in NAIDOC week, celebrating Aboriginal culture, and the court has determined it is not a breach of the Racial Discrimination Act to deny traditional owners a vote on whether a nuclear waste dump can be built on their land,” he said.

“Clearly in this country we have a very long way to go before we achieve anything like reconciliation.

“The Aboriginal traditional owners have legitimate rights over this country, yet they’ve been denied a right to vote on whether a nuclear waste dump can be built.

“The Federal Government is obviously keen to get their project up but they only want to ask people who are going to say yes.”

In a statement the Barngarla people said they respected the Federal Court’s decision, but said their lawyers were considering an appeal.

“The Barngarla respects the decision of the Federal Court, as the court has to interpret complicated legislation,” the statement read.

“However, more generally we consider it sad that in the 21st century we are required to take legal action to allow us to have the right to vote on the major decision of the day.

“This case has been about standing up for the right of Aboriginal people to vote on important issues which affect their rights.”……….

 

Landholder Jeff Baldock [at left] has volunteered a portion of his property in Kimba for the proposed facility and said he welcomed today’s decision.

“Now hopefully we get to have our democratic vote … if there’s nothing else that gets in the road,” he told ABC News………

The proposal has the community divided, with Kimba resident and former Liberal MP Barry Wakelin also opposing the facility. …….

The latest Federal Government proposal is to build a single facility in regional South Australia for all of the nation’s waste. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-07-12/bid-to-stop-ballot-on-nuclear-storage-facility-in-sa-dismissed/11302852

July 13, 2019 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, legal

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