Australian news, and some related international items

Karina Lester speaks out: ”Traditional owners’ voices not heard and rights stripped over nuclear waste dump”

”Traditional owners voices not heard and rights stripped over nuclear waste dump”


Chairperson of Yankunytjatjara Native Title Aboriginal Corporation (YNTAC) Karina Lester says, “The two key issues that I’m quite concerned about are the lack of consent from the traditional owners; and that they want to take away judicial review. No Barngarla person or anyone in that Kimba region can take it to the courts for it to be properly heard. That’s a given right for any Australian; to take an issue through a judicial process and they’re now trying to shift the goalposts away from Aboriginal people and people from the Kimba region so it can’t be challenged.”

Four Aboriginal groups submitted their concern about the lack of Indigenous community engagement in the consultation and selection process, as well as potential violation of those communities’ rights, these were the Yankunytjatjara Native Title Aboriginal Corporation (YNTAC), Tjayuwara Unmuru Aboriginal Corporation (TUAC), De Rose Hill-Ilpalka Aboriginal Corporation (DRHIAC) and the First Nations of South Australia Aboriginal Corporation (FNSAAC).

They acknowledged that the specified site has significance for a wider group of Aboriginal People than just the Barngarla, and that the proposed use is a matter of significance for Aboriginal People right across the state.

“They’ve been saying that this is just a Barngarla issue, just a Kimba issue – but it’s not. No, this is an issue for First Nations people everywhere. We need to stand in solidarity and send a strong message as the First Nations people of South Australia to say that no dump is wanted in our state,” said Ms Lester, who is the daughter of anti-nuclear and Indigenous rights advocate, Yami Lester.

“We have been pressured to be the ‘solution’ to waste management; it’s not been clear why the Federal Government keeps coming back to our state. I think that’s part of the problem.

“The process has been flawed from the very beginning. The risk is that if we open the door to this, we could well be opening the door to a permanent solution here in SA. Why put a temporary solution here when the facility says they can keep storing it at Lucas Heights in Sydney?

“There’s so much history of Aboriginal people’s activism against this in South Australia. For it to come back to our state, after leaving our state so many years ago, it feels like an ongoing generational battle for us to put an end to this issue in South Australia.”


November 12, 2020 - Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump

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