Australian news, and some related international items

Indigenous rights issues in Kimba nuclear waste dump proposal

Looking back to the 2016 shonky South Australian Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission, – the same problems apply to the present Federal Government plan . Friends of the Earth Australia examined these- in Arguments against turning SA into the world’s nuclear waste dump.

Aboriginal Traditional Owners

Our organisations hold serious concerns over past and continuing nuclear industry practices and impacts and the following comments highlight the often poor treatment of Aboriginal people by the nuclear/uranium industries in Australia and by governments pursuing or facilitating nuclear/uranium projects.

”The SA Government’s handling of the Royal Commission process systematically disenfranchised Aboriginal people. The truncated timeline for providing feedback on draft Terms of Reference disadvantaged people in remote regions, people with little or no access to email and internet and people for whom English is a second language. This was compounded when the Commission was formulated as there was no translation of the draft Terms of Reference, and a regional communications and engagement strategy was not developed or implemented. Subsequent efforts by the Royal Commission to provide translators and to translate written material were highly selective, partial and simply inadequate. Aboriginal people repeatedly expressed frustrations with the Royal Commission process.

The federal government tried but failed to impose a national nuclear waste dump on Aboriginal land in SA from 1998‒2004, then tried but failed to impose a dump on Aboriginal land in the NT from 2005‒14, and now the federal government appears to again be seeking to impose a dump on Aboriginal land in SA against the near-unanimous opposition of Traditional Owners.

At the federal level Labor and the Coalition both supported the National Radioactive Waste Management Act, which permits the imposition of a dump on Aboriginal land without any consultation with or consent from Aboriginal Traditional Owners (to be precise, the nomination of a site is not invalidated by a failure to consult or secure consent).

In SA, there is bipartisan support for the South Australian Roxby Downs Indenture Act. The Act was amended in 2011 but it retains indefensible exemptions from the SA Aboriginal Heritage Act. Traditional Owners were not even consulted about the amendments. The SA government’s spokesperson in Parliament said: “BHP were satisfied with the current arrangements and insisted on the continuation of these arrangements, and the government did not consult further than that.” Arguments against turning SA into the world’s nuclear waste dump

May 24, 2021 - Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL

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