Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Reflecting on 2017 in the Australian nuclear-free movement

DAVE SWEENEY | Nuclear Free Campaigner, Australian Conservation Foundation | www.acf.org.au  | @AusConservation

A note to reflect on 2017 which has seen the Australian nuclear free community restrict uranium exports, derail plans for a global high level radioactive waste dump and help advance an international initiative to abolish nuclear weapons and receive the Nobel Peace Prize.

Not too shabby!

The end of the calendar year provides a pause to welcome the entrance of new life and to mark and mourn the passing of old.

It is also a time to reflect on our collective efforts and achievements – the below observations are by no means comprehensive but my sense of gratitude, solidarity and respect is.

With all best wish for a refreshing and recharging break.

I look forward to seeing and working with you in season 18,

Uranium:

 A big year of activity that has seen the industry further contested and constrained.

In March the WA state election saw the defeat of the aggressively pro-nuclear Barnett government. WA Labor were elected with a strong no uranium policy but have disappointingly failed to clearly implement this and are allowing four projects to continue to be advanced. All projects remain the focus of community concern and active opposition. The WA Conservation Council and Traditional Owners have taken Supreme Court action to oppose the approval of Cameco’s Yeelirrie project with a decision expected in the first quarter of 2018 and pressure is growing on Vimy Resources, the most enthusiastic uranium hopeful. There are no commercial uranium operations in the West and any wannabe miners face a very tough road.

In November Queensland Labor were returned to government with a strong anti-uranium position and the door remains tightly shut on the uranium sector in the sunshine state.

In the NT further assessment is under way about rehabilitation and clean up options for the contaminated Rum Jungle site and issues around the closure and rehabilitation of the heavily impacted Ranger mine site on Mirarr land in Kakadu moved to centre stage. The era of uranium mining in Kakadu is over: Jabiluka is stopped and stalled, Koongarra is finally and formally part of Kakadu National Park and Ranger has stopped mining and is in the final days of mineral processing. The challenge now is a massive one – to help ensure that the NT and federal governments and Rio Tinto have the commitment, competence and capacity to clean up, exit and transition in the most credible and effective way.

South Australia remains the nations sole uranium mining state but even the pro-nuclear Royal Commission found that there was no justification for increased mining. The global uranium market remains over-supplied and the commodity price remains deeply depressed. Our planets energy future is renewable, not radioactive and Australia is ripping and shipping less uranium oxide each year. In contrast to the continuing column inches and Mineral Council of Australia drumbeats – the market and the community both continue to have little confidence in, or time for, the uranium sector.

International radioactive waste:

 One of the best news stories of 2018 was the declaration in June that the plan to ship, store and ultimately bury one-third of the world’s high level radioactive waste into South Australia was dead’.

This result is a massive tribute to the sustained efforts, action and advocacy of so many – especially SA Aboriginal communities and representatives who spearheaded the community resistance. The result is also a real validation of the potency of people power over poisoned power. There was deep and well-resourced political, corporate, media and institutional support for the dump plan and this was stopped by the little people stepping up and doing big things. This result has significant international implications as the absence of an Australian based ‘disposal pathway’ makes it harder for aging reactors overseas to gain license extensions.

This is the second time in as many decades that the Australian community has successfully opposed plans to open a global high level radioactive waste dump with Pangea Resources seeking to advance a plan in WA in the late 1990’s. Some of the same players then were also behind the recent SA push and, like liberty, the price of keeping Australia free from being a global dumping ground is eternal vigilance.

National radioactive waste:

The federal government continues to lurch along an increasingly dry gully in its search to find a site to develop a national radioactive waste dump and store. Three sites in South Australia – one in the Flinders Ranges and two near Kimba on the Eyre Peninsula – remain the focus. All sites are strongly contested by large numbers of locals and in the Flinders Adnyamathanha Traditional Owners are continuing to lead the campaign. There has been lots of activity with publications, films, songs, exhibitions, rallies, actions, speaking tours, gatherings, public meetings, media events, Canberra trips and much more.

The government faces a set of sustained and significant procedural and community roadblocks in advancing this plan. It has had its eyes off the ball and been playing musical chairs over Ministerial responsibility – the song has now stopped with Matt Canavan in the hot seat. A growing range of groups are advocating a revised approach to responsible waste management based on extended interim storage at the two federal sites where 95% of the waste is currently stored and a detailed examination of the full range of future management options, not simply a search for a remote postcode. Hardly rocket science and set to be an area of key movement focus in 2018.

Nuclear weapons abolition:

Viva ICAN!

Against a backdrop of increasing global nuclear tensions an Australian born initiative has provided hope and a pathway to peace. The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons was formed in Melbourne a decade ago and ICAN was behind the UN’s adoption of a treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons earlier this year. The treaty seeks to make nuclear weapons illegal and to challenge and change the ways these weapons are viewed and valued. It is our shared planets best chance to get rid of our worst weapons. In October ICAN was awarded the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of its efforts. Surreal, timely and important. In 2018 work will continue to grow the treaty, including pressuring Australia to sign and ratify.

Along with ICAN’s Nobel there was other external recognition and acknowledgement of the efforts of Australian nuclear free work in 2017 including WA’s Judy Blyth’s commendation in ACF’s Rawlinson Award, respected and beloved Yankunytjatajara elder and prominent anti-nuclear and land rights campaigner Yami Lester was posthumously awarded a SA Environment Award lifetime achievement and the makers of the remarkable Collisions virtual reality film telling a key part of the Martu story won an Emmy Award. And more….congratulations to all.

Of course most of our work is not seeking and does not receive awards. It is done to move Australia away from fuelling and facilitating a trade that disrespects and endangers community and country today and far into the future. It is profound and pivotal – and it is making a real and demonstrable difference and I am proud to work and travel alongside you in this continuing journey.

 

 

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December 30, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Opposition to nuclear, politics | Leave a comment

Ipswich residents not all taken in by the pro nuclear hype

Community responds to calls for nuclear power generation https://www.qt.com.au/news/community-responds-to-calls-for-nuclear-power-gene/3281718/ by Hayden Johnson

December 6, 2017 Posted by | Opposition to nuclear, Queensland | Leave a comment

Over 1000 protest in Adelaide against Federal nuclear waste dump plan

 

1000+ at an Adelaide rally yesterday to protest Canberra’s plans to dump Sydney’s nuclear waste in SA … People travelled from Hawker and Kimba regions of South Australia today to come and protest about the Federal Government’s plans to dump nuclear waste around their land and farms. All the speakers were very angry and cynical about the way that the Federal Government was behaving towards the people in this State.

December 4, 2017 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, Opposition to nuclear, South Australia | Leave a comment

Yami Lester’s daughters continue his fight against the nuclear industry

Yami’s daughters take up anti-nuclear fight https://nit.com.au/yamis-daughters-take-anti-nuclear-fight/ – Wendy Caccetta –reporter@nit.com.auNovember 29, 2017 Sisters Karina and Rose Lester know all too well the tragedy nuclear weapons can bring.

Their late father Yami Lester, a Yankunytjatjara man of northern South Australia, lost his sight after being exposed as a boy to nuclear testing by the British Government at Maralinga in remote SA.

He went on to become a prominent anti-nuclear campaigner.

Now his daughters have taken up the battle, collecting and sharing stories that have helped the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) win a Nobel Peace Prize.

The prestigious prize will be presented in Oslo on December 10, with an event at Melbourne Town Hall to be held the same day.

Karina Lester, who lives in Adelaide, said when she was growing up her father did not talk much at home about what had happened to him as a boy when the nuclear testing took place.

But in public Mr Lester, who passed away in July at the age of 75, felt it was important to share with the world the events that shook the Wallatina community in the ’50s.

“There’s a role a parent plays in protecting your children from really knowing some of the sad, sad stories that did take place across our community,” Ms Lester said.

“He spoke a bit about where the camp was, he remembers that day, he remembers the ground shaking and this black mist rolling and the fear in the community.

“There was a huge loss for us as an Aboriginal community and we were so badly done by when the British came in and tested in our backyard that we still suffer to this day.”

Ms Lester said conditions in the community deteriorated over a week after the testing.“When the fallout happened, that evening, people were violently ill,” she said. “There was a lot of vomiting going around in the camp. People became sick. Their eyes started getting sore and tender.

“By day two, people were really starting to suffer. By week two, people’s eyes were either burnt out or people had bad burns on their bodies. “There were lots of rashes appearing and there was a trail of black-like soot that fell over the whole of the community.

“The oranges had shrivelled up and by that week were non-edible.”

Ms Lester said the story was a painful one, but needed to be heard. She said it was important to take a stand against anything nuclear from weapons to waste storage facilities. The Lester sisters gave NIT permission to reproduce the photo of their late father.

 

December 1, 2017 Posted by | Opposition to nuclear, personal stories, South Australia | Leave a comment

Best selling author Junko Morimoto called on Turnbull to sign nuclear weapons ban treaty

Junko Morimoto, author of My Hiroshima, urged Malcolm Turnbull to sign nuclear weapons ban treaty, ABC, By political reporter Anna Henderson, 21 Sept 17,  Best-selling children’s author and Hiroshima bombing survivor Junko Morimoto urged the Australian Prime Minister to sign a treaty banning nuclear weapons before her death.

Key points:

  • Junko Morimoto wrote an eye-witness account of the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima
  • Morimoto urged Malcolm Turnbull to sign and ratify the new Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
  • The author died on Thursday morning

Morimoto was the author of My Hiroshima, her eye-witness account of the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima in 1945, when she was a teenager.

Junko Morimoto: Remembering Hiroshima

Morimoto was in her 80s when she died on Thursday morning.

Last month Ms Morimoto sent a letter to Malcolm Turnbull calling on his Government to sign and ratify the new Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

“When I was 13 years old, I survived hell on earth,” the letter said.

“Our home collapsed around us but my brother, sister, father and I managed to crawl out of the rubble and survive the horrifying days and months that followed.”……http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-21/junko-morimoto-urged-turnbull-to-sign-nuclear-weapons-ban-treaty/8969046

September 21, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

At Australian Nuclear Free Alliance (ANFA) Black and White celebrate their campaign – keeping Australia nuclear free

Celebrating 20 years of helping Australia stay nuclear free  Aboriginal land continues to be in the firing line. SBS NITV, By Paddy Gibson, Senior Researcher, Jumbunna Institute UTS 15 SEP 2017

This weekend in Adelaide, Kaurna country, anti-nuclear campaigners from the Australian Nuclear Free Alliance will hold their annual conference to debrief and strategise for the struggles ahead.

At the core of Australian Nuclear Free Alliance (ANFA) are Aboriginal people living with nuclear projects on their lands, including uranium mines and the toxic legacy of nuclear weapons testing in the 1950s and 60s, and others trying to stop new uranium mines or nuclear waste dumps being imposed on their country.

This year’s conference will celebrate 20 years since the network was founded in 1997 in Alice Springs, originally as the Alliance Against Uranium.

The initial meeting was an initiative of Mirarr people and their organisation Gundjeihmi, who were cranking up a major campaign against the Jabiluka uranium mine, along with environment groups such as the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF), Friends of the Earth and other Traditional Owners. At the time, the Howard government was looking to massively expand Australia’s uranium exports. There was a wealth of experience in Aboriginal communities across the country, who suffer the brunt of this industry and people wanted to come together to fight back. There were growing opportunities to connect with wider civil society groups who shared a deep concern about uranium and recognised the central importance of supporting Aboriginal struggles for country.

Over the past 20 years, the ANFA network has provided vital support to many campaigns, from the victory at Jabiluka, to the battles for compensation for victims of nuclear weapons testing, to numerous struggles against new uranium mines and exploration projects. Lessons from the successful fight to stop a nuclear waste dump in South Australia, a victory achieved in 2004 after a national campaign led by the Kupa Piti Kungka Tjuta, inspired a decade of resistance that eventually stopped a nuclear dump been established in the Northern Territory, despite attempts at multiple sites. International solidarity with other Indigenous peoples, and all peoples, dealing with similar threats, has also been central to ANFA’s practice.

Aboriginal land continues to be in the firing line. This year’s conference will deal with new moves to establish a waste dump in South Australia, being fiercely resisted by Adnyamathanha people whose country in the Flinders Ranges is under threat. Also up for discussion is the ongoing attempt to expand existing uranium mines and establish new ones, including the recent indication by the WA Labor government that it would push ahead with uranium mines in that state, in contravention of clear election commitments and the wishes of Traditional Owners. The growing threat of nuclear war, and the urgent need to rehabilitate country already badly damaged, are also on the agenda.

Below [on original] is a collection of statements from participants in ANFA over the last twenty years, taken from a report produced to celebrate “twenty years of radioactive resistance”.

These statements all demonstrate the importance of Aboriginal connection to country as a driving force behind the network, along with the power that comes from building networks of solidarity across society.

……more  at http://www.sbs.com.au/nitv/article/2017/09/15/celebrating-20-years-helping-australia-stay-nuclear-free

 

September 16, 2017 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Aboriginal women’s long walk to stop uranium mining in Western Australia

‘Walkabout’ protesters get their day in court to fight uranium mining in WA http://www.watoday.com.au/wa-news/walkabout-protesters-get-their-day-in-court-to-fight-uranium-mining-in-wa-20170831-gy82w9.html, David Allan-Petale, 31 Aug 17, 

A group of indigenous women have completed a month long ‘walkabout protest’ against uranium mining in Western Australia that saw them travel on foot through remote lands being considered as mine sites.

The protest was kindled by the WA government’s move in June to allow four uranium projects previously granted environmental approval to proceed, whilst blocking any future mining bids.

Toro Energy’s Wiluna project, Vimy Resources’ Mulga Rock project, and Cameco’s Kintyre and Yeelirrie projects all had the approval before Labor won the March election.

Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston said Labor, which banned uranium mining when last in power between 2002 and 2008, had received advice it could not legally deny secondary approvals for the purpose of frustrating those already granted.

“In making this decision, the McGowan government has carefully considered the potential liability risk for WA taxpayers,” Mr Johnston said.

 But the government’s wider view is not shared by the Yeelirrie Traditional Owners group, whose lands they believe are under threat from any mine that’s pushed through.

The Conservation Council of WA is part of a legal challenge against a proposal by the Canadian uranium company Cameco to develop a uranium mine at Yeelirrie, 70 kilometres south-west of Wiluna in the northern Goldfields.

Shirley Wonyabong, Elizabeth Wonyabong, and Vicky Abdullah from the Walkatjurra Walkabout against uranium mining protest are part of this legal challenge, and they started their walking protest to highlight their struggle against it.

“Yeelirrie is important to my family. We have fought to protect this site for over 40 years and we won’t stop now,” Vicky Abdullah said.

“I grew up here, my ancestors were Traditional Owners of country, and I don’t want a toxic legacy here for my grandchildren.

“We have no choice but to defend our country, our culture, and the environment from the threat of uranium mining – not just for us but for everyone.

“The last government made a mistake approving the Yeelirrie mine – now we have a chance to make that right through the courts.”

The women were joined by fifty other people from around the world who wanted to join the protest, which saw the group walk through traditional lands, including Yeelirrie.

They finished the walkbout on Thursday, and were told by supporters that the Supreme Court will hear an application for Judicial Review of uranium mine proposal on November 14.

September 1, 2017 Posted by | Opposition to nuclear, uranium, Western Australia | Leave a comment

Western Australia Walkabout against uranium -month-long pilgrimage from Wiluna to Leonora

 https://thewest.com.au/news/kalgoorlie-miner/walkabout-against-uranium-ng-b88547279z, , 26 July 2017 A month-long pilgrimage from Wiluna to Leonora to campaign against uranium mining will begin next month in the wake of the State Government’s approval of four proposed uranium mines earlier this year.

Program co-ordinator Marcus Atkinson said the seventh annual Walkatjurra Walkabout will see 50 to 60 participants walk 10km to 15km a day while connecting with land and culture and supporting the sovereign rights of Aboriginal people to protect their lands and support a nuclear-free future.

Mr Atkinson said considering the Government’s recent decision, this year’s walk was particularly pertinent.

“We want to stop uranium mining and connect with country and culture,” he said.

“It is about supporting traditional owners to show that people from all over the country and the world are standing with them.”

One of the mines, the Yeelirrie uranium project, was approved against the recommendation of the Environmental Protection Authority which said mining would lead to the extinction of several unique species of subterranean fauna.

The Conservation Council of WA and members of the Tjiwarl native title group have taken Supreme Court action against the Yeerlirrie project.

CCWA director Piers Verstegen cited environmental, economic and social concerns over the approval of the mine.

He said environment groups could not allow any project that would knowingly cause the extinction of unique species to go unchallenged, given the precedent it would set.

Mr Atkinson said the walk, which is quite a significant undertaking, was the most effective way of acknowledging the importance of the land. “Often we bring traditional owners to Perth to speak about the significance of the land, but those words and stories are so much more powerful when you are out on the country,” he said.

“It emphasises the fact that this isn’t a place in the middle of nowhere and it is worth saving.

“We need to take a step back and make a decision which is best for WA, not a handful of multinational companies.”

The Walkatjurra Walkabout begins in Kalgoorlie on August 8.

To register to be a part of the walk or for more information, visit walkingforcountry.com.

July 28, 2017 Posted by | Opposition to nuclear, uranium, Western Australia | Leave a comment

Strong union opposition to uranium mining in Western Australia

Union ‘showdown’ looming over U-deal, West Australian , , 21 June 2017, One of WA Labor’s most influential unions is promising a “showdown” at the party’s State conference over Mark McGowan’s decision to allow a raft of uranium mining projects to go ahead.

Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union State secretary Steve McCartney yesterday condemned as “weak” and “disappointing” the Government’s announcement it would not block four uranium mining proposals.

The projects — Cameco’s Yeelirrie and Kintyre, Toro Energy’s Wiluna extension and Vimy Resources’ Mulga Rock — were all granted environmental approval by the previous government.

Mr McCartney vowed the AMWU would draw up a motion against the decision for Labor’s State conference in August, the key policy-setting body for the party. He said it was unacceptable the Government would allow the exploitation of radioactive material and the union would be seeking to “support and stiffen” the party’s anti-uranium position.

“The last thing we want is to be the glowing State,” Mr McCartney said.

“We have the strongest policy in the country and we believe the general feedback and phone calls we’re getting is that there will be a showdown at conference about it.

“I know that people are very upset about the fact that we’re going to be out there saying ‘Hello, you can dig up uranium’.”

The warning from the AMWU came as the Conservation Council of WA flagged a court challenge to the validity of the four projects’ environmental approvals.

Conservation Council nuclear campaigner Mia Pepper said the group was “looking at all legal avenues and options”…..https://thewest.com.au/politics/state-politics/union-showdown-looming-over-u-deal-ng-b88513503z

June 23, 2017 Posted by | Opposition to nuclear, uranium, Western Australia | Leave a comment

Nature Conservation Council of NSW slams Deputy Premier’s nuclear power plan

Green groups shut down nuclear NSW talk, http://www.news.com.au/national/breaking-news/green-groups-shut-down-nuclear-nsw-talk/news-story/0a4b29c1a3ae25ad8e67ce3c0130b6a2 Green groups have reacted swiftly to condemn an attempt by Deputy NSW Premier John Barilaro to place nuclear energy back on the agenda.

Mr Barilaro told the NSW Nationals Annual Conference in Broken Hill on Thursday nuclear energy could mean “guaranteed power to millions, lower bills and next to no emissions” in the face of a power crisis.

He said energy costs were crushing businesses, farmers and families.

The Nature Conservation Council of NSW called on Premier Gladys Berejiklian to declare nuclear options weren’t on the table.

“Renewables are by far the cheapest, cleanest and most sustainable way to meet our energy needs,” chief executive Kate Smolski said in a statement.

She said nuclear power was “dirty, dangerous and expensive” and could leave a “toxic legacy”.

Ms Smolski challenged Mr Barilaro to explain which electorate would house a nuclear reactor, uranium processing plant and radioactive waste dumps.

The NSW Greens energy spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham said Mr Barilaro’s comments showed the party was out of touch with the community.

“This is just another nutty, extreme idea from the National Party who is stuck in the wrong century pushing coal and nuclear and ignoring the massive renewable energy potential of Australia,” he said.

May 22, 2017 Posted by | New South Wales, Opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

CAMECO’S URANIUM DEPOSITS IN WESTERN AUSTRALIA ‒ A BRIEF SUMMARY

The Global Uranium Industry & Cameco’s Troubled History May 2017 Jim Green − Friends of the Earth, Australia http://tinyurl.com/cameco-may-2017

“…….. Kintyre (70% Cameco / 30% Mitsubishi) The Martu Aboriginal people have fought against this proposed uranium mine since the 1980s. The deposit sits between two branches of a creek called Yantikutji which is connected to a complex network of surface and groundwater systems. It is also in an area that was cut out of the Karlamilyi National Park, WA’s biggest National Park. Kintyre is home to 28 rare, endangered and threatened species. The project would include an open pit 1.5 km long, 1.5 km wide, it would use 3.5 million litres of water a day and leave behind 7.2 million tonnes of radioactive mine waste over the life of the project.

In June 2016, Martu Traditional Owners led a 140 km, week-long walk to protest against Cameco’s proposed uranium mine at Kintyre. Aboriginal Traditional Owners are concerned the project will affect their water supplies as well as 28 threatened species in the Karlamilyi National Park.

Joining the protest walk was Anohni, the Academy Award-nominated musician from Antony and the Johnsons. She said: “It’s a huge landscape – it’s a really majestic place. It’s really hard to put a finger on it but there’s a sense of presence and integrity and patience, dignity and perseverance and intense intuitive wisdom that this particular community of people have. There is almost an unbroken connection to the land – they haven’t been radically disrupted. They are very impressive people – it’s humbling to be around these women. In many regards, I think the guys who run Cameco are desolate souls, desolate souls with no home, with no connection to land, with no connection to country.” www.ccwa.org.au/kintyre

Yeelirrie (100% Cameco) Yeelirrie in the local Wongutha Aboriginal language means ‘place of death’. The local community has fought against mining at Yeelirrie for over 40 years. There was a trial mine in the 1970s which was poorly managed: the site was abandoned, unfenced and unsigned with a shallow open pit and tailings left behind. The project would include a 9 km long, 1 km wide open pit, it would use 8.7 million litres of water a day and leave behind 36 million tonnes of radioactive mine waste over the life of the mine. There are many cultural heritage sites under threat from this proposal. The project was rejected by the Western Australian Environmental Protection Agency in 2016 because of the threat that 11 species of underground microfauna would become extinct. The WA Environment Minister ignored the EPA advice and approved the project anyway. www.ccwa.org.au/yeelirrie

May 5, 2017 Posted by | aboriginal issues, Opposition to nuclear, reference, uranium, Western Australia | Leave a comment

Adnyamantha Aboriginal elder considering legal action against federal government’s proposed nuclear waste dump

Aboriginal Elder Tony Clark concerned with nuclear waste facility, Transcontinental, Matt Carcich@MattCarcich 23 Mar 2017, Adnyamantha and Kujani Traditional Elder Tony Clark says if the federal government’s proposed nuclear waste facility at Barndioota continues to the next stage, a federal court legal intervention may take place.

Mr Clark has previously led the charge of the Kujani people’s Federal Court win against the federal government’s proposed nuclear waste facility for Woomera in 2004.

The potential intervention would come from a group of Adnyamantha and Kujani people who are concerned the proposed facility holds a significant risk to the survival of the Pungu Purrungha song line.

The songline travels across a body of water more than 70 kilometres in length from Hawker to Lake Torrens, and is an important piece of local Aboriginal history.

It’s also believed to be at least 85,000 years old.

Mr Clark said he’s opposed to the facility and that he and others are not afraid of taking potential legal action. “If they proceed to the next step on our country … then we would look towards seeking legal intervention in the federal courts,” he said.

The proposed site,130 kilometres north of Port Augusta, will store low-level and some intermediate-level nuclear waste. The low level purpose-built repository would be about the size of four Olympic size swimming pools with a 100 hectare buffer on the 25,000 hectare property.

Designs have not been prepared for the national repository but it will be modelled on above-ground storage and disposal facilities overseas……

Mr Clark said the ‘cultural and spiritual well-being’ of the Adnyamantha people is at risk if the facility proceeds, and he believes section 47 of the Pastoral Land Management and Conservation Act (1989) plays an important role in the facility’s future.

The act states an Aboriginal person may enter, travel across or stay on pastoral land for the purpose of following the traditional pursuits of the Aboriginal people.

Mr Clark said the Adnyamantha people’s cultural and spiritual well-being may be at risk if they can’t access the Pungu Purrungha song line and that this section shows no Pastoralist can stop Aboriginal people accessing a traditional site like the Pungu Purrungha song line.

“Our cultural and spiritual well-being is at risk, along with our physical contact to the land under various acts of parliament, including section 47 of the Pastoral Land Management and Conservation Act (1989).”

A Spokesperson for the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science said the (federal) government has said it will deliver a National Radioactive Waste Management Facility in a centralised, purpose-built repository.

“The government has not formed a view that it should be located in Barndioota,” the spokesperson said…..http://www.transcontinental.com.au/story/4547617/nuclear-proposal-may-go-to-courts/ 

March 24, 2017 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, legal, Opposition to nuclear, South Australia | Leave a comment

Rainbow Bridge to Fukushima

Benny Zable with Chibo Mertineit and 4 others Sat 11 March 2017 Cape Byron Lighthouse, Byron Bay, Australia

Anti-nuclear activists gathered at Cape Byron Lighthouse today morning to mark the sixth anniversary of the tsunami that crippled the nuclear power reactors in Fukushima and to send a message of solidarity to the people of Japan.

Morning joggers and walkers were greeted by the sound of shakuhachi and Indonesian harp. The Pacific ocean rose in gentle swells; an osprey rode the updrafts.

Local activist Iris Nunn led the group in prayers for the children and families of Fukushima. Nimbin resident Chibo Mertineit spoke of the long peoples’ struggles to stop the spread of nuclear power that started in West Germany in the seventies and is now part of a global movement to draw attention to the perils of the nuclear age.

Activists unfurled a banner that said: Fukushima reminds us that nuclear power is a dead end.

With radioactivity still spilling into the oceans, land and air, activist called for urgent international assistance to resolve the crisis.

Artist and environmentalist Benny Zable said: “Say no to nuclear. Go Green!’ Pic: Harsha Prabhu

March 13, 2017 Posted by | New South Wales, Opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

URANIUM PLANS AT MULGA FACE A ROCKY FUTURE

logo CCWA19 Dec 16, Environment groups and Aboriginal Community member will step up their efforts against Vimy Resources’ proposed Mulga Rock uranium mine, 240 kilometres north-east of Kalgoorlie, following the decision by the WA Environment Minister to provide conditional approval for the operation

“Like other uranium mining projects in WA, this proposal does not have bipartisan support” said ACF campaigner Dave Sweeney. “Environment groups will continue to work with local communities to fully explore all options to ensure this mine does not proceed. This task is made easier by the depressed uranium price and deep uncertainty surrounding the project’s viability”.

Concerns about lack of consultation as well as environmental impacts from the proposed operation are casting a shadow over the controversial plan.

“A particularly disappointing aspect of this decision is that Government agencies and the Minister have ignored the Anangu Spinifex people’s cultural and historical connection to this area,” said Conservation Council nuclear free campaigner Mia Pepper.

“This failure has unacceptably allowed Vimy Resources to avoid any consultation with this group.

The Mulga Rock area is also ecologically sensitive and part of the Yellow Sandplain Priority Ecological Community. This pristine desert environment is home to many threatened and endangered species,”

“Vimy plans to take 87,600 million litres of water a day and leave behind 32 million tonnes of radioactive mine waste. The long-term risks for the community far outweigh any inflated short-term rewards for the company” Ms Pepper said.

December 19, 2016 Posted by | Opposition to nuclear, Western Australia | Leave a comment

Anti-uranium crusaders win top conservation award 

Kalgoorlie Miner (print only 23rd Nov 2016) 
handsoffThe David-versus-Goliath battle of two Leonora women against uranium mining has been recognised, with the pair becoming the first Aboriginal recipients of the State’s top conservation award. Shirley and Elizabeth Wonyabong received the Bessie Rischbieth Conservation Award at a Conservation Council of WA ceremony in West Perth at the weekend.

Shirley and Elizabeth had, during 46 years of resisting uranium mining proposals, displayed “outstanding qualities of courage, integrity, perseverance and commitment” in challenging government and non-government decision-makers, Conservation Council of WA executive director Piers Verstegen said. For the past six years they had been leading people through country on Walkatjura Walkabout to stop a mine being started at Yeelirrie.

November 23, 2016 Posted by | aboriginal issues, Opposition to nuclear, Western Australia | Leave a comment