Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Sunshine Coast environment and population must not be put at risk by nuclear power stations

OUR SAY: Nuclear move not for Coast, Sunshine Coast Daily by CRAIG WARHURST, 6th Jul 2018 

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July 6, 2018 Posted by | Opposition to nuclear, Queensland | Leave a comment

Launch of film “protecting Country”

Protecting Country

 

Alexander Hayes   After three years of listening, a huge trip across country, countless hours spent editing and many community consultations we are thankful to be releasing today the Protecting Country film which was produced by Bruce Hammond and features Aboriginal leaders in their stand against the continued genocide of uranium mining, testing and dumping in Australia –

“…Protecting Country is an independently produced film bringing the voices of the contemporary Adnyamathanha, Gurindji, Tanganekald, Yankunytjatjara Anunga, Mirning, Narunnga Aboriginal Australian people forward who are united in their stand AGAINST the present and planned uranium mining and nuclear dump activities in South Australia. Bruce Hammond, an Aboriginal Tanganekald man with ties to the coast in the lower South East of South Australia and the central desert regions of Finke and Alice Springs in conjunction with Alexander Hayes & Magali McDuffie from Ngikalikarra Media brought the ‘Protecting Country’ documentary film on a screening road trip across Australia –

June 22, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

A journey to the heart of the anti-nuclear resistance in Australia: Radioactive Exposure Tour 2018

 NUCLEAR  MONITOR  – A PUBLICATION OF WORLD INFORMATION SERVICE ON ENERGY (WISE)   AND THE NUCLEAR INFORMATION & RESOURCE SERVICE (NIRS  Author: Ray Acheson ‒ Director, Reaching Critical Will, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom)   NM859.4719, May 2018 

Looking at a map of South Australia’s nuclear landscape, the land is scarred. Uranium mines and weapon test sites, coupled with indications of where the government is currently proposing to site nuclear waste dumps, leave their marks across the desert. But amidst the devastation these poisonous activities have left on the land and its people, there is fierce resistance and boundless hope.

Friends of the Earth Australia has been running Radioactive Exposure Tours for the past thirty years.Designed to bring people from around Australia to meet local activists at various nuclear sites, the Rad Tour provides a unique opportunity to learn about the land, the people, and the nuclear industry in the most up-front and personal way.

This year’s tour featured visits to uranium mines, bomb test legacy sites, and proposed radioactive waste dumps on Arabunna, Adnyamathanha, and Kokatha land in South Australia, and introduced urban-based activists to those directly confronting the nuclear industry out in country. It brought together about 30 people including campaigners from the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons and Reaching Critical Will, environmental activists with Friends of the Earth Australia and other organisations, and interested students and others looking to learn about the land, the people, and the industries operating out in the desert.

The journey of ten days takes us to many places and introduces us to many people, but can be loosely grouped into three tragic themes: bombing, mining, and dumping.  Each of these aspects of the nuclear chain is stained with racism, militarism, and capitalism. Each represents a piece of a dirty, dangerous, but ultimately dying nuclear industry. And each has been and continues to be met with fierce resistance from local communities, including Traditional Owners of the land.

Testing the bomb   The first two days of the trip are spent driving from  Melbourne to Adelaide to Port Augusta. We pick up activists along the way, before finally heading out to the desert. Our first big stop on the Tour is a confrontation  with the atomic bomb. Continue reading

May 12, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Time for South Australians, ALL Australians, to rally against nuclear waste dumping in beautiful Flinders Ranges

Anti-nuclear protesters increase fight against radioactive dump being established in SA
The Advertiser Erin Jones, Regional Reporter, Sunday Mail (SA) May 5, 2018
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/antinuclear-protesters-increase-fight-against-radioactive-dump-being-established-in-sa/news-story/55f7c369b17f03c747c1de824428b4df

ANTI-NUCLEAR campaigners will increase their fight to stop South Australia from becoming the nation’s radioactive waste ground, ahead of a final vote by the community.

Hundreds of postcards will be sent to Federal Resources Minister Matt Canavan demanding cultural heritage sites, agricultural land and the environment be protected from nuclear waste.

The Federal Government is expected to decide in the coming months whether to build a low-level and intermediate-level waste facility at Kimba or Barndioota, in the Flinders Ranges.

The two-year site selection process has divided both communities, those in favour believed it would create economic opportunities, while those opposed said it would jeopardise industries.

Conservation SA nuclear waste campaigner Mara Bonacci said the government needed to be more transparent about the facility ahead of an August 20 community ballot.

“There is division in both communities, whether it’s people who are pro-nuclear waste or anti-nuclear, they both want what’s best for the community,” Ms Bonacci said.

But the pro-waste people are saying it will create lots of jobs, but we haven’t got any clarity around the numbers or if they’re full-time.

“We also want to know what number the Minister wants in a community vote to show ‘broad community support’ for the facility.”

Before the government decides on the successful site, residents from both communities will be given a final chance to accept or reject the proposal.

The ballot will be held less than a week after findings of a Senate Inquiry into the site-selection process are to be released, on August 14.

Mr Canavan told the Sunday Mail the government would provide more detailed information on the project’s design, job creation, cost, community benefits and safety, ahead of the ballot.

He said a nuclear waste facility would not be imposed on an unwilling community and it would need “broad community support” – although no arbitrary figure was provided.

“As we have always said, a range of factors will be used to determine broad community support, including the results of a public ballot, public and private submissions, and feedback from stakeholders during community discussions, including neighbours, councils and local groups,” Mr Canavan said. “The consultation process is engaging people on all sides of the discussion, and all views – supportive, neutral and opposed – are taken into account.”

The ballot will include residents of the Flinders Ranges Council and within a 50km radius of the Barnidoota site, and the Kimba District Council.

May 7, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, Opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Two years of community resistance

Sunday 29th April 2018 marked two years since then Minister Frydenberg selected Barndioota in the Flinders Ranges as a possible site to dump and store Australia’s radioactive waste.

Members of the Flinders Local Action Group, No Dump Alliance and Don’t Dump on SA spent the weekend at the Adnyamathanha-run Wilpena Pound and in Hawker to raise awareness of the issue with locals and tourists alike.

Overseas visitors were surprised and horrified to learn about the federal government’s proposal to put a radioactive waste facility in the area and were happy to sign postcards being collected to send to Minister Matt Canavan to show their opposition to a nuclear waste dump in SA.

The cited employment and economic opportunities are modest: some short-term fencing and  construction work and just 12 to 15 longer term security and maintenance jobs. In contrast, the South Australian Tourism Commission states that visitor expenditure in the Flinders Ranges is $415 million p.a. with 1,400 jobs directly in the tourism industry and 1,300 indirect jobs – a total employment impact of 2,700 people.

Current federal Minister Matt Canavan recently announced that an AEC community vote for a planned waste dump and store would begin on August 20th. This is despite the fact that there is currently a Senate Inquiry examining the flawed and divisive site selection process and exhibits no regard for recommendations which may arise from the inquiry that will not report to parliament until mid-August. The Minister has not clarified what constitutes ‘broad community support’ despite repeated community requests.

Minister Canavan recently visited the area but failed to consult with the Adnyamathanha people.  In response, the Adnyamathanha Traditional Lands Association (ATLA) released a short video message to the Minister.

Regina McKenzie, Adnyamathanha woman who lives next door to the proposed site, said “it’s been two years of the government not listening, they turn deaf ears towards the whole Adnyamathanha Nation who say no to the waste dump. We say no waste dump in our country”.

Greg Bannon, chair of the Flinders Local Action Group, said “this fight has been going since the site was shortlisted. For two years, the government has had a continual presence in district. The process has dragged on, but the government needs to know that we are committed to stopping this proposal. They have using a site selection model that has been tried and failed for years: forcing a radioactive waste dump on a remote community.”

Leading civil society organisations including environment, public health, Indigenous, trade union and faith groups all support an expert, open and independent inquiry into the full range of radioactive waste management options.

April 30, 2018 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, Opposition to nuclear | 1 Comment

20 years’ anniversary of Mirarr traditional Aboriginal owners blockade of Jabiluka

Guardian 2nd April 2018, One of Australia’s proudest land rights struggles is passing an important
anniversary: it is 20 years since the establishment of the blockade camp at
Jabiluka in Kakadu national park.

This was the moment at which push would
come to shove at one of the world’s largest high-grade uranium deposits.
The industry would push, and people power would shove right back.

The blockade set up a confrontation between two very different kinds of power:
on the one side, the campaign was grounded in the desire for
self-determination by the Mirarr traditional Aboriginal owners,
particularly the formidable senior traditional owner Yvonne Margarula. They
were supported by a tiny handful of experienced paid staff and backed by an
international network of environment advocates, volunteer activists and
researchers.  https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/apr/03/20-years-on-from-the-jabiluka-mine-protest-we-can-find-hope-in-its-success

April 4, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, history, Opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Nuclear Waste issue highlighted in Port Augusta ahead of state election

Mara Bonacci, 5 March 2018    On Saturday 3rd March, members of Adelaide-based group Don’t Dump on SA joined Adnyamathanha and Barngarla people and members of the Flinders Local Action Group (FLAG) on the Princes Highway in Port Augusta to highlight concerns over the Federal government’s plan to site a radioactive waste facility in South Australia.

The lively and colourful event involved a giant inflatable radioactive waste barrel, music, free cuppas and a lime green three-headed kangaroo. It received a positive response and lots of encouragement from locals and passing traffic.

Locals who stopped for a chat were given showbag-style information packs and encouraged to send a submission to the federal Senate Inquiry into the selection process for a national radioactive waste management facility in South Australia. An online submission template can be found athttps://nowastedump.good.do/wastedumpsenateinquiry/submission/.

Barngarla woman Linda Dare said “We’re here today to tell people that we don’t want a radioactive waste facility in South Australia. We want people to support us in the fight to stop it”.

FLAG member and Hawker GP, Dr Susi Andersson, said “The federal government is treating this as an issue for the local people only, but many people visit and care about the Flinders Ranges and don’t want a dump there.  I feel the broader community need to know about and discuss this issue”.

In response to earlier federal moves to dump radioactive waste in SA our Parliament passed the Nuclear Waste Facility (Prohibition) Act 2000. The objects of this Act are “to protect the health, safety and welfare of the people of South Australia and to protect the environment in which they live by prohibiting the establishment of certain nuclear waste storage facilities in this state.”

In the lead up to the state election on 17 March, people concerned about the imposition of a nuclear waste facility in SA are being encouraged to vote for parties who will defend this legislation. Information can be found at https://www.ourfuturesa.org.au/scorecard.

March 5, 2018 Posted by | Opposition to nuclear, politics, South Australia | Leave a comment

Brewarrina nuclear dump protests send clear message to Council: “Keep Bre Nuclear Free”.

The Brewarrina community is stepping up the campaign against a proposed national nuclear waste dump, with two successful events held over the weekend.

A silent protest was held at the local Council meeting on Friday the 23rd February, with over 20 local protestors attending. Ngemba man Jason Ford presented the No Nuclear Bundabunda on Ngemba Land – Bad Poison petition to the councillors. The petition had 563 clear ‘no’ votes compared to 84 residents who voted in a Council survey that Council should ‘continue with the project.’

Ngemba woman and campaign coordinator Trish Frail said, “We did not win gold, but we won silver and we are happy with that at this stage of the campaign. No further action can be taken by Council until a Working Group is established and the many questions we put to them are answered.”

“We want to know the motivation and funding behind the delegation to Lucas Heights last November and details of the consultation arrangement for nuclear advocate Robert Parker. There is clearly no mandate for the Council to just push ahead and keep promoting the nuclear waste dump,” Ms Frail stated.

The ‘Keep Bre Nuclear Free’ rally the following day mobilised over 100 people, with young people proudly leading the march and chanting ‘No Bundabunda on Ngemba Land’ and ‘Keep Bre Nuclear Free’.

Many Elders also came out to support the campaign.

Aunty Doreen said, “As a Ngemba Elder and a custodian of the land it is important that I support the younger generation in preventing this atrocity from happening on our land, which came from the Dreaming. We struggle with the atrocities that have happened in the past; our future generations should not have to struggle with this danger.”

“It is nuclear genocide. The cotton industry has wrecked our water ways, we can’t let the nuclear industry wreck our land, water and environment,” Aunty Doreen concluded.

Supporters from Melbourne and Canberra travelled to participate in the rally, with messages of support sent from other areas currently under assessment to host the national nuclear dump.

February 28, 2018 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, New South Wales, Opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Film company to abandon plans for production in South Australian area if Federal nuclear waste dump goes ahead

Paul Waldon Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA, 20 Jan 18, 

John Wayne died of cancer, as did 46 members of the crew of “The Conqueror,” which was shot in nuclear contaminated environment in Nevada. Not so long ago at a Quorn anti-nuclear meeting one person submitted a written statement from hopefully a up coming film producer that they will cease all ideas of film production within the areas of Hawker and surrounding towns, if the promotion of a radioactive waste dump was to come to fruition. “Nuclear and its waste Kills all life and business.” https://www.facebook.com/groups/344452605899556/

January 20, 2018 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, Opposition to nuclear, South Australia | Leave a comment

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.

 

 

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