Adnyamantha Aboriginal elder considering legal action against federal government’s proposed nuclear waste dump
Aboriginal Elder Tony Clark concerned with nuclear waste facility, Transcontinental, 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/
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
19 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.
Kalgoorlie Miner (print only 23rd Nov 2016)
The 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.
A poll* commissioned by the Sunday Mail reveals that only one-third of South Australians support Premier Jay Weatherill’s plan for a high-level nuclear waste dump in SA and that public support has fallen by 14 percent in the space of just two months.
Respondents were asked to pick which nuclear facilities SA should build and they were invited to choose as many options as they liked. Of the 3702 respondents, only 35% supported an international nuclear waste repository in SA.
Dr Jim Green, national nuclear campaigner with Friends of the Earth, said: “The Sunday Mail poll finds that just one-third of South Australians support Jay Weatherill’s plan to turn SA into the world’s high-level nuclear waste dump. The results are consistent with the findings of the Citizens’ Jury. One-third of the Jury members gave conditional support to the proposal while two-thirds concluded that SA should not pursue a high-level nuclear waste dump under any circumstances.”
“A September 2016 poll** commissioned by The Advertiser found 49 percent support for the nuclear dump. Thus public support has fallen sharply from 49 percent to 35 percent in the space of just two months. If support continues to fall at that rate, Jay Weatherill may be the only South Australian supporting a nuclear dump by the time of the next state election. Even Business SA chief Nigel McBride acknowledges that the dump plan is ‘dead’ yet the Premier keeps trying to revive it.
“A majority of South Australians and a majority of SA political parties oppose Weatherill’s waste dump. South Australians opposed to the nuclear dump will be spoilt for choice at the next state election with the Liberal Party, the Nick Xenophon Team and the Greens all strongly opposed to the plan.
“The Sunday Mail survey also found that only 39.8 percent of South Australians support the establishment of a national nuclear waste dump in SA. The Premier should abandon his efforts to turn around public opposition to an international high-level nuclear waste dump in SA. He should instead defend SA against Canberra’s plan to impose a national nuclear waste dump in the Flinders Ranges and support Adnyamathanha Traditional Owners who are fighting the plan,” Dr Green concluded.
Nuclear waste dump protesters bring the fight from outback South Australia to the city, By Lauren Waldhuter http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-10-15/nuclear-waste-dump-protesters-bring-the-fight-to-adelaide/7935954
Traditional landowners from South Australia’s outback have brought their fight against proposed nuclear storage facilities to the steps of Parliament House.
About 3,000 people rallied against proposed nuclear waste dumps, with Aboriginal families affected by nuclear testing at Maralinga among the crowd.
The State Government is considering whether it should store the world’s high-grade nuclear waste at a site somewhere in South Australia.
At the same time, the Federal Government is considering building its first storage facility for Australia’s low-grade radioactive waste, having short-listed Wallerberdina station, near Hawker in the Flinders Ranges, as a preferred site.
Traditional landowner Karina Lester said many people did not want to see either proposal go ahead.
“We are starting to unite and we are starting to really think about how we’re going to fight this, because it concerns us and we have a cultural responsibility,” she said.
“People travelled from the Mid North [and] from Ceduna as well to be part of this event and it was so important that they gathered here today to say ‘enough is enough’.
“Having Yalata crew, having Ceduna crew, the Yappala crew being involved is so strong for us as Aboriginal people.”
Renowned film director Scott Hicks lent his voice to the cause, with particular concern about the high-grade dump.
“To me it’s an idea that doesn’t make sense on any level I can look at it,” he said.
“It doesn’t make economic sense. We can’t even predict the price of coal a month from now. How can we predict the price of nuclear waste 100 years from now?
“Why would we want to leave a legacy for our children’s, children’s children and beyond 100,000 years, that can never be taken away?”
What is being proposed?
- Low-to-intermediate level radioactive waste generated in Australia stored in a purpose-built facility
- It would include materials such as nuclear medicine by-products
- This waste is currently stored in more than 100 sites across Australia, in metropolitan areas, regional towns and cities
- The project promises at least 15 ongoing jobs and $10 million in funding for the host community once the facility is operational
- The Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission found SA could store the world’s high-grade nuclear waste
- Sealed waste would be stored 500 metres underground in a purpose-built facility
- The facility could create up to 5,000 jobs during construction and 600 ongoing jobs
- It is tipped to generate $5.6 billion of annual revenue for SA once established
A smaller rally was held in Melbourne, and in Alice Springs. At this stage, I have no reports on the rally held in Sydney.
Hundreds march against nuclear dumping in South Australia http://www.9news.com.au/national/2016/10/15/12/51/hundreds-march-against-nuclear-dumping-in-south-australia Hundreds of land owners have converged in Adelaide’s city centre to resist the South Australian government’s plans for two nuclear waste dumps in the state’s north.
Groups opposing the government’s plans to store high-level waste from other countries have flooded the steps of Parliament House in Adelaide’s CBD.
Many have come bearing flags and signs protesting the dumps, which were proposed in July. Traffic in the local area has been restricted to one lane as a steady stream of protesters continue to arrive. Motorists are advised to avoid the area.
Karina Lester, from the No Dump Alliance, said people need to send a strong message of opposition to the state and federal governments.
“All traditional owner groups need to unite and fight this as we all know the international waste storage facility is not going to be Norwood or Unley (in Adelaide), it will be in the far north of the state,” Ms Lester said.
Aboriginal Congress SA chairman Tauto Sansbury said people need to understand what building nuclear waste dumps means for future generations.
“We are talking about the importance of country and the preservation of culture and safety of our peoples,” Mr Sansbury said.
Conservation SA chief executive Craig Wilkins believes today’s rally is “another opportunity for all South Australian to express their concerns over the dump proposals”.
The rally also marks the 63rd anniversary of the first British atomic bomb test at Emu Field, in SA’s far northwest, in 1953.
Nuclear waste protest http://www.transcontinental.com.au/story/4210032/people-power-on-display-in-the-flinders/ 10 Oct 2016, People power was in full force over the weekend, and it was directed against the federal government’s proposed nuclear waste facility.
‘Yanakanai Ngarpala Yarta – Come Here to Our Country’, saw 70 people travel to the proposed national nuclear waste dump site at Wallerberdina in the Flinders Ranges.
It was at the invitation of Adnyamathanha Traditional Owner and neighbour to the proposed site,Regina McKenzie,
Ms McKenzie made her opposition to the proposal clear.
“We don’t own the land, the land owns us. If you poison the land, you poison us,” she said.
At the three day camp, from October 7-9, Regina McKenzie shared her knowledge of the land and its cultural significance, including Australia’s first registered song-line, which runs from Hawker to Lake Torrens.
Supporters were taken to one of the world’s richest archaeological sites, and the sacred Hookina Springs.
More than 150 people gathered on Sunday and marched from the Blue Burt Memorial Park to the main intersection of Hawker, chanting “don’t waste the Flinders, dump the dump now!”
The rally was addressed by Traditional Owners, local pastoralists and members of the Flinders Local Action Group.
Hawker GP Dr Susan Andersson remains critical of the proposal.
“The continued availability of nuclear medicine services does not depend on a permanent waste repository. Less than one percent of the low level waste is medical waste,” she said.
Supporters across Australia will hold protests, film screenings and meetings for a national day of action against the nuclear waste dumps targeted for South Australia on October 15.
We shouldn’t be the world’s nuclear dump, Adelaide Hills Herald News. By Councillor Lynton Vomow, Lobethal 23 Sep 16, You may have recently had a say at one of the Nuclear Waste Dump forums being held around the state. My biggest concern, however, being the prevention of an accident at sea and the loss of highly radioactive nuclear waste into the ocean, was not satisfactorily explained .
Indeed the attendant basically said that we could not guarantee against such a disastrous event, it could be impossible to retrieve every container of waste and modelling is showing it wouldn’t actually be that bad! Fish and all creatures of the ocean for hundreds of miles around the lost radioactive waste material would be devastatingly affected.
Did you know that medium or high level (depending on whether it’s France or Australia describing it) nuclear rubbish was brought to Australia, in December just last year, in a rust bucket that had failed three safety inspections in five years?
Can you imagine what could happen if we were to receive dozens of shipments? Can we be guaranteed the waste will make it here safely, every single time?
Some are saying that low level waste is non hazardous, so then why not store it near its source i.e Sydney, and save the fuel costs of transporting it?
Basically a low level waste dump would be coming here to soften us up for a high level dump.
There is a need to have safe repositories for the waste, somewhere, but it will have to be near its usage location.
Countries ought to be looking at phasing out nuclear power so that there is as little waste as possible.
How long does nuclear waste last anyway? Can you imagine two hundred years? Ten times that then takes us back to the birth of Christ. Ten times all of that now takes us back to just before the last ice age, 20,000 years ago. Then ten times 20,000 years? 200,000 years. That’s when only about half of the atoms in high level nuclear waste will have decayed to less harmful atoms. It is going to be a long wait for this deadly waste to become harmless, to care for our generation’s nuclear waste.
Are we going to be beggars or choosers? We are not so desperate that we have to take the world’s most toxic waste and prevent it from damaging anything for hundreds of thousands of years.
South Australia continues to have huge potential for growing the renewable energy industry instead.
The risk to the world’s environment of transporting high level nuclear waste across the oceans to to the furthest point on the planet, ie, South Australia, just doesn’t make sense.
And people, (including of course the Adnyamathanha Indigenous people of the Flinders Ranges) do not want it.
Nuclear waste storage proposal draws ire of SA regional community on the ground ABC North and West By Angela Smallacombe, 20 Sept 16, Plans for a high-level nuclear waste dump being touted by the South Australian Government have found strong opposition at ground level, according to an unofficial ABC poll.
The ABC North and West breakfast program, based in Port Pirie, asked listeners whether they were for, against, or undecided regarding the State Government’s proposal to import nuclear waste from other countries and store it in South Australia.
Eighty per cent of respondents were against the nuclear plans, 15.29 per cent were for the plans, and 4.71 per cent were undecided.
Votes were taken via text messages and phone calls, with 85 responses to 10am, but the “no” responses continued for hours afterwards.
The results came from listeners in the regional area that holds nuclear sites Maralinga, Radium Hill, Roxby Downs and Beverly Uranium Mine.
Listeners were also in areas previously mooted for nuclear waste facilities at Kimba, Woomera and aproperty near Hawker that is still being considered for a federal project to house domestic nuclear waste……..http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-09-21/port-pirie-community-reacts-to-nuclear-waste-dump-proposal/7865200
Indigenous people living in the area have a bad history with uranium developments. It’s a few hundred kilometres from Cundalee, the mission where Spinifex people from the Great Victoria Desert were placed after being pushed off their traditional lands by the British government’s nuclear testing program in Maralinga, South Australia, in the 1950s and 60s
Pilanguru people to fight on as uranium mine gets environmental approval
Traditional owners say the Indigenous community has not been adequately consulted about Vimy Resources’ planned Mulga Rock open-pit mine, Guardian, Calla Wahlquist, 15 Aug 16, Traditional owners have vowed to fight a proposed uranium mine at Mulga Rock, about 240km west of Kalgoorlie, Western Australia, which was given conditional environmental approval on Monday.
The Environmental Protection Authority of WA recommended the Barnett government approve construction of the open-pit mine and uranium processing plant, operated by Perth-based Vimy Resources Limited, after a three-month public environmental review. Continue reading
MORE than 100 anti-uranium protesters from across the nation dressed as zombies and marched to the “gates of hell” outside Olympic Dam on Friday. It marked the start of a three-day protest by the Desert Liberation Front outside the BHP mine at Roxby Downs, bringing with them a heavy police presence.
STAR Group officers, sniffer dogs, mounted police, dirt bike patrols, a helicopter and a drone were all visible at the mine site during the event’s first day.
About half of the 200 protesters, including children, walked 2km to the mine’s front gates chanting “leave it in the ground, Roxby’s going down”. Some protesters shook the gates, but vowed to keep the event peaceful.
Arabunna elder Kevin Buzzacott has also called on the police “to do right” by them and issued an open invitation to officers to attend their camp. “It’s always a peaceful protest even though others might say it’s not, but we always like to do the right thing,” Mr Buzzacott said.
“We got pulled up by the police and they questioned everyone like we’re terrorists, checking licenses and cars being defected. “So we would also like the other people to do the right thing and come and talk to us and have a cup of tea.”
Mr Buzzacott said the group only wanted to raise awareness on the dangers of uranium and called on BHP to close the mine within two years.
Police Assistant Commissioner Bronwyn Killmier said there had been no arrests on the event’s first day and people had protested peacefully. Ms Killmier said officers were not wearing weapons as protesters were acting peacefully and respectfully. The event follows a similar protest in 2012 which lasted longer than a week and resulted in 18 people being arrested.
Among the colourful characters was a giant 2.5m Tongan sea god named Lumi. Its creator, Nick Wilson, took time off from his job as a puppeteer and travelled from Melbourne to give Lumi a first-hand look at a uranium site he said was poisoning his ocean. “Lumi is the Pacific Island god of ocean and death and he seemed too perfect not to bring,” Mr Wilson, 31, said.
Last night protesters were setting up a roadkill barbecue at their solar-powered camp, on Olympic Way, which included a communal kitchen, music stage and children’s activity tent.
The majority of events by the protesters have been kept under wraps, but marches to the gates are expected throughout the weekend.
The Advertiser understands truck deliveries to the mine were halted Thursday night and will resume Monday evening to minimise any disturbance caused by the protest. BHP Olympic Dam head of corporate affairs Simon Corrigan said they were working closely with police to ensure safe transport of mine workers to and from the site. “We have a great team of people at Olympic Dam who are focused on working safely every day,” Mr Corrigan said.
the Smithsonian has named Dr. Caldicott one of the most influential women of the 20th century.
(Now why isn’t Dr Caldicott being asked as a witness in the South Australian Nuclear Citizens jury?)
#WomanCrushWednesday: Dr. Helen Caldicott http://www.wand.org/2016/06/29/womancrushwednesday-dr-helen-caldicott/ by Honora Gibbons, WAND Intern, Arlington, MA Dr. Helen Caldicott holds a special place in our hearts and history at WAND as our founder. Over her long career, she has demonstrated tremendous passion, skill, and dedication for consistently raising and calling citizens to action on the pressing nuclear and environmental issues of our time.
Caldicott was born in Melbourne, Australia. She earned her medical degree from the University of Adelaide Medical School. Her anti-nuclear stance is rooted in her identity as a physician and as a mother. As Caldicott spoke publicly on the health hazards of radiation, she rose to prominence as an activist for nuclear disarmament.
In the 1970s, Dr. Caldicott moved to the United States, joining Boston’s Children’s Hospital and briefly teaching pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. In 1979, the Three Mile Island nuclear disaster occurred, the worst nuclear power accident in U.S. history. Following this, in 1980, Caldicott resigned from her medical career in order to dedicate herself fully to the prevention of nuclear warfare and dependency on nuclear power. From then on, she worked to call attention to the world’s growing reliance on nuclear power and the dangers of the nuclear arms race. Continue reading
Zombie dance protest against nuclear industry, in Adelaide’s Rundle Mall http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-06-28/zombie-dance-protest-rundle-mall/7551626 By Claire Campbell Anti-nuclear campaigners dressed as “zombie mine workers” have taken their message to shoppers in Adelaide’s busy Rundle Mall.
Dancing to the song Radioactive by Imagine Dragons, they rallied against nuclear energy use in Australia and a planned expansion of the outback Olympic Dam uranium mine near Roxby Downs.
Protestor Izzy Brown said South Australia needed to reject proposals that it expand its role in the nuclear fuel cycle. “We’re trying to raise awareness about the dangers of radiation, especially as South Australia is facing an expansion of the nuclear industry,” she said.
“There’s a threat of a national and international waste dump, Roxby wants to expand its uranium mining as well. “So we wanted to get out on the streets of Adelaide. The flash mob is just one small piece of a very big artistic theatrical theme.”
The protest group, the Desert Liberation Front, has dubbed its latest campaign, The Lizard Bites Back. An earlier protest at Olympic Dam four years ago saw police and protesters clash as some broke through a perimeter fence of the mine.