Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Labor to oppose remote work-for-dole bill

‘The Labor caucus has agreed to oppose changes to
a controversial remote employment program, urging the government
to consult with Indigenous Australians.’

Labor has confirmed it will oppose changes to a remote work-for-the-dole program,
believing the adjustments do little to fix the “discriminatory” scheme.

‘The Greens have also rejected the changes, leaving the government
with a very tough task getting its plans through parliament. 

‘More than 80 per cent of participants in the
Community Development Program (CDP) are Indigenous. …

Labor is worried introducing the national compliance framework
to remote communities will do further harm to
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. …

‘”What is the government trying to hide?
The government is sitting on the final evaluation of CDP,
which they have admitted is complete,”
Greens senator Rachel Siewert said.’…

www.sbs.com.au/news/labor-to-oppose-remote-work-for-dole-bill
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October 18, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL | Leave a comment

Ngadjuri Aboriginal Leader speaks out against South Australian nuclear waste transport and dumping

October 16, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Traditional owners to tell Origin Energy it has not gained consent for fracking on their land 

ABC,  By Jane Bardon 16 Oct 18 A group of Indigenous traditional owners from remote parts of the Northern Territory will travel to Origin Energy’s annual general meeting in Sydney on Wednesday to tell shareholders they have not given permission for the company to frack their land for gas.

Key points:

  • A group of Indigenous traditional owners will soon tell Origin Energy shareholders they did not give consent for its planned developments
  • They will ask the company to review consent agreements
  • But the company is confident traditional owners already gave consent

Origin Energy gained official approvals for gas exploration, including test fracking, in the gas-rich Beetaloo Basin, both from traditional owners through the Northern Land Council, and the Northern Territory Government.

But some of the traditional owners plan to tell the shareholder meeting they oppose fracking, and did not give their “free, prior and informed consent”.

They hope to tell the meeting when permission for fracking was sought by Origin Energy, they did not fully understand the company’s explanations of processes, or the potential size of developments potentially numbering hundreds of wells.

“The letter that we’re bringing up to Origin, we want that to be recognised, and to be respected for who we are,” Alawa traditional owner Naomi Wilfred said.

The Alawa traditional owner, whose country includes Nutwood Downs in the northern part of Origin Energy’s EP98 permit area, said she is worried about potential environmental impacts if production goes ahead……..http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-10-16/indigenous-traditional-owners-origin-energy-fracking-consent/10379162

October 16, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, Northern Territory | Leave a comment

WA Indigenous community tries to rid water supply of unsafe level of uranium 

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/oct/03/wa-indigenous-community-tries-to-rid-water-supply-of-unsafe-level-of-uranium

Western Australian government refused to install water treatment plant due to size of Buttah Windee, Guardian,  Calla Wahlquist, 3 Oct 18, An Aboriginal community in Western Australia is trying to raise money to fix its water supply, which contains unsafe levels of uranium.

Buttah Windee is a community of four houses about 3km from Meekatharra, a mining town that’s name means “place of little water” in the local Yamatji language.

It has 12 permanent residents and is supplied with bore water that is contaminated with uranium at more than twice the maximum safe level.

The WA government was notified of the uranium contamination in 2012 but refused to install a water treatment plant, saying the cost of doing so was “excessive given the small size of the community”.

Instead it put up signs warning residents not to drink or cook with the water and offered alternative public housing in Meekatharra itself.

Yamatji man Andrew Binsiar has been fighting to stay put. He has raised more than $10,000 through crowdfunding and an art auction and hopes to install a water filtration system to supply both the community and a new fish farm, which is part of a remote Indigenous employment program.

Binsiar discovered the uranium contamination nine years ago when all of the fish in his backyard koi pond died. He sent the water away to be tested and found that it had uranium levels of 0.04mg/L.

Health guidelines state that the maximum safe level is 0.017mg/L.

“I had it tested again this year, it’s still exactly the same,” Binsiar told Guardian Australia.

He installed a 9,000-litre tank on each house, which he fills with tap water from the town supply, to be used for drinking and cooking.

Uranium is a naturally occurring contaminant throughout parts of outback Australia.

2015 report by the state auditor general’s office found that the water in one in five remote Aboriginal communities in WA exceeded safe levels for nitrates or uranium.

The Department of Communities currently tests the water supply in 82 remote Aboriginal communities, and said it had seen a significant improvement in water quality since installing chlorine treatment units and reverse osmosis filtration systems in some communities.

It said it withdrew government support for Buttah Windee in 2013 after the community rejected an offer to establish a new public housing agreement in Meekatharra.

“The community elected to continue to reside at Buttah Windee and accept responsibility for the provision of housing and associated services to residents,” assistant director Greg Cash said. “The department ceased providing management services in 2013 and has had no formal relationship with the community since then.”

Binsiar said: “They came and sat on the veranda over here and said they were going to put a bulldozer through my house and put be back into [public housing provider] Homeswest.”

In 2014, then premier Colin Barnett said up to 150 remote Aboriginal communities faced “closure” because they were “not viable” after the federal government withdrew municipal services funding.

The current government opposed that policy but has adopted the remote community reform process started under Barnett which focuses investment on larger communities. It has also cited funding woes linked to the end of the remote housing agreement.

Binsiar said many remaining residents – Wadjarri people and his wife’s extended family – had lived there since it was established on Wadjarri land in 1993.

He said the community was a safer place to raise children, away from the drug and alcohol issues of Meekatharra.

Unless the community’s water supply can be fixed, the new aquaculture enterprise, which is part of the federal community development program, will have to close.

“If we get this thing to a stage and we can’t fix the water, all the young fellas are going to say, ‘Oh, we have to get this far and then stop again’,” Binsiar said. “I want to show people that Australia is truly a generous, generous mob of people. If you are willing to work, people will help.”

October 4, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, uranium, Western Australia | Leave a comment

Barngarla Determination Aboriginal Corporation to continue legal fight over proposed nuclear waste dump

Kimba District Council, 28 Sept 18 : The Australian Human Rights Commission has today formally terminated conciliation between the Barngarla Determination Aboriginal Corporation and the District Council of Kimba. The matter is now likely to proceed through a judicial process. In the meantime, the National Radioactive Waste Management Facility site selection ballot will not be undertaken until the matter is resolved.

A spokesperson for Council said that during the conciliation, alternative options for resolution were put to BDAC by the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, but were not accepted. For this reason, the outcome is disappointing, but Council remains committed to facilitating a forum on behalf of the Minister for Resources and Northern Australia that ensures the Kimba community has an opportunity to be heard on the issue.

Given the matter is still before the court, Council will be making no further comment, but will keep the community informed as the situation develops.

September 28, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, health | Leave a comment

Adani mine site to remain under native title until finance confirmed, Minister says

ABC News, By Josh Robertson 15 Sept 18 Traditional owners of Adani’s proposed mine site will keep their native title rights unless the Indian corporation can prove it has finance in place for the multi-billion-dollar project, the Queensland Government says.

Key points:

  • Mines Minister Anthony Lynham said Adani must prove financing before native title is extinguished
  • The ALP voted to acknowledge the dispute with traditional owners at a recent state conference
  • The Government has been urged to rule out title extinguishment while court appeals are underway

It follows pressure within the Labor Party for the State Government to hold off sealing Adani’s takeover of the Carmichael mine site, which would permanently wipe out a native title claim by the Wangan and Jagalingou (W&J) people……….

Last month, the Federal Court upheld Adani’s ILUA, but mine opponents in the W&J — who unsuccessfully argued it was a “sham agreement” — filed an appeal on Wednesday

W&J spokesman Adrian Burragubba has previously declared they would take their fight to the High Court.

The ABC asked Mr Lynham if the Government would insist on Adani reaching financial certainty before it extinguished native title rights on the mine site.

In a statement, the Minister repeated the wording of the Labor conference resolution.

“The Government has maintained that Adani needs to prove they can reach financial close [certainty] before we finalise processes for this project,” he said……http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-09-15/adani-site-to-remain-under-native-title-until-finance-confirmed/10249692

September 16, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, Queensland | Leave a comment

Traditional Owners announce Adani court appeal

Call on Qld Government to never extinguish their native title

Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners opposing Adani’s Carmichael Mine have this week served notice of a Federal Court full bench appeal. (See ABC today: “Adani mine site to remain under native title until finance confirmed, Minister says”). The Traditional Owners strongly reject last month’s decision of a single Judge of the Federal Court and will seek to have the decision reversed and the Adani Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) thrown out.

Mr Adrian Burragubba, a Traditional Owner of W&J country, and W&J Council spokesperson says: “We will not abide a ruling that says it’s legal to have our ancient laws and culture, and our enduring rights in our lands and waters, merely voted away by a group of people who do not have the traditional authority to surrender our native title”.

In a new development, the Queensland Government has confirmed that it will only act to take W&J native title for the Adani project when it has the financial capacity to complete it. This follows a resolution of the Queensland ALP state conference in early September 2018.

Mr Adrian Burragubba says, “We are not conceding our rights under our laws and customs to this court decision. We are resolute in putting a stop to the pretense that the ‘Adani ILUA’ amounts to the consent of the Traditional Owners of Wangan and Jagalingou country to the extinguishment of our native title.

“Whilever we have this court case running in the higher courts, whether it takes many months or years, Adani has not achieved ‘conclusive registration’ of its ILUA. The Government should refuse to act on it, and banks should refuse to finance the project.

“Adani engineered this pretence, the Government chose not to side with us, and their lawyers and the Native Title services bureaucrats provided the paperwork for an act of betrayal. Nothing changes those facts for us. They refused to accept our original decisions and interfered in our business”, he said.

Ms Linda Bobongie, Chairperson of the W&J Council says: “The State ALP has gone some way in passing a resolution calling for financial close before they take our native title for Adani, but the Queensland Government must unequivocally rule out extinguishing our native title – now or ever.”

“Extinguishing our native title is a deeply troubling issue for us. The Government knows it does not have to extinguish our rights in the land for Adani, even if the Adani ILUA remains on the Tribunal register.

“The ILUA itself makes that clear. The Queensland Government has ‘unfettered discretion’ and is not obliged to extinguish native title. Its signing of the ILUA ‘does not constitute approval or endorsement of the project’.

“The problem with the ILUA is Adani and the State government failed to obtain our genuine consent and signed a sham agreement.

“We suffer under bad laws and processes. It is imperative that the Native Title Act be reformed in line with Australia’s obligations under the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, including the right to free, prior and informed consent. “It’s time for Governments to stand up for our rights”, she concluded.

September 16, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, Queensland | Leave a comment

Traditional Owners disturbed by allegations of illegal works by Adani

Call on Qld Government to prosecute any unlawful activity by Adani’s coal operation

Revelations yesterday that Adani Mining may have breached environmental laws while operating on Wangan and Jagalingou country has deeply disturbed Traditional Owners.

The Wangan and Jagalingou (W&J) Traditional Owners Council are calling on the Queensland Government to investigate and prosecute any illegal activity on their homelands.

Mr Adrian Burragubba, a traditional owner of W&J country and spokesperson for the Council says: “The Queensland Government has licensed this unscrupulous corporation and now they must take responsibility for any destruction that is occuring on our country. They must investigate and prosecute Adani for any unlawful activity.

“We are very concerned about the impacts on our cultural heritage and ancient story places from Adani’s land clearing and other industrial disturbance. It is a grave matter for us that their works could do permanent damage to our sacred Doongmabulla springs.

“We have been concerned about activity by Adani contractors on our country over some months now. We will be making our own investigations into what Adani have been doing there and will hold both the company and the Government to account.

“Adani have been camped on our country hoping to one day build their mine. Starting work illegally only adds insult to the injury that they are there without our consent. We will continue to pursue them through the courts, and with our demands on the Government.

“We have seen the report from the lawyers at the Environmental Defenders Office, and it appears that coal seam dewatering bores and other extensive groundwork is being done in breach of Adani’s environmental license, and that Adani may have lied to the Queensland Government about it.

“We have known all along that Adani can’t be trusted with our country, to respect our rights, or be custodians of the environment. The Government can restore some faith by interrogating Adani’s conduct and taking whatever action needed to safeguard our country and culture”, he concluded.

Source of entire document wanganjagalingou.com.au/traditional-owners-disturbed-by-illegal-action-by-adani/

September 16, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, Queensland | Leave a comment

A Toxic Mix:  Welfare Reform And The Mob In Remote Australia

By Jon Altman on September 11, 2018 newmatilda.com/author/jon-altman/

‘Rome (Canberra) continues to fiddle while Black Australia burns. 

Professor Jon Altman weighs in on the ongoing disasters of government policy 
that have a tight grip on remote living Indigenous people.’ Continue reading

September 12, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL | Leave a comment

We do not need a special envoy [Tony Abbott],  we need our leaders to listen

Author: Luke Pearson  Luke Pearson is the founder and director of IndigenousX. 31  August 18

‘It is patronising because we do not need a ‘special envoy’ when we have
so many capable and talented Indigenous people in Australia
more than able to speak for ourselves.
We do not need a non-Indigenous individual to act as a ‘conduit’
between us and government, or to give advice on our behalf.
Especially not when that individual already did so much damage
to the Indigenous Affairs portfolio when he was in power.
The only solace we can take is that he has much less power in this new role.

‘In case you forgot, Tony Abbott  was responsible for disbanding
a wide array of Indigenous advisory groups which he
replaced with his handpicked ‘PM’ advisory group.
He took over half a billion dollars out of the Indigenous Affairs budget
with no real planning or reflection. … ‘ indigenousx.com.au/we-do-not-need-a-special-envoy-we-need-our-leaders-to-listen/

August 31, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL | Leave a comment

Traditional owners steadfast in 40-years opposition to uranium mining

Fighting for life in the “place of death”https://beyondnuclearinternational.org/2018/08/27/fighting-for-life-in-the-place-of-death/ August 27, 2018

Traditional owners won’t give up 40-year opposition to Yeelirrie uranium mine,  By Linda Pentz Gunter

In the local Aboriginal language, the name Yeelirrie means to weep or mourn. It is referred to as a “place of death.” Yeelirrie is on Tjiwarl Native Title lands in Western Australia, where it has long been faithfully protected by Aboriginal traditional owners. The Seven Sisters Dreaming songline is there. It is home to many important cultural sites. And for 40 years, due to resolute indigenous opposition, and thousands of community submissions of protest, it had been spared plans by the Canadian mining company, Cameco, to plunder it for uranium.

The earth guardians know that such a desecration would cause the extinction of multiple species of subterranean fauna. It would release death. It would destroy Yeelirrie.

Now the fate of those tiny creatures hangs in the balance, their future in the hands of three brave women, backed by environmental organizations, after the outgoing Western Australian government decided to allow the Yeelirrie uranium mine project to go forward.

That decision was made in January 2017, despite the fact that, in August 2016, the Western Australia Environmental Protection Agency (WAEPA) had recommended that the Yeelirrie project be rejected. 

The Conservation Council of Western Australia (CCWA), which is engaged in contesting the uranium mining permit for Yeelirrie, said the WAEPA had rejected the Yeelirrie mine plan “on the grounds that the project is inconsistent with three of the objectives of the Environmental Protection Act — the Precautionary Principle, the Principle of conservation of biological diversity, and the Principle of intergenerational equity. The EPA decision was based on the overwhelming evidence that the project would make several species of subterranean fauna extinct.”

But former Minister for Environment, Albert Jacob, threw all that aside to approve the Yeelirrie mine in the waning days of Western Australia’s Liberal government, now replaced by Labor, which came in on a mandate to end uranium mining that it now may not be able to enforce.

In February 2018, CCWA and three members of the Tjiwarl community initiated proceedings in the Western Australia Supreme Court in an attempt to invalidate the approval decision made by Jacob. The case was dismissed by the court, a decision said CCWA executive director, Piers Verstegen, that shows that “our environmental laws are deeply inadequate,” and “confines species to extinction with the stroke of a pen.”

However, while the decision was a set-back, Verstegen said, “it’s absolutely not the end of the road for Yeelirrie or the other uranium mines that are being strongly contested here in Western Australia.”

Accordingly, CCWA and the three Tjiwarl women — Shirley Wonyabong, Elizabeth Wonyabong, and Vicky Abdullah (pictured left to right above the headline) vow to fight on, and have begun proceedings in the WA Court of Appeal to review the Supreme Court decision.

“I grew up here, my ancestors were Traditional Owners of country, and I don’t want a toxic legacy here for my grandchildren,” Abdullah told Western Australia Today in an August 2017 article.

“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.”

Yeelirrie is one of four uranium mines proposed for Western Australia. The other three are Vimy’s Mulga Rock project, Toro Energy’s Wiluna project, and Cameco’s and Mitsubishi’s Kintyre project. Each of them is home to precious species, but Yeelirrie got special attention from the WAEPA because the proposed mine there would cause actual extinctions of 11 species, mostly tiny underground creatures that few people ever see.

According to a new animated short film, produced by the Western Australia Nuclear-Free Alliance, all four of these proposed mines could irreparably damage wildlife, habitat and the health of the landscape and the people and animals who depend on it. The film highlights Yeelirrie, but also describes the other three proposed uranium mines and the threats they pose.

At Mulga Rock, in the Queen Victoria Desert, the site is home to the Sandhill Dunnart, the Marsupial Mole, the Mulgara and the Rainbow Bee Eater, according to the film.

Wiluna, a unique desert lake system, could see uranium mining across two salt lakes that would leave 50 million tonnes of radioactive mine waste on the shores of Lake Way, which is prone to flooding.

The Kintyre uranium deposit was excluded from the protection of the Karlamilyi National Park within which it sits so that uranium could be mined there. It is a fragile desert ecosystem where 28 threatened species would be put at risk, including the Northern Quoll, Greater Bilby, Crest Tailed Mulgara, Marsupial Mole and Rock Wallaby.

At Yeelirrie, says the CCWA, “Cameco plans to construct a 9km open mine pit and uranium processing plant. The project would destroy 2,421 hectares of native vegetation and generate 36 million tonnes of radioactive mine waste to be stored in open pits.”

The mine would likely operate for 22 years and use 8.7 million litres of water a day. 

Under Australian laws, ‘nuclear actions’ like the Yeelirrie proposal also require approval by the Federal Environment Minister. CCWA and Nuclear-Free Western Australia, have launched a campaign directed at Federal Environment Minister, Josh Frydenberg, calling for a halt to the Yeelirrie mine, given the immense risk it poses to “unique subterranean fauna that have been found nowhere else on the planet.” They point out that the Minister has the opportunity to “protect these unique species from becoming extinct.

“Species have a right to life no matter how great or small,” they wrote. “One extinction can massively disrupt an entire ecosystem. No one should have the right to knowingly eliminate an entire species from our planet forever.”

August 29, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, opposition to nuclear, uranium, Western Australia | Leave a comment

Western Australia: Aboriginal Elders take action against uranium mining

Aboriginal Elders Face Off with Uranium Mining Co. in the Australian Outback, Earth Island Journal , BY ELIZABETH MURRAY – AUGUST 27, 2018

With four new mines approved in the Western Desert, the Tjiwarl turn to courts for help

Members of one of Australia’s most remote Aboriginal nations, the Tjiwarl, who live in the red heart of the Western Desert lands, are embroiled in a long running battle to protect their ancestral home from mining interests.

Last year, the government of Western Australia approved four new uranium projects in the state, despite warnings issued by the Western Australian Environmental Protection Authority, and a global slump in the price of uranium.

Two of the projects, in Yeelirrie and Kintyre, belong to the Canadian mining giant Cameco. The other two are by Australia-based companies, Vimy Resources and Toro Energy.

While uranium use is banned in Australia it holds 33 percent of the world’s uranium deposits, and, it is the world’s third-largest producer of the mineral after Kazakhstan and Canada. Seen as controversial among Australian politicians and unpopular with electorates, uranium operations have drawn both federal and state government bans at various times.

In February this year, the Supreme Court of Western Australia backed the expedited approval of the Yeelirrie uranium project granted by the previous state government in January 2017, but recognized the duty of the Tjiwarl applicants as cultural custodians of Yeelirrie, to preserve those lands. Tjiwarl Elders, Elizabeth and Shirley Wonyabong, and Tjiwarl Traditional Owner Vicky Abdullah, are now appealing that Supreme Court decision, with the support of the Conservation Council of WA.

Western Desert Aboriginal nations have battled against uranium mining on their lands for forty years. It is just one of the many struggles they have faced to preserve their 40,000 year-old culture and spiritual connections to the land in the face of contemporary society’s competing priorities…….

Conservation Council of Western Australia Director, Piers Verstegen, said that the Yeelirrie approval had undermined the existing environmental protection framework. He said the approval “knowingly allows the extinction of multiple species” in Yeelirrie and “treats the EPA and its environmental assessment as something to be casually dismissed.”…….

If the Tjiwarl appeal was successful, it would restore the normal approval process and protect it from political influence, he said. Conversely, if it fails, governments in Western Australia will forever be able to use ministerial oversight to override the independent authority of the Environmental Protection Agency.

The council has previously expressed alarm over the Yeelirrie project’s proposal to clear 2421 hectares of native vegetation for a 9 km-open-pit mine, which they estimate could generate 36 million tons of radioactive waste.

Dr. Euan Ritchie, Associate Professor in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation at Deakin University, independent of the proceedings, said some remote regions are under-surveyed and Yeelirrie may fit that category. In such a circumstance, “where the fauna is unique…species that are not found in other areas, and/or it is in an area that is under-surveyed…there’s a risk of inadvertently having a negative effect on species because of our lack of understanding of what species are there.”

He said important research is developing in relation to cryptic species (species that are morphologically similar but genetically different, and unable to interbreed).

Thorough surveys of plant, animal and other organisms in the area of potential developments were vital, above and below ground, he stressed. The impact of uranium on water resources can be critical for many species in the food chain over a wide expanse, he added, and could extend well beyond the boundaries of a project.

Apart from the delicate, unique ecology of Yeelirrie, the area also includes multiple ancient Aboriginal spiritual sites there are so sacred that they cannot even be discussed or explained in open court or media……..

Cameco Australia has decided not to proceed with the Yeelirrie project until there’s renewed market demand for uranium. Additionally, in Cameco’s 2017 third-quarter report, the company’s global chief Tim Gitzel said “difficult conditions” were continuing and there had been “little change in the market.” In fact, earlier this year, just a week before the Tjiwarl filed their appeal against the project, Cameco suspended two more of its key mines in Canada, citing the global glut and the company’s own large inventory. ……

Financial pundits have also questioned if uranium prices can ever make a comeback with the growing strength of renewables on the market. http://www.earthisland.org/journal/index.php/elist/eListRead/aboriginal_elders_face_off_with_uranium_mining_co._in_the_australian_outbac/

August 29, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, opposition to nuclear, uranium, Western Australia | Leave a comment

Burrup peninsula rock art: Western Australia to seek World Heritage Listing

 

‘A Senate report warning of damage to the 50,000-year-old treasures
has persuaded the state government to act’ Calla Wahlquist 
@callapilla,27 Aug 2018 

‘The Western Australian government has formally committed to
pursuing world heritage status for the Burrup peninsula,
one of the oldest and richest examples of rock art in the world.

‘It comes five months after a Senate inquiry report into managing the site warned that the cumulative emissions from heavy industry on the peninsula, centred around the north-west shelf gas project, could be damaging
the surface of the rock art and causing it to degrade.

‘The step towards nomination has been welcomed by rock art experts,
who say it is one of the most significant archeological sites in the southern hemisphere.

‘“The thing that is unique about this is that it covers almost the entire origin  of the north-west coast of Australia, and it is hunter-gatherers from the bottom to the top,”
director of the University of Western Australia’s centre for rock art
research and management, Jo McDonald, said.
“Nowhere else has it covered 50,000 years of hunter-gatherer human history.” … ‘  Read more of Calla Wahlquist‘s ground-breaking & comprehensive & well-researchedarticle:
www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/aug/27/burrup-peninsula-rock-art-western-australia-to-seek-world-heritage-listing

 

August 29, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, art and culture, Western Australia | Leave a comment

Protesters against national radioactive waste dump march on Joy Baluch AM Bridge

Marco Balsamo www.transcontinental.com.au/profile/605/marco-balsamo

PROTEST: ‘Hundreds of people from across the state came together to rally 
against the proposed national radioactive waste management facility. …

‘ The rally was organised by the Barngarla people, just two days after
the Supreme Court of South Australia granted an interlocutory injunction
on the community postal ballot.

Barngarla man Harry Dare said it was important for people of all backgrounds
to stand together against the facility.

‘“United we can fight. We can’t fight singularly,” Mr Dare said. …

Adnyamathanha woman Candace Champion was among the guest speakers,
calling on the government to listen to the opinions of the traditional owners.

‘“I do not want to bring a child into this world knowing that I’m going to leave them
more burdens and heartbreak than blessings and a safe environment,” she said.

‘“You can study your whole life in a classroom, but my family have
studied, witnessed, watched and grown on that land for 60,000 years.”’

Read more of Marco Balsamo‘s interesting reportback:
www.transcontinental.com.au/story/5596675/standing-up-against-nuclear/?cs=5812

August 26, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, Opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Black Mist Burnt Country: art under the nuclear cloud of Maralinga

 https://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/art-and-design/black-mist-burnt-country-art-under-the-nuclear-cloud-of-maralinga-20180823-p4zz7i.html, By Karen Hardy 24 August 2018 On September 27, 1956, the British exploded an atomic bomb on Pitjantjatjara land in South Australia. The place would become known as Maralinga, which means “thunder” in the now-extinct Garik Aboriginal language.

Black Mist Burnt Country tells the stories of the atomic tests in Australia in the 1950s and ’60s, revisiting the events and locations through the artworks of Indigenous and non-Indigenous contemporary artists across the mediums of painting, print-making, sculpture, photography, video and new media.

Now showing at the National Museum of Australia, it has been touring with great success since September 2016, opening then to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the first test at Maralinga.

Curator JD Mittman, from the Burrinja Dandenong Ranges Cultural Centre, grew up “under the nuclear cloud” in Germany during the 1980s and when he came to Australia he was surprised to learn there had been atomic tests here.

In the collection of the small community arts centre he found a large canvas work by Jonathan Kumintjarra Brown entitled Maralinga Before the Atomic Test.

The question for me was what did ‘after’ look like?”

When he began his research he was surprised to find so many works concerning Australia’s place in the nuclear race.

Artist Arthur Boyd participated in anti-nuclear demonstrations in the 1960s and his Jonah on the Shoalhaven – Outside the City (1976), features a tiny mushroom cloud, blending biblical imagery with contemporary landscape and personal symbolism.

Sidney Nolan’s Central Desert: Atomic Test (1952-57) is part of a classic series of desert landscapes Nolan began in the late 1940s. He added a mushroom cloud on the horizon at a later date.

“This exhibition doesn’t look at any one artist’s body of work,” says Mittman, “but displays how varied the approaches were, how different the perspectives were, and what the original stories were.

“Every generation has taken a different approach.”

There are large canvases by Kumintjarra Brown, one Frogmen, shows three men in masks and protective suits, another Black Rain tells the tragic story of a group of Anangu people who were found huddled together, dead, in a crater near the bomb site.

Mittman says it’s important for Australians, particularly generations who may not have even heard of the testing, let alone those of us to whom Maralinga is a familiar word but were unaware of such details as then prime minister Robert Menzies did not even consult cabinet when he gave permission to begin the testing.

“And it’s not just a story of the past,” he says.

“There is great concern among the indigenous community, and I don’t want to speak on their behalf, about the ongoing repercussions of the testing on country.

“And it’s even more than that, the multi-media work from Linda Dement and Jessie Boylan builds a bridge between the past and the present. “There are 15,000 warheads in the world at present, many of them on planes, in submarines, ready to strike within minutes.

“The Cold War might have ended but the nuclear threat has not gone away.”

He says it’s somewhat fitting that the exhibition opens in Canberra in the same week the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons protest arrives in Canberra heading to parliament to urge politicians to ratify the nuclear weapon ban treaty.

Black Mist Burnt Country at the National Museum of Australia until November 18.

August 26, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, art and culture, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL | Leave a comment