Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Aboriginal Traditional Owners speak out against Yeelirrie uranium mining approval

 logo WANFA
17 Jan 17  
The West Australia Nuclear Free Alliance and Traditional Owners of the Yeelirrie area have spoken out against the Environment Minister decision to approve the Yeelirrie uranium mine.

Kado Muir, Chairperson of the West Australia Nuclear Free Alliance said, “I’m disappointed, but it’s not over, we’ll keep fighting against the Yeelirrie uranium mine proposal. The project doesn’t add up and the risks for the environment as well cultural heritage are far too great.”

“The Ministers decision to make many species extinct against the advice of experts and the EPA shows how little our environmental laws mean to this Government.”

Richard Evan Koara Elder said “Cameco and the Government have no respect for our heritage or for life.”

“The Minister who gave approval to mine Yeelirrie, he does not own the land. He does not have the right to destroy our cultural heritage or the subterranean fauna. He’s supposed to protect the environment not approve its destruction.”

“This is our sovereign land and we do not want Cameco to mine here. We’ve fought against this mine for 40 years, our old people said not to touch that area, we have to listen to them. We will continue to say no to Yeelirrie. We will keep fighting, our country is too important.”  https://nuclearfree.wordpress.com/media/

January 20, 2017 Posted by | aboriginal issues, Western Australia, uranium | Leave a comment

Battle Lines Drawn Over Indian Mega Mine

‘Murrawah Johnson, 21, of the Wangan and Jagalingou Family Council, 
is among those standing in the way of the huge Carmichael coal mine project
in Australia’s Queensland state.’   http://menafn.com/1095149597/Battle-Lines-Drawn-Over-Indian-Mega-Mine   Stephen de Tarczynski | MENAFN Press 30 December 2016:

“‘Our people are the unique people from that country,’ says Murrawah,  whose name means ‘rainbow’ in the indigenous Gubbi Gubbi language.
‘That is who we are in our identity, in our culture, in our song and in our dance,’ she adds.
The mine’s estimated average annual carbon emissions of 79 million tonnes are three times those of New Delhi, six times those of Amsterdam and double Tokyo’s average annual emissions.

“The Wangan and Jagalingou, numbering up to 500 people, regard the Carmichael coal mine
as a threat to their very existence and have repeatedly rejected the advances of Adani Mining,
the company behind the project.
The traditional owners argue the mine would destroy their land,  which ‘means that our story is then destroyed. And we as a people and our identity, as well,’
Murrawah, a spokesperson for her people’s Family Council, told IPS. … “

January 1, 2017 Posted by | aboriginal issues, climate change - global warming, Queensland | Leave a comment

UK government avoids the question on nuclear waste going to Aboriginal land

radation-sign-dirtyRadioactive Waste:Written question – 46886

Q. Asked by Stewart Malcolm McDonald (Glasgow South)
Asked on: 07 October 2016
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Radioactive Waste
46886
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if his Department will take steps to ensure that storage or disposal of nuclear waste is compliant with the obligations outlined in Article 29 of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Margaret Henry Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA
In the UK parliament they were asked if they will take steps to stop the shipment of UK nuclear waste to Andnyamantha homelands in Australia up to 2020.

HERE IS THE ANSWER –

“There is a very small quantity of Australian owned radioactive waste currently stored in the UK. We anticipate that this will be returned to Australia in due course in line with contractual commitments. The location of any storage and disposal facilities for this waste will be a matter for the Australian authorities.

Any shipment of radioactive material out of the UK will comply with all relevant international laws and use ships which meet national and international requirements.” https://www.facebook.com/groups/344452605899556/

December 30, 2016 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, politics international | Leave a comment

British and Australian governments wash their hands of radioactive contamination of Aboriginal lands

radation-sign-dirtyBronwyn Lucas Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA, 30 Dec 16  I heard that the British did an absolutely appalling job of cleanup at Maralinga … it was hardly worth the effort, as I understand it. I heard stories of hot winds blowing, dust everywhere, a cursory undertaking. One would think we still had Menzies at the helm. The Dark Side is in this together … if we think our government is taking care of us, I’d say to think again.

Margaret Henry Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA, 30 Dec 16  In the UK parliament in January 2016, they were asked if the Government will issue an apology to the indigenous people of Australia for British nuclear tests carried out on their land in the 1950s and 1960s.

ANSWER-
“In 1968, Australia signed an agreement with the UK confirming that the clean-up of all test sites had been completed satisfactorily. As announced to the House on 10 December 1993,(Official Report, column 421), the Government agreed to make an ex gratia payment of £20 million to the Federal Government of Australia as a contribution to the cost of the further clean-up of the Maralinga site. A copy of the note giving effect to this agreement was placed in the Library of the House. The note also records that the Government of Australia indemnified the Government of the UK against claims from Australian nationals or residents. The Government now regards the matter as closed.” https://www.facebook.com/groups/344452605899556/

 

December 30, 2016 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, politics international, wastes | Leave a comment

Treaty discussions between Aboriginal nations and South Australian government

text TreatySouth Australian Government enters  historic discussions with Aboriginal nations  The World Today By Caroline Winter http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-12-14/south-australia-enters-historic-treaty-discussions/8120162

“South Australia is making history, with the State Government entering treaty discussions with Aboriginal nations to help address past injustices.

“The Government has set aside $4.4 million over five years to support the treaty process and the appointment of an independent commissioner for treaty.

“At this stage it is unclear what the treaties will cover or whether compensation will be included,
but South Australian Indigenous leaders said the process would set a positive course for the future. … ”


SA set for Indigenous treaty talks 
‘South Australia could have up to 40 treaties after
an announcement was made in Adelaide on Tuesday morning
.’
https://www.sbs.com.au/nitv/article/2016/12/14/sa-set-indigenous-treaty-talks?cid=inbody:challenges-ahead-for-victorian-treaty-negotiations  Madeline Hayman-Reber Source: NITV News 14 December 2016:

““Treaty is an important step towards addressing the wrongs of the past.
The fact that so many Aboriginal people to this day face such significant disadvantage remains the greatest stain on our society,” Mr Maher said. “This marks the first time that a state has committed to individualised treaties for Aboriginal communities, and comes off the back of yesterday’s announcement in Victoria of plans for a statewide treaty. … “

December 16, 2016 Posted by | aboriginal issues, South Australia | Leave a comment

Australia’s nuclear industry – a history of crude racism against Aborigines

text-from-the-archiveshandsoffDumping on Traditional Owners: the ugly face of Australian racism The Drum, 29 March 12   The nuclear industry has been responsible for some of the crudest racism in Australia’s history.

This racism dates from the British nuclear bomb tests in the 1950s but it can still be seen today.

The British government conducted 12 nuclear bomb tests in Australia in the 1950s, most of them at Maralinga in South Australia. Permission was not sought from affected Aboriginal groups such as the Pitjantjatjara, Yankunytjatjara, Tjarutja and Kokatha. Thousands of people were adversely affected and the impact on Aboriginal people was particularly profound.

Many Aboriginal people suffered from radiological poisoning. There are tragic accounts of families sleeping in the bomb craters. So-called ‘Native Patrol Officers’ patrolled thousands of square kilometres to try to ensure that Aboriginal people were removed before nuclear tests took place. Signs were erected in some places – written in English, which few in the affected Indigenous communities could understand. The 1985    Royal Commission    found that regard for Aboriginal safety was characterised by “ignorance, incompetence and cynicism”. Many Aboriginal people were forcibly removed from their homelands and taken to places such as the Yalata mission in South Australia, which was effectively a prison camp.

In the late-1990s, the Australian government carried out a   clean-up  of the Maralinga nuclear test site. It was done on the cheap and many tonnes of debris contaminated with kilograms of plutonium remain buried in shallow, unlined pits in totally unsuitable geology. As nuclear engineer and whistleblower Alan Parkinson said of the ‘clean-up’ on ABC radio in August 2002:

“What was done at Maralinga was a cheap and nasty solution that wouldn’t be adopted on white-fellas land.”

Despite the residual contamination, the Federal Government has off-loaded responsibility for the land onto the Maralinga Tjarutja Traditional Owners. The Government portrays this land transfer as an act of reconciliation, but the real agenda was spelt out in a 1996 government document which states that the clean-up was “aimed at reducing Commonwealth liability arising from residual contamination.”….. http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/3919296.html

December 14, 2016 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, history | Leave a comment

Traditional Owners construct ‘legal line of defence’ against Adani and Qld Govt

legal actioncoal CarmichaelMine2http://wanganjagalingou.com.au/traditional-owners-construct-legal-line-of-defence-against-adani-and-qld-govt/ 7 December 2016:

“Announce Full Bench Supreme Court Appeal – natural justice sought

“Express Anger at Gautam Adani’s Failure to Meet

“The Wangan and Jagalingou (W&J) Traditional Owners Council have today announced a further action in their legal line of defence of their lands and rights against the imposition of Adani’s “mine of mass destruction”.  They have also expressed offence at multi-billionaire Mr Gautam Adani’s failure to meet with them during his visit to Australia to spruik the Carmichael project.

“Leading Aboriginal rights advocate, primary W&J Traditional Owner and Council spokesperson, Mr. Adrian Burragubba, says,  “We are constructing a legal line of defence because the Queensland Government and Adani are trying to bulldoze us aside.  We will not stand by while they sing from the same song sheet about their grandiose but hollow plans.

We are acting in the courts to stop this destructive project.  Our people, the Australian community, and the world deserve better than this cavalier, unjust and outdated approach to our shared future” …

“W&J youth leader and council spokesperson, Ms. Murrawah Johnson, says,
“It is our obligation as Traditional Owners to safeguard the future for our people and secure our lands and waters against this ‘mine of mass destruction’.
The W&J Council members have vowed to do everything in our power to stop the mine proceeding,
and we will take our concerns to the High Court if necessary.

““We are not easily intimidated. We will fight this mine until Mr Adani and his people pack their bags and head home”, she said.

“Lawyer for the Supreme Court Appeal and other matters, Mr. Colin Hardie says,
“There are  reasonable grounds for my clients to argue that they were denied natural justice
by the Minister for Mines in the issuing of the mining leases for the Carmichael Mine.
The denial of natural justice can create significant costs and cause distress to Traditional Owners,
leading to a profound devaluing of their native title to land and waters. … “

December 9, 2016 Posted by | aboriginal issues, climate change - global warming, legal, Queensland | Leave a comment

Traditional landowners running legal challenges against Adani coal project

legal actionAdani faces more legal action as traditional owners vow to halt Carmichael coal mine http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-12-07/further-legal-action-planned-against-carmichael-coal-mine/8100326By Kathy McLeish, 7 Dec 16, Traditional owners are set to launch further legal action against Adani’s Carmichael coal mine slated for central Queensland.

The Wangan and Jagalingou people claimed the $22 billion project impinges on their native title rights, and would extinguish their interests over 28 square kilometres of land if it goes ahead.

Spokesman Adrian Burragubba said the group was running four separate legal challenges to the project, and vowed to continue fighting. Continue reading

December 9, 2016 Posted by | aboriginal issues, legal, Queensland | Leave a comment

The Wangan & Jagalingou Family Council’s fight against the Adani mine

coal CarmichaelMine2 PART 1
http://www.4zzzfm.org.au/news/audio/2016/12/06/wangan-jagalingou-family-councils-fight-against-adani-mine-part-1
6 December 2016:

“Part 1     “The Adani mine is getting a lot of press after a recent protest in Melbourne rallied for the environment and the damages that the mine will cause.
However, here in QLD the Wangan and Jagalingou Family Council is fighting an extensive legal battle against the mine to protect their country in Central Queensland .

Brisbane Line Reporter Jack McDonnell spoke with Murrawah Johnson  a spokesperson from the Wangan and Jagalingou Family Council  about the Adani mine and the councils campaign.
To gain a perspective of how long they have been battling this decision I asked her to tell her story about how she travelled around the world last year lobbying banks so they wouldn’t fund this mine.”

Click the link for part 2:
http://www.4zzzfm.org.au/news/audio/2016/12/06/wangan-jagalingou-family-councils-fight-against-adani-mine-part-2

December 7, 2016 Posted by | aboriginal issues, Queensland | Leave a comment

To promote mining (especially uranium) Australian government trashed the reputation of Aboriginal people

Government had made it clear that it wished to re-engage itself more directly in the control of community land through leasing options as well as to open up Aboriginal land for development and mining purposes.

The plan was to empty the homelands, and this has not changed. However, it was recognised that achieving this would be politically fraught – it would need to be accomplished in a manner that would not off-side mainstream Australia. Removing Aboriginal people from their land and taking control over their communities would need to be presented in a way that Australians would believe it to be to Aboriginal advantage, whatever the tactics.

So began the campaign to discredit the people and to publicly stigmatise Aboriginal men of the Northern Territory

And even in 2009 when the CEO of the Australian Crime Commission, John Lawler, reported that his investigation had shown there were no organised paedophile rings operating in the NT, no formal apology was ever made to the Aboriginal men and their families who were brutally shamed by the false claims.

text-from-the-archivesSixth Anniversary of the Northern Territory Intervention – Striking the Wrong Note Lateral Love Australia‘concerned Australians’ Michele Harris, 21 June 13 Aboriginal advocate Olga Havnen, in her Lowitja O’Donoghue oration has asked a critical question. She asks what has been the psychological impact of the Intervention on Aboriginal people of the Northern Territory. It is surprising that so little attention has been given to this critical, yet in some ways tenuous, link before now.

Even before the Intervention began in June 2007, government had long planned a new approach to the ‘management’ of Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory. It was no longer part of government thinking that self-determination and Aboriginal control over land could be allowed to continue. These were the Whitlam notions of 1975 and they were no longer acceptable.

Early inklings of change occurred in 2004 with the management of grants being transferred from communities to Government’s newly established Indigenous Co-ordination Centres. More ominous were the Amendments of 2006 to the Aboriginal Land Rights Act and the memoranda of agreements that followed. Government had made it clear that it wished to re-engage itself more directly in the control of community land through leasing options as well as to open up Aboriginal land for development and mining purposes.

The plan was to empty the homelands, and this has not changed. However, it was recognised that achieving this would be politically fraught – it would need to be accomplished in a manner that would not off-side mainstream Australia. Removing Aboriginal people from their land and taking control over their communities would need to be presented in a way that Australians would believe it to be to Aboriginal advantage, whatever the tactics.

So began the campaign to discredit the people and to publicly stigmatise Aboriginal men of the Northern Territory. Continue reading

December 5, 2016 Posted by | aboriginal issues, history, reference | Leave a comment

Yingiya Mark Guyula is Confirmed as the Member for Nhulunbuy

text politicsCourt of Disputed Returns Dismissed, Yingiya Mark Guyula  is Confirmed as  the Member for Nhulunbuy
http://www.yingiya.net/news/court-of-disputed-returns-dismissed-yingiya-mark-guyula-is-confirmed-as-the-member-for-nhulunbuy  1 December 2016:

MLA for Nhulunbuy Yingiya Guyula has expressed relief and satisfaction at the dismissal of the Electoral Commissioner’s challenge to his election to the NT Legislative Assembly
by consent orders sought by both parties and made by Justice Southwood today in the Court of Disputed Returns.

““From the moment it was suggested that I might be disqualified from nominating for Parliament
because of my claimed membership of a local government advisory body called the Milingimbi Local Authority,
I have said that I was never a member of that body,” Mr Guyula explained.
“I did not nominate to be a member, I did not consent to being appointed to the Authority by the East Arnhem Regional Council (“EARC”), and I did not even know it had passed a resolution to appoint me.
In fact when I was asked whether I wanted to be nominated and appointed I said no because I was too busy working in remote homeland schools and would not be able to attend regular meetings.”

Mr Guyula’s lawyer Ken Parish explained that his evidence was not disputed, and
was corroborated by evidence from other Milingimbi community members.
Moreover, the Electoral Commission accepted in submissions to Justice Southwood that Mr Guyula had attended a handful of Authority meetings not as a member of that body but as a djirrikaymirri or senior elder of the Guyula Djambarrbuyngu tribe. …

“Mr Guyula said that the most pleasing aspect of today’s result was that he would now be
free to focus completely on providing effective representation for the people of Nhulunbuy
and North East Arnhem Land in Parliament over the next 4 years.
“I stood for Parliament with the aim of helping to create harmony, understanding and mutual respect between Yolngu and Balanda people, laws and institutions.
Today’s Court decision is one small but important step on the road to achieving that aim,” Mr Guyula said.”

December 2, 2016 Posted by | aboriginal issues, Northern Territory, politics | Leave a comment

Tiny outback town divided over plan for federal nuclear waste dump

a-cat-CANOne misapprehension in this otherwise excellent article.

The writer assumes that the nuclear waste intended for this  Federal waste dump is “low level”  “medical waste”.  But that is not the real purpose of the dump.  “Medical radioactive waste?” – a  ridiculous idea! The vast majority of medical wastes are very short-lived – radioactivity having decayed in  a matter of hours or  few days. So these wastes are best disposed of near the point of use. (in fact, they are best produced near the point of use, in  anon nuclear cyclotron). No point in trucking them thousands of miles across the continent.
The real purpose of the Hawker area waste dump is to dispose of the nuclear reactor waste that was generated by the Lucas Heights nuclear reactor, sent to France and UK for processing, and contracted to return to Australia. The Australian government classes it as “intermediate level”, but France classes it as high level.
The Australian government is lying about the nuclear waste dump – using the false medical argument to make it look healthy and respectable. But that is a fig leaf on the toxic nuclear industry.

Residents of Hawker say it has been incredibly confusing that the proposed intermediate-level facility in their community is being discussed at the same time as plans for future high-level nuclear storage elsewhere.

Despite the government saying that many of the jobs and development opportunities near Hawker will benefit the indigenous people at Yappala, McKenzie says they will continue fighting the proposal to the end.

poster-flinders-rangesAustralian nuclear waste dump divides tiny outback town
“This land is our past, present and future and we don’t want a nuclear waste dump on it.”,
Aljazeera, by , 29 Nov 16 
 Hawker, South Australia – The towering mountains of the Flinders Ranges stand imposingly against the hundreds-of-kilometres-long stretch of flat, desolate country.

While the mountains are named after the British explorer who trekked them in the early 19th century, the indigenous Adnyamathanha people have lived in the region for tens of thousands of years.

This arid and remote part of South Australia has become the unlikely centre of a heated public debate after it was named the preferred site for the country’s first nuclear waste dump. Continue reading

November 30, 2016 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

Traditional Aboriginal owners will fight on against Adani coal mine

protestAdani mine leases – Queensland Supreme Court Judicial Review decision  25 November 2016

‘We will not be halted in our fight to protect our land and water, say Traditional Owners’

‘Further appeal being considered, full bench of the Federal Court still to rule’

“Today’s decision in the Supreme Court to dismiss Traditional Owners’ challenge to the issuing of the mining leases to Adani  by Mines Minister Anthony Lynham only strengthens our resolve and proves how worthless the State considers our common law native title rights to be, said leading Aboriginal rights advocate, senior Wangan and Jagalingou (W&J) Traditional Owner  and W&J Council spokesperson, Adrian Burragubba. …

Lawyer for the five applicants to the Judicial Review, Mr Colin Hardie says,
“My clients will review the decision and consider their grounds for an appeal, looking especially at the way in which they believe they were denied natural justice before the Minister granted the mining leases”.

““We are concerned with the way in which the Minister has failed to consider the native title rights of our clients, and their obvious and plain rejection of the Adani project.   The fully informed and prior consent of traditional owners for mining projects is increasingly being recognised in international law and it should not be any different in Queensland”, Mr Hardie said. …” http://wanganjagalingou.com.au/adani-mine-leases-qld-supreme-ct-judicial-review-decision/

November 27, 2016 Posted by | aboriginal issues, Queensland | Leave a comment

Indigenous leaders Micklo Corpus and Regina McKenzie win Rawlinson Award for Environmental Justice

25 Nov 16, Micklo Corpus, a Yawuru Traditional Owner from the Kimberley region of West Australia, and Regina McKenzie, an Adnyamathana Traditional Owner from the Flinders Ranges of South Australia, have jointly won the 2016 Rawlinson Award for outstanding leadership in their efforts for Indigenous and environmental justice in their regions.

“ACF is thrilled to announce that Micklo Corpus and Regina McKenzie have been chosen by the selection committee as joint winners of the 2016 Peter Rawlinson Award for their great leadership in caring for their people’s land against environmental threats from fracking and nuclear waste,” said ACF CEO Kelly O’Shanassy.

“For over two years, Micklo Corpus has camped on his own traditional country, 70 kilometres east of Broome in West Australia at the gates of Buru Energy’s Yulleroo fracking site, sharing his knowledge of culture and love of country while engaging the community and industry to keep the Kimberley frack free.

“Through this award we commend his efforts in highlighting the threats from potential contamination of his land and groundwater.

“For many years, Regina McKenzie and other Adnyamathana Traditional Owners have worked to regenerate and protect their homelands around Yappala Station in the Flinders Ranges.

“In April 2016, they woke to the news the area was being considered for a nuclear waste dump – without their consultation or consent.

“Since that time, Regina has lead the opposition to this proposal among her people and the broad Australian community.

“Although engaged in very different struggles, Micklo Corpus and Regina McKenzie have both shown extraordinary leadership standing up for their country against the interests of dirty energy and inappropriate development – for this we salute them and stand beside them.

“The Australian Conservation Foundation has a long history of working closely with Indigenous people around the country and we are pleased to have the opportunity to honour the work of these two remarkable Aboriginal leaders,” she said.

The Peter Rawlinson Award is named after former ACF Councillor Peter Rawlinson, who made his own outstanding contribution caring for our unique natural environment and wildlife.

November 25, 2016 Posted by | aboriginal issues, South Australia | Leave a comment

Anti-uranium crusaders win top conservation award 

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

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

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