Australian news, and some related international items

Upurli Upurli people say no to uranium mining at Mulga Rock, Western Australia

Sam Wainwright, Perth, November 28, 2022

Nuclear Free WA protested outside Deep Yellow’s annual general meeting on November 25 against the company’s plans to mine uranium at Mulga Rock, north west of Kalgoorlie. The Upurli Upurli traditional owners absolutely oppose it.

Deep Yellow holds the only uranium deposit in Western Australia. This was the company’s first AGM following its merger in August with Vimy Resources.

Mia Pepper, Nuclear Free Campaigner at the Conservation Council of WA (CCWA), who has been tracking the mine plans for more than 10 years, said it faces more opposition than ever.

Deep Yellow does not have “any agreement with the Native Title claim groups” and “it doesn’t have the finance”, she said.

It has just started a third Definitive Feasibility Study into the beleaguered project, expected to be completed mid-2024. The latest project delay casts further doubt on the future of the site, campaigners said.

“Deep Yellow is the only company beating the uranium drum in Western Australia and even their own executive team has been clear they have no intention to mine at the current uranium price,” Pepper said.

“For a company with a highly speculative business model, no operating mines, many regulatory hurdles still to clear, and a sizeable pricing disincentive, it’s astounding that shareholders would endorse the proposed remuneration package for the Deep Yellow executive team, with the CEO alone receiving over $1 million,” she continued

First Nations communities have been continuing their protests.

WA Greens Legislative Council member Brad Pettitt read a statement in parliament on November 17 on behalf of Upurli Upurli and Spinifex women.

“We are Upurli Upurli and Spinifex women and we are writing because we face the unprecedented threat of uranium mining at Mulga Rock, east of Kalgoorlie … We have been saying no to uranium mining at Mulga Rock for a long time”

Their statement also detailed concerns about Deep Yellow’s executive who held senior roles in companies responsible for the destruction of Juukan Gorge, as well as several incidents of environmental pollution, industrial relations controversies and workplace fatalities at uranium mines in Malawi and Namibia.

The CCWA is delivering a WA Uranium Free Charter to WA MPs. It demands they “review and remove any approval for uranium mining at Mulga Rock” as well as withdraw the approvals of the stalled proposed uranium mines at Kintyre, Yeelirrie and Wiluna.


November 29, 2022 Posted by | aboriginal issues, opposition to nuclear, uranium, Western Australia | Leave a comment

Opponents of nuclear waste facility march as one in Port Augusta to protest. ABC North and West SA / By Bethanie Alderson and Nicholas Ward, 17 Oct 22

More than 100 opponents of a plan to build a national nuclear waste facility on the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia have rallied in Port Augusta.

Key points:

  • Scores of people have marched to protest a nuclear waste facility being built in Kimba
  • Traditional owners say they were never consulted about the plans by the federal government
  • The government has spent almost $10 million on legal fees in support for the facility 

Barngarla traditional owners, farmers and community members marched from Port Augusta’s wharf to Gladstone Square to protest the federal government’s proposal to build a nuclear waste site near Kimba. 

The chair of the Barngarla Determination Aboriginal Corporation (BDAC), Jason Bilney, said if the new government was serious about supporting an Indigenous

voice to parliament, it should listen to their argument.

“It took us 21 years to win our native title; we’ll fight it for another 21 or 25 years if we have to,” he said..

“We are very strong and very passionate about preserving our culture and our heritage as well as protecting our land.

“We don’t want nuclear waste on our country.”

The federal government confirmed detailed investigation work was about to start at the site.

Mr Bilney insisted Barngarla people were never consulted about the plan and found themselves excluded from a community vote.

“Within six months of winning our native title and fighting for 21 years in the Federal Court to get a determination to then be told there’s a nuclear waste dump being built on our country — we had to go out of our way as Barngarla and contact the government,” he said.

“The government’s come out and announced they’ll commit to the Uluru Statement from the Heart.

“How can they on one hand say that and then on the other hand break the heart of the First Nations people?”

The Supreme Court’s recent decision to overturn a mining exploration company’s authorisation to drill at Lake Torrens means Mr Bilney is confident that Barngarla will succeed again.

“It was a very proud moment, and we know that they’re going to appeal it but winning one case for judicial review puts us in a good position for the federal case with the nuclear waste dump,” he said.

‘Huge’ legal spend

Greens Senator Barbara Pocock revealed the federal government had spent almost $9,905,737 on legal fees for the waste facility and the Australian Radioactive Waste Agency.

“Ten million dollars is a huge, unnecessary legal spend, much of which has focused on fighting local Kimba residents and a vulnerable First Nations community,” Senator Pocock said.

Since litigation began in December 2021, the government has spent $607,613 directly against BDAC and a further $247,806 on in-house legal salaries.

The Barngarla people spent approximately $124,000 on legal fees over the same period.

“This mega-spend is immoral. It is wasteful, and it is against the spirit of the Uluru statement.”

“We need to find a solution to dispose of our own nuclear waste, but it needs to be safe, it needs to be long term and it needs to not be in the middle of our clean green agricultural land.”

Fight for sacred site

Barngarla elder Linda Dare says Kimba is a site of great significance to traditional owners, and especially for women.

“We have the waters there, the lakes there … and if this goes on it’s actually going to affect our waterways all the way to the Flinders and surrounding areas,” she said.

“It’s very significant because along the way we’ve lost a lot of family members that have been fighting for native title for years when we were little.”

“We know we can fight this, and we know we’ve got the backing of every Indigenous tribe in Australia because it affects everybody in South Australia if there’s any damage.”

Ms Dare and Aunty Dawn Taylor met with Premier Peter Malinauskas and Aboriginal Affairs Minister Kyam Maher during the state government’s country cabinet forum in Port Pirie.

Mr Malinauskas said while the state government did not have the power to stop the planned facility, he would express his support for the Barngarla people to have the right to veto to the federal Labor government.

Mr Bilney believes the Barngarla community needs the whole country to support them in their fight.

“The more support we have locally, state and federally the stronger we become as one,” he said.

October 17, 2022 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, opposition to nuclear, South Australia | Leave a comment

Groups join together to sign WA Nuclear Free Charter against uranium mining

Neil Watkinson & Stuart McKinnon, Kalgoorlie Miner, Thu, 11 August 2022

Nineteen groups representing thousands of West Australians have signed a joint statement against uranium mining in WA.

Their pledge comes as a $658 million merger of uranium mining companies Deep Yellow and Vimy Resources was confirmed this month, alongside plans to advance their $393m Mulga Rock project 290km east-north-east of Kalgoorlie-Boulder.

The groups — which include trade unions, faith groups and conservation organisations — have expressed their support for the WA Nuclear Free Charter which calls on the WA Government to remove any outstanding approvals for uranium mining at four sites across the State.

Three of the four sites — Kintyre, Yeelirrie and Wiluna — have missed development deadlines for approvals, but Mulga Rock remains active after Vimy achieved “substantial commencement” from the the State Government in December.

The price for uranium fell into the doldrums following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan, but the industry has been making much noise recently about a brighter future.

……………………….. Deep Yellow plans to revise and update a definitive feasibility study for Mulga Rock to include a base metals component, which was a condition of its original approval to develop the project.

The company also hopes to complete a definitive feasibility study for the company’s other project, Tumas in Namibia, by the end of the year.

Mulga Rock is expected to deliver 3.5 million pounds of uranium oxide per annum while Tumas is slated to produce 3Mlb a year.

But anti-uranium mining groups are marshalling themselves to continue fighting against the Mulga Rock project.

Signatories to the WA Nuclear Free Charter include UnionsWA and the WA branches of the Australian Manufacturers Workers Union, Electrical Trades Union, United Workers Union, State School Teachers Union, United Professional Firefighters Union and the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union, along with faith, health, and national and state environment organisations.

The charter describes uranium mining as “unwanted”, “uneconomic” and a “damaging and underperforming sector that unnecessarily risks our unique environment”.

Mia Pepper from the Conservation Council of WA — one of the many conservation groups to have endorsed the charter — urged the State Government to withdraw “expired and deficient” approvals for the four uranium mine proposals in WA.

“Consistently, the people of WA have said that they do not want uranium mining in their State,” she said.

“The current government, like many Labor governments before them, hold a strong clear position opposed to uranium mining because it puts workers, communities and the environment under threat.

“Now is the time to create lasting protections against uranium mining in WA by withdrawing outdated and deficient approvals.

“Uranium mining is different. It is radioactive, leaving behind long-lasting wastes which pose an ongoing threat to public health and the environment.

“No uranium mine in Australia has ever been successfully and completely rehabilitated.

“The Ranger uranium mine in the NT is undergoing a $2.2 billion clean-up, fortunately by a company with the money and resources to do so.

“In WA the one advancing uranium project — Mulga Rock — is being pushed by Deep Yellow . . . and we have no confidence they can do what bigger better resourced companies are failing to do.

“This government knows the risks, the costs and the legacy of this toxic trade which is why they have a strong anti-uranium policy.

“Along with unions, health, faith and environment groups we’re calling on the government to act now to put an end to uranium mining in WA.”

August 11, 2022 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, uranium, Western Australia | Leave a comment

Hiroshima Day protests call on Albanese government to scrap AUKUS, nuclear subs Kerry Smith, August 8, 2022,

The 77th anniversary of the United States’ atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan on August 6 was marked by gatherings around the country calling on the federal Labor government to sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, to scrap AUKUS and the nuclear submarines and to bring Julian Assange home.

The Sydney rally was organised by the Hiroshima Day Committee.

Several speakers said the enduring and horrific damage of nuclear weapons should be enough to prevent their proliferation. But the integration of nuclear arsenals into militaries has raised the threat of conventional conflicts turning nuclear.

Gem Romuld from International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons said the growing number of countries signing on to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons represented a “new benchmark”. 

Greens Senator David Shoebridge said if Labor did not sign on by the end of the year, the Greens will move a motion that it does.

Nick Dean, representing the Sydney Anti-AUKUS Coalition, said the nuclear submarine deal must be axed and the billions reallocated to environment and social needs.

AUKUS is a threat to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty because for Australia to operate nuclear-powered submarines, it will have to become the first non-nuclear weapons state to exercise a loophole that would allow it to remove nuclear material from the inspection system of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

This will set a dangerous precedent allowing would-be proliferators to use naval reactor programs as cover for the development of nuclear weapons — with the expectation that, because of the Australia precedent, they would not face repercussions for doing so.

The Maritime Union of Australia, NSW Teachers Federation, the Red Rebels and campaigners for Julian Assange’s release lent their support.

Reverend Ray Minniecon acknowledged country, after several anti-war songs by singer-songwriters Patrick Harte, Margaret Walker, Jude, Chris Maltby and Antoinette.

At a gathering in Armidale protesters also called for freedom for Julian Assange who is being persecuted and tortured because he helped expose recent US war crimes. “What these acts of the US Empire have in common is that they were or are intended as a warning to others. It’s time to ban nuclear weapons, reject nuclear-powered submarines, jail the war criminals and free Julian Assange,” Bea Bleile said.

August 8, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Australian readers condemn the Morrison government’s AUKUS deal

Below are just a few of the many comments that readers made, on the article about Australia’s devious nuclear submarine diplomacy.

My own comment – going to the issue of whether the nuclear submarines would be obsolete before ever in use, was not published.

Still, the overwhelming content of the published comments was condemnation of the AUKUS deal. (I’ll publish more comments later, on this page)

KEEPITREAL Super power toys and massive debt.

Social D-Greaser benefit of the termination of the contract with the French will flow to the UK or US or both. Naturally, they both will be happy.
The new nuclear sub contract either with the US or UK, could cost Australia hundreds of billion dollars more than than that with the French.

In thirty/forty years time when we could expect the delivery of these nuclear subs, the technology could already be obsolete. China could operate their subs from the moon by that time, because they make things themselves.
All these maneuvering (changing the diesel propulsion to nuclear) is aimed to scare China. Does Australia think that it will have to face China in a war really? Why are we then, unnecessarily annoying the Chinese where our business interest heavily lies. Therefore AUKUS is all loss – loss for Australia.

Trim the cat The whole world now knows you can’t trust the duplicitous Australian government.

KEEPITREAL. Just get one thing straight, me may get into a hard and bloody conflict with China , however our Trade Minister is sure that our major exports of Coal and Iron ore to China will not be affected

Petra665 Way to go Mr Morrison. You’re duplicitous handling of this I suspect is related to your quest for your own power ambitions and hanging with the “big boys”.

You managed to put a key strategic partner in an embarrassing situation damaging their diplomatic relations with a key NATO member which Biden was keen to repair. Particularly as one of his key promises to the US electorate was that he would seek to mend the US relationship with NATO after Trump had trampled all over it. Well Done clap….clap…..

No vision- No policies- No direction – How good is that! This is Morrisons $5 billion lie.
He doesn’t care as it is not his money.

Figment. Anyone who is considering employing Morrison after 22 May should think again after reading this article.

Sir Rex So the short version is… the Morrison government was willing damage a range of long-standing and critical international relationships to play wedge politics for personal advantage on the home-front.
Gee Scotty, I hope those triumphant headlines uncle Rupert gave you were worth selling-out your country for…

Social D-Greaser Remember, the Chinese will be on Solomon Island now. If they have a military base in Solomon Island with 300 fighter planes, 20-30 nuclear propelled subs fitted with nuclear missiles, will we think of fighting with China. The US has a power rivalry. The US would want to dominate in the South China sea, China is aware of it. China is unstoppable, it will find its way out to reach its goal.

Australia joined the US in Vietnam, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan and any other wars the US asked for, led the Covid -19 investigation on its origin (thereby annoying China), terminated the 90 billion dollar sub contract with the French (only to please the US and UK) etc, still the US Secretary of State failed acknowledge the Australia’s contribution in the Afghanistan war.

Every time the US asked Australia to jump, Australia did not ask why but asked how high. That’s a bit shame. Nobody will give you respect, you have to earn it. The US would, probably, respect NZ more than Australia. Late NZ prime Minister David Lange (rest in peace David) resolutely opposed the entry of US nuclear arm ships in NZ port and still a good friend to the US. The US now , probably, considers NZ, a country with some backbone.

Question: Do you do anything that doesn’t involve how it can benefit yourself?

Alan This is a decision that needs to go to the Australian people, as the country’s political class in particular Morrison and Dutton who have shown the contempt they hold us in given the lies Morrison told the French in backing away from the conventional sub deal last year leaving us with a $5 billion compensation bill all for Morrison to be seen as a winner on a tiny world stage.

This is one decision that should never have been made by the partisan Morrison who has made the play just to further his time as prime minister which has only made us a target of the Chinese, has pissed off most of our Asia Pacific neighbours including France and has the potential to contaminate and make an Australian city off limits for decades if there is a operational or maintenance accident with the submarines – all of this because the erstwhile prime minister decided that it will help him remain the favoured incumbent after this election.

Morrison’s wedge tactic over the nuke sub deal failed with the small target stance of Labor, but it leaves the country in a horrible scenario, one that should never have been allowed to happen without every voter being consulted over.

Morrison has saddled the country with a ticking time bomb likely to blow up in 2040, long after he is booted in 7 days time.

Relotra No matter how you look at it, it was poorly done by the ‘only-ever-announcements, no-substance-ever’ incompetents of the Coalition led by a man who cannot apologise for his mistakes even in the face of his own unrelenting incompetence.
The Coalition’s eternal claim to be the masters of national security (& the economy) has been shown quite substantially to NOT be the case whatsoever. And when has it? Only ever in their own opinion.
And for the PM of Australia to be called a liar by another country’s leader is just extraordinary. Unheard of in public & the point made most clearly to the press. What an embarrassment for Australia.
It’s Time!!!!!!!!

Misnomerthey could allow Australia to pose a direct threat to the Chinese mainland”

Exactly. Our war mongers in Canberra aren’t interested in defence, they want war with China. They have written a $100+ billion blank cheque for the “crown jewels” (seriously?), leaving us without subs and defence for decades so hairy-chested Morrison and Dutton can bang the defence drums for an election.

The subs are a political play from a reckless, spendthrift government beholden to the US, which is happy to take a huge chunk of our debt-fuelled cash and let us fight their war against China.

Ditch the subs. They are a folly from an out-of-control government and should be the first thing Labor axes in the name of debt repair.

Inner West Andrew….  The French option should not have been discarded so readily on what appears to be a political process instigated by scotty from marketing in secret and using notes on the back of a beer coaster. The lack of proper policy development on the AUKUS deal is truly astonishing. Neither Britain or America are likely to have the spare capacity to help us obtain a fleet of even just 3 nuclear submarines for decades. meanwhile we have a massive capability gaps, just as Dutton appears determined to start a war.

Budawang The momentous decision to bankroll the US projection of power against China in the Western Pacific for decades to come was made without any public debate and without even consulting with Labor. This is not the sign of a well-functioning democracy.

lets be frank. Since ScoMo didn’t talk to Albo . Albo as PM should bite the bullet and CANCEL THE NUCLEAR DEAL . Its too far above our budget and capability. It will bankrupt us . Scomo has shown himself to be the most incompetent reactive idiot in a conga line of LNP incompetent reactive idiots. This is what happens when you have amateurs in the Lodge

Inner West Andrew….  The French option should not have been discarded so readily on what appears to be a political process instigated by scotty from marketing in secret and using notes on the back of a beer coaster. The lack of proper policy development on the AUKUS deal is truly astonishing. Neither Britain or America are likely to have the spare capacity to help us obtain a fleet of even just 3 nuclear submarines for decades. meanwhile we have a massive capability gaps, just as Dutton appears determined to start a war.

Budawang The momentous decision to bankroll the US projection of power against China in the Western Pacific for decades to come was made without any public debate and without even consulting with Labor. This is not the sign of a well-functioning democracy.

lets be frank. Since ScoMo didn’t talk to Albo . Albo as PM should bite the bullet and CANCEL THE NUCLEAR DEAL . Its too far above our budget and capability. It will bankrupt us . Scomo has shown himself to be the most incompetent reactive idiot in a conga line of LNP incompetent reactive idiots. This is what happens when you have amateurs in the Lodge

Phil 1943 Why wouldn’t the US and UK rush to accept the offer of a base – or bases, for their naval assets in Australia without the inconvenience of having to pay for them? If all goes as vaguely announced by the LNP, Australia will fork out big bucks for a smallish fleet of nuclear subs that will be serviced here in ‘joint’ facilities that will be shared with those two nuclear-experienced nations while we learn how to operate our submersible purchases.

During the twenty or so years while we wait for this questionable deal to coalesce, our allies will have new Australian bases to show on the maps of their global military facilities. And it’s going to cost us billions of dollars in the interim. We can only hope Albo says ‘no’.

mmanuel Can. The fact it makes us more of a target doesnt seem to have been given too much weight.

Allan Woodley. I guess that’s what he was doing in Hawaii during the bushfires

Southerner. So this puts into perspective China’s reaction to Australia, the trade bans and the Solomons and China’s spy ships cruising in international waters off Australia’s coast. Why does Australia need an attack capacity? Why would a nation of 25 million seek to be a protagonist? Why didn’t Morrison and Co spend the time building constructive, healthy relationships with the Pacific, our SE Asian neighbours and all our trading partners including China? Once again Morrison was playing domestic politics, keeping Albanese out of the picture, pursuing a fait accompli to reap what he saw as glory. Has Morrison made Australians safer? That is uncertain. Hopefully, this very dangerous man and his very bad government will be gone in 7 days time

May 16, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, opposition to nuclear, politics international | Leave a comment

Conservation Council of Western Australia continue their long fight for the environment, and to stop uranium mining.

This week we are celebrating a huge step forward in our sustained campaign to keep the door closed to uranium mining in Yeelirrie.  We have received word that a request made by the Canadian mining company Cameco to extend the environmental approval for the Yeelirrie uranium project has been rejected by Minister for Environment Reece Whitby. In 2018 and 2019, we challenged this approval in court. Now it has expired and time is running out for the uranium trade in WA.

This is a huge win for the local area, the communities and for life itself. The special and unique lives of the smallest of creatures, endemic subterranean fauna found nowhere else on earth would have most likely been made extinct had this project gone ahead, according to the WA EPA. 

We are now pushing for further protection. Under new provisions in the Environmental Protection Act s47A – Minister Whitby can withdraw approvals where the “commencement” condition has not been met. We are calling on the Minister to withdraw approvals for Yeelirrie, Wiluna and Kintyre – as all three projects have failed to meet these commencement conditions.  For over five decades Traditional Custodians from the Yeelirrie area have fought to protect the site from uranium mining.

Hundreds of supporters have spent time on country with Traditional Custodians, listening, walking, connecting with the country and standing up for a nuclear-free future. Traditional Owners, unions, faith groups, health groups, the WA and Australian Greens and WA Labor, and environment groups, we’ve all had a big part to play. For the full report and to heart what Traditional Owners, Kado Muir and Vicki Abdullah had to say please click here.

We are currently growing our campaign to protect Mulga Rock on Upurli Upurli Nguratja country, east of Kalgoorlie. This is WA’s one uranium project that has so far slipped through the next and last week through a merger this project is now being advanced by a team with links to the destruction at Juukan Gorge and dodgy mining operations in Malawi and Namibia. And we will continue to push for a withdrawal of approvals for Yeelirrie, Kintyre and Wiluna.

April 7, 2022 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, uranium, Western Australia | Leave a comment

Friends of the Earth Australia’s Submission to Environment Minister calls out the dishonesty in the proposal for a national nuclear waste dump at Kimba, South Australia

Provide reasons for why you believe this is/is not a controlled action.

As a significant “nuclear action” under the EPBC Act this Nuclear Radioactive Waste Management Facility (NRWMF) Referral is a “Controlled Action”.


In a nuclear action “the whole environment” is the “Matter of National Environmental Significance” protected under the EPBC Act. An EIA/EIS is warranted to cover the scope of this protected matter.

The behaviour of the Morrison government and the Australian Radioactive Waste Agency (ARWA) in relation to the imposition of a national nuclear waste dump in SA has been disgraceful. If Minister Sussan Ley is minded to require anything less than a full EIA/EIS at the highest level of assessment, she should consider the following:

1. The new South Australian government is clearly opposed to the dump, primarily because of the crude racism of the Morrison’ government’s willingness to impose a dump on Barngarla country despite the unanimous opposition of Barngarla Traditional Owners. Expect a hardening of that opposition if anything less than a full EIA/EIS is required.
2. Media silence is far from guaranteed as evidenced by the extraordinary recent coverage in The Australian and The Advertiser ‒ both Murdoch publications ‒ regarding BHP’s mismanagement of the Olympic Dam mine and in particular its mistreatment of Traditional Owners:

And also widespread national and international media coverage of Rio Tinto’s crimes at Juukan Gorge.
3. Community opposition to the dump in South Australia is building. Expect it to build further if anything less than a full EIA/EIS is required.

Australian Radioactive Waste Agency (ARWA) is the ‘proponent’ in this NRWMF Referral, as a non-independent office of the Industry Department. The Environment Minister must not make a decision to approve and allow the nuclear dump to proceed on the inadequate limited basis of non-independent input by the proponent, or on the basis of anything less than a full EIA/EIS at the highest level of assessment.

A public impact assessment must be carried out under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act ( EPBC Act). ARWA wants something less than a full EIA/EIS due to a separate ARPANSA licensing process, but the ARPANSA process covers different issues, under different legislation, and in no way could substitute for a full EIA/EIS under the EPBC Act. The ARPANS Act does not protect nor assess ‘the whole of environment’ protected matter involved here under the EPBC Act.

ARWA’s claim there is no alternative to the proposed dump is dishonest and Minister Ley is obliged to call out that dishonesty. Many alternatives are available. See for example the proposals in the paper online at:

In particular, the implicit claim that there is no alternative to ongoing storage of intermediate-level waste (ILW) at ANSTO is absurd and dishonest. Clearly ILW should remain at ANSTO because: a large majority of ILW is already stored there (well over 90 percent measured by radioactivity); Australia’s nuclear expertise is concentrated at ANSTO; security at ANSTO is vastly superior to that proposed at the Kimba dump site; it avoids unnecessary transportation; it avoids unnecessary double-handling given that the final disposal site for ILW will not be at Kimba (and could easily be in NSW or any state/territory).

The proposal to store ILW at Kimba is absurd and must be clearly rejected by Minister Ley.

March 22, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, opposition to nuclear, politics | Leave a comment

Students, Maritime Union, strongly oppose proposal for nuclear submarine base at Port Kembla

Nuclear submarine naval base at Port Kembla proposal opposed Ashleigh Tullis   13 Mar 33

Dozens of people gathered in Wollongong to protest the “proliferation of nuclear weapons” following the federal government’s proposal to build a nuclear submarine naval base at Port Kembla.

Port Kembla has been touted as the preferred location for a future base for Australia and visiting nuclear-powered submarine fleets, under a federal government plan.

Rally organiser, Wollongong Undergraduate Students’ Association Education Officer Sean McLachlan said the protest at Wollongong mall on Saturday demanded an end to the AUKUS pact where the US and the UK will help Australia to acquire highly-sophisticated nuclear-powered submarines.

“We see this proposal as a significant act of aggression and exaggeration towards potential war in the future,” he said.

“This latest proposal of having the naval base in Brisbane, Newcastle or Port Kembla, in our backyard, is quite shocking.

“It will be met with strident opposition.”

Mr McLachlan said Wollongong had a strong history of “standing up against all forms of militarism”.

“We are saying no to the naval base, no to AUKUS and no to war,” he said.

“We oppose the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Nuclear power in any form requires uranium, mining and a massive investment into infrastructure which can be used for the proliferation of nuclear weapons.”

Mr McLachlan said ordinary people had no interest in the government investing in the military but would rather see money spent on expanding social welfare, public and social housing, disaster funding and climate change.

“This is what money should be funnelled into from the government – things that ordinary people could benefit from, not weapons,” he said.

“Instead of building a naval base that will only increase the threat of devastating conflict in the region, the $10 billion slated for this base should be spent on building new schools and hospitals.

“They claim there isn’t enough money for us, but there’s somehow always money for death and destruction.”

Maritime Union of Australia southern NSW branch secretary Mick Cross reiterated the union’s opposition to nuclear proliferation.

“The MUA has always stood for peace, internationalism and justice, and so condemns in any shape or form the proliferation of nuclear capability in any country, especially our own. This includes the development or proliferation of nuclear-powered defence vessels,” he said.

During the rally, Mr Cross said if the base was built, fishing would no longer be permitted, nor families using the foreshore due to security concerns.

“Shame on the LNP government and shame on those who think there is any positive aspect of this nuclear base being built in Port Kembla,” he said.

Mr Cross said he was worried about Port Kembla becoming a “target” once submarines were based there.

He added the port was now entering a “progressive” phase with a focus on jobs in renewable energy industry into the long term, and that was better than than short-term jobs that would be needed to build the base.

Mr Cross said the announcement was a “distraction” ahead of the federal election.

Members of Wollongong Undergraduate Students’ Association, Wollongong Socialists, Illawarra Greens, refugee campaigners, South Coast Labour Council and Southern NSW Maritime Union of Australia branch hoped Saturday’s rally would be the start of an opposition campaign against the proposal.

March 14, 2022 Posted by | New South Wales, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Traditional Owners and environment groups vow to fight Mulga Rock uranium decision

Traditional Owners and national and state environment groups say a decision
by the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation to allow a
controversial uranium mine in WA’s Goldfields to proceed is unjustified and
inconsistent with the evidence.

The Mulga Rock uranium project has been declared to have met an important
‘substantial commencement’ condition that is required to maintain crucial
environmental approvals.

A condition of the Mulga Rock approvals – issued by the former Barnett government
– was that the proponent, Vimy Resources, must “substantially commence” mining
by 16 December 2021. Failure to meet that condition would have prevented the
company from pursuing the mine.

The company has failed to meet with the Upurli Upurli Nguratja registered Native
Title claim group, which is entitled to negotiate on an Area Use Agreement.

The company has continually failed to engage with and respect Traditional Owners
or understand processes and protocols on meeting with the claimant group.

Campaigners say to advance the project without consulting with the group is
disrespectful and out of step with community expectation and best industry practice.
“It’s very clear that as a native title group we don’t want uranium mining on our
country,” said Upurli Upurli Nguratja claimant Debbie Carmody. “This decision has
sidelined our voice and undermined the Native Title process”.

“Any progress to continue to develop this mine is done without consent and without
even having met with our claim group. We have been let down by the company and
now by the Government.

“We will continue to fight this project and stand up for our country and culture.”
Conservation Council of WA (CCWA) Nuclear Free campaigner Mia Pepper said it
was fanciful to say the project has substantially commenced.

“We will continue to fight this project and stand up for our country and culture.”
Conservation Council of WA (CCWA) Nuclear Free campaigner Mia Pepper said it
was fanciful to say the project has substantially commenced.

The Australian Conservation Foundation’s Nuclear Free campaigner Dave Sweeney
said while the company had done some premature and destructive clearing at the
site, it was not substantial

“If this mine proceeds it would cause unacceptable harm to the environment,
including damage to vital habitat for the endangered sandhill dunnart, which is found
in only a handful of locations across Australia.

“Vimy does not have the necessary finance and has not made a Board level decision
to pursue this mine. It still needs a range of approvals, permits, licences and

The Conservation Council of WA and the Australian Conservation Foundation, which
have opposed uranium mining in WA for several decades, are reviewing today’s
decision and exploring all available avenues to stop this mine from proceeding.

December 17, 2021 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, uranium, Western Australia | Leave a comment

Traditional owners say Vimy Resources is not listening to Aboriginal people

Tom Robinson Kalgoorlie Miner, Tue, 30 November 2021

Debbie Carmody spoke at Vimy’s AGM as a proxy for a shareholder. 

A Goldfields Aboriginal woman has taken her people’s opposition to Vimy Resources’ proposed Mulga Rock uranium mine to the company’s inner sanctum, and says Vimy is not listening to traditional owners.

Anangu Spinifex woman Debbie Carmody is descended from displaced Aboriginal people, who were forced off their country at Maralinga in South Australia by nuclear testing in the mid-20th century.

Now, she is a prominent voice against the proposed uranium mine 290km east of Kalgoorlie-Boulder, within her traditional lands on the Upurli Upurli Nguratja native title claim — which was registered on January 22 this year.

She believes her people’s cultural and social relationship with their country is threatened by the prospect of uranium mining.

Ms Carmody travelled to Perth last Friday to join protesters at Vimy’s AGM, and spoke at the meeting as a proxy for a shareholder who was in opposition to the Mulga Rock proposal, and bought the shares to gain access to the company’s meetings.

Conservation Council of WA protesting against the proposed uranium mine in front of Vimy’s AGM last week. Credit: Daniel Wilkins/The West Australian

Ms Carmody said she told the AGM that Vimy had not consulted with UUN traditional owners and outlined the fears she holds for her country, but she said her protests fell on deaf ears.

“Our people have a long history with radioactive fallout and our families have died and have suffered rare and painful deaths as a result of radiation poisoning,” she said.

“We want to protect our special sites, the flora and fauna, and the underground water. We want to protect the destruction of our homelands.”

Last Thursday, Vimy Resources rejected claims it had not consulted with the UUN group, with interim chief executive Steven Michael saying the company met with Central Desert Native Title Services, which was acting on behalf of UUN.

But Ms Carmody said this did not represent proper consultation and felt the miner should have spoken to the UUN group directly.

“Vimy claimed to have consulted with Central Desert Native Title Services, I pointed out that they are not UNN with whom you should be speaking to,” she said.

“I also stated that all registered Native Title claimants have a right to negotiate, and therefore Vimy is not following due process.”

The company was given five years to begin work on Mulga Rock as part of ministerial approval for the controversial project issued on December 16, 2016 — at last week’s AGM the company listed a series of milestones it had met in the interim including the recent clearing of about 143ha at the site, but it is yet to make a final investment decision.

Ms Carmody said the clearing was disrespectful and showed “a lack of social value, moral and ethical leadership”.

December 2, 2021 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, uranium, Western Australia | Leave a comment

Morrison’s decision on AUKUS and nuclear submarines was made with no debate in Parliament

Our PM, Scott Morrison, struts the world stage, vilifies China (some of it deserved), but in the process is locking in Australia’s subservience to US foreign policy while guaranteeing increased US troop access and US spy stations on Australian territory for the future. Add to this the crippling cost of procurement of nuclear powered subs and the possible return of Donald Trump to ‘guide’ our nation into the future.

This sabre rattling at an external enemy will allow Morrison some catch up in the polls while the ALP is wedged. The huge crime here is to make a decision without debate in the Federal Parliament.

Times change, but some things regarding the nuclear industry and international political posturing remain the same.

Local anti-nuclear activists who chose to make a difference… By Ian Cohen October 7, 2021    Following the Nuclear Disarmament Party’s close loss with front man Peter Garrett in 1984, nuclear issues were at the forefront of people’s minds. We extended our influence far beyond our Shire. The pending arrival of nuclear armed warships sent the local region into overdrive. Benny Zable from Nimbin rolled out his ‘radioactive’ barrels for street theatre. Dean Jefferys based in Brunswick Heads came with his ultralight, Hoss (Ian Hoskens) of Main Arm with his megaphone voice and me with my surfboard.

September 1986 heralded the arrival of the largest assembly of international ships in Sydney Harbour’s history. Many were nuclear armed.

Our north coast contingent was vital to the success of the protest actions. Driven by a reckless, but heartfelt, desire to impact on the nuclear arms race and send a direct message to US President Ronald Reagan and USSR’s Yuri Andropov.

The mad concept of surfing the nose of a nuclear armed warship was mine, but Sydney Morning Herald photographer, Robert Pearce, from a media barge directly in front of myself and the warship, captured the image of a vulnerable surfer hanging onto the nose of a nuclear armed destroyer that went global.

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October 9, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, history, opposition to nuclear, reference | Leave a comment

Can the Australian government ignore this powerful letter exposing the foolish decision to ”go nuclear” with submarines and AUKUS?

Ed. note. Here I summarise the points in this well-researched letter: Diplomatic Repercussions –  Geopolitical Tensions and Australian National Security(Why the decision makes Australias national security worse not better)  – We now have No Submarine Program at All.  – But Is Nuclear the Best Stealth? – Can we Build them at Osborne?  -Time to re-evaluate our Submarine Program? –The worst option is to do as we have now done. – Conclusion – This decision  should be re-visited


The submarine decision, especially within the context of the new ‘AUKUS’ grouping, but even taken on its own:

Worsens rather than improves Australias own national security, making us (more of) a nuclear target than we have ever been, and extending the targeting potentially from joint facilities to Australian cities and naval bases.

Worsens rather than improves regional security, adding impetus to regional arms racing, and increasing the likelihood that other Governments may decide they would like to have submarines fueled by HEU 

Leaves Australia currently with no replacement program for the Collins Class submarines

Makes no sense even within its own restricted terms of reference because it does not offer a submarine with the best stealth

—Requires a submarine  that may not be possible to construct even in part at Osborne. 

Letter Sent 5 October to Cabinet Security Cttee, Senate, Reps, DFAT, re Nuclear Subs, AUKUS,



Dear Prime Minister Scott Morrison, other decision-makers on the Australian nuclear submarines project, Cabinet National Security Committee, AUKUS:


The decision to establish a new diplomatic/military grouping, AUKUS, deepens confrontational tendencies in the Indo-Pacific region and is hence destabilizing, and worsens rather than improves Australia’s national security. It helps to ‘paint nuclear targets on Australia’s backside’.

The decision to equip Australia with nuclear submarines fueled with highly enriched uranium is both destabilizing and proliferative even if technically within the letters of the NPT.  The decision to go with HEU fueled subs in particular opens a proliferation ‘pandoras box’.

The decision to ‘go nuclear’ with submarines has been justified on the supposed technical superiority of nuclear over conventional subs. However a look in detail at the real – world technical and operational characteristics of advanced conventional and nuclear subs shows clear technical superiorities on the part of advanced conventional submarines exactly where we are being told nuclear subs are superior – in the area of quietness and non-detectability. The technical case for nuclear over conventional submarines is not established.

No analysis, and no thought, has been given as to what are Australia’s real security needs, and into whether submarines of any description fit into it.

The decision leaves Australia with currently NO replacement program for the Collins Class subs.        

The Submarine Decision and AUKUS

The decision to cancel an existing, well – established, contract with the French Naval Group for a diesel version of the Suffren class attack submarine has not met with universal acclaim, particularly from the French.

At the same time, the  closely related decision to establish a new military/diplomatic grouping to be known as ‘AUKUS’ (Australia-UK-US) has also raised questions as to its  geo-strategic impact, and contributed further to the deterioration of our relations with China, and possibly with Russia, with potentially catastrophic implications for Australias national security and the safety of all Australians.

It has quite reasonably been suggested that the establishment of ‘AUKUS” cements Australia into an ‘Anglo-sphere’ that is intrinsically limited in scope (how for example, does it relate to the ‘quad’ of India, Australia, Japan, US?), that excludes other nations that have strong Indo-Pacific interests and are allies (including France itself, now snubbed and smarting), and above all, that deepens confrontational attitudes in the region, especially with China.

It is by no means clear that the decision to substitute nuclear powered submarines is even the best decision on technical grounds, or that nuclear powered submarines are necessarily superior in the respects that might be important to Australia and particularly in extreme stealth – to conventionally powered submarines, either the existing Collins class, the erstwhile projected French submarine, or to an evolutionary successor to Collins.

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October 5, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, opposition to nuclear, politics, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Maritime and electrical trades unions stand against nuclear submarines

Maritime and electrical trades unions stand against nuclear submarines Kerry SmithSeptember 21, 2021Issue 1320Australia   On September 21, International Day of Peace, the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) said it opposed Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s reckless commitment to develop nuclear-powered submarines as part of a military alliance with the United States and Britain.

At a time when Morrison should have been pursuing vaccination supplies and providing maximum support to our health system and millions of people in lockdown, he has been pursuing secret military deals”, the MUA said.

“The deal will continue to escalate unnecessary conflict with China. Workers have already been impacted, with seafarers stranded on coal ships and some trades shut down.”

The MUA said $90 billion had been “wasted with the previous submarine contract”, scrapped just five years after it was signed. Nuclear submarines will cost much more.

“Only six countries in the world have nuclear submarines, and they all have nuclear power stations”, the MUA said, adding: “Advocates for nuclear power and nuclear weapons have been emboldened. The submarines will use highly enriched uranium ideal for nuclear weapons.”

The government has repeatedly tried to set up nuclear waste dumps on First Nations people’s land and the decision will intensify that pressure.

Instead, the union is calling for the billions to be redirected to: building a strategic shipping fleet in Adelaide that could operate in cabotage and international trades; building renewable energy and offshore wind turbines to ensure we prevent global heating from exceeding 1.5°C; raising JobSeeker payments to well above poverty levels; pay rises for health workers and investment in public health systems; pay rises for teachers and investment in public schools to make them COVID-19 safe; and investment in firefighting capacity to be ready for the next bushfire season.

Workers have no interest in war with China or any other country”, the MUA said, adding that it stands in “solidarity with workers in all countries in opposing war and wasteful environmentally harmful military spending”.

The Electrical Trades Union (ETU) is also opposed to the nuclear submarine deal, saying on September 16 that it would expose Australia to greater danger on multiple fronts.

ETU National Assistant Secretary Michael Wright said: “This decision represents a betrayal of responsibility to Australia’s non-nuclear policy and a betrayal of two generations of highly-skilled, secure, well-paying Australian shipbuilding jobs.”

Further, Wright said, nuclear technology is inherently dangerous: “Has Morrison given any thought to where the spent fuel rods from these nuclear submarines will be stored? Australians have a right to know the answers to these important questions before the prime minister makes such dangerous decisions on our behalf.”

September 23, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, employment, opposition to nuclear, politics, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Anger grows over Australia’s submarine deal 

Anger grows over Australia’s submarine deal

It’s not just the French who are angry about Australia’s submarine deal with the US and UK. Now, the outrage is closer to home.

When news broke that the US and UK will help Australia build nuclear-powered submarines by sharing their technology and knowledge, the French were furious. But they’re not the only ones.

As part of the new trilateral security agreement – known as AUKUS – the submarine deal will allow for the design and construction process to be sped up. It will help ensure the West maintains it’s edge in combat under water.

As part of the new trilateral security agreement – known as AUKUS – the submarine deal will allow for the design and construction process to be sped up. It will help ensure the West maintains it’s edge in combat under water.

Australia’s decision to tear up a deal for the French submarines in favour of US nuclear-powered vessels sparked outrage in France, with President Emmanuel Macron recalling the nation’s ambassadors to Canberra and Washington in an unprecedented move.

There’s also anger brewing from China, with Beijing describing the new alliance as an “extremely irresponsible” threat to regional stability. China has also quenstioned Australia’s commitment to nuclear non-proliferation, warning the Western allies that they risked “shooting themselves in the foot”.

Closer to home, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has warned Scott Morrison to keep the nuclear submarines away from her country’s waters, CNN reports. New Zealand has been a nuclear-free zone since the 1980s.

And right on our doorstep, many Australian residents and antinuclear groups are angry, concerned it may be Trojan Horse for a nuclear power industry. Because while Australia’s nuclear-powered submarines will not be nuclear-armed, the small reactors used to power them do produce weapons-grade uranium as waste.

The Nobel Peace Prize-winning International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), Australia tweeted about the deal: “The nuclear-powered submarine deal raises serious concerns over nuclear proliferation as the UK and US’ models use highly enriched uranium.

“This is not prestige, this is provocation.”

The nuclear-powered submarine deal raises serious concerns over nuclear proliferation as the UK and US’ models use highly enriched uranium.
This is not prestige, this is— ICAN Australia (@ican_australia) September 17, 2021

“Important questions remain over construction of the submarines and the potential imposition of military nuclear reactors on Adelaide or other cities, making construction sites and host ports certain nuclear targets,” said Gem Romuld, Director of ICAN Australia.

“Military nuclear reactors in Australia would present a clear nuclear weapons proliferation risk and become potential sites for nuclear accidents and radiological contamination long into the future.”

Green Party leader Adam Bandt even likened the move to putting “floating Chernobyls in the heart of Australia’s cities”

Dr. Jim Green, National nuclear campaigner, Friends of the Earth Australia, said that nuclear powered submarines typically use highly-enriched uranium (HEU) fuel. This would undermine global efforts to phase out the use of HEU because of WMD proliferation and security concerns.

“The government wants to build nuclear submarines in suburban Adelaide. Does that put a target on our back? Is it prudent to build nuclear submarines in a city of 1.3 million people?

“What alternative locations have been considered, if any?”

Regarding waste products, Dr Green said: “The government has been silent about disposal of the high-level and intermediate-level nuclear waste generated by a nuclear submarine program.

“ … Waste from a nuclear submarine program would be dumped on Aboriginal land, as is the case with the federal government’s current plan to dump Australia’s nuclear waste at Kimba in SA despite the unanimous opposition of Barngarla Traditional Owners.


September 20, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, opposition to nuclear, politics, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Barngarla people hold Native Title land close to planned nuclear waste dump, but were denied a vote on this.

The nuclear waste site is planned for Barngarla Country, but the amendments will allow Traditional Owners to take the matter to court, Keira Jenkins
Source: NITV News, 23 JUN 2021
 The Senate has passed legislation that would allow nuclear waste to be stored at a remote site in South Australia, replacing current city facilities.

The Morrison government was forced to abandon key features of the bill to gain opposition support, including a provision that would have locked in Kimba as the new storage location.

Instead, Minister for Resources Keith Pitt can issue an ‘intention to declare’ a preferred location.

The amended bill, which passed through the Senate this week, also allows for a judicial review of the location if there is a dispute.

Barngarla Determination Aboriginal Corporation welcomed the reinstatement of the right to a judicial review on the process.

“This is a great moment for democracy, and for those who appreciate the independent scrutiny of government action,” they said in a statement.

In 2019, the Australian Electoral Commission conducted a month-long community ballot, asking the question ‘Do you support the proposed National Radioactive Waste Management Facility being located at one of the nominated sites in the community of Kimba?’

The ballot returned a 61.58 per cent ‘yes’ vote.

Barngarla conducted their own poll, saying they had been excluded from the AEC’s postal ballot.

100 per cent of the votes returned from Native Title holders said ‘no’ to the proposed nuclear facility.

Barngarla said the site selection process had been “completely and utterly miscarried”.

“No proper heritage assessment of the site was ever undertaken,” read the statement.

“… the most obvious and appalling example of this failed process was when the Government allowed the gerrymandering of the Kimba ‘community ballot’ in order to manipulate the vote.

“The simple fact remains that even though the Barngarla hold Native Title land closer to the proposed facility than the town of Kimba, the First Peoples for the area were not allowed to vote.

“…Mistakes have been made and the process needs to start again.”

June 24, 2021 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, legal, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment