Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

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.”

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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

Last week of the Walkatjurra Walkabout

Nuclear Free WA, K-A Garlick, 29 Aug 18  It’s the last week of the Walkatjurra Walkabout! Over 60 people have walked through awesome country in support and solidarity with Traditional Owners to stop uranium mine projects on their country.  From Lake Way in Wiluna to the gates of Yeelirrie and finally finishing in Leonora this week they have walked over 250kms to raise awareness about this toxic industry that would destroy beautiful land, water and communities.   The walk will finish with a public meeting in Leonora to share messages from the Walkatjurra Walkabout and to give updates on the Yeelirrie court challenge and the proposed national radioactive waste dump.  You can see photos and read about their adventures here.

We welcome the new Federal Environment Minister, Melissa Price, Member for Durak, WA that includes Wiluna and Yeelirrie in her electorate not to Federally approve the Yeelirrrie uranium project and look forward to working with her on this issue.

Looking forward to seeing you all at the Projections at Parliament event on the 11th September to send a clear and important message to the WA Government to ban uranium mining permanently. See below for further details.

If you haven’t seen it … please watch and share the short 2 min video Uranium: West Australia under threat to make uranium mining extinct – not WAs unique species.

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

The Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) Says No To Nuclear Ports In South Australia 

MUA Says No To Nuclear Ports In South Australia https://www.miragenews.com/mua-says-no-to-nuclear-ports-in-south-australia/ 8 Aug 18

The Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) is continuing its long-running stance against the shipping of any nuclear material in or out of South Australia.

The Turnbull Government has shortlisted three sites in South Australia that could be used to permanently hold low-level nuclear waste and temporarily store intermediate-level waste.

Two of these sites are at Kimba, on the Eyre Peninsula, while a third is near Hawker, in the northern Flinders Ranges.

Whyalla, Port Lincoln and Port Pirie were named as potential nuclear waste ports in three “Site Characterisation, Technical Reports” released by the Federal Department of Industry in July.

MUA South Australian Branch Secretary Jamie Newlyn said MUA members are long time opponents of Nuclear Waste Storage in Australia and led the charge against the former SA Government’s International Waste Dump Royal Commission and consequent citizens’ jury.

“The Turnbull Government’s recent declaration that sites in Kimba and Flinders Ranges could be used to store intermediate-level nuclear waste is incredibly concerning,” Newlyn said.

“The MUA is further alarmed that the Federal Department of Industry has identified Whyalla and Port Pirie – where our members currently work – as potential ports to unload this toxic and unsafe material.

“The MUA, along with the mayors of Port Pirie and Whyalla, have been blindsided by this announcement yet the safety of port workers and the communities through which this hazardous material is transported is critical.

A postal ballot will begin in Kimba and Hawker on August 20 to determine public support.

Federal Minister for Resources Matt Canavan has said the facility would need “broad community support” to go ahead, noting that he will take into account the views of neighbouring landholders and the Adnyamathanha Traditional Lands Association (ATLA).

Before the ballot, a Senate inquiry into the site selection process, which includes the impact a community benefits program is having on support, will hand down its findings.

“The Turnbull Government is dividing communities, dividing families and dividing friendships over this decision and are trying to ruin the fabric of these country areas,” Newlyn said.

“The MUA will be discussing this with our members in the region to explain the dangers and we are confident that our decisions will again be on the right side of history.

“The MUA is well-known for taking a strong stand against South Africa’s apartheid regime, supporting Indonesian independence, demonstrating against the Vietnam War and refusing to load pig iron to Japan in the lead-up to World War II.”

August 10, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Anti nuclear protests at South Australia Liberal headquarters

Anti-nuclear protests at SA Liberal HQ  https://www.eyretribune.com.au/story/5395082/anti-nuclear-protests-at-sa-liberal-hq/?cs=1825   MAY 11 2018 

South Australians concerned about the prospect of a radioactive waste facility in the state protested outside of the Liberal Party headquarters in Adelaide this morning to oppose the proposal to both state and federal Liberals with a giant inflatable radioactive waste barrel drawing the attention of peak hour traffic.

The protesters were calling for Premier Steven Marshall and the Liberal government to oppose the federal government’s plan to establish a nuclear waste facility in Kimba or near Hawker.

Don’t Dump on SA member Tadhg Porter said the South Australian Liberal party brought in legislation that made the establishment of a waste dump illegal.

“We want Premier Marshall to defend our state against the prospect of the federal proposal, just like he defended South Australia against the proposal for an international high level radioactive waste facility,” Mr Porter said.

“We call on the federal government to stop this process, stop dividing communities and take a responsible approach to the management of Australia’s nuclear waste.”

May 15, 2018 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, opposition to nuclear, South Australia | Leave a comment

Kimba community being conned by false propaganda about nuclear medicine

Geraldine Gillen Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA, 14 May 18 It is not just Kimba that needs to be consulted. I live at Whyalla, just up the road. At the very least all of Eyre Peninsula needs to be consulted, better still all South Australia. It will effect and affect us all. Especially the reputation of any agritculture or aquaculture. Unbelieveable that there are some people in Kimba who think this will “save” their town. I believe if it goes ahead, it will be the demise of the town.

 
Roni Skipworth Gov thinks that people can be bought – they did with the Shire of Kimba as it is a dying town like many rural towns n those who want this to happen decided $$$$ is what they need to boost it.
When the Mayor decided that the vote should only be for Kimba residents three quarters of the Shire didn’t want it, as everyone I have spoken to is against it. Somehow the Mayor and Ramsay had found a loophole and they ran with it. People are getting blinded by being healed by Nuclear Medicine saying it’s OK to av this dump but don’t realise that the Nuclear Waste is completely different than Nuclear Medicine.
Yes the gov is trying to cover up the negatives and saying it is harmless but it’s not as it was why then a worker last year when he got contaminated by a work accident is still not well. When the governments put out No Bullying ads why don’t they take action as at the moment that is what they are doing BULLYING US INTO SAYING YES FOR MANY NEGATIVE IDEAS THEY WANT TO DO ALL AROUND AUSTRALIA.
 
Brendan Harrington the tax payer as insurance companies hate nuclear, – USA has plenty about it on google and the tax payer pays not the nuclear corporation. I say  NO Nuclear dump and people  should research and see Medical isotopes have a half life of 3 days, This is not about medical isotopes.   https://www.facebook.com/groups/344452605899556/

May 14, 2018 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, opposition to nuclear, South Australia | Leave a comment

Gathering of South Australian groups to stand firm against nuclear waste dumping

No nuclear waste groups stand together,  https://www.eyretribune.com.au/story/5362658/no-nuclear-waste-groups-stand-together/   24 Apr 18

No nuclear waste dump groups from Kimba and the Flinders Ranges came together in Port Augusta last week in response to the recent announcement by federal Resources Minister Matt Canavan that a community vote for a planned national radioactive waste management facility would begin on August 20.

The groups discussed shared concerns and committed to increase their efforts against the plan including through an open debate featuring the federal department, the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO), Traditional Owners and public policy and health professionals.

People at the meeting included Adnyamathanha community members, representatives from Kimba, Hawker, Whyalla and Quorn along with members of the Flinders Local Action Group and No Radioactive Waste on Agricultural Land in Kimba or SA.

Peter Woolford from Kimba said the “flawed federal process” was failing the communities.

“Minister Canavan is fast-tracking a plan that does not have broad community support”.

The groups committed to highlight community concern and opposition to the federal plan ahead of the August vote and urged residents in the wider region to stand up and speak out.

Former federal member for Grey Barry Wakelin said it was a national issue, “not something that a regional community should be left to deal with”.

“The current federal plan lacks evidence and poses a threat to our existing industries – we need a better way,” Mr Wakelin said.

“This has been a productive meeting and it is heartening to see regional South Australians stepping up to the challenge, taking action and working together.”

 

April 25, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, Federal nuclear waste dump, opposition to nuclear, South Australia | Leave a comment

Opposition to planned Gippsland mine – risks of thorium contamination

East Gippsland fights mineral sands mine https://www.greenleft.org.au/content/east-gippsland-fights-mineral-sands-mine, Alan Broughton, Bairnsdale,March 23, 2018

March 29, 2018 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, Victoria | 1 Comment

Strong support for Sydney’s Aboriginal rally against Brewarrina nuclear dump plan

No Nuclear Dump at Brewarrina – Rally John Janson-Moore  http://www.johnjansonmoore.com/journal/2018/3/23/no-nuclear-dump-at-brewarrina-rally 

Photographs from a rally in Sydney, protesting against Federal Government plans to establish a nuclear waste dump at Brewarrina in North Western NSW, on Ngemba land. Traditional custodians of the land, the Ngemba, are opposed to the dump.

Speakers at the rally included organiser Natalie Wasley, Ngemba and Brewarrina representatives, Trish Frail and Natalie Eastwood, Nathan Moran from the Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council, Dave Sweeney from the Australian Conservation FoundationJim Green from Friends of the Earthand NSW Greens parliamentarians Jamie Parker and David Shoebridge, as well as others. The Wakagetti dance troupe provided dance performances and a smoking.

About 100 people from all around Australia then marched from Bligh Street outside the Commonwealth offices, through Sydney’s CBD to NSW Parliament House, chanting, “No bundabunda (poison) on Ngemba land”.

Three other sites, in South Australia, are also under consideration for the nuclear waste dump.  All are on Aboriginal land

March 25, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, Federal nuclear waste dump, New South Wales, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Lismore mayor and citizens remember Fukushima, call for an end to uranium mining, and the whole nuclear chain

Fukushima disaster ‘not over’, rally hears, https://www.echo.net.au/2018/03/fukushima-disaster-not-rally-hears/  Harsha Prabhu   ‘The Fukushima nuclear disaster is not over,’ were the chilling words of warning uttered by Toshiko Okada, anti-nuclear activist from Japan, speaking at a gathering to mark the seventh anniversary of Fukushima, at the Channon Market on Sunday.

Scores of people – including members of the region’s Japanese community – attended the gathering, despite the wet weather and the chance of the market being cancelled.

Okada is a member of Ctitzen’s Network for Evacuation from Radiation, which has been promoting the cause of Fukushima children and families affected by radiation.

She said, ‘We are having serious radioactive contamination problems not only in Fukushima but also in Eastern Japan, because life threatening radioactive substances are still discharging from the Fukushima nuclear power plant every day.’

Lethal levels of radiation had been detected at Fukushima’s power plant seven years after the tsunami.  Apart from the release of volatile, gaseous radionuclides,  a recent Manchester University study also noted the presence of micro particles containing uranium, caesium and technetium,  several kilometres from Fukushima.

Plus thousands of gallons of radioactive water and waste are being stored above ground with no safe means of disposal.

Govt forced relocation   While experts were warning of a ‘global disaster’ in the making, the Japanese government was busy normalising the situation by marketing food from Fukushima and stopping subsidies for Fukushima evacuees, thus forcing people to relocate to Fukushima. The government had also unilaterally raised the maximum limit of radiation exposure from 1mSv per year to 20 mSv.

Okada and her group are fighting to promote a Japanese version of Chernobyl Law to ‘protect all people in our country, especially future generations from ongoing critical nuclear issues and future nuclear disasters.’

She said, ‘Such law must be applied to all victims of radiation around the world.’

Okada and her citizens’ group hold protest actions at Shinjuku railway station and the Japanese PM’s residence in Tokyo every month. The banner used for this protest action became a rallying cry for Australia’s rainbow region folk, standing in solidarity with the people of Japan.

OK to speak up Local activist and actress Saya Minami said, ‘It’s important to let all the victims of Fukushima know that it’s ok to be scared, it’s ok to tell the truth, to speak up and say what you really feel. We are here with you in Australia!’

Lismore City Council Deputy Mayor and Greens party member Vanessa Ekins said, ‘It’s the seventh anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear power plant meltdown and radioactive water is still pouring into the Pacific Ocean.’

Lismore Council has erected signage at the entrances to Lismore declaring the city a nuclear free peace zone. Ekins said, ‘This may seem tokenistic but it raises awareness. The action we need to take as the federal election looms, is to question Australia’s role in supplying uranium to other countries for nuclear weapons and power.’

Uranium moratorium call She said, ‘Lismore’s Mayor visited Japan last year to join Mayors For Peace, initiated in 1982 by Hiroshima Mayor, and now 6,800 cities in 161 countries are negotiating to eliminate nuclear weapons. I question their focus on nuclear weapons when the nuclear industry itself is so damaging.’

Ekins added: ‘Australia needs to stop mining and exporting uranium.’

One activist said, ‘ This is an international crisis that requires an international solution. Instead of attending to this, governments are busy promoting crisis-ridden, failed nuclear technologies. French President Macron is in India today to sign a nuclear deal with Indian PM Modi. Corporations and governments are brazen in their support for the uranium industry. And Australia supplies uranium to India, a country that has not signed the nuclear non proliferation treaty. The whole uranium cycle is lethal – from uranium mines, to radioactive dumps, to leaking reactors, to nuclear weapons.’

He said, ‘We stand in solidarity with people everywhere fighting the military industrial complex and their baby – the uranium industry.’

Art & music   Organisers had set up an art show and all through the rain-soaked day punters were treated to a smorgasbord of music: from soulful kirtans by Mico, Shivam and Armando, to young Belle McGreggor singing ‘Somewhere over the rainbow’; from fiery flamenco by Bart Stenhouse, to happy reggae anthems by JT Rastasamurai; from radical songs by Bo Kaan, to  Brazilian folk by Priscila Rios and Anna Hamard-Lecoeur. By the time the six-piece Latin band Passando started their set the sun finally decided to come out to play.

Organisers called on the crowd to ‘say no to uranium. Leave it in the ground, like the aboriginal elders have been saying in their Dreamtime stories and the hippies have been singing for years gone by’.

‘And help the children and families of Fukushima by dreaming up a nuclear free world.’

March 14, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Pine Gap: peaceful protestors sentenced to fines, not gaol

Pine Gap protesters who entered top-secret Central Australia facility spared jail to avoid creating ‘martyr’ http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-04/pine-gap-trespassers-not-jailed-to-avoid-creating-martyr/9223946

The group were charged under the Defence (Special Undertakings) Act, which carries a maximum of seven years in prison.

One of the group members, Andy Paine, faced another two years for carrying a smartphone onto the base.

But Justice John Reeves fined the group a total of $15,500.

While sentencing the oldest member of the group, Jim Dowling, 62, Justice Reeves expressed concern that Dowling had committed 27 similar trespass offences since 1986.

“If I imprison you, I think that would be likely to make you a martyr to your cause, rather than to underscore the law breaking in which you were involved,” he said.

Dowling was fined $5,000 as one of five people who entered Pine Gap on September 29, 2016.

In that group, Margaret Pestorius was fined $3,500, Andy Paine fined $2,500, while Franz Dowling and Tim Webb were fined $1,250.

The group told the court they went to sing a lament which several members of the group had composed in memory of people they believed had been killed by US drone strikes, with help from Pine Gap.

Paul Christie was fined $2,000 for also entering Pine Gap in a separate crime on October 3, 2016.

In sentencing Christie, Justice Reeves said his offence was at the lowest possible end of the spectrum.

He said Christie was arrested while holding a rattle and some flowers, while praying.

I do not accept the Crown’s submission that your offences potentially struck at the heart of national security,” Justice Reeves told the group.

“Your activities posed no real threat to the Pine Gap facility.”

The two separate trials in the NT Supreme Court lasted two weeks, with the Crown briefing a senior counsel to prosecute the matters.

December 6, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, legal, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Campaign to get more MPs to work for Australia to sign and ratify the Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty

Gem Romuld, 25 Sept 17, Today marks the UN International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons. We took a big step towards that goal when the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons opened for signature last Wednesday, gaining 53 signatories within the first 3 days. Many of our regional neighbours have signed on, including New Zealand, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines.

Unfortunately, while Julie Bishop was at the United Nations, she failed to sign Australia on to the Treaty. To shine a spotlight on Australia’s dismal record on nuclear disarmament, activists scaled the front awning of the Foreign Affairs Department in Canberra.

This peaceful action was reported on television news, print and online. You can see the full list on our media page.

A September ReachTEL poll commissioned by Greenpeace Australia Pacific shows that 72% of the public supports the ban treaty. In Bishop’s own electorate of Curtin, 70% want her to sign on for Australia. Activists in Perth delivered a giant copy of the treaty and a giant pen to Julie Bishop’s electorate office, to remind her of what to do.

Please help us build support for the Treaty within federal parliament by signing up MPs and Senators to the Parliamentary Pledge. So far, 54 parliamentarians from all sides of politics have pledged to work for Australia’s signature and ratification of the Treaty. Let’s get more on board. Please check the list here and reach out to those who haven’t yet signed on.

With sadness, we farewell the Sydney-based author and Hiroshima survivor, Junko Morimoto, who passed away on September 21. In her final month, she urged Prime Minister Turnbull to sign Australia on to the nuclear weapons ban treaty.

While the nuclear threat continues to escalate, we must call on our government to reject these weapons of mass destruction entirely. Please support our efforts to get Australia and our regional neighbours to sign and ratify this vital new treaty.

September 27, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Stand Tall: No Dump Alliance urges South Australian leaders to halt nuclear waste plan.

The No Dump Alliance has today launched a petition targeting Premier Jay Weatherill and Opposition leader Steven Marshall to take a stand and use SA’s existing no dump laws to publicly oppose the federal government plan to build a nuclear waste dump in South Australia.

One site in the Flinders Ranges and two sites near Kimba on the Eyre Peninsular are now being assessed by the federal government to become the nation’s nuclear waste facility.

The majority of this waste is currently in storage at secure federal facilities and no compelling case has been made for its transfer. There is clear community opposition to Canberra’s plan in both affected regions and the Alliance supports the growing national call for an open review of all waste management options, rather than targeting regional communities for a dump site.

In a statement the Alliance outlined that this “is the time to stand up. South Australians have fought and won the nuclear waste battle before.” The Alliance petition is calling on the leaders of both major political parties in SA to commit to using the existing Nuclear Waste Storage Facility (Prohibitions) Act, 2000 to send a clear message of active opposition to the federal dump plan.

“We need our state leaders to stand with us against this federal plan, this process had already cause immeasurable damage to our community and it needs to stop. We do not want our agricultural region exposed to the risks this nuclear waste presents and we need our leaders to ensure our that state legislation is upheld.”  said Kimba resident and No Radioactive Waste Dump on Agricultural Land in Kimba or SA President, Peter Woolford.

Following the end of plans for SA to host international radioactive waste the No Dump Alliance has refocused its work to support communities targeted by the federal government’s plan to build a nuclear waste dump in SA. This will be a key focus of the Alliance’s work in the lead up to the 2018 state election.

“The Australian Education Union applauded the Premier’s announcement that an international waste dump in SA is no longer in question and will not be progressed by the current or future Labor governments. However, if by his own admission the show of solidarity by the wider community with the Aboriginal community in protest of any nuclear storage on SA land is to have any credence this must be followed with a clear rejection of the Federal government’s proposal to use this state as the nuclear waste bin for the nation” Said Dash Taylor Johnson, Australian Education Union and No Dump Alliance member.

August 18, 2017 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, opposition to nuclear, South Australia | Leave a comment

Rose and Karina Lester: the personal story of two feisty Aboriginal sisters

When I heard that [SA premier] Jay Weatherill had announced the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission in March 2015, I knew I had to campaign against the nuclear waste dump. I asked Sis to support me because she helped Nanna – Dad’s aunt, Eileen Kampakuta Brown – with the successful Irati Wanti Campaign against a nuclear dump in Coober Pedy in 2004. So we’re fighting it together.

Rose and Karina Lester: How illness has driven our anti-nuclear campaign work http://www.smh.com.au/good-weekend/two-of-us/rose-and-karina-lester-how-illness-has-driven-our-antinuclear-campaign-work-20170619-gwu0em.html  Rosamund Burton , 24 June 17 

Indigenous activists Rose Lester, 47, and her sister Karina, 42, are the daughters of Yami Lester, who went blind after the “black mist” fallout from the British nuclear tests in 1953 came over his family’s camp.

ROSE: When Mum went to hospital to have Karina, my grandparents came to Alice Springs to look after my older brother, Leroy, and me. They were proper traditional, and built a little humpy in our backyard and camped there. I was chuffed I had a sister. She was a gorgeous, dark, chubby thing. Continue reading

June 26, 2017 Posted by | aboriginal issues, opposition to nuclear, personal stories, South Australia | Leave a comment

Labor’s broken uranium promise a kick in the guts for communities and the environment. Uranium mine plans will be challenged

Leading environment groups have said the fight to keep Western Australia nuclear free was not over despite a serious broken promise by the McGowan Government on the key environmental issue.

CCWA Director Piers Verstegen said the decision to allow WA uranium mines to proceed on Aboriginal lands was a clear broken promise and a kick in the guts for communities and the environment.

“Should these mines go ahead they would cause permanent damage to our environment and communities and also export WA uranium to countries where it will inevitably result in radioactive waste and risk.

“This terrible decision is a betrayal of the many people, communities, Traditional Owners, trade unions, churches and environment groups who placed their faith in Labor to keep WA uranium free.

“Environmental standards went out the window under the Barnett Government and the approvals that were granted for these uranium mines are some of the most compromised decisions that government made.

“The decision by the McGowan Government to allow those approvals to stand without so much as an inquiry to investigate them, and without even consulting the local communities, workers and Traditional Owners who voted for them in good faith, sends a very bad message about the Government’s commitment to protecting our environment.

“The McGowan Government may think it is OK to let some of the worst decisions in the state’s history stand, but communities, environment groups, workers and Traditional Owners certainly won’t be backing down in our fight to prevent this bad decision turning into a series of toxic and polluting uranium mines.

“We believe there are serious legal flaws in the way these approvals were granted by the Barnett Government and we will continue to contest them at every stage of the process, including through pursuing legal options to protect our communities and environment from this toxic and unwanted industry.

“There will be a lot of members of the Labor Party, a lot of Traditional Owners, and a lot of voters who will be extremely disappointed by this decision which is a direct breach of long-standing state Labor policy and the trust that Western Australians placed in the McGowan Labor Party when they were elected.

“We have worked closely with local communities and Traditional Owners who would be affected by each of these proposals and we certainly won’t be abandoning them in the same way that the McGowan Government appears to be doing.”

National environment group the Australian Conservation Foundation has called the move a retreat from responsibility and will increase its efforts to end plans for uranium mining in WA.

ACF’s Nuclear Free Campaigner Dave Sweeney said “Premier McGowan went to the election saying that uranium mines would not be allowed to proceed unless they had final approval or were in construction.

“None of the four uranium proposal has final approval, none has begun construction and none of the companies have even made a final investment decision.”

“This decision is far from a done deal for uranium mining in WA. No uranium was mined or exported under the pro-nuclear Barnett Government and we will continue to do what is necessary to keep WA’s uranium in the ground.”

June 21, 2017 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, Western Australia | Leave a comment