CONCERNED ABORIGINAL PEOPLE OF CENTRAL AUSTRALIA: STATEMENT ON RADIOACTIVE WASTE
On June 19 we received the fantastic news that Warlmanpa people had been successful in their eight year struggle to stop a nuclear waste dump being built on Aboriginal land at Muckaty.
We all supported this fight and are proud of the victory. But the Commonwealth and NT governments have not stopped in their attempts to divide our communities and impose a nuclear dump.
Being forced to accept Australia’s nuclear waste would be bad enough. But former Prime Minister Bob Hawke is openly campaigning for a dump to house nuclear waste from across the world. He says this is a “solution” to the dire poverty facing our people and that NT Chief Minister Adam Giles is a ‘keen supporter’ of the plan.
We have heard that people are being approached with the suggestion a nuclear dump could draw funding for bitumen roads and outstation housing. The Commonwealth Department of Education also offered scholarships as part of the Muckaty proposal.
NT Chief Minister Adam Giles was elected promising outstation funding and support to rebuild the community councils destroyed in 2008, but has delivered nothing. Thousands of jobs from our Community Development Employment Projects (CDEP) were also taken away by the NT Intervention.
But why should Aboriginal people have to accept waste no one else in the world wants, to receive amenities and opportunities taken for granted in mainstream Australia?
Decisions about using our land for the nuclear industry cannot be restricted to small groups of Traditional Owners. If there is contamination, surrounding lands will be affected. Waste will have to travel long distances through many people’s country.
The National Radioactive Waste Management Act allows for compulsory acquisition of land near the nominated site deemed necessary for the project and overrides key environmental and Aboriginal heritage protections during site selection. Currently, only Aboriginal Land in the NT is under consideration by the Commonwealth.
Enough is enough. We will never accept a nuclear dump on NT Aboriginal Lands. We will not be blackmailed and will continue to fight for the public investment our communities deserve.
The Commonwealth and NT Government’s are causing more pain, division and frustration. But they are wasting their time. Any attempt at a nomination will be fought every step of the way. We won at Muckaty and we will win again.
Signed by :
-Marie Ellis- President Imwerkwernhe Council Limited
-Noel Kruger- Lhere Artepe Aboriginal Corporation Chairperson
-Margie Kngwarraye Lynch
-Pamela Kngwarraye Lynch
-Valerie Napaljarri Martin
-Walter Shaw- Tangentyere Council CEO
-Dianne Stokes- Muckaty Traditional Owner
-Amelia Kngwarraye Turner
-Peter Paul (Coco) Wallace