Help ANFA travel to Canada

From April 14-16,  communities from all over the world are gathering in Québec City, Canada, for the World Uranium Symposium. The Symposium will address a broad range of issues related to the nuclear fuel chain, including uranium mining, radioactive waste, aboriginal rights and nuclear weapons proliferation.

The Australian Nuclear Free Alliance (ANFA) has been invited to contribute stories of nuclear resistance and the impact of the nuclear industry on Aboriginal communities in Australia. Formed in 1997, ANFA brings together Aboriginal people and relevant civil society groups concerned about existing or proposed nuclear developments in Australia, particularly on Aboriginal homelands.

Your support will enable three Co-Chairs of ANFA-Glen Cooke, Peter Watts and Barbara Shaw- to take up this rare opportunity to share the Australian nuclear story with an international audience. While in Québec City, the ANFA delegates will be able to meet with Mohawk and Cree First Nations peoples, who are leading an inspiring campaign against nuclear expansion on their territories. 

Please click here to visit the fundraising page and view rewards offered for each contribution.


Response to proposed new Muckaty nuclear waste nomination

Nov 5 2014

After a meeting held in Tennant Creek, the Northern Land Council has announced it is preparing an anthropological report for a new site on Muckaty to be potentially nominated for the national nuclear waste dump.

Click for links to NT News story here and Guardian Australian story here.

This is very disappointing for Muckaty Traditional Owners who have been seeking closure on this long, challenging and often stressful campaign since the first site nomination was announced in 2007.

Attached and below is a statement written by Muckaty Traditional Owners Penny Phillips and Dianne Stokes in response to the NT news article linked above.


Statement from Muckaty Traditional Owners regarding proposed new nuclear waste dump nomination on Muckaty Land Trust.

Written by Penny Phillips Napangardi and Dianne Stokes Nampin.
November 5, 2014

We heard in the news that people want to nominate Muckaty for the nuclear waste dump again.

Minister Gray and Minister Macfarlane visited us here in Tennant Creek- they heard what we said about the nuclear waste dump-we said NO.

They have seen the conflicts between us.

Enough is enough- this issue will not be resolved, we want the Northern Land Council to just let it go.

Leave the waste where it is and don’t dig up any more uranium.

We fought hard for our people to get Land Rights. The old people that have gone, they fought hard and now people are trying to sell their soul and country- again.

We were so happy the first site nomination was closed- we fought very hard to stop it. We had just relaxed after stopping the waste dump and now they came back and kicked us in the guts.

We said in court and we said it to the Minister- we all agreed we don’t want it on Muckaty Land Trust. All the Warlmanpa said this, the ones who went against the waste.

We want to be clear- we do not want the nuclear waste anywhere in the Muckaty Land Trust.

It looks like the same mob are going to be fighting again to protect Muckaty near where Milwayi goes and comes back into Helen Springs. We are all connected through there.

We want the Northern Land Council and government to stop doing this. Why don’t they just stop hassling people asking them if they want this waste to go on Muckaty?

They think its is their land but it is not right to put the waste there. We will be making the same argument again, standing together to say NO.

When we met with the NLC in Tennant Creek they said they would not push ahead a new nomination. This news today made us very sad.

We want to talk to the NLC Full Council before they vote about a nuclear waste dump at Muckaty. We are Traditional Owners and we speak for that land.

Keep the poison out of Muckaty.
Kurlalu yarnmi Majju Majju Manu Wangku ka (Warumungu)
Wangangka yama nyirrinjji mana Manu Wangku Kuna (Warlmanpa)


* Photo of Bunny Nabarula thanks to Fabio Cavadini and Mandy King.

PROTECTINGMANUWANGKUBunnyNabarulaaddresses the rally inTennantCreek,May2013L1130071 copy 

It’s time to manage Australia’s radioactive waste – not dump it

For over two decades successive Australian governments have searched for a location to dump Australia’s radioactive waste.

This has caused heartache in targeted remote communities and headlines in the national media. And this “out of sight, out of mind” approach has failed.

In June this year, after seven long years of protest and community resistance, the federal government abandoned plans to open a dump on Aboriginal land at Muckaty in the Northern Territory.

The buck should have stopped there.

But the government seems to have learned nothing and instead of taking a look at its flawed dump plan it is planning a new national search for another dump site.

The search for a dump site needs to stop and an independent inquiry into the best way to manage Australia’s radioactive waste needs to start.

The majority of Australia’s radioactive waste is currently stored in two defined federal sites and both have confirmed they can securely store this waste for years to come.

We have the time and opportunity to do things differently and better. We don’t need a quick and dirty dump – we need a responsible and lasting solution.

Please help tell the Federal Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane that it is time for a new approach to radioactive waste management – one that is expert, independent and public.


How to help:

Minister Ian Macfarlane is accepting public comments on his national dump search plan until November 10 and your small comment could help make a big difference.

Some themes that you might mention in your email or letter include:

• The history of two decades of community resistance and concern over plans for a remote dump

• The need to move beyond Muckaty and to have a new approach that includes people and explores options

• Australia has never had an independent and open assessment of the different ways available to manage radioactive waste – and now needs one

• We have the time and the need to do things differently via a public Inquiry to achieve a better and longer lasting result

• Radioactive waste is a long lasting threat and requires serious and measured attention – its management should not become a political issue

• Aboriginal and remote communities should not be the primary targets in the search for a response to a national problem

• All Australians get a better result when a decision is based on clear evidence and credible process

Comments can be sent by November 10 to either


• Manager, Radioactive Waste Management Section, Department of Industry, GPO Box 9839, Canberra, ACT, 2601


Australian Nuclear Free Alliance 2014 meeting statement

Click here to download ANFA 2014 meeting statement

Click here to listen to audio from the ANFA media conference held after the national meeting
 ANFA logo__2014

Meeting Statement – 2014

Against a background of strong community protest to the continuing government and industry push for an expanded nuclear sector in Australia, the Australian Nuclear Free Alliance (ANFA) held its 17th annual gathering of Aboriginal, environmental and public health representatives who share common concerns over the adverse impacts of the nuclear industry and a common aspiration for a future free of nuclear threats.

The 2014 ANFA meeting was held on Arrernte country in Alice Springs with representatives from the following nations, communities and organisations: Arabunna, Arrernte, Koara, Kokatha Mula, Larrakia, Luritja, Ngaanyatjarra, Tjiwarl, TI Meriam, Warlpiri, Waramungu, Warlmanpa, Wiradjuri, Wongutha, Yankunytjatjara.

Anti-Nuclear Alliance of WA, Arid Lands Environment Centre, Australian Conservation Foundation, Beyond Nuclear Initiative, Conservation Council WA, Environment Centre NT, Freedom Flotilla, Friends of the Earth (Brisbane and Melbourne), Indonesian Greens, International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, Keep Queensland Nuclear Free, Medical Association for the Prevention of War, Nuclear Operations Watch Port Adelaide, Public Health Association Australia (NT Branch), Uranium Free NSW, West Papua.

Radioactive Waste

The ANFA meeting celebrated and acknowledged the seven-year campaign against a planned radioactive waste dump at Muckaty – an important human and environmental rights victory. Many people from Tennant Creek expressed thanks to ANFA for the strong support and solidarity over the years.

Community representatives shared concerns and experiences about the divisive impacts of the federal government’s approach to waste management. Continuing to pursue only remote dumping options further exploits disadvantaged communities. The meeting endorsed a national statement calling for an independent National Commission into responsible radioactive waste management based on science and evidence instead of a continuation of the flawed and failed process of targeting remote communities.

Uranium mining

Australian uranium fuelled the Fukushima disaster but there is ongoing pressure for new uranium mines in Western Australia, the Northern Territory, South Australia, Queensland and exploration threats in New South Wales. ANFA condemned the federal and state governments as out of step with the broad opposition to uranium mining across many communities and organisations. The meeting discussed specific action plans to target uranium mining projects across Australia.

Mine Rehabilitation

The meeting heard of the failures of rehabilitation of uranium mines and called for the national adoption and enforcement of the standard applied at the Ranger mine in Kakadu that requires radioactive mine tailings to be isolated from the environment for no less than ten thousand years.

Women’s Health

The meeting heard personal stories and long history of disease and impacts from the nuclear industry, including intergenerational sickness and mental health issues. Base-line studies from the past were not done but should be demanded for any proposed new projects for animals, plants, bush foods and people. There is a need to do healing: the pain and hurt caused by nuclear impacts will always be there but we should support each other through healing and engage our community medical services in collecting data and tracking impacts.

Men’s Health

The meeting heard about scientific studies that have demonstrated increases in cancer incidence among Australians exposed to radiation and we are seeing this in our communities. The consensus scientific view is that even the lowest doses of radiation can cause cancer and children and women are at greater risk. The impacts from radiation exposure are seen in our families’ health. In Australia uranium deposits have been known as poison or sickness country by Aboriginal people with strong cultural knowledge about the dangers – this traditional knowledge is still being ignored.


The meeting heard that around 40,000 rounds of depleted uranium weapons have been deployed in Australian military training exercises. This raises serious concerns about where they were used and any subsequent health impacts from these weapons. We recognise the intergenerational health impacts from nuclear weapons testing as well as the documented use and impacts of depleted uranium weapons. The meeting called for all uranium weapons and nuclear weapons to be banned.

Rare Earths

The mining and refining of Rare Earth Elements (REE’s) was discussed. There is a need for roundtable discussion of stakeholders in the nuclear free, climate and renewable energy sectors to discuss the role of REE’s in renewable energy technologies such as wind and solar given that mining these elements involves the generation of radioactive uranium and thorium waste.

Land Councils

There was strong concern about the function of Aboriginal Land Councils in different states and territories. The meeting called for greater openess to ensure such bodies represent the wishes of Aboriginal people in their region. There were deep concerns expressed that full consultation does not always happen and ANFA representatives will be seeking to address these issues within their particular Land Councils.

ANFA Network

ANFA representatives in each states and territory committed to building the ANFA network and sourcing funds to produce and distribute resources needed for grassroots community education on nuclear issues.

In the shadow of Fukushima there can be no nuclear business as usual and meeting   representatives reaffirmed their commitment to actively advance a nuclear free Australia through involvement in ANFA, their communities and organisations.


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 :
-Jackie Baxter
-Marie Ellis- President Imwerkwernhe Council Limited
-Noel Kruger- Lhere Artepe Aboriginal Corporation Chairperson
-Rosie Kunoth-Monks
-Ngarla Kunoth-Monks
-John Leemans
-Margie Kngwarraye Lynch
-Pamela Kngwarraye Lynch
-Valerie Napaljarri Martin
-Audrey McCormack
-Elaine Peckham
-Barbara Shaw
-Walter Shaw- Tangentyere Council CEO
-Dianne Stokes- Muckaty Traditional Owner
-Tangentyere Council
-Amelia Kngwarraye Turner
-Peter Paul (Coco) Wallace