Renewed call for Muckaty dump plan to be scrapped as ‘draconian’ nuclear waste legislation hits two-year mark.

Media release | March 13, 2014BNI logo 2010_poster

Renewed call for Muckaty dump plan to be scrapped as ‘draconian’ nuclear waste legislation hits two-year mark.

Marking two years since passage of the National Radioactive Waste Management Act (NRWMA), Traditional Owners and supporters have renewed calls for the government to drop plans for locating the first national radioactive waste dump at Muckaty, 120km north of Tennant Creek in the NT.

Beyond Nuclear Initiative convenor Natalie Wasley said, “The National Radioactive Waste Management Act is draconian and gives the Minister absolute discretion in key aspects of radioactive waste management. It overrides any state or territory law that would ‘hinder’ the plan, and limits the application of environmental protection laws, Aboriginal heritage protection legislation, and appeal rights. It does not grant ‘procedural fairness’ in relation to the existing Muckaty nomination.”

“Radioactive waste management laws should require engagement with civil society stakeholders in line with international standards. Australia’s targeting of remote communities considered politicially expedient through application of draconian legislation like the NRWMA is an international embarrassment.”

Traditional Owner Penny Phillips said “We had very hurt feelings when the legislation passed the Senate two years ago. We had been saying no for a long time- my old aunty Bunny Nabarula cried her heart out. People are upset that the new government is pushing ahead, but we are not going to stop fighting. We want the government to put a full stop to the nomination.”

“If the Northern Land Council prepares another nomination on Muckaty then we will stand up to them again. This country is very important to us. We also want people to remember the transport accidents that have happened on the road and rail in the NT. If the waste travels a long way, then any of those areas could be affected.”

Ms Wasley added, “Muckaty is the only site currently under consideration but the community is not being left to fight the proposal themselves. The Public Health Association of Australia, the Australian Council of Trade Unions and other national groups are calling for the proposal to be dropped in favour of an independent Commission to examine all options radioactive waste management. A federal court trial challenging the site nomination will be heard throughout June.” added Ms Wasley.

Ms Phillips concluded “Minister MacFarlane said he will visit Tennant Creek and meet with us. It is time for him to see the country and learn why we are saying no. People are getting tired, especially the old people, but we all work together and we haven’t backed down, we are still strong against it and will keep going until the Muckaty plan is stopped.”

Fukushima highlights need to red-light NSW yellowcake plans

ImageFukushima highlights need to red-light NSW yellowcake plans

Media Release | March 11, 2014

On the third anniversary of the continuing Fukushima nuclear crisis environment groups have called on Premier Barry O’Farrell and the NSW government to shelve plans for uranium exploration and mining in the state.

“It was confirmed to the federal Parliament in October 2011 that Australian uranium directly fuelled Fukushima,” said ACF nuclear free campaigner Dave Sweeney. “The Fukushima crisis started in the back of big yellow trucks in Kakadu and northern South Australia – these rocks are now the source of fallout in Japan and far beyond”.

The nuclear meltdown that began at Tokyo Electric Power Corporation’s (TEPCO) Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex on 11 March 2011 resulted in wide-scale environmental, social and economic destruction and dislocation. Over 150,000 people have been forced to abandon their homes and livelihoods and the stricken reactor complex continues to pose a major environmental and human safety threat. The clean up will likely take decades.

Japanese activist Sakyo Noda, from Uranium Free NSW said “There are no nuclear power plants operating in Japan at the moment and public opposition to the nuclear industry is still going strong. Japanese society has changed since Fukushima. It is a terrible time but also a hopeful time. We have the chance to learn from Fukushima and make sure that the same mistake never happens again. Here in New South Wales and across Australia our opportunity and our responsibility is to stop another Fukushima by keeping uranium in the ground.”

In 2012 the NSW government overturned a 26-year legislative ban on uranium exploration and signed a MoU with South Australia to facilitate cross-border projects. This move is strongly opposed by environment, public health and community organisations, along with NSW Labor, a range of trade unions and the NSW Greens.

“Uranium is a mineral with unique dangers and long term consequences”, said Beyond Nuclear Initiative convenor Natalie Wasley. “Premier O’Farrell needs to recognise and acknowledge the impacts of Australia’s uranium trade, both here and overseas, and put the brakes on plans for uranium exploration and mining in NSW.”

“The O’Farrell government did not seek or receive a mandate to advance uranium mining at the last election. Fukushima will take decades to clean up and waste from uranium mining must be isolated for tens of thousands of years. With the opportunity to develop renewable energy projects across NSW, it is time for Premier O’Farrell to put his atomic ambitions on the back burner”.

Mr Noda added “To commemorate Fukushima people across Australia have taken action at uranium related sites and government buildings. We received a photo from Fukushima community members reminding us that Australian uranium is contaminating their land, air and water. The Fukushima banner asks us to leave uranium in the ground and we will work to honour this request.” (Image above)

National photo actions will be posted at:


BNI Support Appeal | Contribute to help stop the Muckaty dump

Women dancing under barrel_7 mile

The BNI fundraising appeal (launched in December 2013) is ongoing. Please consider making a contribution to BNI’s work to move radioactive waste management in a more socially just and environmentally responsible direction-  click on the image above to be directed to the donation portal.

2014 is shaping up as a turning point in radioactive waste management in Australia. For the first time in decades the federal government is considering other options for radioactive waste management besides a single remote dump site at Muckaty.And the important legal action by Traditional Owners opposed to the Muckaty dump proposal will be the basis of a Federal Court trial in June 2014.

There is much that has been done – and much that remains to do. Please join the growing list of campaign allies and support the Beyond Nuclear Initiative’s work .

New audio: ‘Protecting Manuwangku’ film launch- Tennant Creek and Darwin

Community screenings of a new film documenting six years of resistance to the proposed national radioactive waste dump at Muckaty were recently held in Tennant Creek (Nov 10) and Darwin (Nov 15).

The film is titled ‘Protecting Manuwangku’ and was produced by Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning (UTS) Research Unit by directors Isaac Parsons and Jason Daylight-De Santolo.

Audio from both events is now uploaded at :

Please contact beyondnuclearinitiative[at] for permission to use or broadcast this audio.

Photo: ‘Protecting Manuwangku’ launch at Nyinkka Nyunyu gallery in Tennant Creek, Nov 10, 2013

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Photo: ‘Protecting Manuwangku’ launch at Fannie Bay Bowls Club in Darwin, Nov 15, 2013

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