WGAR News: "Radioactive waste on Pacific Highway highlights dangers of Muckaty dump" BNI

Newsletter date: 20 April 2012

* BNI: Radioactive waste on Pacific Highway highlights dangers of Muckaty dump
* Background to proposed Muckaty nuclear waste dump
* Other articles


- News

Beyond Nuclear Initiative:
Radioactive waste on Pacific Highway highlights dangers of Muckaty dump
18 Apr 12: "The Beyond Nuclear Initiative is reiterating calls for an national independent inquiry into radioactive waste transport and storage following unearthing of radioactive materials during a Pacific Highway expansion on the mid north coast of NSW.
BNI Project Coordinator Natalie Wasley says the nausea, vomiting and health effects experienced by roadwork crews highlight the threat to workers, communities and the environment if the proposed radioactive dump at Muckaty in the NT goes ahead.
Ms Wasley continued, "Resources Minister Ferguson is pursuing plans to transport radioactive spent fuel thousands of kilometers to a remote site in the Northern Territory, which has fewer trained emergency responders, less equipment and response capability than NSW. This incident should be a wake up call to the Prime Minister and Resources Minister to immediately drop the Muckaty plan.""

- Related Petition

To: Resource Minister Martin Ferguson, Prime Minister Julia Gillard
Put the brakes on toxic trucks - no nuclear waste at Muckaty
"Why is this important? Australia nuclear industry does create risks to our community, environment and future. Any incidents or accidents that occur are never be quickly or easily cleaned up. The Federal government has a controversial plan to build a national radioactive waste dump at Muckaty, near Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory. Many Aboriginal Traditional Owners from Muckaty alongside medical groups, environmental organisations, unions, churches and the NT government are calling on the Federal government to scrap the plan, and for an independent public inquiry."

- Related News

SBS World News: Pacific Hwy radiation scare sparks testing
18 Apr 12: "The NSW government is testing for contaminated material along the Pacific Highway after five workers were struck by nausea when they unearthed a clay-like material. ... The health scare immediately triggered fears that the workers had uncovered radioactive material believed to have spilled from a truck more than 30 years ago. The truck, which was carrying radioactive isotopes to Brisbane was involved in a crash on the same stretch of highway in 1980."

ABC: Workers sick amid highway radiation scare
18 Apr 12: "Road workers were sent for medical treatment after vomiting when suspected nuclear material was unearthed during work on an upgrade to the Pacific Highway in New South Wales. The materials were buried near Laurieton, south of Port Macquarie, after a truck carrying radioactive elements including caesium and americium crashed in 1980. The isotopes were being taken from Sydney's Lucas Heights nuclear reactor to Brisbane from where it was to be shipped to the United States."

Courier-Mail: Radioactive waste stops highway upgrade
18 Apr 12: "ROAD workers have discovered containers of radioactive material buried near the Pacific Highway on NSW's mid-north coast more than 30 years ago. The waste was buried off the highway after a truck transporting radioactive isotopes from Sydney's Lucas Heights nuclear reactor crashed north of Port Macquarie in 1980. The material was being taken to Brisbane to be shipped to the United States, the ABC says."

Telegraph: Workers fall ill after unearthing possible contaminated material
18 Apr 12: "AUTHORITIES are "investigating a suspected contamination area" where five roadworkers fell ill and after a yet to be identified toxic material was unearthed on the Pacific Highway."

Courier-Mail: Inquiry to investigate Pacific Highway 'toxic waste' discovery, Minister says
19 Apr 12: "NSW Roads Minister Duncan Gay says an independent inquiry will investigate how five road workers came to be exposed to potentially toxic material buried on the state's mid-north coast. Experts wearing radiation protection suits from Australia's nuclear agency will arrive at the site near Laurieton, south of Port Macquarie, today."

Telegraph: It smells like a cover-up, say the Greens
19 Apr 12: "THE Greens yesterday called for an inquiry into an alleged 20-year cover-up over the spillage of radioactive waste at a Pacific Highway upgrade site as the government backed 1980s claims that no radioactive material was ever spilled."

Telegraph: Our nuclear fears demand inquiry
19 Apr 12: "FROM Maralinga to Fukushima, any event associated with nuclear radioactivity is certain to raise legitimate public concern. Now NSW has its own radioactivity drama, with roadworks on the Pacific Highway, near Laurieton on the mid-north coast, uncovering what some suspect is radioactive waste."

Courier-Mail: Lethal, toxic truth buried in a ditch
19 Apr 12: "FIRE and Rescue NSW hazardous materials investigators have joined union officials and other authorities at the site where toxic pesticide and possible remnants of radioactive waste were unearthed during roadworks. Three staff from the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation are also expected to arrive there shortly and will inspect the site in radiation protective suits."

Perth Now: Lethal, toxic truth buried in a highway ditch
19 Apr 12: "WHY radioactive materials, a banned pesticide and food were on the same truck that crashed on the New South Wales Pacific Highway in 1980 is a mystery. But the political fallout of its roadside burial and discovery 32 years later - which left five contractors vomiting and exposed another 13 workers to possibly lethal toxic waste - will be nothing short of nuclear."

Courier-Mail: No toxins found at NSW highway site
19 Apr 12: "NO toxic material has been found on the stretch of the Pacific Highway where road workers fell sick after unearthing an unknown substance, Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) has confirmed. However, the authority will continue to test the site before issuing the all-clear."

ABC Rural: Toxic find shows why waste dump is needed: professor
19 Apr 12: "An expert in nuclear material says the discovery of toxic substances at a road works site in NSW lends weight to the push for a national waste dump. Five workers have reportedly fallen sick after digging up material which was buried after a truck crash at the site near Port Macquarie in 1980. Curtin University associate professor Nigel Marks says even 30 years since the incident, there is still no dedicated centre to store nuclear waste in Australia."

Daily Telegraph: Buried fury at betrayal bubbles to the surface
20 Apr 12: "THEY were the two police officers literally left holding cans of radioactive material after a fatal truck crash in 1980. Now 32 years on, former officers Bob Deards and Terry Clifton remain every bit as bitter about being abandoned by authorities and years of excruciating health problems - which followed exposure to deadly radiation and pesticides - as they did following the crash."

Telegraph: Bike track soiled by excavated site debris
20 Apr 12: "THE contamination scare engulfing the Pacific Highway upgrade has widened, with revelations soil from the ill-fated project was dumped on a motor-cross track enjoyed by children."


WGAR News: Interviews re Federal Court challenge over Muckaty (31 Mar 12)
[scroll down page] http://indymedia.org.au/2012/03/31/wgar-news-the-lizards-revenge-over-ur...

YouTube: Muckaty Voices-Australia's nuclear waste dump story

Proposed Radioactive Waste Dump at Muckaty, NT
Briefing Paper - February 2011
Jim Green B.Med.Sci.(Hons.), PhD
National nuclear campaigner - Friends of the Earth, Australia

Beyond Nuclear Initiative:

Australian Conservation Foundation:
Muckaty radioactive dump:

Nuclear Territory News:
Waste Dump News


- Audio

Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association:
CAAMA Online Radio News 19.04.2012
19 Apr 12: "The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander social Justice commissioner has voiced his concerns about how Government intends to include Aboriginal people in any talks about changes to the proposed Stronger Futures legislation when sixty eight communities across the Territory have lost their governance structures with the amalgamation of the Shires."

- News

City Messenger: No sign of Aboriginal memorial
20 Apr 12: "ABORIGINAL veterans will next week mark another Anzac Day without a dedicated memorial to honour their fallen comrades, despite a five-year struggle. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander War Memorial Committee chair Marj Tripp, who was the first Aboriginal woman to join the Royal Australian Navy, said the acknowledgement was long overdue. "It has been a long, long, hard road," Ms Tripp, who is also the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander War Memorial Committee chair, said."

See: WGAR News: "Lest We Forget the Frontier Wars - Anzac Day 25th April 2012" Sovereign Union (13 Apr 12)

ABC: Indigenous group calls for authority over Murray and Darling rivers
20 Apr 12: "A group of 21 Aboriginal nations is calling for water licenses on the Murray Darling to be revoked. The Northern Murray Darling Basin Aboriginal Nations (NBAN) says indigenous people should hold the ultimate title over the rivers' water. The chairman, and Weilmoringle based farmer, Fred Hooper, says indigenous people have had almost no say in the current water laws and allocations. He says the cultural needs of the river basin, including keeping sacred trees alive, should be considered as well as the requirements of the environment and irrigators."

ABC AM: Aboriginal elder calls on spirits to heal Darling River
18 Apr 12: "As debate continues over the future of the Murray Darling Basin, an Aboriginal elder is leading a pilgrimage down the river system, calling on spirits to heal the river. The pilgrims plan to travel more than 2,000 kilometres from Murra Murra in Queensland to the Murray mouth in South Australia. Natalie Whiting caught up with them at Menindee in far western New South Wales."

See: WGAR News: Aboriginal Nations assert sovereignty over the Northern Murray Darling Basin (19 Apr 12)

Murdoch Independent: Nyoongar Tent Embassy standoff continues
19 Apr 12: "An echo erupts over the island as a Council truck careens towards the camp while media stations are on standby in nearby parked cars, waiting. Moments ago an easterly breeze moved slowly through the eucalypt trees, carrying smoke from the fire as it drew past us while a group of elderly women laughed, teenage boys swam in the Swan River and a toddler chased an old dog past a cluster of people who were planning the next step. Chaos has returned to Heirisson Island where a group of Nyoongar people have been camping since February in protest ... "

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