Around 50 people demonstrated at Resource Minister, Martin Ferguson's office against a dump at Muckaty on January 17th. Three days before Christmas the government concluded a sham committee inquiry endorsing Martin Ferguson's plans to dump nuclear waste at Muckaty in the NT Traditional Owners were not given the opportunity to speak to the committee or even to lodge a submission. Ferguson continues to refuse requests to meet with Traditional Owners opposed to the dump.
Related: Video of protest on Engage Media -- Photos on Facebook
Traditional Owners have initiated legal action in the Federal Court yet it seems likely that Ferguson will push ahead with his Radioactive Waste Management Bill early in 2011. The Bill overides state and territory laws, it overrides important federal Aboriginal heritage and environmental legislation, and it enshrines Muckaty as the only site under consideration despite the opposition of many Traditional Owners, the NT Government and many others.
Muckaty Traditional Owners are calling for our support to stop the dump. Protest organisers issued the following statements:
Tully McIntyre from Friends of the Earth said: "This year is the crunch time in the battle to prevent Mr Ferguson's thuggish, undemocratic attempt to impose a dump on Muckaty Traditional Owners. He plans to put the
National Radioactive Waste Management Bill before Parliament early this year. The Bill overrides all state/territory laws and it limits the application of federal environmental protection laws and Aboriginal
heritage protection laws.
"Labor has broken all of its promises to handle this issue in an open, transparent and fair manner. Mr Ferguson continues to refuse to meet Traditional Owners opposed to the dump. He persists with the fiction that Traditional Owners support the dump although Muckaty Traditional Owners are taking legal action in the Federal Court challenging the nomination of the site."
"It beggars belief that Mr Ferguson considers it appropriate to move forward with the National Radioactive Waste Management Bill while the Federal Court case unfolds."
Dr Jim Green from the Nuclear Freeways Campaign said: "There is growing opposition to the Government's handling of this issue, such as concerted union activity culminating in the unanimous endorsement of a strong resolution by the national congress of the ACTU. Thousands have attended public meetings around Australia to listen to Muckaty Traditional Owners
voice their concerns.
"Councils and communities along potential transport routes have begun to voice their opposition. Victorian councils have taken the lead, with Swan Hill Council and Midura Council recently passing resolutions opposing the trucking of nuclear waste through their communities."
For more information on the campaign: