WGAR News: Nuclear waste dump in the Northern Territory (2 Mar 10)

WGAR: Working Group for Aboriginal Rights (Australia)

WGAR website: http://wgar.info/

- Background

Beyond Nuclear Initiative's weblog:
"This site is a snapshot of current nuclear free campaigns in Australia, particularly focusing on the proposal for a federal radioactive waste dump in the Northern Territory."

- Media Releases

Aboriginal News Group: Stop Dumping on Aboriginal Rights
26 Feb 10: " ‘Stop dumping on Aboriginal Rights’, say anti-Intervention campaigners. The Intervention Rollback Action Group in Alice Springs today said that the imposition of a nuclear dump on NT Aboriginal Land is yet another clear breach of ALP election commitments and demonstrates contempt for Aboriginal rights. IRAG says that Intervention policies, which only resource communities deemed ‘viable’ by government, are exacerbating pressure on Aboriginal people to give up their land for destructive projects like the nuclear dump."

Beyond Nuclear Initiative's weblog:
Groundhog Day: New NT dump law fails to restore rights
24 Feb 10: "The Beyond Nuclear Initiative (BNI) in the Northern Territory has condemned the National Radioactive Waste Management Bill introduced by Minister Martin Ferguson today as draconian and in breach of Labor’s election commitments. BNI spokesperson Natalie Wasley says the new Bill fails to restore fundamental rights suspended by the former Howard Government’s Commonwealth Radioactive Waste Management Act (CWRMA). The new laws can be used to impose a nuclear waste dump in the NT against the wishes of both Aboriginal landholders and the NT Government."

“Aborigines from across the country will fight nuclear dumping”
24 Feb 10: "Aboriginal people will be called from all over Australia to protest in the Northern Territory against any movement of nuclear waste across their traditional lands, an Aboriginal activist says. Michael Anderson, chairman of an Aboriginal Summit Task Force recently elected in Canberra ..., says in a media release: “Nothing will move down the former American Vice-President Dick Cheney’s Halliburton railway line from Darwin to Alice Springs.” Mr. Anderson was responding on behalf of a majority of traditional land owners to an announcement by Resources and Energy Minister, Martin Ferguson, that the Federal Government will pursue the first Australian radioactive waste repository at Muckaty Station, about 120 kilometres north of Tennant Creek."

Medical Association for Prevention of War (Australia):
Doctors debunk medical need for nuclear waste dump
23 Feb 10: "MAPW has noted with concern the announcement by Energy Minister Martin Ferguson that the Australian Government will pursue Muckaty Station in the Northern Territory as the preferred site for a nuclear waste dump. MAPW President, Dr Bill Williams, refuted Mr Ferguson's claim that the dump was needed for disposal of radioactive medical waste."

Public Health Association of Australia:
Politics Ahead of Health: Contradiction between Labor nuclear waste plan and indigenous health policy
23 Feb 10: "Decision to proceed with Muckaty Station Nuclear Waste Dump based on ideology not science. The Public Health Association of Australia today expressed its disappointment at the Commonwealth Government’s announcement to proceed with attempting to locate a national nuclear waste dump on Mukarty Station a remote Aboriginal owned station in the Northern Territory."

Greens MPs: Radioactive Waste Dump: Territory still the target
23 Feb 10: "The Government has foreshadowed the introduction of legislation to repeal the Commonwealth Radioactive Waste Management Act, but left Muckaty Station outside Tenant Creek as the most likely target for the national radioactive waste dump. "If Resources Minister Martin Ferguson is serious when he says, ‘there is no pre-determined site outcome' and that he is putting in place proper processes for site selection, then he should scrap Muckaty and start from scratch, then we've got half a chance of an honest process," said Greens spokesperson on nuclear issues Senator Scott Ludlam. "The nomination of Muckaty Station as a site for the dump was only possible under the Radioactive Waste Management Amendment Act (2006) - which the ALP opposed, and described as ‘a major attack on the rights of Traditional Owners and an abuse of power?' "

Australian Government: Minister for Resources and Energy
The Hon Martin Ferguson AM MP
Fairness Restored to Radioactive Waste Process
23 Feb 10: "The Minister for Resources and Energy, Martin Ferguson AM MP, will this week introduce the National Radioactive Waste Management Bill 2010 to the Australian Parliament. This honours our longstanding commitment to repeal the Howard Government’s Commonwealth Radioactive Waste Management Act 2005. The new legislation finally provides a proper process to establish a purpose-built facility for managing radioactive waste generated by Australia’s medical, industrial, agricultural, and research use of nuclear material. ... "

- Opinion

Northern Territory News: Waste dump con job
25 Feb 10: "THE Federal Government was last night accused of conning the people of the Territory as it emerged that entire sections of the new nuclear waste law are exactly the same as the previous government's laws. The Rudd Government had long promised to repeal the law that could force a nuclear waste dump on the Northern Territory." Ben Langford

New Matilda: Ferguson To Dump Nuclear Waste On 'Soft Target'
24 Feb 10: "The Government wants to go ahead with its radioactive waste dump plans — and it's no coincidence that those plans involve Aboriginal land far from marginal seats, writes Natalie Wasley"

Friends of the Earth Australia:
Ferguson Dumping Election Promises
[scroll down page] http://www.foe.org.au/anti-nuclear/issues/oz/nontdump/announce
23 Feb 10: "Mr Ferguson's media release falsely claims that the nomination of the Muckaty site has the support of the Ngapa Traditional Owners. He well knows that many Ngapa Traditional Owners oppose the dump; for example he was sent a letter opposing the dump in May 2009 signed by by 25 Ngapa Traditional Owners and 32 Traditional Owners from other Muckaty groups ... "

Australian Conservation Foundation:
Wasted opportunity: Minister gets it wrong on radioactive dump
23 Feb 10: "Resources Minister Martin Ferguson’s intention to locate a radioactive waste dump at Muckaty in the Northern Territory continues the Howard Government’s approach to nuclear waste and is inconsistent with Labor promises and policy, the Australian Conservation Foundation said today."

Crikey: How to site a nuclear waste dump
22 Feb 10: "The Government is expected to announce tomorrow or Wednesday that it will repeal and replace the Howard Government’s much-criticised Commonwealth Radioactive Waste Management Act 2005, and that a nuclear waste dump will be established at Muckaty Station, virtually in the middle of the Northern Territory. The legislation is likely to be considered by Caucus when it meets for this week’s session of Parliament." Bernard Keane

- Video

ABC Stateline Northern Territory with Melinda James:
Muckaty Station nuclear waste site
26 Feb 10: "Will a nuclear waste facility be built near Tennant Creek?"
[Includes transcript; and comments by Martin Ferguson, Dave Sweeney, Trish Crossin, Clare Martin, Scott Ludlum, Sammy Sambo, Kim Hill and Dave Tollner.]

- Radio

the 3rd degree: Ep.93 Muckaty (NT) announced as nuclear dump site
28 Feb 10: "The show begins with Dianne Stokes, a traditional owner of the land known as Muckaty Station. Dianne is a proud Warlmanpa woman who has been speaking against the federal governments plan to dump toxic, radioactive waste on her land without consultation or consent. ... "

CAAMA Radio Morning News
(Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association):
25 Feb 10: "A leadin Australian environmental group says the Rudd Labor government is pursuing the same divisive and secretive approach to nuclear waste storage as the Former Liberal Governemnt."

(Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association):
24 Feb 10: "Nuclear waste coming to the Northern Territory."

The Wire: NT set to be nuclear waste dumping site
23 Feb 10: "The Government announced today that Muckaty Station in the Northern Territory will still be considered as a dumping site for radioactive waste. Muckaty Station, near Tennant Creek, was nominated in 2007 as a dumping ground by the Northern Land Council on behalf of some traditional owners of the Ngapa clan. Since that time, many have disputed it’s nomination, including then Shadow Environment Minister- Peter Garrett. Featured in story: Greens Senator Scott Ludlum and Nat Wasley from Beyond Nuclear Initiative"

ABC PM: Nuclear waste dump likely for NT
23 Feb 10: "MARK COLVIN: The Federal Government has announced plans to repeal legislation which could force the Northern Territory to accept a national nuclear waste dump. But a dump is likely to be located there anyway. ... "
[Includes transcript; and comments by Martin Ferguson, Diane Stokes and Natalie Wasley.]

- News

SMH: Land owners out of mind, out of site
27 Feb 10: "Nuclear waste dump plans are dividing an Aboriginal clan, write Lindsay Murdoch and Tom Arup. DIANNE STOKES says the Rudd government's decision to push ahead with plans to dump nuclear waste on land north of Tennant Creek has caused trouble in her Warlmanpa tribe. "People have given away land that doesn't belong to them … now there is big trouble among us," she says."

Tennant & District Times:
New Bill gives powers for dump to proceed at Muckaty leaving traditional owners feeling BETRAYED
26 Feb 10: "Dianne Stokes, a Warumungu-Warlmanpa woman whose traditional lands are at the site, 120 kilometres north of Tennant Creek, said she was shattered by the news even though she expected the Federal Government would sell-out on her people."

National Indigenous Times:
Greens senator calls for nuclear dump site docs
26 Feb 10: "The federal government has been asked to hand over reports examining potential sites for a nuclear waste dump in the Northern Territory."

SBS World News Australia: NT nuclear waste dump slammed
24 Feb 10: "A federal Labor MP in the Northern Territory says he may challenge his party over a proposed nuclear waste dump, as environmentalists say the facility is illegal. Damian Hale won the Darwin-based seat of Solomon at the last election by just 196 votes. ... "

National Indigenous Times:
One step closer to nuke dump in the NT
24 Feb 10: "Australia's first national nuclear waste dump could be operational in the Northern Territory outback within the next few years, following what the federal government describes as two decades of indecision. While conservation groups have accused the Rudd government of selecting the NT as the likely location for the dump because of a convenient imbalance of power between the territory government and the commonwealth, federal Resources Minister Martin Ferguson says delays can no longer be afforded."

Northern Territory News: Muckaty 'preferred site' for nuke dump
24 Feb 10: "MUCKATY Station near Tennant Creek has been chosen as the preferred site for a national nuclear waste dump, the Federal Government admitted yesterday. Resources Minister Martin Ferguson confirmed what Territorians had long suspected, that the site, on Aboriginal land near Tennant Creek, was the only place being considered."

Koori Mail: NLC welcomes waste dump laws
[scroll down page] http://www.koorimail.com/index.php
24 Feb 10: "THE Northern Land Council has welcomed Federal Minister Martin Ferguson's announcement that the National Radioactive Waste Management Bill 2010 will be tabled in Parliament this week. The NLC also confirmed that the Ngapa nomination of land at Muckaty station would be preserved, and the existing site nomination deed honoured."

ABC Darwin: Nuclear waste likely to be dumped in NT
24 Feb 10: "Australia's first nuclear waste dump is likely to be sited in the Northern Territory. Resources and Energy Minister Martin Ferguson has revealed Muckaty Station, about 120 kilometres north of Tennant Creek, as the location the Federal Government will pursue for a national radioactive waste repository."

BigPond News: Nuclear waste dump should be 'scrapped'
23 Feb 10: "He [Australian Conservation Foundation campaigner Dave Sweeney] says about 60 traditional owners have signed a petition opposing the development of the dump at Muckaty, some of whom Mr Ferguson claims volunteered the land. Mr Sweeney said a small group of traditional owners were paid $200,000 to volunteer their land, but that the government had refused to make the agreement public due to 'commercial confidence and sensitivity'."

ABC: ACF argues against Muckaty nuclear dump
22 Feb 10: "Conservationists are trying to put pressure on the Federal Government to not name Muckaty Station near Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory as the site for a nuclear waste dump."

Northern Territory News: Muckaty firms as nuclear dump
21 Feb 10: "MUCKATY Station is this week expected to be named as the site for the controversial nuclear waste dump. The revelation follows a series of secret meetings Federal Resources Minister Martin Ferguson held with the Northern Land Council, and separately with NT Chief Minister Paul Henderson and Resources Minister Kon Vatskalis."

ABC Alice Springs: NT could get nuclear dump next week: ACF
19 Feb 10: "The Australian Conservation Foundation says it expects the Federal Government to announce as early as next week that a nuclear waste dump will be built in the Northern Territory. The Government has so far failed to deliver on its election promise to repeal legislation which has the power to force a waste dump on the Territory."

ABC Alice Springs: Hale to fight own party against nuclear dump
19 Feb 10: "As speculation mounts that a nuclear waste dump will be located in the Northern Territory, MP Damian Hale says he will "fight tooth and nail" to prevent it happening."

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WGAR: Working Group for Aboriginal Rights (Australia)