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Victory! Australian Government withdraws nuke dump threat to Barngarla


Joint Media Release 14 August 2023

Victory! Australian Government withdraws nuke dump threat to Barngarla

UK campaign groups opposed to nuclear waste dumps are joining Australian campaigners in celebrating the news that the Federal Government has withdrawn its outrageous plan to impose a nuclear waste dump on the Barngarla Aboriginal people of South Australia.

On 18 July, Her Honour Justice Charlesworth in the Federal Court of Australia quashed Government plans to move nuclear waste from the reactor at Lucas Heights to a site at Napandee near Kimba, South Australia.

The plan, decided after a local ballot in which Indigenous people were excluded from voting, would have imposed a nuclear waste dump on the traditional lands of the Barngarla Indigenous people, land to which the Barngarla have established legal Native Title.

In March, the UK/Ireland Nuclear Free Local Authorities was joined by Radiation Free Lakeland, Millom against the Nuclear Dump / South Copeland against GDF, and Guardians of the East Coast, all local groups fighting plans to locate a similar nuclear waste dump in either West Cumbria or East Lincolnshire in writing to the Australian Government with their objections.

Following the recent judgement of the High Court, the four organisations wrote again in July to the Prime Minister of Australia Anthony Albanese asking him to ‘take the honourable and courageous course of action’, withdraw the plan and ‘leave the Barngarla in peace’.

Last week on 9 August – fittingly the United Nations Day for the Rights of the World’s Indigenous People – Federal Government Resource Minister Madeleine King told the Canberra parliament that the government would accept the ruling and would now seek another location for the dump.

The Minister said that she was ‘deeply sorry for the uncertainty the process has created for the Kimba community’ and she acknowledged ‘the profound distress this project has caused the Barngarla people’.

For their part, the British groups have sent congratulations to their Australian counterparts on their great victory.

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For more information about this media release, please contact Richard Outram, NFLA Secretary by email to richard.outram@manchester.gov.uk or mobile on 07583097793.

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