WGAR: Working Group for Aboriginal Rights (Australia) Nuclear issue

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

– – –

Subscription to ‘WGAR News’ is free.

‘WGAR News’ monitors the media, including alternative media,
focusing on the Australian Federal government intervention
into Northern Territory (NT) Aboriginal communities along
with other Aboriginal rights issues.

The e-newsletters include media releases, opinion pieces
and news items. Subscribers can expect to receive about 2
e-newsletters each week.

To subscribe, email wgar.news@gmail.com and include the
words “subscribe WGAR News” in the message header.

To unsubscribe, email wgar.news@gmail.com and include the
words “unsubscribe WGAR News” in the message header.

– – –

You can also subscribe to our second list ‘Contact WGAR’
which focuses on activities and events and provides a point
of contact.

To subscribe, email contactwgar@gmail.com and include the
words “subscribe WGAR Contact” in the message header.