Muckaty case – Maurice Blackburn media release 22 June

Maurice Blackburn Lawyers
Press Releases and Announcements – 22 June 2012

Federal Court hearing – Muckaty nuclear waste dump legal challenge

Lawyers acting for Traditional Owners opposed to a planned national radioactive waste dump on Aboriginal land at Muckaty Station in the Northern Territory will return to the Federal Court on Monday 25 June, 2012, for a directions hearing.

Maurice Blackburn social justice practice lawyer Elizabeth O’Shea said Traditional Owners would be pressing for a trial date to be fixed including taking evidence on country in the Northern Territory.

Four Traditional Owners will travel from Tennant Creek to Melbourne for the hearing and will be available for interview at a media conference afterwards.

Legal proceedings against the Federal Government and the Northern Land Council began in June 2010 and a mediation held in early 2011 failed to reach agreement over the land.

Union and community involvement

Key Aboriginal organisations and environmental groups like the Australian Conservation Foundation and the Beyond Nuclear Initiative have been involved in the campaign against the Muckaty nuclear waste dump for several years. Now some of Australia’s most powerful unions have also pledged support. 

The Maritime Union of Australia will attend the media event after the hearing and traditional owners will brief MUA members at a monthly meeting in Melbourne on Tuesday. 

In mid-May, ACTU Congress passed a resolution in May expressing “disappointment that the highly contested Muckaty site will continue to be pursued under the National Radioactive Waste Management Act” and affirming that the ACTU “Stands in solidarity with Traditional Owners and communities resisting Federal government plans for a radioactive waste dump and commits to supporting trade unions refusing to cooperate with implementation of the policy”. 


Where:  Federal Court, William St, Melbourne 10.15 am Monday 25 June, 2012 Level 8, courtroom 8A.

Media doorstop

Flagstaff Gardens, 1.15pm (including a strong visual image of giant inflatable drum depicting a barrel of nuclear waste)

Interviews – Traditional Owners Penny Phillips, Jeannie Sambo, Kylie Sambo and Delvine Spiteri will be available for interview.  Ms Sambo is an award-winning hip-hop artist.

(ABC Heywire 2010)

MUA Victorian Secretary Kevin Bracken will also be available for interview.

Maurice Blackburn is conducting this matter on a pro bono basis through its social justice practice.

Previous media statements

New Federal laws on nuclear waste have no impact on Muckaty legal challenge, 13 March 2012–announcements/2012/federal-court-hearing—muckaty-nuclear-waste-dump-legal-challenge.aspx