Coal seam gas, property? No! No!No! Radioactive waste, Aboriginal Country? Who cares?

Coal seam gas, mainstream property? No! No!No! Radioactive waste, Aboriginal Country? Who cares? Do you?

As someone who has been reasonably ‘active’ over a couple of decades in the Northern Suburbs of Wollongong, I know how hard it is to get even a small number of people to support a good cause.

I was completely gob-smacked when some three thousand people turned up at Austinmer beach for a photo shoot for the stop coal seam gas campaign (being run by others).

Thousands of people – many of them middle class from what i could tell – suddenly felt moved to take some form of action in relation to an issue.

The same people, as far as i can tell, take next to no active interest in the far more important issue of using Aboriginal land at Muckaty (NT) as a radioactive waste facility, despite the clear opposition of some Warlmanpa people who live there to the Australian government’s plans.

I thought of this when i was watching a Youtube video of Warlmanpa people marching against this awful plan.

My eye was caught by my old friend Aunty Bunny Nabarula in the marchers – in her eighties, desperately short of resources, she has been at the forefront of opposition to the powerful Northern Land Council and the Commonwealth of Australia.

The thing about it was that Aunty Bunny was marching with the aid of a walking frame!

See if you can pick her in this short video clip

That sets a good benchmark for all those whose aspire to be active.

I don’t think the difference between the degree of support for the Coal Seam Gas campaign and the degree of support for the campaign against radioactive waste is due to racism. That would be a lazy analysis.

Rather, it seems all those who can connect with the threat posed by coal seam gas find it difficult to connect with the threat of radioactive waste on First Peoples living countries.


Well, there is a very simple solution to overcome this condition. You just have to make a decision to commit and then take a small action as a first step – give part of your energy to the struggle by way of a small cash donation.

With the Warlmanpa peoples Federal Court case now underway, they really need some financial support to keep going. Some Warlmanpa people are in Melbourne this week, then they need funds for when the Federal Court sits in Tennant Creek (next week) and Darwin the week after and then back to Melbourne.

Participating in this case requires resources for airfares, vehicle fuel, accommodation, food, Kimbies for kids, and much more. Indigenous people in the NT have been placed on ration cards by the government – even loose change cash is very hard to come by.

If Aunty Bunny at 80 can find the energy and motivation to march you can find the energy and motivation to send $20 or whatever to the Muckaty radioactive dump campaign.

It is so easy to do via this link.


yours in the struggle

Bruce Reyburn