“You cannot talk about Voice, respect and recognition and cut Aboriginal people out of decision-making and impose radioactive waste on their country.”
These were the words of Dave Sweeney from the Australian Conservation Foundation to a crowd supporting Barngarla traditional land owners outside the Federal Circuit Court in Adelaide on 6 March. “Federal Labor should do better than this.”
Barngarla elder Uncle Harry Dare explained how his people were self-funding a court case to stop a planned nuclear waste dump on their lands at Kimba.
The federal Labor government is wasting an estimated $4 million to fight them in court to continue the Liberal policy of establishing the dump, with more expenses likely if it goes to appeal.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and SA Premier Peter Malinauskas have been talking up the nuclear industry as a source of jobs in connection with the new AUKUS military pact and its nuclear submarines.
The Kimba dump plan is part of the push to expand and legitimise this toxic industry.
But it isn’t even a solution to safe storage of nuclear waste, which can be deadly for tens of thousands of years.
It’s just a temporary location, in a shed, for waste currently stored at Lucas Heights in Sydney, while plans are made for longer term storage.
By Robert Stainsby