Press Release: Queenslanders will stand with SA in nuclear waste campaign

Friends of the Earth Brisbane
Qld Nuclear Free Alliance

For immediate release:
29/04/2015

 

 

Queenslanders will stand with SA in nuclear waste campaign

Friends of the Earth Brisbane applauds the federal government decision to drop 5 sites, including one in Queensland, from its list of sites nominated to house national nuclear waste.  We now call on the government to remove the final site, Barndioota station, in SA from consideration and to drop the flawed site selection process immediately.

After announcing a list of 6 proposed sites in November, 2015, the federal government will reportedly  announce that a site in South Australia is the only site short-listed to house a new national nuclear waste repository.  The proposed site in Queensland, at OmanAma, near Inglewoood on the Darling Downs, and 4 other nominates sites in NSW, SA and NT are reported to have been dropped from the list.

“Queenslanders can feel both a sigh of relief and a tinge of sadness from this announcement,” states Friends of the Earth Brisbane spokesperson, Robin Taubenfeld.  “The community at Inglewood showed determined opposition to the project, to which they were given a mere 120 days to respond.  It is wonderful that their voices have been heard.”

“However, this fight is not over. The process which made this project wrong for Queensland, makes it wrong for South Australia as well.”

“Offering land owners bonanza prices and communities a pay-out to receive the nation’s unwanted waste is not a rational, science-based approach to managing Australia’s radioactive waste.”

“An initially suggested injection of $10 million for communities receiving the waste is a pittance for the 400 year life span of the proposed facility and site – and irrelevant in the face of the risks associated with the transport and long-term storage of radioactive waste,” Ms. Taubenfeld states.

“We will stand with people in South Australia in saying no to this unacceptable proposal,” Ms. Taubenfeld adds.

“The federal government needs to go back to the drawing board and to thoroughly consider all long term options for low and intermediate radioactive waste management. That includes the option of ongoing waste storage at the Lucas Heights site, south of Sydney, which already houses the majority of waste in question.”

Friends of the Earth is concerned that hosting a national nuclear waste dump will open the door for vastly greater volumes of vastly more hazardous high-level nuclear waste from nuclear power reactors around the world.

For more information:

Friends of the Earth Brisbane/Qld Nuclear Free Alliance – Robin Taubenfeld 0411 118 737

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Waking up to radioactive waste… Time to say NO! to a National Nuclear Waste Dump!

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Waking up to radioactive waste… Time to say NO! to a National Nuclear Waste Dump!

On November 13, 2015, the people of Inglewood Queensland and five other communities around Australia woke up to find that their region had been selected as a potential site to house Australia’s national nuclear waste.

In a highly-flawed and undemocratic process, without any community consultation, a local land-owner had offered up their property as the site for a radioactive active waste management facility. They were offered 4x the commercial value for the purchased parcel of land, if selected. Can you imagine the community’s surprise and confusion upon hearing this news?

Between 1998 – 2014, communities in South Australia and then the Northern Territory waged long and successful battles to stop the federal government imposing nuclear waste in their regions. Now, in a desperate move to secure a remote or rural site rather than develop a long-term waste management plan, the federal government has put the prospect of housing the nation’s nuclear waste in the hands of a de-facto private tendering process – with a sweetener of up to 10 million dollars for the accepting community. From this, 6 potential sites have been chosen.

These are:

  • Sallys Flat – New South Wales, 2641 Hill End Road, Hill End
  • Hale – Northern Territory, Lot 1933 Old South Road, Hale
  • Cortlinye – South Australia, 2051 Buckleboo Hundred Line Road, Cortlinye
  • Pinkawillinie – South Australia, 762 Peella Road, Pinkawillinie
  • Barndioota – South Australia, 377 Wallerberdina Road, Barndioota
  • Oman Ama – Queensland, Cunningham Highway, Gore (Darling Downs)

The selected communities have been given 120 days to respond. The deadline is March 11.

Imagine if this were taking place in your community…

The communities near nominated sites want their communities to have the right to decide what happens in their region based on balanced information and notions of community well-being. They are calling for the government to remove their region’s nominations and to develop a plan for long-term, rational and democratic management of Australia’s nuclear waste.

These communities are also under considerable pressure from ongoing government meetings and offers of incentive money. They are on the front lines of what is truly a national issue, requiring a national response.

Now is the time to act on their behalf. Let your voice be heard! Make a submission to the Federal Government telling them to stop imposing radioactive waste on these communities – and to come up with a bone-fide long term management plan for Australia’s nuclear waste!

Write your letter today!  Go to the Submission page for sample letters and tips on writing a submission.

*The comment period closes AEST 5.00pm 11 March 2016.*

 

More information:

Find the federal government plan here: http://www.radioactivewaste.gov.au/

Facebook groups have been formed for each of the shortlisted sites:

Other Useful websites:

Stay in touch with the campaign:

 

How To: Make a Submission to Government About Nuclear Waste Dumps

Making Your Own Submission

Make a submission to the Federal Government re this proposal and please let your local state and federal MPs and councils know that you are concerned. If you are happy to share, please cc your submission to your local group. Feel free to use the letter to make your submission. Pick and choose the bits you like and personalise it by adding your own.

More information

Find the federal government plan here: http://www.radioactivewaste.gov.au/

Facebook groups have been formed for each of the shortlisted sites:

Other Useful websites:

Stay in touch with the campaign:

Media Conference: delegation brings opposition to radioactive waste plan to Canberra

Media Conference: Tuesday 11am Canberra
Six communities, one concern: delegation brings opposition to radioactive waste plan to Canberra.

Representatives of the six regional communities under consideration as possible sites for a national radioactive waste facility are in Canberra today to highlight their concerns and call for the sites to be removed from any further assessment or short-listing.

A media conference will be held at 11am on Tuesday March 1 in the Senate Courtyard. The group will also be available for interviews throughout the day.

In November 2015 Federal Resource Minister Josh Frydenberg named three sites in South Australia and one each in New South Wales, Queensland and the Northern Territory as potential locations for a facility where low level radioactive waste would be buried and long lived intermediate level waste stored above ground.

There has since been deep concern and active opposition to the waste plan at each of the sites.

Representatives are in Canberra to convey these concerns to a range of federal politicians ahead of the close of public comment on the plan on March 11. Resources Minister Frydenberg has indicated that while he is not personally available, two of his advisers will meet with the delegation.

“We come from very different parts of Australia, but we share a common concern”, said Sue Woolford, who lives near the two proposed Kimba sites in South Australia.

“We do not want to see this material moved into any of our regions where we live, work and raise our families. We are coming together as a community for our communities”.

Individual landholders volunteered the sites at Hill End (NSW), Hale (NT), Cortlinye, Pinkawillinie and Barndioota (SA) and Oman Ama (Qld), but consent was not sought – nor required – from Traditional Owners, neighbours or the local community.

Minister Frydenberg intends to narrow this list following the closure of the public comment period with a view to selecting a preferred site by the end of 2016.

“This process has been completely back to front. Picking sites first and then consulting with the affected communities makes no sense,” said Robyn Rayner from Hill End,NSW.

“The Government has repeatedly said that it will respect the wishes of local people. We are travelling to Canberra with one voice to make it clear that many people in our communities are concerned about and opposed to this plan. We are calling on the government to hear us as we are not going to give up”.
Media conference: 11am Tuesday March 1 in the Senate Courtyard.

For further comment or to arrange interviews contact:

Kimba (two sites): Sue Woolford, 0427 274 058
Hill End: Robyn Rayner, 0412 420 210
Oman Ama: Mark Russell, 0439 420 470
Hale: Loyola Jones, 0455 777 519
Flinders: Regina MacKenzie, 0432 483 440

Friends of Omanama Media Release

Friends of Omanama

Media release

29 February 2016

 

Six communities, one concern: Oman Ama delegates take radioactive waste dump opposition to Canberra

 

Representatives of the six regional communities being actively considered as possible sites for a national radioactive waste facility are taking their concerns to Canberra next week. They include Mark Russell and Annette Clement who have travelled from one of the proposed communities, Oman Ama near Inglewood in Southern Queensland.

 

In November 2015 Resource Minister Josh Frydenberg named this site in Queensland, plus three sites in South Australia and one each in New South Wales and the Northern Territory as potential locations for a facility where low level radioactive waste would be permanently stored and intermediate level waste would be temporarily stored. “The Government cannot tell us how long this temporary storage would last for, as they admit they have no permanent solution for disposing of this waste which has a much longer half-life and is more dangerous” said Mark Russell.

There has been deep concern and active opposition to the waste plan at each of the sites, including from Friends of Oman Ama, a group formed to oppose the site in Queensland.

Annette Clement and Mark Russell are travelling to Canberra from Queensland and tomorrow, Tuesday 1 March, will join their colleagues from the other sites to convey these concerns to a range of federal politicians. Resources Minister Frydenberg has indicated that while he is not personally available, two of his advisers will meet with the delegation, as will other politicians from a range of political parties.

“We come from very different parts of Australia, but we share a common concern”, said Mark Russell, a local grazier whose property is near the site.

“We do not want to see this material moved into our region. This is where we live, where we work and where we raise our families” said Inglewood mother of four, Annette Clement, whose bank manager has told her that the value of her small property is likely to decrease should the project go ahead.

The site at Oman Ama was volunteered by local landholders when they were offered four times the market price by the Federal Government as part of the initial steps in what local GP, Dr Colin Owen, describes as a flawed process. He said at a recent Friends of Oman Ama meeting “We are not anti-nuclear, we are not anti-nuclear waste, but we are anti this process which is dividing our community”. No discussions were held – nor required by the process – with neighbours of the property, nor was the local community advised these negotiations were taking place prior to the November announcement. Many local residents only learned of it through the media.

“We do not want a nuclear waste facility built in the midst of rich grazing and agricultural land, including organic farms” said free-range pig and sheep farmer Belinda Marriage, who suggests that a better boost to the local economy would be focussing on the produce grown in the area and on food tourism, adding “Taste it, don’t waste it”

“We do not support the community consultation process, which is dividing the community and adding to its stress levels” added Sue Campbell, whose family has farmed next door to the proposed site for generations, and who remembers going to Bennets Gully for picnics as a child. Sue is a Mental Health Nurse serving the wider Inglewood community and has noticed a decrease in mental well-being in the area since the site selection process was announced in November 2015.

“The Minister has consistently stated that the Government will respect the wishes of the community, but then arbitrarily confines this to a 50km boundary around the site, so disenfranchising many property owners who are likely to be affected” said Mark Russell as he prepared to depart for Canberra to ensure justice for the community he represents.

Minister Frydenberg intends to narrow this list to two or three sites, following the closure of the public comment period on 11 March, with a view to selecting a preferred site by the end of 2016.

 

 

 

ends

 

Media contact:          Wendy Moline         0439 493 582

 

Mark Russell is available for interview after 4 pm Monday 1 March,

please contact Wendy Moline to arrange this

57 Years since Maralinga: Australia’s uranium fuelling disaster since the 1950s

MaralingaDespite claims to the contrary, Aboriginal people did wander through radiated lands. They camped in fresh craters, to keep warm and to trap rabbits blinded by cobalt pellets. When discovered, they were compulsorily showered, their finger nails scrubbed with soap. The women suffered miscarriages. They were herded in trucks or pushed onto trains, expelled from a sacred site at Ooldea, a day’s walk from Maralinga airport. Alice Cox — at 87, the oldest survivor of the tests — remembers it well. “Soldiers everywhere. Guns. We all cry, cry, cryin’. Men, women and children, all afraid.” 
John Keane, “Maralinga’s afterlife” The Age May 11, 2003i

57 years ago today, uranium from the Northern Territory was used in the One Tree nuclear test at Maralinga in South Australia. The 12.9 kiloton bomb dropped on Maralinga-Tjaratja land was similar in size to the bomb dropped on Hiroshima.Fallout from Maralinga nuclear tests dispersed over most of Australia, reaching Townsville in the north and Lismore in the east. The people of the land and those exposed have never been compensated.

2 years ago, uranium from the Australia fuelled the ongoing nuclear disaster at Fukushima. As the crisis continues to unfold, evacuees face a life of displacement and uncertainty, while environmental impacts remain incalculable.

Despite the misery caused by our uranium, one year ago, Premier Newman reneging on a pre-election commitment, announced that he would allow uranium mining to go ahead in Queensland. 

Today, Maralinga serves as a reminder of the real risks posed by a uranium industry in this state. 

Uranium is a radioactive heavy metal, the mining of which exposes those involved and the environment to radiological hazards and contamination. Water used in mining is rendered radioactive for hundreds of thousands of years making it unusable for human consumption and toxic to plant and animal life. Uranium mines in Queensland could threaten significant waterways such as Settlement Creek and the Great Artesian Basin.

Australia’s uranium legacy already includes: nuclear weapons, nuclear meltdowns, water way contamination and radiation exposure of workers.

It is time to learn the lessons from the past. Leave Queensland uranium in the ground.

For more information:

Read the report “High Risk, Low Return” the case against uranium mining in Queensland” http://www.brisbane.foe.org.au/uploads/1/4/1/7/14174316/highcost-lowreturn-uinqld.pdf

Contact: Robin Taubenfeld Friends of the Earth Brisbane 0411 118 737

Friends of the Earth PACE collective needs YOU!

nononoHelp wanted!  
To help with:
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·         Contact Robin: 0411 118 737

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Public Meeting, March 21: Shock and Awe 10 years on

ipan meetingThe Independent and Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN) invites you to the following events. Just Peace is a founding member of IPAN  www.ipan.org.au
Key note speaker Donna Mulhearn has just returned from Iraq where she has done research and documentation of the war crimes committed in Iraq. The seige of Falluja is central to her research.
As Australian governments of both political parties eagerly accept the United States of America’s wish to use our country as a military base- we need to remember and remind others of the Iraq, Afghanistan experience where hundreds of thousands have died or are casualties through injury, contamination, birth defects and miscarriages. Are we prepared to follow them yet again to possibly wage war on the people of Iran or China?

7pm, Thursday March 21st, QLd Council of Unions building, 14 Peel St, South Brisbane

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/events/423449191082539

Other peace events in Australia this week:

***Sunday March 17***
No War. Iraq 10 years on (fundraiser for the Sydney Greens)
Location: Sydney, 107 Redfern Street, Redfern

***Monday March 18 (6 – 8.30pm)***
Iraq 10 years on (panel discussion)
Location: Sydney Mechanic’s School of Arts, 280 Pitt Street

***Tuesday March 19 (7pm)***
Following the US to War: Lessons from Iraq (featuring Paul Barratt, Dr Jenny Grounds, Ged Kearney, Prof Richard Tanter)
Location: Melbourne City Conference Centre, 333 Swanston Street

***Wednesday March 20 (5 – 6.30pm)***
Ten Years to the Day, what did the anti-war protests achieve?’ (featuring Prof Jake Lynch)
Location: Sydney University New Law Building
http://donnamulhearn.com/

***Thursday March 21 (7pm)***
Following the US to War, Lessons from Iraq, Building a dialogue for a Peaceful and Independent Australia (featuring Senator Andrew Bartlett, Donna Mulhearn & Peter Ardnt)
Location: Brisbane, QLD Council of Unions, 16 Peel Street, South Brisbane