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Government Federal, Indigenous

Dutton to ‘force poisons’ onto the lands of Traditional Owners, can’t be trusted with nuclear

QCC 2 mins read

20 June 2024

Queensland Conservation Council strongly opposes the introduction of nuclear power into Australia, and calls on opposition Leader Peter Dutton to abandon his dangerous proposal to site nuclear power on the country of First Nations people.

Australia has a shameful history of forcing nuclear harm on First Nations, with the explosion of nuclear bombs for the British Government at Maralinga on the lands of the Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara peoples, at Emu Field on the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara lands, and Monte Bello Islands off the WA Coast, and the forced imposition of mining of uranium on the lands of the Mirarr People in Kakadu, and elsewhere.

High level nuclear waste remains radioactive for hundreds of thousands of years. Currently, there are no long duration storage facilities for nuclear waste anywhere in the world, and most nuclear waste is kept in temporary storage near to the nuclear power stations that generate it. This waste will be stored in a temporary and unsafe manner, in storage devices that themselves will become radioactive.

Paul Spearim, Protect Country Strategist, Queensland Conservation Council said:

“White Australia has a short-sighted approach to country. You are still trying to clean up the mess of Maralinga, Emu Field, Ranger Uranium Mine, and the many closed mines that still scar the landscape across Australia, and leak radioactive tailings.

“You have forced poison onto the lands of traditional owners, and now Peter Dutton is proposing to create poisons that would last 100,000s of years.

“We have learnt that white Australia cannot be trusted with nuclear power, and you continue to act without care for our sacred country. We will fight these poisons, they are not welcome, and we will fight against proposals to force them upon us.”

Aunty Jannine Smith, Boujiebara/Dungibara Elder said:

“I live on Country in Kumbia (20 minutes from Tarong) which has no potable water supply. This project would cause a massive burden on an already struggling catchment and for what?

“Renewables are cheaper and more sustainable. I protested FOR land rights and AGAINST nuclear power in the 70s and my position has not changed.”

Traditional Owner Peta May said:

“In my experience Tarong already has very little respect for the rights of Traditional Owners to access Culturally Significant sites. There are Boujiebara Axe-grinding grooves within the boundary of Tarong my family have been repeatedly denied access to.

“An expansion or redevelopment to nuclear would only extend Tarong's lease on this land, denying access for another century or more.”

Queensland Conservation Council is actively consulting with Traditional Owners on this matter.

Media contact: Ellie McLachlan, 0407 753 830
Available for interview: Paul Spearim, Protect Country Strategist, QCC: 0416 069 788 ENDS


Contact details:

Media contact: Ellie McLachlan, 0407 753 830 - ellie.mclachlan@qldconservation.org.au 

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