Its time to Call Out Canavan on nuclear waste!
We are encouraging people to contact the Federal Resources Minister Matt Canavan in the week leading up to the one year anniversary of the nomination at Wallerberdina to oppose the dumping of Australia's radioactive waste on the Adnyamathanha people and support the local communities in opposition to a national radioactive waste dump in the Flinders Ranges.
South Australia is at risk of being turned into the nation's nuclear waste dump.
The Turnbull Government is advancing plans to build a national nuclear waste dump in South Australia's Flinders Ranges. The shortlisting in April 2016 resulted in one site at Wallerbidina in the Flinders Ranges to be pursued for further investigation. This means the area is at extreme risk of being chosen to dump Australia's nuclear waste.
We need your support to protect this region from nuclear waste.
The Wallerbidina site is of great cultural, historical and spiritual significance to Adnyamathanha Traditional Owners, who are calling this decision a desecration of their culture. Regina McKenzie, who lives at Yappala Station near the dump site, says: "The area is Adnyamathanha land. It is Arngurla Yarta (spiritual land). The proposed dump site has countless thousands of Aboriginal artifacts. Our ancestors are buried there. The nominated site is a significant women’s site. Throughout the area are registered cultural heritage sites and places of huge importance to our people."
Friends of the Earth has been working closely with Adnyamathanha Traditional Owners and many concerned South Australians who are opposed to the proposed dump.
Regina McKenzie and her family are asking for support.
One way you can support the community is by contacting Minister Canavan between April 24th and April 28th and express concern about the national dump plans. In the lead up to the final decision, your voice can be a powerful support to the Adnyamathanha people and will be appreciated for generations to come.
So this April - Send a message to the Minister
To contact Minister Canavan:
Call his Rockhampton office - (07) 4927 2003
Send an email - email@example.com
Write a letter - Office of Senator Matt Canavan, PO Box 737, Rockhampton QLD 4700
Some points to mention in your letter/email to Minister Canavan:
Impact on Aboriginal Traditional Owners
Adnyamathanha Traditional Owners living at Yappala Station are opposed to the development of the proposed nuclear waste dump at Wallerbidina Station, and view this proposal as an attack on their cultural beliefs, history and heritage.
The Yappala Indigenous Protected Area (IPA) neighbours the proposed site. The site also contains the first registered aboriginal story/song line in Australia and a sacred women's site. This area is rich in traditional foods and medicines used by the local Adnyamathnaha community to feed their families and pass on their culture and traditions.
There is an extraordinarily high density of unique archaeological sites which offer a wealth of knowledge to further archaeological studies. This area is part of an ancient trading route and contains thousands of aboriginal artifacts and burial sites.
This site is environmentally unsuitable
The proposed site is in a geologically unstable area, which experiences frequent earthquakes and tremors.
The site is in an area prone to destructive seasonal flooding. The most recent of these floods caused significant environmental damage due to the ferocity of the water. Trees were uprooted and homes destroyed.
The nomination of this site puts local economies at risk
Tourism in the Flinders Ranges region provides the local community with over $100 million annually, any loss of earnings from a negative association with a nuclear waste dump could be devastating for the local economy. Investment in sustainable tourism initiatives could provide the community with long term employment opportunities, without poisoning the landscape. For any job created by a waste dump, many more will be lost.
The pastoralists and farming communities in the area are opposed and fear they will suffer. Farmers in the area pride themselves on a clean and green reputation that could be destroyed if a nuclear waste dump is built in the area.
This Federal Government can do better
The storage of radioactive waste remains illegal under the South Australian Radioactive Waste Transport and Storage (Prohibition) Act (2000)
The Federal Government's consultation process is fundamentally flawed. Traditional Owners were made aware of the nomination by a media announcement. This complete disregard of the importance of community consultation is completely contradictory to the Federal Government’s commitment to a more open and transparent site selection process.
To find a practical and just solution to the management of Australia's radioactive waste, there is a need for a public inquiry to explore all our options for the management of radioactive waste. Such an approach would provide enhanced community and procedural confidence and rigor and ensure greater stakeholder engagement.