No Dump at Muckaty! – Traditional Owners at Federal Court in Melbourne 2 June 2014

Kylie and Dianne

Traditional Owners Dianne Stokes and Kylie Sambo were in Melbourne today for the start of hearings of a challenge to the nomination of Muckaty Station as sit of a dump for nuclear waste. See Beyond Nuclear Initiative for background and continuing updates, including Kylie Sambo’s video blog from the court. A small number of supporters were on hand with a banner and placards:

Kylie Sambo with supporters

Supporters with banner - Don't Waste the Territory ...

Campainger with placard - Australia stands with Muckaty

Appropriately, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags were raised outside the Court while this was going on:

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags at full mast

(although there was no breeze to display them better).

See also this Facebook page for a public meeting to be held on Thursday 5 June to discuss the case and future directions for the campaign against the waste dump.

Protest as Martin Ferguson arrives at Growth Conference in Melbourne, 30 June 2011

Poster advertising the conference


The speakers list at a conference entitled ‘Growth Challenge – Riding the Resources Boom to Lasting Prosperity’ had been described as “A Who’s who that’s Screwing You” (callout on Melbourne Indymedia), but in the event it was only Energy and Resources Minister Martin Ferguson who attracted a concerted protest, courtesy of Friends of the Earth ACE collective, who brought Mr Nuke Death with them…

Large skeleton puppet with briefcase of money etc

But even with his ‘Martin Ferguson’ name tag he was refused admission:
Police bar entrance

The turnout for the protest would have to be described as disappointing – for some time there were more police than protesters, although numbers evened up with time. The accompanying video clips show the arrival of Greens Senator Christine Milne, and the hostile reception given to the Minister, as well as part of an address by Dr Jim Green of FoE, and some other snippets …(Jim and friends providing some lively music …)

A face in the crowd:

Protester wearing pig mask

Another face in the crowd:

Face made up with nuclear hazard sign around one eye

And a dog in the crowd:

Dog reaching up to owner

The following media release was issued by Friends of the Earth:

‘Dump Ferguson, not nuclear waste’

Anti-nuclear

30 JUNE 2011

MEDIA RELEASE

‘Economic and Social Outlook Conference 2011′
DUMP FERGUSON NOT NUCLEAR WASTE

Anti-nuclear activists from Friends of the Earth will join this morning’s protest outside the ‘Economic and Social Outlook Conference 2011′ at Melbourne University to voice concern against resources minister Martin Ferguson’s radioactive agenda.

FoE’s national nuclear campaigner Dr Jim Green said: “We hoped that the unfolding crisis at Fukushima would lead resources minister Martin Ferguson to reconsider his ill-informed pro-nuclear ideologies and plans. However his National Radioactive Waste Management Bill is scheduled to be debated in the Senate next week.

“The draft legislation is draconian, overriding all state laws and key Commonwealth laws. It facilitates the imposition of a nuclear waste dump on the land of Muckaty Traditional Owners despite ongoing opposition by many Traditional Owners and the NT Government. It beggars belief that Ferguson considers it appropriate to push ahead with his legislation while a Federal Court challenge against the nomination of the site, initiated by Traditional Owners, remains unresolved.

“Ferguson has consistently refused to meet Traditional Owners opposed to the nuclear dump plan. His behaviour has been disgraceful and he should be sacked.

“Ferguson should also be held to account for continuing to promote Australia’s uranium industry despite its role in the Fukushima disaster. The government and the uranium companies turned a blind eye to TEPCO’s pattern of safety breaches and data falsification and to its failure to properly address seismic and tsunami risks.

“Despite the hype, uranium accounts for a lousy 0.3% of Australia’s export revenue and an even lousier 0.03% of Australian jobs. The economic outlook for the industry has taken a nose-dive since Fukushima with Germany, Italy and Switzerland abandoning nuclear power in favour of renewables and many other countries rethinking plans to introduce or expand nuclear power.”

Friends of the Earth ACE website

“Jobs with Justice, not Work for Rations” – Anti-Intervention rally 4 March 2011


Melbourne’s Anti-Intervention Collective organised a protest under the banner “Jobs with Justice, not Work for Rations”. After speeches at the State Library there was a march down Swanston Street to Federation Square, where the stage was occupied for more speakers and the formal handing over of a petition for delivery to the CFMEU in the NT…
From MAIC:

From MAIC:

The Melbourne anti-Intervention Collective (MAIC) and its supporters will rally Friday at 5pm at the State Library in opposition to the government’s racist intervention into Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory.

MAIC spokesperson Liam Byrne said, “We will march today to support Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory who have been calling for an end to the Northern Territory Intervention for more than three years now. The Northern Territory Intervention is a racist project that has resulted in an apartheid system of discrimination and disadvantage becoming entrenched in the heart of Australia. Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory have seen no genuine improvements in standards of health care, housing or education and have had their rights stripped away. In particular, under the Community Development Employment Project (CDEP) scheme, some Aboriginal people work for as little as $4 per hour, and quarantining of welfare payments has resulted in even greater levels of poverty and hardship for communities.

Liam Byrne continued, “Since the Northern Territory Intervention began, the gap between the rights and living standards of Aboriginal people and non-Aboriginal Australians has widened. Julia Gillard’s recent attempt to blame Aboriginal people for this disparity is a disgrace and an example of just how low she is prepared to go to defend her government’s complicity in this racist attack on the rights of Aboriginal people. Gillards’s comments also opened the gates to the appalling racism of Mal Brough, who last week called for draconian detention camps to be built outside Alice Springs to incarcerate Aboriginal people.”

Friday’s rally will condemn Gillard’s racism and demand equal pay, jobs with justice and equal rights for Aboriginal people.

Signatures to a petition from the Construction Forestry and Mining Union, calling on the Labor government to pay Aboriginal workers award wages and back pay Aboriginal workers who have been exploited under the CDEP scheme, will be presented to union representatives.

Robbie Thorpe at the State Library

Robbie Thorpe at the State Library

Long-time Aboriginal activist Robbie Thorpe provided a ‘Welcome to Country’ on behalf of the Wurundjeri people, about whom he asked – Victoria was a heavily populated area, but where now are the Wurundjeri people? ‘As rare as hens’ teeth.’ He called on people to ‘grow up’. ‘Why don’t we the people write out own constitution … decide who governs us and how?’

MOJO representative speaking

MOJO speaker

An unscheduled speaker was a representative of MOJO, in Australia as a guest of the MUA ‘a union that believes in fighting for social justice and human rights’. He said amongst other things that Australia had once helped lead the way towards democracy – noting the Eureka stockade and votes for women -but cases like that of Mr Ward demonstrated that htis democracy was really only a sham. He was interrupted for a time by an angry heckler apparently objecting to his being allowed to speak, but was enthusiastically welcomed by the rest of the crowd. (Note – this speaker was originally incorrectly identified here as Gerry Conlon of the “Guildford Four”. Apologies for the misunderstanding.)

Tim Gooden at the State Library

Tim Gooden at the State Library

Tim Gooden from Geelong Trades Hall Council talked about the Basics Card. He had seen a sticker in the Safeways saying the card was accepted there, but doubted that anyone in Geelong would know what it was about. But he had been in the NT last year and could say that it only serves one purpose, that is, to control people. ‘It doesn’t help with health, it doesn’t help with wealth distribution … ‘ He cited the case of two young women down from the territory visiting in Geelong and finding that the Basics card wasn’t accepted anywhere, was useless. ‘This is in a country where most people think that we’re equal … that we have a safe and secure welfare system that looks after everyone’s basic rights … Aboriginal people in this country today, under Australian laws … are treated as second class citizens, and are treated like shit.’

Sue Pennicuik at the State Library

Sue Pennicuik at the State Library

Sue Pennicuik of the Greens – The greens have always opposed the Intervention and want to see the Racial Discrimination Act restored and an end to welfare quarantining. ‘These measures are unjust, they’re discriminatory, they’re offensive, and they don’t work.’

Liam Byrne at the State Library

Liam Byrne at the State Library

Liam Byrne of MAIC – amongst other things in a rousing speech before the march set off, highlighted the millions of dollars spent on housing in the territory without a single house being built, and the contrast between the huge amounts paid to bureaucrats and the $4 or so per day being paid to Indigenous workers….

Also at the rally:

CFMEU flag at the rally

CFMEU flag at the rally

The crowd listening to Gerry Conlon

The crowd listening to Gerry Conlon

… and on the march:

Musicians on the march

Musicians on the march

The march halted briefly at the intersection of Bourke and Swanston:

The march occupies the intersecttion for a sitdown

Sitdown at Bourke and Swanston

… where Jenna from the Tiwi Islands described her experiences with the Basics card in Melbourne – see also http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=alDnl_1I2OE

Jenna speaking at the sitdown

At Federation Square:

Crowd at Federation Square

Another view of crowd at Federation Square

Another view, from the stage

Madeline Hudson from Friends of the Earth talked about the planned imposition of a nuclear waste dump on the people of Muckaty, something she saw as paralleling the Intervention. ‘The National Radioactive Waste Management Bill overrides all fundamental tenets of our so-called democracy – the Aboriginal Heritage Act, the Environment Protection Biodiversity Act, and of course it overrides state and territory laws that oppose it … Like the Intervention it is blatantly racist.’ (Read more about the Muckaty waste dump on FoE’s ACE website

Madeline Hudson from FoE

Finally, Jasmine Ali from MAIC hands over to Jacob Grech a petition with thousands of signatures calling for justice for Aboriginal CDEP workers. He undertook to pass it on to the CFMEU Construction division in the NT for delivery to the Senate….

Handing over the petition

Delivering ‘No Dump’ petition to Martin Ferguson’s office – 18 November 2010

Dave Sweeney holds petition with other campaigners alongside trailer

Since the Australian Conservation Foundation launched its campaign against the proposed nuclear waste dump at Muckaty in the Northern Territory some 2700 signatures have been collected on the ‘Dump the Dump’ petition. (See also report on this site for 26 July 2010.) Today, Dave Sweeney, ACF nuclear free campaigner, went to Energy and Resources Minister Martin Ferguson’s office to deliver the petition, accompanied by anti-nuclear activists including members of Friends of the Earth ACE collective, who brought a trailer loaded with drums of ‘radioactive waste’ to highlight the message. (See also Nuclear Freeways.)

The office was locked down, as seems to be the way when concerned citizens want to make contact with their Member of Parliament, and it took the good offices of a police officer to get the door opened. Even then only two people were admitted, and the door hastily closed to prevent others from following. There was also an elderly gentleman who arrived on some business to find the door locked, but he was informed his was a matter for the State member and redirected accordingly. It was not clear what would have happened otherwise. After a short while the two re-emerged, along with the accompanying police office, in proud possession of a hand-written receipt for the petition ‘addressed to Martin Ferguson’. Various plain-clothes AFP and others arrived in the meantime, but this also seems to be the way where Minister Ferguson is concerned…

Dave Sweeney poses with petition

Dave Sweeney poses with petition

Elderly gentleman tries to get in

Elderly gentleman tries to get in

Policeman tries to get him allowed in

Police come to his aid

Elderly gentleman, Dave Sweeney and police officer waiting outside

Waiting

Going in, folowed by police officer

Two are allowed in...

Staffer blocks entry

But only two ...

Staffer reaches across to close door. Dave Sweeney holds up petition inside office.

And no more.

They re-emerge, Dave Sweeney holding receipt

Out again...

Closeup of receipt

The receipt

Dave Sweeney and children pose on trailor

Posing for a few closing pics...

Launch of Nuclear Freeways 2010 – 30 July, 2010

Dave Sweeney addressing the launch

Dave Sweeney, Nuclear Free campaigner with the Australian Conservation Foundation, was one of the speakers at the launch of Friends of the Earth Nuclear Freeways 2010. The site chosen was the Preston office of Energy and Resources Minister Martin Ferguson, currently driving plans for a nuclear waste dump at Muckaty in the Northern Territory against the wishes of Traditional Owners (see post for 26 July). Other speakers included Greens candidate for the seat of Batman Alex Bhathal, Sharon Firebrace, Socialist Alliance candidate for the Senate, and Dimity Hawkins, long term anti-nuclear campaigner and presently Campaign Director with ICANW. MC was Cat Beaton of Friends of the Earth ACE collective and ICANW. There was theatre involving the Uranium Busters and music including Kaso’s “Don’t waste our country” courtesy of a solar powered sound system housed in a 44-gallon drum – alongside a trailer loaded with similar drums marked with radiation warnings. And last but of course not least, Ziggy the nuclear white elephant and a small police presence, including a representative of the AFP…
The tour sets off tomorrow, Saturday, to trace one of the proposed routes that would be followed by trucks carrying waste from Lucas Heights in Sydney to the projected dump at Muckaty, on the way meeting councils, indigenous nations, community groups, and emergency services organisations with a view to raising awareness of the risks and dangers inseparable from transport of this kind.

The Nuclear Freeways campaign has a new website:

http://www.nuclearfreeways.org.au/

More photos from the launch:

Alex Bhathal speaking

Alex Bhathal

Sharon Firebrace speaking

Sharon Firebrace

Dimity Hawkins speaking

Dimity Hawkins

The campaign's main banner

Information board to be taken on the trip

Information board to be taken on the trip

"Uranium Busters"

'Uranium Busters'

Group photo at end of launch

At the end of the launch

Video is in preparation.

Video added 31 July:

Also now available on EngageMedia

Muckaty Traditional Owners visit Martin Ferguson’s office – 26 July 2010

Traditional owners and supporters with placards outside Martin Ferguson's ofice

A group of Traditional Owners from Muckaty are currently in Melbourne in connection with a court challenge to Government plans to build a nuclear waste dump on their land. This morning they attended the launch of a billboard in Northcote funded by supporters of the Australian Conservation Foundation, and this afternoon they followed this up by joining members of Friends of the Earth ACE collective and others outside the office of Federal Resources and Energy Minister Martin Ferguson. They wanted to deliver a letter for the Minister, but the office was locked…

Traditional Owners with letter outside the office

This weekend will see the start of the 2010 ‘Nuclear Freeways’ campaign, designed to highlight the implications of transporting radioactive waste from Sydney’s Lucas Heights reactor to the projected waste dump site in the Northern Territory – see http://www.nuclearfreeways.org.au/.

More banners at the protest

See also http://www.no-waste.org/

International Day Against Multinational Corporations – 22 July 2010

 Joanne Dateransi from Bougainville speaking at State Library

Joanne Dateransi from Bougainville was one of the speakers at a rally organised by LASNET at the State Library of Victoria as part of a worldwide day of protests against the ever-growing pernicious influence of multinational companies. She spoke chiefly about the history of mining giant Rio Tinto’s operations, and opposition to attempts by the company to resume mining. Other speakers included Jessica Harrison of GM Cropwatch, who focussed on Monsanto and especially the insidious spread of GM crops such as canola in Australia, Marisol Salinas of Friends of the Earth and LASNET, who presented anti-Coke campaigner Michael from Colombia, who as unable to attend in person, and Madeline Hudson from FoE’s Anti-Nuclear and Clean Energy (ACE) Campaign, who targetted the uranium mining programs of the world’s largest mining company, BHP Billiton. After the speeches at the State Library there was a move by some to the Melbourne headquarters of BHP Billiton, where passers-by were offered information leaflets from FoE, and some were able to watch attempts to clean up an accidental spill of lurid green ‘radioactive waste’.

Here is part of the callout from LASNET:

Rally: International Day Against Multinational Corporations

When: Thursday, 22nd July, 12midday – 1.30pm
Where: State Library, Melbourne

………………..

Corporations around the world act as a law unto their own. We see this
play out in our myriad struggles. Many people are continuing the fight
against the domination corporations exercise over peoples’ lives, and we
ask that you join us on this day to take a public stand against… the
devastation these amoral corporations are inflicting on us and other
oppressed peoples.

Multinational Corporations act only to benefit the privileged few at the
expense of the majority; to reinforce exploitation of poor people, smash
unionism and undermine workers rights, terrorism and murder union
activists, displace and assimilating Indigenous communities, and trash our
natural resources and environment.

The well-documented crimes of corporations such as BHP, Rio Tinto, Barrick
Gold, Coca-Cola, Fonterra, Chiquita Brand, Monsanto, Drummond, Nestle, and
BP is hardly complete; nevertheless, will be a focus of LASNET in
illustrating the multitude of corporate crimes occurring globally, as the
Solidarity delegation visiting Colombia at the moment will do next
Thursday 22 with Colombian workers in Colombia, check a video about them
in our web on http://www.latinlasnet.org/node/371.

We acknowledge, and support, the proliferation of local struggles for
workers rights/community power, autonomy and self-management, for freedom
from corporate domination and devastation. We see this event as one of
many actions we will be undertaking, and we are currently in the process
of organising a ‘Latin American, Australian & Asia Pacific Solidarity
Gathering’ to occur on October 15-17, 2010 in Melbourne. We invite you to
both attend this rally on July 22 and further to assist us in the
organising of our October Gathering.

Facebook event here

If you love life, don’t drink Coca-Cola products!

Other links:

http://www.geneethics.org/
http://www.madge.org.au/
http://www.non-gm-farmers.com/

http://www.acecollective.org/

More photos:

Jessica Harrison speaking

Jessica Harrison

Madeline Hudson speaking

Madeline Hudson

'Skeleton' with umbrella in conversation with police officer at State Library

Untitled

At BHP Billiton headquarters:

Anti-nuclear banner outside building

At BHP Billiton head office

'Skeleton' again, still with umbrella

Untitled 2

Protester dressed as drum of nuclear waste

Nuclear waste is an accident waiting to happen...

The scene after the 'spill'

The accident happened ...

Video in preparation.

>>>>>>>>>>>>

23 July – video now available on EngageMedia:

Part 1

Part 2