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26/2/10 for immediate release
‘Stop dumping on Aboriginal Rights’, say anti-Intervention campaigners
The Intervention Rollback Action Group in Alice Springs today said
that the imposition of a nuclear dump on NT Aboriginal Land is yet
another clear breach of ALP election commitments and demonstrates
contempt for Aboriginal rights.
IRAG says that Intervention policies, which only resource communities
deemed ‘viable’ by government, are exacerbating pressure on Aboriginal
people to give up their land for destructive projects like the nuclear
“Federal Labor’s new National Radioactive Waste Management Act is
almost identical to Howard’s racist dump laws. It continues to
override the NT Land Rights Act and Aboriginal Heritage protections.
Any site selection will extinguish Native Title”, said Paddy Gibson
from the Intervention Rollback Action Group.
“This continues the Rudd government’s shocking record of broken
promises to Aboriginal people. With the Intervention, Minister Jenny
Macklin promised to reinstate the Racial Discrimination Act (RDA). But
her legislation before the Senate gives no room to challenge core
Intervention powers using the RDA”.
“This new legislation has a heavy emphasis on procedures for NT Land
Councils to nominate dump sites. It’s clear that if the nomination for
Muckaty station is defeated, the government will move on to target
other increasingly desperate communities in the NT,” concluded Mr Gibson
“Our people in remote areas are being starved of resources through the
Intervention and the NT government’s ‘hub towns’ policy. They are
coming in as refugees to Alice Springs. The Intervention housing
program (SIHIP) will build no new houses for most communities and
won’t even upgrade existing housing to public housing standards. Now
Labor is continuing Howard’s policy– saying communities can get access
to $12 million for basic infrastructure like housing and roads, only
if they accept a nuclear waste dump”, said Barbara Shaw from the
Intervention Rollback Action Group.
“Labor’s platform is clear in its support for Land Rights. But with
the Intervention and now this dump they just override the Land Rights
Act, take over and devastate our communities and our country. No other
group of people in Australia would be treated this way. The Ministers
sitting in Canberra are not the ones who are going to be poisoned by
this. Their kids are not the ones who are going to get cancer. They
have no idea how we still live off our land,” continued Ms Shaw.
“Article 29 of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples,
which Labor says they support, clearly prohibits the imposition of
toxic waste onto Indigenous land without consent. I know my family and
many others from that country are fighting hard against this. We as
Aboriginal people intend to enforce our rights.”
“I ask our Health Minister and local member Warren Snowden – how is
putting poison into Aboriginal Land going to Close the Gap? We are
joining a protest at Minister Snowden’s office today at 12pm organised
in support of the Warlmanpa and Warumungu people targeted by this
dump. We will continue to fight for housing, jobs and land rights not
nuclear dump sites!” concluded Barbara Shaw.
For more information contact:
Barbara Shaw 0401 291 166
Paddy Gibson 0415800586