Mirarr safety fears remain despite Ranger visit

Traditional owners in Kakadu National Park still fear for the health of their country after a technical team visited the Ranger Uranium Mine today, following a series of pollution spills and safety breaches.

The Mirarr Traditional Owners – who do not feel safe to enter the mine area following Saturday’s tank collapse – requested a technical officer from the Gundjeihmi Aboriginal Corporation (GAC) visit the site on their behalf this morning.

GAC acting Chief Executive Officer David Vadiveloo said: “ERA is telling the public that the area is safe but our officer reports that they are still conducting radiation testing in the area and there is still toxic slurry lying exposed, outside the containment area.”

“The Mirarr are worried sick about the safety of people, the land and the future of this World Heritage listed park – meanwhile ERA is worrying about getting roads cleared and getting this aging and incident-riddled mine-site, back to processing without an independent assessment being done,” Mr Vadiveloo said.

“There has been no independent testing, so we are all left relying on the mining company’s testing to confirm the area is safe. We want a presence on the taskforce and an independent audit of plant and facility,” said Mr Vadiveloo.

A taskforce involving government regulators has been appointed but GAC was not invited to participate.

The GAC has written to the Federal Minister for Industry, Ian MacFarlane welcoming the current halt to processing at Ranger and requesting a seat on the taskforce.

Mirarr Senior Traditional Owner Yvonne Margarula will make a statement in coming days.

For more information or comment David Vadiveloo: 0418 355 441 or 08 8979 2200

Gudjeihmi Aboriginal Corporation’s website is http://www.mirarr.net/

Environment Centre NT’s website is www.ecnt.org

This is a recent article on the clean up http://www.ntnews.com.au/news/northern-territory/ranger-clean-up-ignores-traditional-owners/story-fnk0b1zt-1226781889175

GAC Media Release Tank explosion.pdf

GAC Ranger spill site visit response.pdf

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