Print

Kakadu National Park

ACF has long campaigned for an end to uranium mining in the unique Kakadu region. Kakadu is Australia’s largest National Park and is World Heritage listed for both its environmental and cultural importance.

ACF has long campaigned for an end to uranium mining in the unique Kakadu region. Kakadu is Australia’s largest National Park and is World Heritage listed for both its environmental and cultural importance.

In an important win, the Koongarra area in Kakadu was also placed on the World Heritage Register in June 2011. This was an important step in the continuing work by Jeffrey Lee, the area’s senior Traditional Owner, and others to see this area fully protected for all time inside the National Park. Koongarra is right beside the famous Nourlangie Rock art site, in the headwaters of Kakadu's magnificent wetlands and has been threatened by mining for decades. 

Despite this recent win and Kakadu’s significance, uranium mining has been occurring in the region since 1980 and continues to threaten the communities and country of Kakadu

Energy Resources of Australia (ERA, majority owned by Rio Tinto) operate the aging Ranger mine. This mine was imposed on the Mirarr Traditional Owners and continues to be a source of both heartache and headlines.

There have been over 200 publicly documented leaks, spills and incidents at the mine and 2011 was a particularly difficult year for ERA with a major drop in share value following Fukushima, the suspension of operations for around six months due to flooding, and contamination fears. The company was also forced to scrap plans to use a controversial acid based processing technique following strong opposition from the Mirarr community and environment groups.

ERA is continuing to push ahead with plans to move from open cut to underground mining and is planning to build a major mine tunnel to access uranium ore from beneath Kakadu’s wetlands. ACF’s nuclear-free campaign remains very active against continued operations at Ranger mine. 

The vision for Kakadu and the Mirarr Traditional Owners is a sustainable economic future that is free of uranium mining and the struggle to protect Australia’s special places from the lasting impacts of one of its most contaminating industries remains in the balance.