Muckaty radioactive dump

A radioactive waste dump has been approved for Muckaty in the Northern Territory. The Muckaty community are contesting the bill, we support them and you can help too.

After years of resistance from the Muckaty community and environmental groups the National Radioactive Waste Management Bill 2010 was passed through the senate on 13 March, 2012. 

Traditonal Owners maintain that both the Northern Land Council and the Commonwealth failed to accurately identify, consult with and receive their consent and are seeking to reverse the decision.  

Traditional Owners oppose Muckaty waste dump

Despite Traditional Owners contesting the validity of a waste site at Muckaty through the Federal Court, the federal government is committed neglecting international best practice by burdening a disadvantaged community and a delicate environment with hazardous toxic waste.

Responsible radioactive waste management needs an approach based on:

  • Non-imposition;
  • Community consent; and
  • Scientific and procedural rigour.

None of the approaches were observed during the opaque transition of this proposal into law. The fight to stop a dump at Muckaty, or on any remote and marginalised community, is an important test of our national maturity. It is neither proper nor acceptable for Australia’s radioactive waste to be dumped without consent on the lands of Australia’s first peoples.

Australia is supposed to be the land of the fair go. When are we going to have fair go? I’ve been stolen from my mother, now they are stealing my land off me — Lorna Fejo, Traditional Owner 

Muckaty: today, tomorrow and beyond

In late 2010 National Radioactive Waste Management laws used to advance the Muckaty waste dump were referred to a House of Representatives Inquiry. This inquiry allowed no public input and accepted only closed door evidence from the project proponents. The proposed laws:

  • Removes appeal rights and procedural fairness from the Muckaty community;
  • Suspends key Indigenous and environmental protections; and
  • Overrides all commonwealth, state and territory laws that might delay or affect the planned waste dump.

We support Muckaty residents calling for the repeal of all Northern Territory sites under assessment for a national nuclear dump. We would like to see an independent inquiry into radioactive waste management in Australia and responsible long-term management options.

We are doing all we can to support Muckaty Traditional Owners and the Muckaty community in not letting this dump go ahead and we continue to push for a responsible, informed and long-term approach to radioactive waste management in Australia.

In May 2012 the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) Congress adopted a motion expressing ‘disappointment that the highly contested Muckaty Land Trust site will continue to be pursued under the National Radioactive Waste Management Act.’ The Congress motion also noted that the ACTU stands in solidarity with Traditional Owners resisting the federal government plans at Muckaty and calls for ‘an independent and comprehensive public commission into all aspects radioactive waste transport, storage and management in Australia.

Your support has paid dividends, but it's not over

  • You funded the design and display of a Dump the Dump billboard in an influential location in Northcote, Victoria;
  • You funded the design and placement of ads in Melbourne newspapers;
  • You funded the cost of bringing Traditional Owners to Melbourne to voice their concerns;
  • You helped delay the reintroduction of this flawed, heavy handed legislation;
  • You gathered the signatures of Australians petitioning against the radioactive waste dump at Muckaty; and
  • You showed Traditional Owners and the wider NT community that they are not alone in this struggle.

The Muckaty community will have to live with the consequences of a nuclear waste dump in their backyard if we do not succeed in having this decision repealled

We continue to push for a responsible, informed and long term approach to radioactive waste management in Australia. 

How you can support action to dump the dump