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Traditional Owners are continuing to keep the pressure on the federal Resources Minister Martin Ferguson's plan for a national radioactive waste dump on Aboriginal land.
They aim to prevent the proposed dump at Muckaty (north of Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory) from going ahead by halting the plan in the federal court with legal action.
The case continues with a detailed trial expected in the first half of 2013.
This week Traditional Owners, including Penny Phillips, made the long trip from Central Australia to Melbourne to attend a hearing and meet with supporters from environment and development groups and trade unions.
The TOs are deeply concerned about the negative environmental impacts of the proposed dump plan and remain frustrated that their views continue to be ignored by government decision makers. "The whole lot of us are against it," said Penny Phillips to the media gathered outside the Melbourne Supreme Court.
An independent public inquiry is needed to help rebuild community confidence and to advance the responsible management of Australia's long lived radioactive waste
Australia's peak trade union body has also toughened its stand against the dump. A recent ACTU Congress resolution stands in solidarity with Traditional Owners and communities resisting federal government plans for a radioactive waste dump. The resolution also supports trade unions refusing to cooperate with implementation of the policy.
Recent train derailments in the Muckaty region have reignited concerns over the proposed transport of large volumes of radioactive waste through the region.
An independent and comprehensive public inquiry is needed to help rebuild community confidence – and procedural and scientific rigour – and to advance the responsible management of Australia's long lived radioactive waste.
ACF is continuing to actively support Muckaty TOs opposed to the dump plan and calls the federal government to move away from its search for a vulnerable postcode and instead adopt a proper assessment process. Australian Conservation Foundation Nuclear free campaigner Dave Sweeney says that the location was chosen because it is far from voters and cameras.