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Muckaty radioactive dump

In June, after 20 years of community resistance, the federal government scrapped plans for a radioactive waste dump on Aboriginal land at Muckaty.

It's time for a new approach to radioactive waste management

In June, after 20 years of community resistance, the federal government scrapped plans for a radioactive waste dump on Aboriginal land at Muckaty.

In the past 20 years Muckaty is the sixth community targeted with promises and pressure by federal governments. And the sixth community to fight. They all said no, and we stood beside them.

The Federal Government's decision to end the plan for a national radioactive waste dump at Muckaty, north of Tennant Creek in the NT, is a win for Traditional Owners, the environment and responsible radioactive waste management in Australia.

This result is a tribute to the tenacity and courage of the many Traditional Owners who have been tireless in their defence of country and culture for more than seven years.

What we need instead is a national inquiry into the best way to ensure the long term, responsible management of Australia's radioactive waste.
Traditional Owners opposed the Muckaty waste dump

Despite Traditional Owners contesting the validity of a waste site at Muckaty through the Federal Court, the federal government tried to neglect 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.

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 

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