Joint Media Release – 4 April 2023
‘Total admiration and support’: UK campaigners express solidarity with Indigenous Australian group opposing Kimba nuclear waste dump
Four British anti-nuclear groups have written to an Aboriginal campaign group to express their ‘total admiration and support’ in solidarity with their struggle against a Federal Government plan to dump nuclear waste on their Traditional Land in South Australia. They have also strongly objected to the plan in a joint response to a government consultation.
The UK/Ireland Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA), Radiation Free Lakeland, Millom against the Nuclear Dump, and Guardians of the East Coast are all engaged in campaigns to oppose similar nuclear waste dumps in England. The NFLA comprises affiliated local authorities across the UK and Republic of Ireland who are opposed to nuclear power, whilst the members of Radiation Free Lakeland, Millom against the Nuclear Dump, and Guardians of the East Coast are local people fighting plans to dump Britain’s high-level deadly nuclear waste under the Irish or North Sea from onshore hubs in either Cumbria or Lincolnshire.
All four campaign groups could immediately see the comparisons between the treatment of the Barngarla people in South Australia and the local people they represent. Whether in the UK or Australia, citizens are angry at having their views ignored and marginalised by a powerful political and nuclear industry lobby seeking to impose unwanted deadly waste upon them in their locality, and fearful of the impact on their lives, those of the succeeding generations of their family, their community, and the local economy.
Whether in Cumbria, Lincolnshire or Kimba, local people are saying NO to a nuclear dump!
The British campaigners believe that there is no necessity for nuclear waste to be transported almost 1,000 miles from the Lucas Heights reactor site to Kimba, as the Federal Government’s own regulator, ARPANSA (the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency) has deemed the Lucas Heights site to have capacity and be suitable to store the waste for the foreseeable future. The plan also shamefully rides roughshod over the rights of the Indigenous Barngarla People who have acknowledged legal Native Title over these their Traditional Lands.
Councillor Lawrence O’Neill, Chair of the UK/Ireland NFLA, said: “In the past, Indigenous Australians have been the victims of British atomic weapons testing, and they continue to be the victims of uranium mining, carried out by profit-hungry corporations.
“Now again the Federal Government is unnecessarily and unjustifiable trying to impose its nuclear activities upon the Indigenous peoples of Australia. This is yet another example of the abhorrent racist practice called ‘nuclear colonialism’”.
Marianne Birkby, Founder of Radiation Free Lakeland, commented: “Plans for a dangerously polluting Kimba nuclear waste dump resonates very deeply with us here in Cumbria.
“The nuclear waste industry ‘heartland” on the Lake District Coast began by dispossessing farmers from their beautiful and fertile land. Not only farmland was immediately lost to the sprawling nuclear waste site but also the last stretch of the river Calder. Once abundant with salmon and freshwater pearl mussels the river was straightened, concreted, and turned into a gutter for contaminated run-off from the site.
“Nuclear waste continues to arrive every week in Cumbria and the latest plan for a heat generating nuclear waste dump under the Irish Sea is utterly unconscionable – as are the plans in Kimba”.
Jan Bridget, Co-Founder of Millom against the Nuclear Dump, added: “We see at Kimba that the nuclear establishment and politicians are using the same approach worldwide = not listening to local people. Solidarity from Millom against the Nuclear Dump – we wish the Barngarla good luck with their campaign”.
Ken Smith, Chair of Guardians of the East Coast, added: “The only reason governments are imposing these poisonous dumps on their people is to hide the problem they are continuing to create. Geological Disposal is simply sweeping the problem under the carpet”.
For more information, please contact Richard Outram, Secretary, UK/Ireland Nuclear Free Local Authorities by email, telephone +44 (0) 7583 097793
UK / Ireland Nuclear Free Local Authorities
Radiation Free Lakeland, Lakes Against Nuclear Dump Campaign