BY BRONWEN BEECHEY
ADELAIDE — Arabunna elder and anti-uranium activist Kevin Buzzacott pleaded guilty to a charge of "failing to cease to loiter" arising from a December protest, in the Magistrate's Court here on March 29.
Buzzacott was arrested outside Government House 21 days after setting up camp there and lighting a ceremonial fire for peace on December 16. The camp protested Western Mining Corporation's (WMC) activities on Arabunna land near Lake Eyre and the refusal of the state governor to meet with representatives of the Arabunna people.
Buzzacott was fined $124 in court costs, but no conviction was recorded and bail conditions which prohibited him from camping within the Adelaide City Council area were lifted. Buzzacott explained that his guilty plea was to allow him to concentrate on his "real enemy", WMC.
The Keepers of Lake Eyre have re-established their camp at Lake Eyre, which was destroyed by police and WMC personnel last year. The camp was officially re-opened on March 27 and a ceremonial fire lit.
Representatives from WMC attended the opening at the invitation of KOLE and were questioned by the participants. Also attending were representatives of the Adnyamathanha people, who oppose the mining of their land for uranium at Beverley.
According to Buzzacott, the site of the camp has been secured by Western Mining, with bores and water pumps sealed and extra fencing installed. Buildings and equipment from the former camp site was removed or destroyed.
WMC personnel are watching the camp but have not attempted to remove it. A WMC representative has visited the camp and asked how many Aboriginal people are there, indicating that WMC will not attempt to destroy the camp while Aboriginal people are there.