Activists say ‘Stop clowning with nuclear waste’

Photo: Peter Robson

A dozen protesters gathered outside the April 13 annual general meeting of Energy Resources of Australia (ERA) to call for the Ranger uranium mine to be closed because a dam containing radioactive mine tailings is close to overflowing.

Protesters dressed as clowns and set up a wading pool full of “nuclear waste” to highlight the risks of radioactive contamination that the “clowns” at ERA are ignoring.

They said it was apt that the meeting was held at Darwin’s Sky City Casino because ERA was gambling with nuclear safety.

The heavy wet season in the Northern Territory has forced ERA to close operations at the mine until July. ABC Online said that day that up to 70 contractors could lose their jobs. Social programs for Aboriginal people paid for by mining royalties were also at risk.

Justin O’Brien from the Gundjeihmi Aboriginal Corporation said: “This economic overindulgence that’s brought us to this point, this lack of planning for high wet seasons, lack of inclusion of climate change in the story, means that we will get less royalties.”