Camel trek fights nuclear dump

Issue 

Camel trek fights nuclear dump

By Alistair Spong and Mel Bull

In mid-July, nine women — Humps not Dumps — will start a 1000-kilometre camel trek through the South Australian desert in order to raise awareness about the national radioactive waste dump at Billa Kalina proposed by the federal government. Projected as a low grade dump, the site could be upgraded to store higher level waste.

The dump puts the local community at risk through the contamination of ground water. All communities on the transport routes for the nuclear waste face the hazard of accidental exposure to radiation.

The trek will highlight the ecological significance of the area, the dangers of the nuclear industry and alternatives to nuclear energy. "Society, rightly so, is afraid of considering the consequences of radioactive waste. I hope to help motivate people to dispel the 'she'll be right' attitude and inspire a feeling of responsibility", said Janine Jamel, one of the activists.

The group will meet indigenous communities, many of which have been affected by the nuclear industry. They will travel via the Roxby Downs and Beverley uranium mine sites, Woomera (an old missile launch site which currently contains 9700 barrels of radioactive waste), Nurrungar (the joint military defence facility for the US defence program) as well as through areas of ecological and cultural importance.

Before the trek the group is organising fundraisers, the next being on July 3 at 112 Argyle St, Fitzroy, and can be contacted by phone on 9419 6980.