"Remembering Fukushima: Resisting nuclear waste dumps!" was the title of a public forum held in Redfern on March 3. About 40 people heard a panel of speakers mark five years since the Fukushima tsumani and nuclear disaster in March 2011 and outline the growing opposition movement to federal government plans for a nuclear waste dump in rural Australia.
"The nuclear industry has no place in a safe and sustainable future. Five years since the Fukushima disaster, it is time to break the nuclear chain," forum publicity stated. The forum was organised by Uranium Free NSW.
Uncle Ken Canning, Murri poet and writer, told the audience: "If we allow one Aboriginal site to be used for a nuclear waste dump, nowhere will be safe. When they start to dump this poison on traditional lands, we need to fight to stop it."
Professor Richard Broinowski, former diplomat and author of Fallout from Fukushima said: "It was crazy to build nuclear reactors in Japan, situated on the region known as the volcanic 'Ring of Fire.' Three out of 54 nuclear reactors in Japan have since reopened, but the industry is doomed."
Robyn Rayner, a neighbour of the site of the proposed radioactive waste dump facility at Hill End, in rural NSW, said: "On November 13 last year, the government announced a short list of six possible sites for a nuclear waste dump, including our area.
"Now, every morning we wake up with a nuclear cloud over our heads. Our family owns a merino sheep stud farm, which would be destroyed by this dump.
"The government has tried to divide and conquer our community. But this threat has brought our community together. But we need your help to fight this proposal," she said.
"The government should reconsider its plans. The residents around all six sites are united in opposition to a nuclear waste dump being forced on us."
Uncle Raymond Finn, a Wangkangurru elder from outback South Australia, spoke about the impact of the threat of a nuclear waste facility in his homeland. He said the Aboriginal people of north-eastern SA were strongly opposed to a radioactive dump in their region.
Chairperson Nat Wensley urged the audience to become active in the campaign to protest the nuclear waste dump proposals. Contact the campaign through Facebook Uranium Free NSW.