Inner West council takes a stand against uranium

A nuclear free zone sign in Newtown. Photo: Pip Hinman

Inner West Council decided on September 22 to take a stand against the NSW Nationals-One Nation push to lift the state’s 33-year-old ban on uranium mining.

Inner west residents scored a win with council agreeing to communicate its view to the NSW Premier and MPs, and urge them to support renewable clean energy and jobs.

It will also inform all residents of its position and take a motion to the NSW local government association conference in November urging all NSW councils to also oppose the move to lift the ban on uranium mining and to support sustainable and clean energy and jobs solutions.

Nick Deane of the Marrickville Peace Group and Pip Hinman from Newtown spoke in support of the motion. Bruce Thelfro, a mainstay of the anti-uranium movement in the 1980s, also communicated his support to councillors.

After discussion, Greens’ councillor Marghanita da Cruz, amended her original motion to include asking council to look into additional “nuclear free zone” signs to those put in place by the former Marrickville and Leichhardt Councils in the 1980s when the anti-nuclear and uranium movements were strong. But this was voted down.

While the immediate push to lift the ban on uranium mining may have abated, with NSW Nationals leader John Barilaro on stress leave, the pressure from the Minerals Council of Australia remains.

For council to take such a stand on a matter that goes beyond local council boundaries is a welcome development. It is also good news in a lead-up to the global student strike on September 25 which, in Australia, is aimed at resisting the government’s push for a gas-led recovery.