Radioactive Exposure Tour hits Australia

Uncle Kevin Buzzacott.

The Friends of the Earth “Radioactive Exposure Tour” is taking place from April 12 to 27. Forty people will travel from Melbourne and Adelaide through to Alice Springs and Tennant Creek.

The tour will take people to the heart of the Australian nuclear industry, exposing the realities of “radioactive racism” and the environmental impacts of uranium mining.

Organisers of the tour said: "The tours have been organised since the 1980s, and this year it will stop in Adelaide and Port Augusta, hearing some of the inspiring stories from the Irati Wanti campaign, the Gugada Tent Embassy and the British atomic tests of the 50s and 60s. The tour will travel through Kokatha and Arabunna country, visit the Olympic Dam uranium mine and spend time with Arabunna elder Uncle Kevin Buzzacott.”

The tour will “witness sunset over Lake Eyre and the unique and fragile ecosystems of the Mound Springs, which have been devastated by the colossal water usage of the Olympic Dam mine. As we continue north to Alice Springs we’ll stop by Pine Gap to consider the Australian government’s complicity in the US war-machine and the outdated notion of 'extended nuclear deterrence'. We’ll meet more inspiring people with a long history opposing the nuclear industry and the NT intervention in Alice Springs before continuing to Tennant Creek.”

Muckaty, 120 kilometres north of Tennant Creek, is an important part of the radioactive tour. Muckaty was the fourth site to be assessed as a potential radioactive waste dump site in the Northern Territory and the only area left under consideration.

As Beyond Nuclear Initiative points out: “In 2007 the Muckaty Land Trust was nominated as an additional site by the Northern Land Council, despite opposition from many Aboriginal traditional owners of the area.”

The National Radioactive Waste Management Act introduced by former resources minister Martin Ferguson maintains many provisions of the John Howard government's laws. These “can be used to impose a nuclear waste dump in the NT against the wishes of both Aboriginal landholders and the NT government.”

[For more information, visit Radioactive Tour online]