Australian Nuclear Free Alliance

Around 100 people attended the annual meeting of the Aboriginal-led Australian Nuclear Free Alliance (ANFA) from October 5−7 on the land of the Arrernte people in Alice Springs. The Alliance brings together Aboriginal people, environment, health groups and trade union representatives to discuss the impacts of the nuclear industry on land and communities.

The ANFA meeting was attended by representatives of the following Aboriginal nations, organisations and affiliated groups: Alyawarr, Anmatjere, Arabana, Arrernte, Gurindji, Iwaidja, Katyede, Koara, Kokatha/Anterkirinya, Kokatha/Mirning, Kokatha/Narrangar, Larrakia, Mirarr, Ngalia, Nyoongar Pitjantjatjarra, Tjupan, Walpiri, Wajarri Yamatji, Warlmanpa, Warramungu, and Yamatji.

The Alliance met at a pivotal time as Prime Minister Gillard headed overseas to progress a uranium sales deal with India, a nuclear weapons state that refuses to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty or the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.

The news that Australian uranium was present at the nuclear disaster at Fukushima had profound impacts on ANFA representatives, especially those whose country the uranium came from.

The meeting noted that numerous uranium mining proposals have been stalled in recent years including the Olympic Dam expansion (SA), Mt Gee / Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary (SA), Myponga (SA), Koongarra (NT), proposed heap leach mining at Ranger (NT), Kintyre and Yeelirrie (WA).

ANFA called for Australia's existing radioactive waste to remain at designated federal storage sites at Woomera (SA) and Lucas Heights (NSW) pending an independent public commission of radioactive waste management in Australia.

ANFA also called for justice and acknowledgement for communities and people suffering the intergenerational health impacts from British atomic weapons testing at Maralinga and Emu Field.

The meeting elected a new committee with three co-chairs: Mitch (NT), Peter Watts (SA) and Kado Muir (WA).

The full 2012 ANFA meeting statement is posted at http://www.anfa.org.au