Fired Up

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Two separate issues have had me fired up this past week:

  1. The Uranium Mine.

I do not look forward to having a Uranium mine in my backyard. Exploration for uranium is currently taking place 25km south-east of Alice Springs. The grant of the exploration licence means that the exploration company CAMCO has the right to mine there if they find uranium. We have enough of a dust problem here without it being radio-active. Our town’s water comes from underground aquifers and the mine will sit within our water catchment area. Uranium leaks into the ground water have been common at a number of sites including leaks into the World Heritage Listed Kakadu National Park. The Ranger uranium mine near Kakadu has had over 150 leaks, spills and license breaches since it opened in 1981.

  1. Town Camps

The Federal Government is in the process of negotiating leases over the Alice Springs Town Camps. Long before Alice Springs became an official town, indigenous people from remote areas have been staying at certain locations around the town when they visited Alice Springs. These locations became known as town camps. The white community has never fully accepted town camps and for the most part of the last century sought to eradicate the camps, including frequent expulsion of all camp dwellers from Alice Springs and the instillation of the two-mile rule. The camps survived nonetheless and people who live in the camps see themselves as permanent residents, not travellers. The current special purpose leases have only been secured within the last twenty years and with the history of the struggle is it any wonder that the town camps don’t want to sign leases?

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