Date set for court fight over Muckaty nuclear waste dump

ABC News 26 Aug 2013

A date has been set in the Federal Court case of Aboriginal traditional owners fighting plans to use their land as a nuclear waste dump.

The site on Muckaty Station near Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory is the Federal Government's preferred site for Australia's first radioactive waste facility.

Beyond Nuclear Initiative spokeswoman Natalie Wasley says the month-long trial has been listed for June 2014.

"After eight years that's a big relief for traditional owners and the community who have had this nuclear cloud hanging over their heads," she said.

She says submissions being made this week will determine whether pre-trial evidence needs to be taken.

Ms Wasley says those involved are hoping the trial would be held near the proposed site.

"It's very important for people that they give the best evidence possible, and of course that it's close to the site that's being discussed," she said.


Federal Minister visits Muckaty Station

Caddie Brain ABC Rural 1 Aug 2013

The Federal Resources Minister is visiting the proposed site of a nuclear waste dump in the Northern Territory today.

Gary Gray says he will meet Traditional Owners at Muckaty Station north of Tennant Creek, because he was invited.

This is the first time a federal resources minister has visited the proposed site, which was nominated six years ago by the Northern Land Council.

Penny Phillips, who says she is a Traditional Owner from the Wirntulki group, says the community is excited that a minister has finally accepted their invitation.

"It's really nice for people to meet the minister, and let him know that we're against the nuclear waste dump there," she said.

"[We're against it] for safety reasons, there's tremors here and community who lives here.

"Our people fought really hard for that land."

Ms Phillips says she recently travelled more than three days to Canberra to meet Mr Gray and invite him to visit Muckaty Station.

Although he accepted the invitation, Ms Phillips says she wasn't invited to today's meeting.

"I feel real angry the Northern Land Council never invited us.

"But I'm going up anyway because that's my country."

Traditional Owners are currently challenging the nomination of their land as a site for the dump in the Federal Court at the moment. A finding is expected in September.