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Action Alert - Jabiluka World Heritage
Peace Movement AotearoaPO Box 9314, Wellington. Tel (04) 382 8129, fax (04) 382 8173, email@example.com
6 June 1998
Kia ora, we have been asked to pass this on to you all, if you intend doing something about it, please do so TODAY as it has to reach Paris before 22 June. The message is in three parts - the first an explanation of what it is about, the second is suggested text for your fax, the third is a copy of a fax sent by John Hallam (FoE Sydney) in case you need more ideas .... please feel free to send on to your lists, apologies for those who receive it more than once.
"To all international and Australian domestic conservation, indigenous and anti-nuclear groups":
"URGENT! JABILUKA WORLD HERITAGE ALERT If you have not already done so, PLEASE FAX WORLD HERITAGE COMMITTEE NOW!"
"This campaign is attempting to stop the development of a uranium mine and mill in a mineral lease enclave within the Kakadu World Heritage Site in Australia."
"Please FAX the Chair of the World Heritage Committee BEFORE 22nd JUNE" [ GMT]
The Traditional Owners of the Jabiluka site, the mirrar Gundjehmi people, now have a web- site whose address is http://www.green.net.au/gundjehmi
NOTE NEW E-MAIL ADDRESS, firstname.lastname@example.org
URGENT! JABILUKA WORLD HERITAGE ALERT PLEASE FAX WORLD HERITAGE COMMITTEE NOW!
IF YOU ARE SPAMMED BY JABILUKA STUFF PRESS DELETE NOW.
BUT WE'D RATHER YOU DIDN'T. OTHERWISE, YOU CAN BE OF ASSISTANCE IN SAVING THE PRICELESS WORLD HERITAGE KAKADU NATIONAL PARK FROM BECOMING HOME TO THE JABILUKA URANIUM MINE.
FRIENDS OF THE EARTH SYDNEY AUSTRALIA AND THE WILDERNESS SOCIETY WOULD LIKE ALL FOE GROUPS TO FAX THE WORLD HERITAGE COMMITTEE IN PARIS AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, ASKING THE WHC TO PLACE THE KAKADU NATIONAL PARK ON THE LIST OF 'WORLD HERITAGE IN DANGER', BECAUSE OF THE THREAT POSED BY THE JABILUKA URANIUM MINE.
THE ABORIGINAL TRADITIONAL OWNERS OF THE JABILUKA URANIUM MINE SITE IN THE WORLD HERITAGE KAKADU NATIONAL PARK LEAVE AUSTRALIA *TODAY* FOR A MEETING OF THE WORLD HERITAGE COMMITTEE OF UNESCO IN PARIS ON *MONDAY.*
ALEC MARR OF THE WILDERNESS SOCIETY AND TRADITIONAL OWNER YVONNE MARGARULA AND JACQUI KATONA WILL BE ATTENDING WHC MEETINGS IN PARIS ON MONDAY.
UNLESS THE WHC RECIEVES ENOUGH CORRESPONDENCE TO INDICATE CONCERN ON THIS MATTER, THERE IS A CHANCE THAT THEY WON'T EVEN GET INTO THE MEETING.
THERE IS STILL TIME TO FAX THE WORLD HERITAGE COMMITTEE.
IT IS UTTERLY CRUCIAL TO DELUGE THE WHC IN PARIS WITH FAXES ASKING THEM TO PLACE KAKADU ON THE LIST OF 'WORLD HERITAGE IN DANGER'.
URGENT URGENT URGENT URGENT URGENT
To all international and Australian domestic conservation, indigenous and anti-nuclear groups:
Australian NGOs working on an indigenous/conservation/anti-nuclear campaign seek your assistance. This campaign is attempting to stop the development of a uranium mine and mill in a mineral lease enclave within the Kakadu World Heritage Site in Australia.
Please FAX the Chair of the World Heritage Committee BEFORE 22nd JUNE 1998 seeking the inscription of the Kakadu World Heritage Site (as they call it) to the 'World Heritage in Danger' List. It is most important that the fax goes before this date, as this is when the Committee is next meeting. A pro-forma letter follows.
Please put this letter on YOUR GROUP'S LETTERHEAD and fax to Paris as detailed below. Please fax rather than email, as the World Heritage Committee does not recognise email as official correspondence.
Fax Number is 33-1-456-85570 (33=France; 1=Paris).
PLEASE take time to send this fax - it will be crucial to the Traditional Owners likelihood of success.
Thanks for your help,
Julie McGuiness (The Wilderness Society) for the Jabiluka Alliance, Australia 61 2 6249 6491 (ph) 61 2 6249 1002 (fax)
17 June 1998
We are writing to you regarding the 'Jabiluka' uranium mine, a mineral lease enclave within the Kakadu World Heritage Area, Australia, where construction commenced on 15 June 1998. We wish to request that the World Heritage Committee place the Kakadu World Heritage Site on the 'World Heritage in Danger' List.
The Jabiluka uranium deposit is located on Mirrar Gundjehmi land. The traditional owners have had a continuous presence in Kakadu for at least 40,000 years. The Mirrar Gundjehmi are the legal title holders to the Jabiluka mineral lease, as recognised by the Northern Territory Land Rights Act. The project is unequivocally opposed by the Mirrar Gundjehmi and their senior clan leader, Yvonne Margarula.
The Kakadu World Heritage Site was inscribed on the World Heritage List for both its cultural and natural attributes. The current Jabiluka uranium mining and milling proposal will mean 159 hectares of the mineral lease will be cleared. It will also mean 20 million tonnes of radioactive waste will have to be disposed of at the Jabiluka mineral lease, which is ecologically part of the Kakadu World Heritage Site (even though it has been excluded administratively from the World Heritage Site). Waste material from the site will remain radioactive for upwards of 230-300,000 years.
In January of this year, the European Parliament passed a resolution condemning the Jabiluka project and calling on the Australian Government to stop it. The Australian Senate (controlled by non-Government parties) has also passed resolutions condemning the project. The Traditional Owners, combined with environment groups, have led the campaign against the mine, along with church groups and thousands of concerned individuals in Australia and overseas.
We consider that the Jabiluka uranium mine and milling proposal is a development that is incompatible with World Heritage values of the Kakadu World Heritage Site. We therefore call on the World Heritage Committee to list it as 'World Heritage in Danger'.
ATTN PROFESSOR FRANCESCO FRANCIONI
Dear World Heritage Committee,
These groups argued that because of the possibility of uranium being mined at the Jabiluka site in Kakadu National Park, Kakadu should be listed as 'World Heritage in Danger'.
Since that time, the European Parliament has passed a resolution calling on the Australian Government not to proceed with the Jabiluka uranium project, and the Australian Senate has passed resolutions calling on the Government not to proceed with the project.
At the same time, the company that proposes to mine uranium at the Jabiluka site has proceeded with an environmental impact statement, and is now entering the preliminary stages of construction. This has occurred without adequate evaluation of the mining option involved, the 'Jabiluka Milling Option', which is only now being subjected to a less than full environmental assessment known as a 'Public Environmental report' (P.E.R.)
The Aboriginal Traditional Owners of Jabiluka, who have title to the land of the mine site, have expressed their strong opposition to the Jabiluka project consistently and forcefully.
The Jabiluka deposit is located on Mirrar Gundjehmi land, and these people have had a continuous presence in Kakadu for the last 40,000 years.
The Kakadu National Park was inscribed on the World Heritage List on two cultural criteria and on three natural criteria. These values will be severely compromised if mining proceeds, if not in the immediate term then over the longer term. The cultural values of the park are in part the result of the continuous presence of the Mirrar-Gundjehmi aboriginal people, who say their society will be very adversely affected by mining.
Mining will mean the accumulation of some 20 million tonnes of radioactive tailings, much of which will have to be disposed of either in conventional surface tailings impoundments or in below-grade repositories.
The half- lives of the materials in question mean that it is necessary to contain them reliably for about 300,000 years. Tailings repositories are generally not designed to last for longer than 200-1000 years, and planning horizons generally do not extend longer than this.
The mining of uranium at Jabiluka is a development that is entirely incompatible with the precious World Heritage values of Kakadu National Park. We therefore reiterate our call made last year, that you place Kakadu National Park on the list of World Heritage properties in danger.
John Hallam, FoE Sydney.