This is an open invitation to all people and a special call out to artists, musicians, activist, community groups and media to get involved in the creation of this autonomous zone as we move for peace and justice to heal the land. We are planning two nights of deadly music, one night of anti nuke cinema and a mass action at the mine. We encourage people to organise in affinity groups and plan their own creative actions!
For a good explanation of the issues watch this video I made back in 2012 before The Lizards Revenge.
Autonomous Action Radio is now available for download from the internet. The shows uploaded to the internet won’t be always the exact program that airs on 4ZZZ but it’ll be broadcast on Zed Digital 4ZZZ’s venture into the exciting new world of digital radio.
I think only old people have digital radios at the moment and those that have won them in some competition but I’m sure there’s lots of raging grannies out there who’ll love to tune in.
And raging grannies and grandpas are a formidable lot so letting them in on a bit of radical anarchist news and views can only be a good thing… because they may well save the world.
For the rest of us with plain old analog radios and access to the internet the show is available to download from Radio4all and Internet Archive.
Autonomous Action Radio is uploaded on a creative commons license (CC BY-NC 3.0) but the music played during the show may follow a different license, there will be links to all the music played so you can check it out there.
The nuclear debate is really hotting up in Queensland and Australia. Following the announcement on Monday that the Newman government will now allow uranium mining Senator Barnaby Joyce has gone all the way and suggested Australia should embrace nuclear power.
He is quoted in a random mainstream paper as saying “If we are fair dinkum about reducing carbon emissions, and we want to have a minimum carbon emission form of power, then uranium is where it’s going to be”.
Below is an article from Friends of the Earth Nuclear campaigner Dr Jim Green addressing the decision the mine uranium in Queensland and the dangers there of.
If you read this and still think nuclear power is a safe solution to climate change stay tuned for a follow up article on why nuclear energy is not the solution to climate change.
The Queensland Government is unwise to reverse the ban against uranium mining and there is no stronger reason than the industry’s sordid track record in the state.
French company Minatome undertook trial mining at Ben Lomond, near Townsville, in the early 1980s. Federal MP Bob Katter spoke at length about Ben Lomond in Parliament on 1 November 2005. He noted that Minatome initially denied reports of a radioactive spill, but then changed its story and claimed that the spill posed no risk and did not reach the water system from which 210,000 people drank.
“For the next two or three weeks they held out with that story. Further evidence was produced in which they admitted that it had been a dangerous level. Yes, it was about 10,000 times higher than what the health agencies in Australia regarded as an acceptable level. After six weeks, we got rid of lie number two. I think it was at about week 8 or week 12 when, as a state member of parliament, I insisted upon going up to the site. Just before I went up to the site, the company admitted − remember, it was not just the company but also the agency set up by the government to protect us who were telling lies − that the spill had reached the creek which ran into the Burdekin River, which provided the drinking water for 210,000 people. We had been told three sets of lies over a period of three months.”
Queensland’s other misadventure with uranium was the Mary Kathleen mine in western Queensland. In the mid-1970s, a whistleblower from Mary Kathleen Uranium Mining Pty. Ltd. leaked documents which revealed the existence of a global uranium cartel leading to protracted international scandals and fines totalling hundreds of millions of dollars.
The leaked documents also revealed evidence of shoddy environmental practices at Mary Kathleen; close surveillance of environmental organisations; the close relationship between ACTU President Bob Hawke and the chairman of uranium miner Conzinc Riotinto Australia; and advice from government officials about how companies could circumvent non-proliferation treaties in order to sell uranium to countries that had not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
One million litres of radioactive liquid were released in February 1984 from Mary Kathleen’s evaporation ponds during a wet spell. Even now, 30 years after the mine’s closure, there is ongoing seepage of saline, metal and radionuclide-rich waters from tailings, as well as low-level uptake of heavy metals and radionuclides into vegetation.
Bob Katter’s son, state MP Rob Katter, claims that uranium mining represents a potential $20 billion export industry for Queensland which could generate 2600 jobs. The simple facts are that uranium accounts for just 0.2 percent of Australia’s export revenue ($610 million in 2010−11) and less than 0.02 percent of Australian jobs (1760 jobs including mining, exploration and regulation). Queensland is home to just 3% of Australia’s uranium resources.
Rob Katter claims that Queenslanders support uranium mining but he provides no evidence. The latest poll was taken in 2008 and it found that 47 percent of Queenslanders oppose uranium mining compared to 45 precent in support. Two-thirds of Queenslanders oppose uranium sales to nuclear weapons states. A majority of Australians believe that the ‘safeguards’ system, which aims to prevent nuclear weapons proliferation, is ineffective.
Before the last state election, the Queensland Liberal National Party said it had no intention of reversing the ban against uranium mining. Campbell Newman’s LNP Government ought to take its new position to the next state election. Better still, a referendum could be held on the question of uranium mining when Queenslanders next go to the polls.
The uranium industry has no capacity to deliver serious economic benefits to Queensland but, if given the chance, it will create more long-term environmental and public health hazards such as Ben Lomond and Mary Kathleen.
Despite declaring no such plans before the election the Campbell Newman lead Queensland Government announced today that it will lift the ban on uranium mining in the state.
Mr Newman says the Federal Governments plans to sell uranium to India spurred his decision because Queensland should share in the jobs and economic opportunities it will create.
The resumption of uranium mining in Queensland will also mean Queensland will share in the environmental and human health problems created by the uranium and nuclear industries.
“The government has made the wrong decision for the wrong reasons,” says Nuclear Free Queensland spokesperson Robin Taubenfeld.
A strong movement against the uranium industry has continued in Queensland despite the last uranium Queensland uranium mine closing in 1982.
“We have campaigned for many years to ensure the uranium mining ban stayed in place, the overturning of this decision has strengthened our resolve,” Ms Taubenfeld said.
“We are ready to step up our campaign, companies seeking to open uranium mines will face opposition.”
Last week on Autonomous Action Radio I interviewed Co-chair of the Australian Nuclear Free Alliance Peter Watts.
Peter is an Arabunna man who has been personally affected by these industries through mining and bombs.
In this interview he talks about the effect BHP Billiton’s Olympic Dam uranium mine has had on his country and family, his visit to Japan earlier this year, and how his family was affected by the Maralinga British tests.