Uniting Against Radioactive Waste - ACTU moves against Federal Govt Dump Plan

August 21, 2003

National environment groups have welcomed the growing trade union opposition to Federal Government plans to build a radioactive waste dump in South Australia.

The ACTU committed to "stand in solidarity with the indigenous communities in opposition to the nuclear waste dump proposed for South Australia" at its three yearly Congress in Melbourne yesterday.

"This resolution is an important step in the campaign against radioactive waste transport and dumping in SA", said Friends of the Earth national nuclear campaigner Dr Jim Green. "It is also further evidence of the growing gap between the Federal Government and the community on this issue."

The ACTU Congress is the main policy and strategic forum for Australia's peak trade union body and represents 2 million working Australians and their families.

The new ACTU position is a major setback to the Federal Governments dump plans and builds on existing strong opposition from the South Australian peak trade union body the UTLC, as well as key state and national industrial and construction unions.

"This dump plan lacks law and logic and is not a genuine attempt to deal with the management of radioactive waste," said ACF campaigner David Noonan. "The ACTU's support in highlighting and acting on this community concern is welcome."

The Federal Government is trying to fast-track the dump plan by seeking approval from the Federal nuclear regulator for a multiple set of licences and approvals.

"Trucking and dumping radioactive waste is not a benefit to workers, communities along the transport corridors, Aboriginal custodians or the wider community," said David Noonan.

"The voices against this plan are growing and the Federal Government is facing a serious showdown with the SA Government and the wider community on this issue."

For information and comment:

Dr Jim Green
Friends of the Earth
Mob: 0417 318 368

David Noonan
Mob: 0408 821 058

Darcel Moyle
ACTU Indigenous Committee
Mob: 0409 833 816