rn: action: Jabiluka uranium mine


Jan Slakov

Date: Thu, 24 Jun 1999 17:50:19 +1000
From: Lynette Dumble <•••@••.•••>
Subject: [GSN] 1. Call for Australian and International help to stop the
 Jabiluka uranium mine

Dear Jan and friends at the renaissance-network , 
Below is the first of three messages from the Women's Network for Mirrar 
Women [ WN4MW, a wonderfully enthusiastic group of ardent young feminists 
based in Melbourne] calling for worldwide help to prevent a uranium mining 
company from imperiling [a] the survival a small Indigenous community in 
Australia and [b] the World Heritage region in Northern Australia known as 

WN4MW's strategy is appropriately timed to cause maximum inconvenience to 
North Ltd, the parent of Energy Resources of Australia (ERA) which is set to 
mine uranium from Jabiluka, contrary to the wishes of area's Indigenous 
owners, the Mirrar, and threatening the very existence of the 29 remaining 
Mirrar adults, 21 of whom are women, their children, and their culture which 
dates back over tens of thousands of years.

In addition to this message,  a second [2. Women's questions for North Ltd] 
contains WN4MW's questions to be emailed and/or faxed to North Ltd on June 28 
or soon after, and a third [3. Women's Week of Action - Don’t ask North Ltd 
to stop the Jabiluka mine—tell them to!] details of the activities organized 
by WN4MW for the week [June 28 to July 4, 1999] prior to what promises to 
internationally embarrass the Howard Administration and its mining cronies 
North Ltd and ERA, when UNESCO passes down its decision on whether to list 
Kakadu National Park as “World Heritage In Danger”.

Already, in the past year, a number of high-profile institutional investors, 
including the Australian Olympic Foundation, Sydney University, James Cook 
University, the Australian National University, Catholic Life Insurance and 
the South Australian Art Gallery, have withdrawn a total of $7.5 million 
from North and ERA. Maintaining the pressure is essential, and your support 
in returning WN4MW's questions to North Ltd  on June 28, and forwarding all 
three WN4MW messages to every other conceivable source of support, ultimately 
to hit North Ltd. with a tidal wave of questions on June 28, will be greatly 

In solidarity and with apologies for cross post, Lynette.

Women the world over will be participating in this action. With the World 
Heritage Committee decision imminent, your voice can be one of thousands 
calling for a stop to the proposed Jabiluka mine.
If you require the questions to be e-mailed to you or for further 
information about the Women’s Week of Action please feel free to call us on 
(03) 9489 0937 or e-mail: •••@••.•••. You can also check out the 
following web sites for more information about the Jabiluka campaign




Don’t ask North Ltd to stop the mine—tell them to.
Date: Thu, 24 Jun 1999 17:51:53 +1000
From: Lynette Dumble <•••@••.•••>
Subject: [GSN] 2. Women's Questions to North Ltd

Malcolm Broomhead
North Ltd
476 St Kilda Road,
Melbourne  VIC 3004
phone:  (03) 9207 5111 fax:     (03) 9250 1600  
e-mail:  •••@••.•••

Dear Mr Broomhead,
I am writing to ask you to answer the following questions in relation to the 
proposed Jabiluka uranium mine project.
My details for returning the answers to these questions are provided below — 
I would appreciate your answer at the earliest possible convenience.

Question 1:
75% of Australian women are opposed to the Jabiluka uranium mine (Newspoll - 
June 1998). The Australian Senate and European Parliament have called for 
the Jabiluka project to be stopped, as has the World Heritage Assessment 
Mission. Over 500 people, including the Senior Traditional Owner Yvonne 
Margarula, were arrested in protests against the mine last year in the 
Northern Territory.
Does North Ltd accept that there is widespread community opposition to this 

Question 2:
In the Chairman’s Address of ERA Annual General Meeting in 1998, the former 
Chairperson, Campbell Anderson, stated, “There will be no impact by Jabiluka 
on traditional activities or on the cultural heritage sites in the area.”
The World Heritage Committee sent a mission to Australia in October 1998. 
This team handed a report to the World Heritage Committee in November making 
a series of recommendations. One of the principle findings of this report 
was “The mission has noted severe ascertained and potential dangers to the 
cultural and natural values of Kakadu National Park posed primarily by the 
proposal for uranium mining and milling at Jabiluka.” (UNESCO Report on the 
mission to Kakadu National Park, Australia, 26/10/98 — 1/11/98)
How does North Ltd explain the contradiction between the assurance of your 
former Chairperson and the principle finding of the world’s foremost natural 
and cultural heritage management authority, the World Heritage Committee?

Question 3:
In the event that on the 12 July 1999 the World Heritage Bureau declares 
Kakadu World Heritage In Danger because of the proposed Jabiluka uranium 
mine, will you immediately cease any further development on this project? If 
not, why not?

Question 4:
If Kakadu is listed World Heritage In Danger, what will be the implications 
for North Ltd both domestically and internationally?

Question 5:
Over the past twenty years there have been in excess of 100 incidents, 
spills and operating breaches at Ranger uranium mine, ERA and North Ltd’s 
existing uranium mine 22km south of Jabiluka. These have included 
contaminated water being released into the Madgela Creek and surrounding 
Given over 100 environmental and Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) 
incidents have occurred at Ranger, how can North Ltd guarantee this level of 
environmental and OHS impact will not continue at Ranger uranium mine and 
would not happen at Jabiluka uranium mine, should it proceed?

Question 6:
The ERA Aboriginal Issues Policy states that it is built on four founding 
“• respect for Aboriginal culture and connection to the land;
• consideration of the aspirations of the local Aboriginal people;

• maintenance of positive relationships with the local Aboriginal people;
• living up to the responsibilities that arise from being entrusted with the 
use of Aboriginal land.” (quoted from the ERA Aboriginal Employment Strategy 
Does North Ltd share these principles?
If so, how can North Ltd and ERA continue to ignore the clear position of 
Traditional Owners who oppose the Jabiluka uranium mine outright?
If North Ltd does not share the same policy principles, what is your policy 
position on Aboriginal issues?

Question 7:
Given the current surplus of uranium stocks worldwide, the decline in the 
market price for uranium and the continuing drop in ERA and North Ltd share 
prices, can North Ltd justify this project as economically viable?

Question 8:
No matter what it’s use, uranium ultimately results in radioactive waste 
with a half life of up to 250 000 years. Tailings are the unused ore left 
over from the mining process. Uranium tailings contain around 85% of the 
radioactivity of the original orebody.
Given that a recent Senate report described tailings management “as among 
the most serious challenges facing uranium miners and, indeed the entire 
nuclear industry in the future.” (Senate Select Committee on Uranium Mining 
and Milling - May 1997), what guarantee can North Ltd give that your 
tailings can be completely isolated from the monsoonal Kakadu environment 
for up to 250, 000 years?

Personal Comment or Question to Malcolm Broomhead, Chairperson of North Ltd:

I join women nationally and internationally in opposing the Jabiluka uranium 
I support Yvonne Margarula and the Mirrar people as the Traditional Owners 
of the Jabiluka area in their struggle for control of their land and 
I call on North Ltd to stop development of the Jabiluka uranium mine 
Print name:
Organisation (if applicable):
Please reply to (tick box and fill out details):
my address:
my fax number:  (           )
my e-mail:


FROM: Women's Network for Mirrar Women <•••@••.•••>
1. Call for Australian and International help to stop the Jabiluka uranium

World Heritage In Danger?
The Mirrar people are the Traditional Owners of the Jabiluka area, located 
within Kakadu National Park in Australia. Their culture and existance is 
under threat from a large uranium mining company, Energy Resources of 
Australia (ERA), a subsiduary of North Ltd.
The Women’s Network for Mirrar Women (WN4MW) works out of Melbourne, 
Australia and was set up in 1998 to encourage women and women’s 
organisations to support the Mirrar people through action. Our e-mail 
address is •••@••.••• - if you would like further information on the 
campaign, please feel free to contact us.

World Heritage in Danger:
Because of the proposed Jabiluka uranium mine, Australia has come under 
international scrutiny with the World Heritage Bureau sending a delegation 
to Kakadu late in 1998 to report back on whether Kakadu National Park should 
be listed as World Heritage In Danger. The findings of that delegation, who 

had access to all levels of business, government and community concerns 
relating to Jabiluka, were clear. The World Heritage Committee met in Kyoto 
in December 1998 and voted 20 - 1 for the construction of the Jabiluka 
uranium mine to be stopped immediately (the one vote opposing this was, 
predictably, by the Australian government). The Australian government 
refused to heed this call, effectively thumbing their nose at international 
concern over this mine.
The World Heritage Bureau will meet on the 12 July 1999 in Paris to make a 
final decision on whether Kakadu National Park will be listed as World 
Heritage in Danger. You can act to support the Mirrar people in opposing 
this mine and the desecration of their land and culture.
Because many people outside of Australia may not have heard of the on going 
struggle of the Mirrar people to protect their land, following is a briefing 
that may help put you in the picture.
Kakadu and the Indigenous Traditional Owners:
Kakadu National Park is located in the Northern Territory of Australia. 
Kakadu is an area reknown for it’s beauty and the ancient culture of it’s 
indigenous people’s. It is listed as a World Heritage site due both to it’s 
unique environment and it’s cultural values.
Within Kakadu there are a number of different tribal groupings of indigenous 
people or Traditional Owners. The Traditional Owners of the proposed 
Jabiluka mine site are the Mirrar People.
The Mirrar are recognised by all Aboriginal people in the region as having 
the right to speak for that part of the country. They are recognised by 
non-indigenous Australians, including the Australian government, as the 
Traditional Owners of that area.
The Mirrar people are represented by their Senior Traditional Owner, an 
elder of their people, Yvonne Margarula. Yvonne’s right to speak for her 
country comes with many responsibilities; primary to these is the 
responsibility to act as custodian and protector of the country that her 
people have lived with for tens of thousands of years.
Yvonne Margarula speaks for her country and her people when she says “No” to 
the Jabiluka uranium mine. She has said, “We will fight to protect our 
country and that is a fact of life.”

Women’s Week of Action - 28 June to 4 July 1999
The Mirrar People need your help urgently.
We will be sending you an e-mail that has is a list of questions that we are 
asking for answers from North Ltd (parent company of ERA). This e-mail will 
be  identifiable due to to subject which will be "Women's questions for 
North Ltd"
Women from around the world are being asked to send/forward these questions 
through to North (contact details are provided) on MONDAY 28th JUNE  or any 
day within the following week.
We hope to show North Ltd that women throughout the world are opposed to 
this mine proceeding at such great cost to the Mirrar people and to all of 
our natural World Heritage.
Please join us by sending the list of questions and any others you may have 
through to North Ltd in this international Women’s Week of Action.
International supporters can contact their local Australian Ambassador to 
ask whether the Australian Government will heed the final decision of the 

World Heritage Bureau should they list Kakadu National Park “World Heritage 
In Danger.”
For further information please contact us on wn4mw@hotmail com
or look up the following web sites:
• www.mirrar.net
• www.acfonline.org.au
• www.unesco.org/whc/