Sunday 11:45am

Leave it in the ground: Australia's anti-uranium movement

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A mass movement against Australia’s role in the nuclear fuel cycle swept the country in the late 1970s and early 1980s. People marched in their thousands against the threats posed by uranium mining, nuclear weapons, and nuclear power. Many unions banned work on Australia’s expanding nuclear industry.

As a new generation of activists moves to tackle today’s climate crisis, the nuclear industry is trying to present itself as a solution to climate change. Our panellists will tackle these pro-nuclear myths, and present the inspiring history of a mass movement that forced limits on the nuclear industry in this country.

Together with the Mirrar Aboriginal people, activists around the country drove the would-be developers of Jabiluka out of business. The mine never opened, and today the mine site has been backfilled and revegetated.

Speakers

Lee Rhiannon is a lifelong campaigner for social justice and the environment. She was an organiser of the 1983 Women for Survival Pine Gap peace camp and a Greens MP in the NSW upper house from 1999 to 2010, and in the Australian senate from 2011 to 2018.

Sandra Bloodworth was active in the anti nuclear movement from the late 1970s, organising workplace meetings around the country to gather union support. Sandra is on the national executive of Socialist Alternative.

Fleur Taylor played a leading role in the successful campaign against the Jabiluka uranium mine in the 1990s. Together with the Mirrar Aboriginal people, activists around the country drove the would-be developers of Jabiluka out of business. The mine never opened, and today the mine site has been backfilled and revegetated.

Reading:

Background on nuclear industry on Australian Conservation Foundation and Friends of the Earth websites

Chris Williams, The case against nuclear power, International Socialist Review 2010

Marty McCausland, The Australian movement against uranium mining: its rationale and evolution

Sigrid McCausland, Leave it in the ground: the anti-uranium movement in Australia, 1975-1982

Pip Starr, Fight for Country: the story of the Jabiluka blockade (video)

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