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Olympic Dam S. Australia
Anglo-Australian BHP Billiton’s Olympic Dam Mine, South Australia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olympic_Dam_mine

The industry generates less than 0.2 per cent of national export revenue and accounts for less than 0.02 per cent of jobs in Australia” (See below).

Thus, uranium mining in South Australia doesn’t create many jobs, doesn’t do much for export revenue. It literally sucks up and destroys precious water supplies, especially from the Great Artesian Basin aquifer on which so much of arid Australia depends for water. Uranium mining has been long known to cause cancer. BHP Billiton has an exemption from the Aboriginal Heritage Act. Australian uranium was in Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactors. The uranium mining companies must be the biggest hand behind the nuclear industry, which will kill us all if it’s not quickly shut down. In short, it’s a bad deal for Australia and for the world! Who’s it a good deal for then?
Great Artesian Basin
Great Artesian Basin

Noel Wauchope’s “Submission to Royal Commission Issues Paper l EXPLORATION, EXTRACTION AND MILLING-

1.1 and 1.2. (economics of uranium industry) Australia’s uranium production of 5.000 tonnes in 2014 was the lowest for 16 years. The industry generates less than 0.2 per cent of national export revenue and accounts for less than 0.02 per cent of jobs in Australia. (1)

Nowhere in this Issues Paper is information given on Government funding of the nuclear industry either directly in the form of grants and through government supplied services.

1.12 (Uranium enrichment) and 1.7 (Future of uranium market) The 2006 Switkowski Review concluded that ”there may be little real opportunity for Australian companies to extend profitably” into enrichment. (2) Conditions are no more conducive to the establishment of an enrichment industry now than they were in 2006. Former World Nuclear Association executive Steve Kidd noted in July 2014 that “the world enrichment market is heavily over-supp1ied”.(3)

1.8. (health effects) There is a well established link between uranium mining and lung cancer. (4) Exposure to even low-level radiation is a health hazard. That is the position of all relevant expert bodies such as the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation. As the the US National Academy of Sciences· Committee on the Biological Effects ofionising Radiation states, “the risk of cancer proceeds in a linear fashion at lower doses without a threshold and … the smallest dose has the potential to cause a small increase in risk to humans.”

1.10 (risks) Enrichment plants can produce both low-enriched uranium for reactors and highly-enriched uranium for weapons.

1.13 (effects on other industries). South Australia’s remarkable success in renewable energy. and its reputation for clean agricultural produce would clearly be threatened by further development in the uranium/nuclear industry
(I) http://www.conservationsa.org.au/images/Nuclear _Royal_ Commission _issues_ summary. pdf
(2) http://www.ansto.gov .au/_data/assets/pdf _file/0005/3 8975/Umpner _report_ 2006. pdf
(3) Nuclear Engineering International Magazine, May 2014
(4) http:/ /www.mapw.org.au/files/ downloads/Nuclear-power-uranium-mining-&-public-health MAPW-Factsheet.pdf

Appendix

Friends of the Earth have informed Royal Commissioner Kevin Scarce and the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission of a significant inaccuracy in Issues Paper 1, regarding the current and future legal framework for the nuclear industry in South Australia. According to the Royal Commission, the Issues Papers are intended to provide factual information and background to assist the public in making submissions.

Issues Paper 1, which deals with the exploration, extraction and milling of uranium, states that Aboriginal sites of significance are protected by the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1988.

“This is not the case for BHP Billiton, South Australia’s biggest miner,” explained Nectaria Calan of Friends of the Earth Adelaide. “Under the Indenture Act, which applies solely to BHP Billiton, the company’s Olympic Dam mine and some 15, 000 square kilometres of the surrounding Stuart Shelf, are exempt from the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1988. This exemption would also apply to any future expansion of uranium mining by BHP Billiton at Olympic Dam or in the surrounding area.”

“This inaccuracy is significant as it misrepresents existing regulatory and legal arrangements and potential arrangements in the future, issues on which the Issue Paper invites public comment,” said Ms Calan. “The largest of the two operating uranium mines in the state is exempt from the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1988, alongside a further 15,000 square kilometres of South Australia. BHP Billiton is also the most likely candidate for the expansion of uranium mining, also the subject of Issues Paper 1. It is negligent to omit that this company is subject to a different legal framework than other companies operating in the state.”

“We have requested that the Royal Commission address this mistake, adequately publicise the required corrections, and extend the upcoming deadline for submissions to allow people to consider the new information that the Royal Commission should provide. The public cannot make submissions based on inaccurate information.” (1)

Legal details:

• Pursuant to section 9(10) of the Roxby Downs (Indenture Ratification) Act 1982, the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1988does not apply to the Olympic Dam mine. Rather, the Indenture Act recognises the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1979, a historical version of the Act that was effectively repealed by the Aboriginal Hentage Act 1988. The Aboriginal Heritage Act 1979 was never proclaimed, so has never operated as a law in South Australia. Section 9(10) of the Indenture Act further states that any subsequent amendment or repeal of the 1979 Act shall not affect its application for the purposes of the Olympic Dam mine, without the consent of the Joint Venturers (now BHP Billiton).

• Section 9 of the Indenture Act also grants BHP Billiton exemptions from the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1979. In particular, section 9 exempts BHP Billiton from provisions in sections 21 and 26 of the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1979 which relate to protected sites and the removal of artefacts. Broadly, the significance of these exemptions is that lands subject to a mining lease (currently the Olympic Dam mine), may not be declared by the Minister to be a protected area in order to protect an aboriginal heritage site without the agreement of BHP Billiton, or unless the site has already been identified by the company in the Environmental Impact Statement (Section 9(5) and 9(6)). The company must also agree before a person may enter and excavate the land to remove an item of aboriginal heritage, on land subject to a mining lease or associated infrastructure, and lands subject to exploration licences granted subject to the Indenture Act (Section 9(7)(c)) . Under the Aboriginal Heritage Act these matters are decided by the Minister, whereas the Indenture Act grants BHP Billiton ultimate discretion.

• Although most parts of the Roxby Downs (Indenture Ratification) (Amendment of Indenture) Amendment Act 2011 are yet to commence, this Act would extend the application of the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1979 to the future expansion of mining activities by BHP, alongside exemptions similar to those outlined above.

• Pursuant to sections 9(1) and 9(10) of the Roxby Downs (Indenture Ratification) Act 1982, the application of theAboriginal Heritage Act 1979, subject to the exemptions outlined in Section 9, extends beyond the Olympic Dam project area to cover the much larger geographic area of the “Stuart Shelf Area.” This covers most of the Stuart Shelf at some 15 000 square kilometres. This estimate was provided in the Legislative Council by Gail Gago, with the qualification that it is an estimation as the government did not have an exact figure (South Australian Parliament, Legislative Council, Hansard, 24th November 2011, p. 4719). The Stuart Shelf Area is defined in Schedule 6 and Map B of the Roxby Downs (Indenture Ratification) Act 1982.

(1) Nectaria Calan 0432 388 665 Friends of the Earth Adelaide
Read the original here: http://nuclearrc.sa.gov.au/app/uploads/2015/09/Noel-Wauchope-16-07-2015.pdf
For more information see: https://nuclearnewsaustralia.wordpress.com
Of related interest: http://www.dianuke.org/nuclear-racism-the-war-against-aboriginal-people-in-australia/