THE LIZARDS REVENGE
DLF – Desert Liberation Front
Beneath the Roxby Downs Uranium mine, there is an old Sleepy Lizard. BHP’s Olympic Dam mine is digging right into its guts to extract the worlds most poisonous ore. That Lizard ain’t so sleepy no more.
Lizards Bites Back is a non-violent protest festival, opposing any further expansion of the nuclear industry in South Australia and showcasing renewable alternatives. We stand in solidarity with Aboriginal custodians in opposing the expansion of the nuclear industry in South Australia.
The nuclear industry has and continues to disproportionately affect Aboriginal people in Australia. Traditional owners and Native Title holders have no right in law to veto mining projects and every nuclear waste dump proposal, from Woomera to the current proposal for Wallerberdina Station in the Flinders Ranges, has sought to impose a waste dump on Aboriginal communities without consultation and without the consent of Aboriginal communities that would be most directly affected.
This is a human rights issue. Article 29 (2) of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which Australia has signed on to states that:
“States shall take effective measures to ensure that no storage or disposal of hazardous materials shall take place in the lands or territories of indigenous peoples without their free, prior and informed consent.”
Similar issues arise for the Olympic Dam mine. Under the Indenture Act, BHP Billiton is completely exempt from the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1988, which is the key piece of legislation protecting Aboriginal Heritage in SA. Instead the company recognises the 1979 version of the Act, which was never made law in SA and provides much weaker protections for Aboriginal heritage. Additionally, BHP is exempt from certain parts of this Act. The effect of these exemptions is that BHP has absolute discretion on what Aboriginal sites are recognised and protected. It is a clear conflict of interest to have a corporation with a commercial interest in a piece of land also making decisions regarding whether this same land has competing non-commercial values
However, the health and environmental impacts of the nuclear industry do not know skin colour. They affect all Australians and will continue to do so for generations.
A Royal Commission has recently recommended that South Australia host an international high level nuclear waste dump, and the Federal government has shortlisted only Wallerberdina Station for further consideration for a national nuclear waste dump. The Olympic Dam mine itself will also eventually become a dump – in the sense that once it is closed, it will leave millions of tonnes of radioactive tailings on the surface of the land forever.
The Lizard Bites Back has attracted over 300 people from around the country, converging near the mine gates for a weekend of direct action, workshops on nuclear issues, and music. After two days of workshops and marches to the gates of the mine, the last day of the convergence saw nearly one hundred activists block the main road to the mine for eighteen hours. Riot police were sent in at midnight. On their way, riot police approached base camp, in what appeared to be a simulated raid.Response to the governments decision to expand the Olympic Dam mine.
Party in a Dangerous Planet with Theatre, Cabaret and Art installations. Over 20 musical acts. Solar Powered sound system extravaganza and wind powered cinema.