Barngarla court case begins with early morning rally.
Written by: Nick G. on 6 March 2023
Nearly 70 people gathered outside the Federal Court at 8.30am this morning in Adelaide to mark the beginning of what is expected to be a five-day hearing which it is hoped will overturn the decision to locate a nuclear waste dump on Barngarla land at Kimba on the Eyre Peninsula.
Kaurna elder Uncle Fred Agius welcomed those present to Country and praised the Barngarla for the stand they have taken against the dump proposal.
Waiting for the rally to begin, Barngarla elder Uncle Harry Dare said that the Barngarla were fighting not just for themselves, but for all Australians.
“This affects everyone, not just those living near Kimba,” he said.
He was scathing about the federal Labor government which is expected to spend more than $4 million in legal fees fighting the Barngarla.
“This is money that should be spent on housing and hospitals, not wasted fighting us.”
Not long after the election of the Labor government, we profiled its Resources Minister Madeleine King, saying that she would back the Kimba dump. You can see that profile here.
I asked Uncle Harry whether he had met Madeleine King when she visited Kimba in early January.
He said he had, but added “She’s just ignorant. She doesn’t understand.”
He said he couldn’t speak for the chosen site, at Napandee, in particular because it was a women’s site.
“It is part of the Seven Sisters Dreaming,” he said. “If that site is lost, so is the story and with it the identity of our women.”
The songlines of the Seven Sisters (the star group known as the Pleiades) intersect across the length and breadth of the continent, connecting First Peoples on different Country to each other. It is one of the most powerful elements of First Peoples’ cultures.
The Barngarla have developed a united front with Kimba farmers opposed to the dump.
(Above: banners representing the Barngarla and farming communities)
Their organisation, No Radioactive Waste on Agricultural Land in Kimba or SA, sent a message of support to the rally saying they "fully support the Barngarla Determination Aboriginal Corporation in their legal proceedings against the Federal Government as they strive for their voice to be not only heard but listened to."
"The process the Federal Government have undertaken to site a National Radioactive Waste Facility has been heavily flawed and deeply divisive. Their illogical plan involves double handling Australia's most toxic waste, moving it halfway across the country to store it in a shed for decades awaitng the finding of another suitable site where it can be finally properly buried.
"We continue to advocate for the waste to remain in its current secure location at ANSTO until the final deep geological disposal site is found. Productive Farming Land in Kimba is no place for radioactve waste and we will continue to fight this proposal to the end.
"We stand as one with the Barngarla people."
Uncle Harry and his niece Linda Dare both addressed the rally after Uncle Fred’s Welcome.
Others to speak were the Conservation Council’s Chief Executive Craig Wilkins, and State Secretary of the Communications, Electricity and Plumbing Union (CEPU) John Adley, on behalf of SA Unions.
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