Coalition nuclear policy leaves traditional owners of Kakadu uranium mine worried – by Jane Bardon (Australian Broadcasting Corporation – July 2, 2024)

Mirarr traditional owner Corben Mudjandi is desperate for his spectacular land at Jabiluka to be incorporated into Kakadu National Park, which surrounds it, rather than mined for its uranium. “Its sacred to us, and it’s a piece of human history, 65,000 years, we want Jabiluka not mined; we want to show people the beauty of nature, and what we call home,” he said.

Mr Mudjandi is worried the federal Coalition’s plan to open nuclear plants if it wins government could drive demand for Jabiluka’s uranium. The Mirarr are also concerned that almost a year after Energy Resources of Australia (ERA) applied to extend its uranium mining lease over Jabiluka for another decade, the Northern Territory and federal governments have not yet decided whether to reject or approve it.

ERA’s current lease expires on August 11. “The government are following process, but of course we hope they don’t support the application extension,” Mr Mudjandi said.

Senior Mirarr traditional owner Yvonne Margarula said she was worried that although ERA’s Jabiluka lease agreement enabled traditional owners to veto mining, they felt under constant pressure to change their minds.

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