Mr Kevin Buzzacott, the President of the Australian Nuclear Free Alliance and a respected Arabunna elder will today take his concerns over the proposed expansion of the Olympic Dam uranium mine in South Australia to BHP Billiton’s annual meeting in Perth.
Mr Buzzacott has been vocal in opposing the Olympic Dam uranium mine and the planned expansion. Mr Buzzacott unsuccessfully tried to halt the expansion through the courts and has now been ordered to pay court costs to the Government and to BHPB. At today’s
meeting he will be asking whether BHP, the world’s largest miner, will be seeking to follow this cost order.
“I’m an Arabunna elder and I’ve spent the last thirty years trying to protect my country and the water from my country from this monster mine,” said Mr Buzzacott. “Now I’ve come all
the way from South Australia because this is so important for me, I’m getting old and this could be my last chance to get BHPB to quit to shut Olympic Dam down and leave the desert and us in peace.”
“All my life I’ve stood up for my country because that is the right thing, that’s what we’re taught to do. Now BHPB have a choice whether they’re going to penalise me, take me for the
court costs, for standing up for my country – or whether they’re going to respect my rights to protect those sacred places.”
The planned massive expansion of Olympic Dam has been shelved because of low uranium prices and market uncertainty. The current Olympic Dam mine consumes over thirty five million litres of water day from the Great Artesian Basin from Arabunna country and any
future expansion would increase pressure on water resources.
“Now you say the expansion is on hold well we have a right to know whether you’re going to try and get this expansion happening or not. I mean it doesn’t make sense to dig deeper when people are waking up and saying no to the nuclear industry around the world.”
“Our land is our life and we will follow BHP Billiton to the ends of the earth to stop this mine from damaging our country and draining our water,” concluded Mr Buzzacott.
Mr Buzzacott will be at the BHP Billiton annual meeting from 11am and available for comment after the meeting.