Traditional owners want Jabiluka protected (ABC News, 2011, en)

The Jabiluka mine was the subject of protests in the late 1990s. ERA
retains the right to mine the site. Traditional owners want uranium
mine to become part of Kakadu
by Michael Coggan
Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) News
April 7, 2011

Aboriginal traditional owners say they want the massive Jabiluka
uranium deposit in the Northern Territory to remain undeveloped and be
incorporated into Kakadu National Park.
Motivated by events at the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan, the
traditional owners of Energy Resources of Australia's (ERA) Jabiluka
deposit say they want it incorporated into the world heritage-listed
In the late 1990s, thousands of Australians protested against plans to
mine uranium at Jabiluka.
While ERA won a fight for the right to mine the world's largest known
undeveloped uranium deposit, the Mirrar Aboriginal traditional owners
refused to give the company permission to build the mill it needed to
process the uranium, and the mine shaft was filled in.
ERA retains the right to mine the site, but now the Mirrar people are
declaring a wish to have Jabiluka incorporated into Kakadu.
In an interview with Fairfax newspapers, traditional owner Yvonne
Margarula says she is "really happy about it becoming part of the
national park".
"My nephews and nieces can look after the country," she said.
It is a sentiment echoed in an interview with the ABC in 2009.
"My country is important for me. Caring my country in our care, the
country where I've grow up."
In an indication of why the Mirrar people want Jabiluka to become a
part of Kakadu, Ms Margarula this week has written to United Nations
secretary-general Ban Ki-moon expressing the Mirrar's great sadness at
the suffering of the people in Japan from the earthquake, tsunami and
the emergency at the Fukushima plant.
In the letter, Ms Margarula says the nuclear industry is something "we
have never supported in the past and that we want no part of into the
"Given the long history between Japanese nuclear companies and
Australian uranium mines, it is likely the radiation problems at
Fukushima are in part at least fuelled by uranium derived from our
traditional lands," she said.
The Mirrar people are foregoing billions of dollars in potential
mining royalties, but Ms Margarula says money is not as important as
looking after their country.